Lady Luck: State Lawmakers Pass Casino Bill

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(WOIO) - Plans for Cleveland's first casino can now go forward after state lawmakers passed a bill laying out rules for Ohio's future gaming industry.

The bill passed in the predawn hours Friday morning, long past the original midnight deadline.

Under the new rules, casinos will have an entry age of 21, rules against free drinks and smoking. The casino will be open 24-hours, but there will be no alcohol served between the hours of 2:30AM-5:30AM.

Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert is pleased with the bill passage, as his plan for a phased construction plan has been approved.

Gilbert will soon build a temporary casino in the offices of Positively Cleveland in the old Higbee building. It's expected to be up and running by next summer.

On the flip side, Cleveland's Black Contractors Group is upset because a provision that would demand minority hiring for the project was not included.

This group isn't buying Gilbert's campaign promise to use minority workers and suppliers.

"False and broken promises. We've heard time and time again it's just cliche to get it passed through, to get it going and we are....we are the forgotten people," said Norm Edwards of the Black Contractors Group.

The casinos will be located here in Cleveland, Columbus, Toledo and Cincinnati.

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