Dan Gilbert, better known as the founder and chairman of Quicken Loans Inc., has joined forces with Caesars Entertainment Corp. (formerly Harrah’s Entertainment) in forming Rock Ohio Caesars LLC, a company that will build and operate casinos in Cleveland and Cincinnati, Ohio.
Gilbert, a prominent Ohio businessman who helped get Ohio voters to approve a 2009 referendum that permitted the licensing of four casinos in the state, will be the majority owner of the two casinos.
Plans call for a $600 million entertainment center in Cleveland and a $400 million property in Cincinnati. Backers are suggesting that the first phase of the Cleveland project could be operational by the end of 2011.
The other two casinos, authorized by the expanded gaming legislation, will be built in Toledo and Columbus by Penn National Gaming Inc. (PENN). The company also played a major role in getting voter approval for casinos.
The two Penn National casinos are not expected to be ready until 2012.
As an additional business enterprise, Gilbert is the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association (NBA).