Video gambling is part of the new setting
Scioto Downs is set to open their new casino at 2pm Friday. It's the first racetrack in the state to run video lottery terminals, also known as VLTs.
"We expect the lines to start forming as early at 9 o'clock that morning," said Mike Newsome, marketing director for Scioto Downs Casino and Racetrack. A 130,000 square foot facility has been under construction for the last several months. Inside are 1,800 VLTs, a bar, and café.
"When we are finished up it's going to be over 800 employees that will be staffed and right now were are over 700 already," Newsome said.
The Ohio Lottery expects the VLTs to generate about $3 million annually in revenue to the state of Ohio. The machines are virtual slot machines. They'll take anything from a penny to $100 to play.
Scioto Downs is opening the facility just months before Hollywood Casino is due to open its doors on the west side of Columbus. The competition isn't a concern for Newsome who says it's good for the industry and the customers.
"This market is certainly robust enough to be able to handle two or more casinos that are going to be in the area. I don't think that will be a problem at all."
While the casino will be open around the clock, one challenge they may have to deal with is a lack of lodging in the area. The closest hotels are at Rickenbacker and Grove City. Newsome said there are currently no plans to built one on site, but says they'll expand the facility to meet demand.