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Casino Gambling Becomes Officially Accepted In Ohio

It took decades, but on Monday it became official. Ohio residents have accepted casino gambling in its purest form, and the slot machines and table games can now become a part of the culture of the Midwestern state.

Ohio, for the longest time, had residents that would not sign off on a casino gambling initiative. Several years ago, a ballot question regarding casino gambling finally passed, but it was not until the Horseshoe Cleveland Casino officially opened its doors on Monday that the form of gambling had finally become a reality.

"It's been so long that I've been waiting for this day that I almost can';t even believe this is real," said Maria Nelson, a 27-year resident of Cleveland. "For us to have a casino in Ohio, and it actually be in my city, I could not have dreamt of a better scenario. I plan on staying here for hours today, not just to gamble, but also to take in the scene."

That scene was festive starting in the late afternoon as thousands of gamblers came to get their first look at the new casino. The patrons filed in when the doors finally opened shortly after 9PM. The casino set a maximum occupancy of 5,000 people on the first night, and the casino nearly reached that point within the first hour of opening.

Horseshoe Cleveland took a different approach than most new casinos. Officials did not want an overload of people on the first day, hoping that gamblers would be comfortable with a smaller crowd. The officials also were planning the smaller crowds to help dealers get comfortable in their new work environment.

While most patrons were interested in just seeing the new casino, there were those who were at the Horseshoe for gambling purposes. Donna Witlandsky came from Cincinnati with the hope of winning some extra cash.

"I just couldn't wait until our casino opened," said Witlandsky. "I go to Vegas three times a year, so making the trip from Cincinnati to Cleveland was not much of a problem for me. Luckily, I already won $100 bucks."

Witlandsky will not have to make the commute for much longer. Cincinnati, Columbus, and Toledo will all be getting their own casinos within a year.

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