The Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati is one of four state-approved casinos in Cincinnati.
The Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati, which opened in July 2021 following a $30 million renovation and rebranding of the previous JACK Cincinnati Casino, is a stunning 450,000 square foot property that lies on 23 acres in the northeast portion of downtown.
While this is the only true casino in this over 300,000-person city, horse racing tracks, video lottery terminals, and additional casinos can all be found within a short drive of Cincinnati (more on that below).
Hard Rock Cincinnati Casino
This is the newest of the four Ohio casinos, having opened in the spring of 2013.
Hard Rock Cincinnati Casino is located on the junction of Eggleston Avenue and the Central Parkway, just north and east of downtown.
It was formerly known as the “Horseshoe Cincinnati,” but was renamed the JACK Cincinnati Casino in June 2016, and then the Hard Rock in 2021.
It’s a true, typical 24-hour casino, comparable to those in Las Vegas. It’s also really busy. Casino revenue was $228.4 million last year (per the Ohio Casino Control Commission).
The casino floor area is 108,000 square feet, which puts it on par with several of the Strip properties.
There are 1,632 slot machines and video poker machines at Hard Rock Cincinnati. According to the Ohio Casino Control Commission, the average slot payout is 91.92 percent, and slot machines account for 66 percent of the casino’s income.
Hard Rock Cincinnati Casino Table Games
Let It Ride, Pai Gow, mini-baccarat, standard blackjack games, as well as blackjack variations such free bet blackjack and “Zappit Blackjack,” are among the casino’s 102 live table games. When you are given two-card hands totaling 15, 16, 17, or 18 in this game, you have the option of receiving two more cards.
Because I’m dealt 16 almost every hand (it seems), this game would be just up my alley, however I’m not sure what the house edge is.
Live craps (including games with the entertaining Fire Bet option and crapless craps) and roulette are also available at the casino.
The casino’s 31-table poker area offers the standard $1/2 No-Limit and higher games, as well as $3/6 Limit Hold’em, Omaha, and a variety of tournaments such as daily tournaments, turbos, deepstacks, and more.
There isn’t a sportsbook here yet…. However, now that sports betting is legal in Ohio, the Hard Rock Cincinnati and other Ohio casinos are scheduled to start sportsbooks in January 2023.
Other Hard Rock Cincinnati Casino Amenities
Everything from a Starbucks to the new Council Oak Steakhouse to Brick’d Pizza may be found here. There is, of course, a Hard Rock Cafe.
The Pavilion, a 33,000-square-foot convention and entertainment facility, can accommodate up to 1,500 people. There are no hotels in this area.
Hard Rock Cincinnati Casino Parking Fee
The casino is connected to a 5-story garage with 2,500 parking spaces.
Parking costs $10. If you use your Wild Card – Hard Rock’s players card for 1/2 hour on slots or table games, that cost will be waived.
As of this writing, valet parking is still unavailable. Valet parking cost $15 while it was still the JACK Casino.
How Old Do You Have to Be to Play at the Hard Rock Cincinnati Casino?
To play at the Hard Rock Cincinnati Casino, you must be 21 years old or older.
Hard Rock Cincinnati Address, Phone Number and Website
1000 Broadway Street
Cincinnati, OH. 45202
Phone: (513) 252-0777
Website: Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati
Hotels Near the Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati
The Holiday Inn & Suites Downtown Cincinnati is the nearest hotel to the Hard Rock Cincy. The Holiday Inn is located on the junction of E. 7th and Broadway. The Hard Rock is roughly a five- to seven-minute walk southwest of the casino.
Hard Rock Cincinnati’s Road to Opening
Ohio voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2009 that allows exactly one casino in each of the state’s four major cities. Cincinnati was granted a casino since it is the state’s third most populated city.
The Horseshoe Cincinnati, which eventually became the JACK Casino, was the first casino at this location. The sale of JACK Cincinnati to Hard Rock International was announced in April of this year (they of the Hard Rock Cafe fame). The merger was authorized by Ohio authorities in August of 2019.
Cincinnati’s other Semi-Casino
Belterra Park Gaming is located nine miles southeast of downtown.
Because Belterra Park is a “racino” — a horse racing track without table games, bingo, or slot machines – I label it a “semi-casino.”
Instead, they have 1,300 VLTs, or video lottery terminals.
While they may appear to be slot machines, they are actually electronic scratch-off lottery tickets.
Unlike typical Las Vegas slot machines, which use a random number generator, you’ll be playing a game with a set amount of winners and prizes.
Casinos Close to Cincinnati
Apart from the VLTs at Belterra Park Gaming, the only close competition for Hard Rock Cincinnati is three riverboat casinos in southeast Indiana.
The Hollywood Casino & Hotel Lawrenceburg in Lawrenceburg, Indiana is the closest of the three (purple star on map). To the west, it’s a marathon. Literally.
When driving from downtown Cincinnati, the Hollywood Casino Hotel Lawrenceburg is exactly 26.5 miles away (at the intersection of Walnut and E. 6th Streets).
Driving the 26.5 miles may take you anything from 25 to 40 minutes. However, on Friday afternoons, the journey might take up to 50 minutes.
This was the only choice for Cincinnati-area gamblers until the state of Ohio approved casinos.
According to an article in the Indianapolis Star, gaming earnings at the Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg have decreased by 60% since the Horseshoe (now Hard Rock) Cincinnati Casino opened.
There are approximately 1,200 slots, 62 table games, and a 13-table poker area inside the Hollywood Casino Hotel Lawrenceburg. There are 20 TVs and 25 betting kiosks in the Barstool Restaurant and Sportsbook.
The following are the other two:
Belterra Casino Resort (Brown star on map)
This riverboat casino, not to be confused with Belterra Park Gaming, is located in Florence, Indiana, 51 miles south of downtown Cincinnati.
It takes anywhere from 45 minutes to slightly over an hour to get there.
Because it is a riverboat casino, its casino floor is just about 1/3 the size of Jack Cincinnati’s. It does, however, contain 700 slot machines, as well as the standard table games and a modest poker room. The FanDuel sportsbook is also available.
A lovely 603 room hotel, restaurants, bars, a spa, showroom, and golf course are all attached to the casino (on land).
Rising Star Casino (Green Star)
The only other casino within reasonable driving distance of Cincinnati is the Rising Star Casino, which is just 39 miles distant but still takes 45 minutes to an hour to get owing to the absence of a closer bridge.
Rising Star includes over 1,000 slot and video poker machines, as well as table games (such as craps and roulette) and the TwinSpires sportsbook. A 294-room hotel, four restaurants, and a showroom are also available. The casino is next to a full-service RV park and the Links at Rising Star Golf Course.