Miami Valley reacts to new racino

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A sight to see and to hear at Miami Valley’s first racino, Hollywood Gaming at the Dayton Racetrack, according to patrons.

Thursday, people rushed to the slots looking to hit it big.

Upstairs, an exclusive V-I-P room waits to welcome visitors.

Downstairs, gamers and first timers like Cindy Wilkins discover a wonderland of new toys, gadgets and slots.

“It’s something to do for us older people who have maybe $5 or $10 dollars,” said the elderly woman, who noted she might be a bit busier if she had grandchildren to tend to during her somewhat lonely days.

Wilkins says the racino is a way to connect with other people and have a good time.

But before people could get inside, many had to earn their spot to be one of the first.

Hours before the grand open, several lined up to secure their spot.

Cheryl Thomas set up camp with her chair, water and a few snacks by 7:30 a.m. Thursday.

“I just wanted to be first. I wanted to be the first one to be here at the racino, you know, to see the opening. My birthday was last Sunday, so this is my birthday present to myself,” Thomas explained.

Another player told 2 NEWS’ Beairshelle Edmé that she has waiting a little longer than most; in fact, she says she has waited a more than 25 years to walk into a local racino.

“Cause I love gambling,” a laughing Bonnie Perry said. “So, it’s as simple as that. I love gambling, you know, but of course, I can’t go that often so this is a little scary more or less with it being this close. So, that’s a little scary.”

Bonnie Perry says she’ll moderate her visits, but she does expect to spend dollars at the racino.

For David Franks, he says he was not just at the grand opening for fun, but to help boost local economy and support the new business.

“It created so much work for everybody in Miami Valley that we needed. We’ve been in a recession and we needed it just for a boost for everybody, and we only live five miles from here and that’s great for me and my wife,” Franks noted.

Franks says inside the doors of Hollywood Gaming is his heaven, and many others agree with him.

With what most describe as state of the art slots and five-star food, plus entertainment, gamers say they have everything they need to hit the jackpot.

The racino at the 3100 block of Needmore Road will be open 24 hours; it plans to open its racetrack in the next month.

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