Hard Rock Cincinnati Increases Pay for Cleaning, Maintenance Staff

Posted on: September 25, 2023, 11:22h. 

Last updated on: September 26, 2023, 02:18h.

Hard Rock Cincinnati has ditched its cleaning and facilities maintenance contract that it took over when it acquired the operating rights to the former Jack Cincinnati Casino in 2019. It’s a decision that’s paying off for impacted workers.

Hard Rock Cincinnati casino cleaning service
Hard Rock Cincinnati has ended a contract with a Florida-based company that provided the casino with cleaning and facilities maintenance services. Hard Rock International acquired the operating rights to the Cincinnati property in 2019. (Image: Hard Rock Cincinnati)

Hard Rock International acquired the former Jack property through a partnership with Vici Properties, the real estate investment trust controlled by Caesars Entertainment.

Hard Rock and Vici paid Jack Entertainment $745 million for the 22-acre property and casino structure. Jack Entertainment is controlled by Rocket Mortgage billionaire Dan Gilbert, who owns the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers.

Hard Rock’s investment in the Cincinnati casino transferred the operating rights to the company. Vici owns the physical real estate and leases the operations to Hard Rock, owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

Hard Rock rebranded Jack Cincinnati to Hard Rock in October 2021 after the makeover was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Contract Tossed, Employees Given Raises

Hard Rock retained several contracts Jack Entertainment had in place after it began operating the Cincinnati casino. One such contract was with The Service Companies, a Florida-based company that provides cleaning, facility maintenance, and staffing services for the hospitality and gaming industries.

Service Companies, as first reported by the Cincinnati Business Courier, completed a WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification) filing on June 1. That alerted the state that it expected to terminate about 70 positions because its Hard Rock Cincinnati contract wasn’t being renewed. The federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act requires that large employers provide employees with a minimum 60-day notice when a significant change to the company’s staffing levels is expected.

“We recently received notice that Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati, as successor-in-interest to Jack Cincinnati Casino LLC (“Hard Rock”), has decided to terminate its Services Agreement with The Service Companies (“TSC”),” the WARN filing from Amanda Sullivan, senior vice president of people at The Service Companies, explained.

“The total number of affected employees is 70,” Sullivan said. “At this point, the termination is expected to be permanent.”

But a Hard Rock rep says those 70 jobs haven’t actually been lost. When Hard Rock terminated The Services Companies’ contract, the casino retained “every employee who passed Hard Rock’s standard background check” and was given a $5 per hour raise.

The Hard Rock Cincinnati spokesperson added that those former Service Companies employees kept their seniority and paid time off.

Gaming Growth

Hard Rock has increased gross gaming revenue (GGR) at the Cincinnati casino since it assumed its operations.

When Jack Entertainment ran the casino, the property in 2019 reported GGR of approximately $207.6 million, with slots accounting for $132.1 million of the income. Hard Rock Cincinnati last year won nearly $251.5 million from gamblers. That was 21%, or almost $44 million, higher than the casino’s 2019 win.

Hard Rock has brought in new slot terminals that resonated with players. Hard Rock’s 2022 gaming win was fueled by the one-armed bandits, which kept more than $162.5 million of players’ wagers. Hard Rock did offer about $6 million more in promotional play than Jack did in 2019.

Hard Rock Cincinnati is Hard Rock’s lone casino in the Buckeye State. The company previously operated the Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park outside of Cleveland. They held that from late 2013 until the company sold the racino’s operating rights to MGM Resorts in April 2019.