$100M Warren County racino expansion anticipates full casino, sports betting

Warren County commissioners approved plans on Tuesday for an 11-story hotel with a 112-by-9-foot, 6-inch LED sign along the top roof line in a complex where full casino gambling and sports betting are envisioned.

“Sports wagering is the next thing were looking at,” Domenic Mancini, president and general manager of the Miami Valley Gaming racino, said during a Warren County Board of Commission meeting.

In response to questions from Commissioner Dave Young about offering table gambling at the racino, Mancini acknowledged operators were planning “what if and when this does happen.”

The change, legalizing full casino gambling at Ohio racinos, would require passage of a constitutional amendment.

“I don’t think its too far out of the realm,” Mancini said. “I think that will happen.”

EARLIER: 11-story hotel part of $100 million racino expansion plan

In addition to the hotel, the $100 million racino expansion is to include a 12,000 square-foot gaming expansion, 7,500 square-foot restaurant expansion and 1,000 space parking garage.

It would be the second expansion since the the racino opened on Dec. 12, 2013, just east of the Interstate 75 interchange at Ohio 63 in Turtlecreek Twp.

The Premium Outlets Mall, two prisons, a large industrial park, the Union Village and Otterbein Lebanon complex are also along the stretch of Ohio 63 headed east to Lebanon.

The rooftop sign approved will be two feet shorter than previously proposed, but will still be 112-feet long and feature flashing, animated graphics, contrary to the recommendation of planning staff.

A week ago, the commissioners delayed approval so that staff could meet with racino officials and consultants on the project.

On Tuesday, the commissioners voted unanimously for a shorter sign, with the high-tech capabilities sought after racino representatives urged the commissioners to allow the animated, flashing, scrolling graphics as part of signage permitted with the expansion.

The sign is to stretch 92 feet along the west side and 20 feet along the north side of the top floor of the 194-room, 160,000 square-foot hotel.

Young noted the racino’s willingness to reduce the height and develop alternative plans before supporting the flashing capabilities he had questioned the week before.

RELATED:Warren County delays approval of racino sign plan

“It doesn’t seem obtrusive to me,” Young said.

Commissioner Shannon Jones also expressed support for the shorter sign and apologized for the delay in approval.

“If you’re going to do it, you might as well allow ‘em to do it,” she said.

The racino agreed to allow emergency management officials to use the sign in “extraordinary circumstances,” but not for Amber Alerts and similar warnings.

Construction is expected to begin in late January or early February.

Mancini said the racino worked to be a good neighbor and generated taxes and other revenues.

In 2018, Miami Valley Gaming had the third highest total payouts of all Ohio racinos. The net win for the fiscal year was recorded as $171.6 million.

“We don’t do anything without thinking how it would affect our community,” Mancini said.

MORE: Slots revenue reaches $1B at Ohio racinos for 1st time

About the Author