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Columbus Casino Opening Early; Scioto Downs Competition?
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The Ohio Casino Control Commission has ruled that Columbusâ€™ new Hollywood Casino can open Monday, October 8th. Thatâ€™s several weeks earlier than previously announced. The casinoâ€™s owners might be trying to cash in on the success that Scioto Downâ€™s so-called racino has experienced.
Since it opened in June, gamblers at Scioto Downsâ€™ new racino have bet, on average, some $4 million a day. Currently they have about 1,800 VLTs â€“ Video Lottery Terminals â€“ to choose from. That number will increase early next month says Scioto Downs marketing director Michael Newsome.
â€œPhase 2 opens up in just two weeks on August the 4th where we will be expanding our operations with 400 additional machines and a 300-seat buffet,â€ Newsome says.
Scioto Downsâ€™ success has not gone unnoticed by the management of Hollywood Casino Columbus. Ameet Patel, general manager of the Columbus casino, says their facility will offer more machines â€“ real slot machines â€“ plus table games in a more plush environment.
â€œWe feel we have a fantastic superior experience to offer,â€ Patel says. â€œAnd if anything, it just confirms what we believed all along, that this will clearly be an iconic addition to our Central Ohio community.â€
The October 8th opening day for the casino is something of a surprise since a date closer to Thanksgiving had been bandied about. It might be speculated that the owners of Hollywood Casino Columbus are trying to cash in on Scioto Downsâ€™ success. But Ameet Patel said bluntly that there is no connection between the October opening and the competition.
â€œZero impact,â€ Patel says.
Meanwhile Michael Newsome at Scioto Downs believes the impact on his companyâ€™s revenue will be minimal.
â€œBeing the 15th largest city in the country and this region having so many pipelines in and out there is more than enough business to handle the competition,â€ Newsome says.