Hard Rock International is creating a new brand for its first gambling venture in Ohio.

The new racino, under construction in Northfield, will be called Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park, the Orlando-based company announced Monday.

The Rocksino name pays tribute to Cleveland as the birthplace of rock ’n’ roll and is a play on the word racino, the industry term for a combined horse track and casino.

But the name goes beyond that, said Brock Milstein, chairman and chief executive of the Northfield Park harness track.

“It’s meant to express the fact that it’s more than just a casino or just horse racing,” he said. “There’s a lot more involved with what we’re doing.”

Northfield Park and Hard Rock are partnering on a $250 million to $300 million project to build a gambling and entertainment complex on track property along state Route 8.

The facility will be filled with more than 2,300 slots-like video lottery terminals, a comedy club, premium steakhouse, buffet, Hard Rock Live music venue and Hard Rock Cafe. The Rocksino also will feature music memorabilia.

“Hard Rock is committed to building the premier entertainment and gaming destination in the area,” Hard Rock Chairman Jim Allen said in a prepared statement. “We want to bring something special to a region so rich in music history and are proud this location will launch the ‘Rocksino’ brand.”

Hark Rock officials weren’t available for comment.

Rocksino is expected to open in December. The racino anticipates hiring more than 600 workers later this year.

Hard Rock operates 177 venues in 58 countries, including 141 cafes, 18 hotels and eight casinos.

Rocksino will be one of seven racinos in Ohio offering video lottery terminals or VLTs. The Ohio Lottery Commission is overseeing VLT expansion in the state.

Only one racino — Scioto Downs in Columbus — has opened. Thistledown in North Randall is expected to be the second when it opens in the spring.

Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or rarmon@thebeaconjournal.com.