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West Side Reacts To Casino Location.
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The efforts to move the Columbus casino to the West side of town has the strong support of at least one long time neighborhood restaurant. But,not everyone is eager to see a casino.
Lucy Yee helps to run the Ding Ho restaurant that her grandfather started over 50 years ago. She says overall that business is good, but it could be even better with a Casino at the old Delphi plant just down the road. “Oh I think it would be good, everything around us would be built. There’s so many empty buildings right now, so we want it to come and more people will find us.”Yee says.
Waitress Clara Stevens has worked at the restaurant for almost 45 years. Stevens is optimistic the Casino will bring a bright future.
“A lot of our old customers that come from Westerville, Clintonville, all these other places will probably come more often if they gamble to go to the gambling place which I think they will.” Stevens says.
More than 100 acres of land at West Broad Street and Georgesville Road stand empty, since the Delphi plant closed two years ago. Scattered businesses like Kohl’s and Sears draw some customers along with shops at small strip malls. Many more buildings are boarded up. Sue Smith has high hopes a casino will change that bleak picture.
“Because right now every place is closing, every year we have another couple places that close on the West side and I just feel that this way it will help build it back up.” Smith says.
Not everyone thinks a casino however, will lead to sustained growth. Paul Wilcox lived on the West side for years, but left 20 years ago. Wilcox comes back to visit and eat at the Ding Ho restaurant.
“I just don’t believe in gambling. It’s just a waste of money. And I think you know with our economy you know the way it is I really think it’s just not necessary to offer that kind of temptation to people to throw their money away when they’re struggling to make ends meet.” Wilcox says.
Another customer,Tammy Shannon says gambling is wrong.
“Morally I don’t think it’s a good thing. I don’t believe in casinos.” Shannon says.
Others worry that the casino will attract more crime which they say the West side really doesn’t need.