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With the Horseshoe Casino set to open Monday night, owner Dan Gilbert answered a lot of questions that people have been asking.

He sat down with Reporter Paul Orlousky for a wide ranging one-on-one interview.

Mr. Gilbert seems to be as excited as nearly everyone in town. He talked about his vision, what’s next, and what about phase two??

Reporter Paul Orlousky: “The question you’re tired of answering, phase two?”

Owner Dan Gilbert: “Yeah. That’s the question I’m asked the most often.”

Reporter Paul Orlousky: “Are you building phase two?”

Owner Dan Gilbert: “Absolutely, I’m building phase two. Phase two is going to happen there’s no doubt about it.  We paid $85 million dollars for that land so we’re not going to watch weeds grow out of it for sure.”

Phase Two of the Horseshoe Casino is planned for the back side of Tower City overlooking the river and stretching almost to the Q.  Dan Gilbert has permission for 5000 slot machines and more table games. He’s got 2,100 installed so far, so Phase Two could handle 2900 more. His mind is spinning with what happens next.

“The idea there is once that is up that corner on Huron Street where it’s across from the Q will maybe serve as this Time “Squarish” vision of Downtown Cleveland,” said Dan Gilbert.

He offered no timeline — he says a renovation of The Ritz is a possibility in the future and maybe a new hotel.

“We’re going to wait at least five years. Lets at least get all the hotels healthy or help get all the hotels and create a lot of business and commerce. We’re expecting five million plus people per year,” said Dan Gilbert.

Gilbert says he doesn’t see Ohio’s no smoking rules or no free booze regulations as a problem.  It’s the law and out of his control. Dealing with strict regulations has put portions of Gilbert’s personal and business life on the front page. Does he have a problem with it?

“A lot of that is done by now because they issued us our license but you know we understand that we knew the rules going in. We knew what kind of scrutiny you’re under to get a gaming license in any jurisdiction,” said Dan Gilbert.

Article Courtesy of WOIO 19 Action News

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Dan Gilbert Speaks on New Downtown Cleveland Casino & What Is To Come  was originally published on