JACK Entertainment Adds to Leadership Roster | JACK Entertainment

JACK Entertainment Adds to Leadership Roster

Alyse Martinelli and Cynthia Hays Named Vice Presidents of Detroit-based Urban Gaming Company


JACK Entertainment today announced additions to its leadership roster with the appointment of Alyse Martinelli to the position of vice president of human resources and Cynthia Hays to the position of vice president of compliance. Both executives join the Detroit-based urban gaming company this month, pending regulatory approval.


“We are delighted to welcome Alyse and Cynthia to our dynamic leadership team,” said Mark Dunkeson, president and chief operating officer, JACK Entertainment. “These talented women have exceptional backgrounds, experience and skill sets. We are confident that both will contribute significantly to our company’s evolution as a best place to work, premier entertainment destination and technology leader.”


Martinelli joins JACK Entertainment from the Reel Health Network, a growing medical technology start-up, where she was senior vice president and general counsel, leading the company’s legal, business and human resource initiatives. Previously, Martinelli was senior vice president of human resources for the U.S. division of LafargeHolcim, a global building materials manufacturer. She also was associate general counsel with AT&T Inc. for 20 years, specializing in human resources, labor relations, privacy, commercial and employment litigation, as well as mergers, acquisitions and divestitures.


Martinelli earned a Juris Doctorate Degree from Michigan State University College of Law and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in economics from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich. She is a native Detroiter and an active member of the Michigan Women’s Foundation.


Hays is a certified paralegal with more than 15 years of experience in gaming compliance, both as a casino operator and gaming manufacturer. She joins JACK Entertainment from Scientific Games Corporation where she was executive director of global technical operations services, responsible for customer education, technical documentation, end-user training and technical and operational regulatory compliance for gaming and lottery systems. Previously, Hays spent eight years at Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. (now Caesars Entertainment Corp.) specializing in operational, technical and legal compliance. At both companies, she worked closely with regulators to facilitate approvals for technology deployment. Prior to that, she was customer service director at the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel and Casino where she led the team in the company’s service culture initiatives.


Hays is the recipient of the Great Women in Gaming Proven Leader Award in 2010. She will be relocating to Detroit from the Greater Chicago Area.

JACK Cleveland Casino Brings First Wahlburgers to Ohio

Downtown Cleveland location to open in spring 2017


The downtown Cleveland landscape is about to get a taste of Boston chef-inspired burgers. Paul, Donnie and Mark Wahlberg will debut Ohio’s first Wahlburgers restaurant in early spring, 2017, at the corner of Prospect and Ontario streets in a storefront directly across from JACK Cleveland Casino.


The popular Boston-based restaurant and bar was founded with an emphasis on fun, laughter and a diverse menu of fresh burgers, sandwiches, salads, vegetarian options and 15 homemade sauces, always made with fresh ingredients. The menu was inspired by recipes served in the Wahlberg family kitchen and influenced by Sunday suppers shared with family and friends.


“Now that Cleveland is a championship city once again, it’s time for a championship burger destination in the heart of downtown,” said Mark Wahlberg.


JACK Entertainment’s partnership with Wahlburgers began earlier this year when the Wahlberg brothers decided to open their first Michigan restaurant in the historic Greektown district of Detroit, in cooperation with Greektown Casino-Hotel, JACK Cleveland Casino’s sister property. The restaurant has become a popular hot spot in downtown Detroit.


“Wahlburgers is the latest in a long line of companies that are contributing to the success of downtown areas, like Detroit and Cleveland,” said Matt Cullen, chief executive officer, JACK Entertainment. “Cleveland is home to many businesses in our Rock Ventures Family of Companies, including JACK Cleveland Casino and our 2016 NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers. We are delighted to partner with the Wahlberg brothers once again on this exciting venture.”


Wahlburgers Cleveland will occupy 5,200 square feet of space. The restaurant and bar, which will be open daily for lunch and dinner, is owned and operated by Nino Cutraro, who also is the owner and operator of Wahlburgers Detroit.


“Our Detroit restaurant has been wildly successful and we can’t wait to bring the Wahlburgers brand of great food, drinks and fun to Cleveland, as well,” Cutraro said.

JACK Entertainment Officially Arrives In Cleveland

JACK Cleveland Casino debuts revolutionary vision and experience


May 11, 2016 (CLEVELAND, OHIO) – The numbers don’t lie – 400,000 casino chips weighing 2,000 pounds, 1,800 pairs of dice and 30,000 fresh decks of cards. That’s just a glimpse of what it takes to transition Ohio’s first casino to new management, new leadership and a new brand with a spicy attitude. JACK Cleveland Casino debuts today, charting a unique path in gaming entertainment.


Hundreds of individuals worked thousands of hours over many months to reach this unprecedented milestone, securing JACK Cleveland Casino as the region’s premier entertainment destination.


The changeover required the design and deployment of cutting-edge technology, the conversion of hundreds of signs inside the casino and throughout the region, the redesign of 125 table games, and the integration of more than 1,500 downtown team members into the JACK Entertainment family. In addition, the company transitioned thousands of guests to its new groundbreaking player loyalty program, ClubJACK, providing exceptional dining, travel and event perks.


“Today is the result of a lot of hard work and dedication by our team members and now it’s time to have some fun,” said Matt Cullen, JACK Entertainment chief executive officer. “Everyone walking through our doors will be immersed in our distinctive culture and enjoy a dynamic new gaming experience.”


“Importantly, today’s grand opening celebration represents our continued commitment to Cleveland, a city that we love,” Cullen continued. “Cleveland is home to nearly 5,000 team members affiliated with the Rock Ventures family of companies, and we are steadfastly dedicated to our guests, fans, and customers.”


JACK – More Than a Name

The JACK brand represents the company’s progressive spirit, pursuit of excellence through innovation and desire to deliver guests with unexpected, delightful experiences 365 days a year. JACK is bold, creative and committed to the mission of urban revitalization, with a few surprises thrown in for good measure.


With the unveiling of its new brand, the company has transitioned day-to-day operations to JACK Entertainment, recruited a team of the gaming industry’s top executives and deployed some of the most advanced gaming technology in the business.


“JACK Cleveland will embrace the JACK attitude of living in the moment, for the moment,” said Mark Dunkeson, JACK Entertainment president and chief operating officer. “In addition, we’ll continue to deliver the impressive service our guests deserve from our incredible team members – most who have been with us since we opened the property in 2012 – along with exciting promotions, the latest gaming options, diverse entertainment offerings and memories to last a lifetime.”


Meet JACK Cleveland Casino


Among the many new amenities and surprises guests will find at JACK Cleveland Casino are:

  • The latest in gaming technology.
  • The ClubJACK player loyalty program, which enables guests to earn points significantly faster than ever.
  • TAG Lounge & Bar is now Rock Bar & Lounge, a brand that will be replicated throughout JACK Entertainment’s portfolio of properties.
  • The Spread Buffet is now Market District Buffet, a name that signifies JACK’s commitment to serving fresh, seasonal foods.
  • The Diamond Lounge has been rebranded as The Library, reminding our premier guests that they have a comfortable space to play, relax and raise a glass.


The Grand Opening

Guests are invited to JACK Cleveland Casino for celebrations and live entertainment throughout the weekend of May 11-15. JACK Entertainment has launched a $2 million Swipe & Spin promotion in Cleveland, where guests can win prizes that include cash, cars, free play, trips and more throughout the month of May. Every swipe and spin is a winner.


Urban Commitment

JACK is committed to the urban cores and revitalizing the downtowns that we call home, focusing on the small business development in our neighborhoods. In support of its guests and the Cleveland community, JACK Cleveland Casino partners with local restaurants, hotels and attractions to create an enhanced downtown experience for ClubJACK members.


JACK Cleveland is the second property to complete its transformation. JACK Thistledown Racino debuted on March 9, 2016 and Horseshoe Cincinnati will become JACK Cincinnati Casino in early June. Greektown Casino-Hotel will become JACK Detroit Casino-Hotel Greektown later this year.


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JACK Thistledown Racino Unveils $70 Million Renovation

New amenities include 1,000-space parking deck, new signature restaurants and more


JACK officially arrived in North Randall today with the unveiling of $70 million in new amenities, including a 1,000-space parking structure, exciting new restaurants, an impressive grand entrance and more than 200 new state of the art Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs), all designed to solidify the racino as the area’s premier entertainment destination.


“This investment is consistent with our commitment to the historic Thistledown Racino, to providing our team members with an enjoyable and productive work environment and to offering our guests an exciting racing and gaming experience,” said Matt Cullen, JACK Entertainment chief executive officer. “JACK Entertainment is focused on a new level of entertainment for Northeast Ohio and we believe this renovation lives up to that expectation.”


JACK Thistledown Location


In addition to new management and a distinctive new brand, JACK Thistledown guests will enjoy extraordinary amenities and conveniences throughout the property, beginning with a 1,000-space, multi-level parking garage which opens directly onto the property gaming floor.


Guests also will appreciate the property’s new glass grand entrance which gives way to a “living wall” comprised of 7,000 plants from 10 different species, cared for by a high-tech, self-sufficient irrigation system. The 1,200-square-foot wall pays homage to Northeast Ohio’s Emerald Necklace of renowned parks.


Once inside the property, racino guests will be delighted to find 235 new VLTs with many popular themes, including Wonder 4 Tower, Quick Hit, Buffalo Grand and China Shores.


Thistledown guests also will discover several distinct restaurant options.


  • Millcreek Grille, JACK Thistledown’s signature restaurant, serves a variety of steaks, seafood, and pizzas made in a wood-fired, gourmet oven. Guests can enjoy lunch or dinner seven days a week at a 360-degree, granite bar top in the center of the restaurant or at private tables. For those interested in watching our thrilling thoroughbred competitions, Millcreek overlooks the racetrack.
  • Nonna Pazza, which means “crazy grandma” in Italian, is a quick-serve pasta bar where guests can design their own pasta dish or choose from the chef’s menu. Nonna Pazza offers guests bar top seating or meals to go.
  • Cleo’s, a name created to tip a hat to the racetrack’s 90-year history in Cleveland, is a one-of-a kind sports bar. Guests can play 13 varieties of bar top Keno while watching unlimited sports action on eight 80-inch TV screens surrounding a center bar. Four additional TVs can be combined to create a super 110-inch screen for big game and racing action. Cleo’s also offers live entertainment.


“We will have no shortage of excitement and surprises at JACK Thistledown,” said Mark Dunkeson, JACK Entertainment president and chief operating officer. “With the launch of our new brand and the transition of management – which includes the addition of incredible new leaders, a revitalized team and a fresh, shared vision – our first priority is to provide exceptional experiences for our guests.”


Thoroughbred Racing
The enhanced atmosphere at JACK Thistledown kick starts an exciting thoroughbred racing season, which begins April 25 and runs for 100 race days. In addition to the indoor enhancements, JACK Thistledown is adding a new, 20-by-50 feet infield, digital tote board that features live real-time races, simulcast racing and digital results.


The Grand Opening
Guests are invited to join JACK for celebrations throughout the weekend of April 8-10, 2016. JACK Thistledown will host a “Three for the Road” giveaway, in which guests can enter to win a 2016 Ford Mustang, Explorer or F-150 during the three day celebration. Guests who sign up for the new ClubJACK player loyalty card will receive a free JACK T-shirt and up to $100 in free play. Live bands will provide nightly entertainment at the JACK Thistledown bars on April 8, 9 and 10.


The JACK Brand
Thistledown Racino became JACK Thistledown Racino on March 9, 2016. The JACK brand represents the company’s progressive spirit, pursuit of excellence and desire to deliver guests with unexpected, delightful experiences every day. JACK is bold, innovative, committed to urban revitalization, with a few surprises thrown in for good measure.


JACK Entertainment will finalize the transition of three other properties this year:

  • Horseshoe Cleveland will become JACK Cleveland Casino in early May.
  • Horseshoe Cincinnati will become JACK Cincinnati Casino in early June.
  • Greektown Casino-Hotel will become JACK Detroit Casino-Hotel Greektown later this year.

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JACK Entertainment Rebrands Ohio and Detroit Casinos

Company Formerly Known as Rock Gaming Builds Powerful Team of Highly Experienced Gaming Executives to Run Properties


If you don’t know JACK, you soon will. Today, Rock Gaming LLC (“Rock Gaming”) introduced the exciting new brand for Rock Gaming and its wholly owned casinos in Ohio and Detroit. Effective immediately Rock Gaming will be known as JACK Entertainment LLC (“JACK Entertainment”).


What, or who, is JACK?


According to Darlene Monzo, JACK’s chief marketing officer, JACK is an attitude and a way of thinking. “JACK is the voice of adventure,” she said, “It is that rare friend who entices you to step outside of your comfort zone, forget your fears, have fun and live in the moment, for the moment.”


“JACK is the future of entertainment,” said Matt Cullen, chief executive officer of JACK Entertainment. “Our new brand represents our company’s progressive spirit, our pursuit of excellence and our desire to deliver our guests with unexpected, delightful experiences every day.”


Rock Gaming’s rebrand follows last year’s announcement that it acquired the balance of outstanding shares giving an affiliated company 100 percent ownership of the properties. Subsequently, Rock Gaming exercised its option to assume the day-to-day operational management of Horseshoe Cleveland, Horseshoe Cincinnati and ThistleDown Racino. The company has built a powerful team of experienced gaming executives whose first priority will be delivering an exceptional and unique entertainment experience for every guest who walks through the front door of JACK.


The operational transition, along with the brand change, is underway and will be completed by the end of 2016. JACK ThistleDown Racino will debut on March 9, followed by JACK Cleveland Casino in early May, JACK Cincinnati Casino in early June and JACK Detroit Casino-Hotel Greektown later this year.


Player Loyalty Program and the Future of Gaming


As part of the brand launch, JACK Entertainment is announcing an exciting, new player loyalty program called ClubJACK. ClubJACK will launch over the coming weeks and months as each property changes its name and completes operational transition.


While JACK guests will continue to enjoy their favorite table games and slot machines, in keeping with its progressive culture, JACK will be forward focused, exploring trends in gaming, providing inventive gaming options, blazing new trails in entertainment and revitalizing urban areas.


“We’re just getting started and, given JACK’s love for adventure, you never know what we will come up with next,” Cullen said. “What you can be certain of is that JACK will change the world of gaming as we know it.”

About JACK Entertainment LLC
JACK Entertainment LLC, formerly Rock Gaming LLC, is a Detroit-based urban gaming company focused on the development of gaming facilities that are designed to maximize connectivity and economic impact in the local areas where they reside.


JACK and its affiliates‘ (“JACK”) portfolio of properties includes more than 13,000 gaming positions, 400,000-square-feet of gaming space, 600 hotel rooms, and 35 bars and restaurants. JACK is comprised of approximately 7,000 team members across four states and generates more than $1 billion in revenues.


JACK opened Ohio’s first casino in Cleveland in May 2012 and opened Ohio’s fourth and final commercial casino in Cincinnati in March 2013. In April 2013, JACK opened one of Ohio’s seven racinos at its Cleveland-area thoroughbred racetrack ThistleDown Racino. Additionally, in April 2013, JACK acquired downtown Detroit’s Greektown Casino-Hotel.


JACK also owns northern Kentucky’s historic thoroughbred racetrack Turfway Park and is a partner in Horseshoe Baltimore, located in the heart of the stadium district. In addition, JACK is also a partner in Caesars Interactive Entertainment, Inc., the largest online, mobile and social gaming company focused on casino entertainment.