Casino Collapse Is Second In Two Months For Developer Rock Gaming LLC, At Least 20 Injured (VIDEO)
For the second time in less than two months a collapse has occurred at one of Ohio's new casino construction sites.
The latest collapse occurred Friday morning in Cincinnati and resulted in at least 20 people being injured, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Many sustained minor injuries and have already been released from hospitals.
According to a statement released by Rock Gaming LLC, a single bay of the facility collapsed as concrete was being poured for the building's second floor.
"A full investigation by Rock Ohio Caesars Construction Team, OHSA, City building inspectors, and the Cincinnati Fire Department is now underway to determine the cause of this morning's collapse of a 60'x 60' bay within the casino facility," the statement said.
Rock Gaming LLC is developing the new casino in partnership with Caesar's Entertainment
The construction site is currently closed until the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) can determine whether or not it is safe for workers to return, according to the developer's statement.
In December of last year, a similar collapse occurred at the construction site for the Horseshoe Casino in Cleveland, which was also being developed by Rock Gaming LLC.
In that incident, a portion of a parking deck being constructed near the casino caved in as concrete was being poured, Channel 5 News reported.
No one was injured in the collapse, and construction activities resumed later the same day with permission from the City of Cleveland and OSHA.
Writing for Columbus Biz Insider, Rick Rouan noted that casino developers in Ohio are pushing to get new casinos up and running quickly, but that timetables are often set back to due to unresolved regulatory issues with the Ohio Casino Control Commission.
"[Former Ohio House speaker Jo Ann Davidson] and commissioners have built the Ohio Casino Control Commission from scratch at a time when Penn National Gaming Inc. (NASDAQ:PENN) and Rock Gaming LLC were rushing to build their casinos so they can cash in on the $1 billion they are spending in Ohio," Rouan wrote.
Rouan noted that the state of Ohio and casino developers both stand to gain from the new openings, which is why the Ohio Casino Control Commission is working "hand in glove" to make progress on construction.
"Davidson and other commissioners also know the sooner the casinos are running, the quicker municipal governments and school districts can start receiving their shares of taxes from the gaming operations," Rouan wrote.
Ohio legalized casinos in 2009 when voters approved a statewide referendum known as the Four Casinos Initiative, which amended the state's constitution.