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Some Ohio State students reluctant to venture to Hollywood Casino

Courtesy of Hollywood Casino

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Students looking to make a quick buck and achieve a gambling high have had an easier route since the Hollywood Casino in Columbus opened its doors last month.
The casino, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, opened for business Oct. 8, and generated $18.3 million in revenue in October.
However, some people said the casino isn’t the only one winning big money.
Ben DeBacco, who graduated from Ohio State last spring, has been to the casino three times since it opened. DeBacco said he’s won money all three times.
“I can’t imagine going as a student because it doesn’t fit the college lifestyle,” DeBacco said. “Now that I have more money, though, I like to go. It’s very expensive. I can’t imagine risking 100 bucks in five minutes if I was in college.”
However, DeBacco said he could see how casinos would be appealing to college students, located only about 20 minutes away from OSU’s campus at 200 Georgesville Road.
“It’s exciting for any age group,” DeBacco said. “There is a ton of diversity and people there from literally every social class.”
Dave Cameruca, a fourth-year in public affairs, said his favorite part was the sports bar.
“The casino is no different than any other non-Vegas casino,” Cameruca said. “The sports bar is really cool. It was the best part.”
The different games have also attracted OSU students.
The casino, owned by Penn National Gaming, offers a wide variety of games and machines for customers, including more than 3,000 slot machines, blackjack, poker, craps and roulette tables.
Cameruca said his favorite game is blackjack.
“Even though I know the odds are awful, it’s still my favorite,” Cameruca said. “I still feel like I have some control.”
Other students feel like gambling while in college is an easy way to lose all of their money.
Eric Spoltman, a fourth-year in financial services, said he wouldn’t go to the casino until he graduates this December.
“It seems too risky,” Spoltman said. “Every time you go you end up spending at least $100.”
While gambling, students should remember to make sure they don’t spend all of their money and should check their financial standings before going.
“Students need to know their limits and recognize their limits,” said Bryan Ashton, the financial wellness coordinator at the Student Wellness Center. “Be aware of what you can set aside and what you can spend.”
Only customers 21 years old and older are permitted to go to the casino.
Ashton said students need to recognize that gambling is a want and not a need.
“It is entertainment and can be a good source of entertainment if you do it responsibly,” Ashton said.
With the casino so close to OSU’s campus, it’s a possibility that some students will develop gambling problems.
About 75 percent of college students have gambled in the past year, but only six percent develop a gambling problem, said National Center for Responsible Gaming spokeswoman Amy Kugler.
If students do develop a problem, or think that they have, Kugler said they can take online questionnaires. She also suggested they go see a campus health professional.

Kaily Cunningham contributed to this article.

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