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Gilbert Wins NBA Lottery, Looking To End Casino Work Stoppage

Dan Gilbert has had some major up and downs over the past year. First, the Cleveland Cavaliers owner had to watch along with millions of NBA fans as LeBron James chose to take his talents to South Beach. Then Gilbert had to endure one of the worst season's in Cavs history.

The good news for Gilbert came from the entertainment industry as well, where Gilbert's Rock Gaming started to build casinos in Cleveland and Cincinnati. Like the James saga last summer, the casino plans have been anything but smooth since new Governor John Kasich took office.

Kasich came into a fluid situation in Ohio and changed the landscape. Instead of Ohio residents being excited about casinos that were expected to be open next year, they must suffer through a gaming tax revenue battle between Kasich and the casino owners.

Joining Gilbert in the fight is Penn National Gaming, the company that owns the rights to the Toledo and Columbus casinos. Rock Gaming will be developing casinos in Cincinnati and Cleveland. Recently, Gilbert pulled the plug on construction of the Cleveland and Cincinnati casino. At issue is Kasich wanting the casinos paying taxes on all bets made at the facility. It is not a common type of taxation in the industry.

"We stopped because you know, hey, if this thing's really gonna change in a significant way we have to re-analyze the structure, the scope, and the size, because you can't make decisions in a vacuum on this," said Gilbert, in commenting on the work stoppage. "We wanna get back to work as soon as possible. You know? Hopefully we will."

Those words were the first Gilbert has made publicly regarding the work stoppage, and they do not offer much in the way of comfort for gamblers in Ohio. Already, the casino projects have been backed up to 2012, and if a resolution does not come soon, the projects may be delayed even longer. In the meantime, it is the construction workers paying the price.

"I just wish they would come to a conclusion one way or the other, already," said Marlene Baxter. "This way some of my friends can get back to work and start collecting paychecks to support their families."

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