Kasich announces agreement with casino developers

Governor John Kasich announced on Saturday that an agreement had been made between the state of Ohio and the developer of proposed casinos in Cincinnati and Cleveland.

Governor Kasich announced an agreement in principle with casino developer Rock Ohio Caesars LLC that will allow the developer to resume work on the casino projects.

Construction on the Cincinnati casino had been halted since May, in response to a state House proposal that would require the facilities to pay taxes on what bettors spend as well as what they win.

"I'm glad that we've reached agreement with ROC on outstanding gaming issues, including additional payments to benefit Ohioans.  ROC negotiated seriously, in good faith and with a spirit of partnership, and has told us it intends to soon restart construction on its casinos in Cleveland and Cincinnati," said Governor Kasich in a statement.

Local businesses near the casino development site are anxiously awaiting to see construction start soon.

Barr's Pawn Shop on Reading Rd., right across from the casino, said it is "very happy" to hear things are starting to move forward and are hoping to attract more foot traffic once the casino opens.

We are eager to resume construction, get people back to work and open our first-class casinos in downtown Cleveland and downtown Cincinnati," said Rock Gaming President and COO Matt Cullen.

"We are pleased to have reached this agreement in principle with the State.  The agreement addresses the issues we raised with a balanced outcome, and provides the clarity we need to move forward with our projects as designed."

Representative Alicia Reece met with Governor Kasich on Tuesday, trying to get the project started up again. Upon hearing the news that the project is back on, Reece released this statement:

"I am very pleased to hear that the Governor and the casino owners have reached an agreement and that construction will resume and citizens in my district and Hamilton County will be able to go to work and have access to employment opportunities, says State Representative Alicia Reece who had a face to face meeting with Governor Kasich this past Tuesday regarding this issue.

"The Governor and I had a frank discussion on the importance of this project to the citizens of my district and Hamilton County and he thanked me for sharing the concerns and presenting a different perspective and he said that he would get this issue resolved very shortly and I am pleased to hear that an agreement has been reached this soon."

Details of the agreement are expected to be released next week.

Copyright 2011 FOX19. All Rights Reserved.