Las Vegas-based Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. has signed an initial agreement with a company headed by Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert to develop and operate casinos in Cincinnati and Cleveland.

The nonbinding agreement between Harrah’s and Detroit-based Rock Gaming LLC was announced Thursday. It would create a joint venture, with Harrah’s managing the casinos and making a minority investment. Rock Gaming would have majority ownership of the partnership.

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Rock spokeswoman Jennifer Kulczycki says definitive agreements are expected this fall. The venture expects to invest more than $1 billion total to develop the casinos.

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Ohio voters last year approved casinos in four cities. Penn National, based in Wyomissing, Pa., has rights to casinos planned in Toledo and Columbus.

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