Hollywood Casino Columbus, the third casino to open in Ohio and regarded as the largest among the three, is now all set to open its doors to the public today. The build of the $400-million project from Penn National Gaming took about three years to complete, but now that everything’s all set out and the casino’s ready to roll, Hollywood Casino Columbus is expected to become the latest casino hotspot in the state of Ohio.
In preparation for its grand opening, the casino even organized an invitation-only demonstration day last week, one that drew a total of 10,000 people and a strong contingent of guests and luminaries, including Mayor Michael Coleman and former Calfornia governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. While gambling, albeit in a “controlled” fashion, was allowed during the demo day, the casino did make it known that all the proceeds generated from that day would be evenly doled out to five local non-profit organizations.
Today, though, Hollywood Casino Columbus and its 3,000 slot machines and 30 live poker tables opens for real. Just like the demo day, the casino’s opening will be attended by a litany of VIPs. According to Jeff Bell of the Columbus Business First, the opening will be attended by local football legend and two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin, actress Ann-Margaret, former heavyweight boxing champ Buster Douglas, Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman, Penn National President Tim Wilmott, and casino GM Ameet Patel.
The opening of Hollywood Casino Columbus makes it the third casino in the state of Ohio, following the Horseshoe Casino in Cleveland and Hollywood Toledo. With the official opening of the casino, the city of Columbus is expected to rake in a whole lot of tax money, both from the income taxes from the casino’s 2,000 employees and the 33% tax on gross revenues the city is getting from all of the state’s casinos.