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Bench celebrates racino opening

Johnny Bench, the Cincinnati Reds’ Hall of Fame catcher, topped a list of dignitaries on hand for a special preview Tuesday of the 120-acre Miami Valley Gaming complex, just east of Ohio 63 interchange at Interstate 75.

Staff armed with the latest technology assisted visitors touring the 1,600 electronic slot machines, four restaurants and two bars.

More than 500 employees will run the casino floor, restaurants and bars, a 5/8 mile harness track and off-track betting room.

“500 jobs will be created. There’s a lot of happy people,” Bench said.

Delaware North, a global gaming and entertainment company, and Churchill Downs, known for the famous Kentucky racetrack, formed a joint venture to develop the $110 million complex.

“The team has worked very hard to get to this point. They are very excited to show off what they have done to the public,” said Brian Hansbery, president of Delaware North Cos.

The doors open to the public at noon Thursday.

“It really brings a whole new element of entertainment to the area,” said Austin Miller, senior vice president of gaming operations for Churchill Downs.

It will be the second racino along the corridor between Columbus, and Cincinnati and eastern Indiana, and the seventh gambling operation in the region.

By next September, racinos are to open east of Cincinnati, Belterra Park, the former River Downs; and in north Dayton, the Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway.

Still Bench predicted Miami Valley Gaming would be a hit with the region.

“They love their sports, they love their activities,” Bench said. “It’s fun.”

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