Toledo area prepares for Hollywood Casino opening

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) – Hollywood casino will be opening it's doors to the public on May 29, and many people in the area say not only are they excited to see the inside of the building for the first time, but they are also looking forward to the food.

Area residents, for the most part, say they think the casino will make a positive difference in the area.

"I'm glad for the city of Toledo. I think it's important that, you know, it's something new, it's exciting. I've been driving by it quite a bit and it looks great. So I think its going to be great for the city. It'll give us a little bit of zest going forward." said resident Gary Bilski.

"I think that by having the casino here, if we're going to say we're going to have gambling and it's legal, then at least we can see that a lot of people get jobs who need jobs and so that'll be a boost in the area." explained Judith Speizer Crandell.

There are others, however, who have concerns.

"I think that economically I'm concerned about how many people might be hurt by gambling. That concerns me, because people sometimes gamble money that should go to their families or other more serious concerns." area resident Pierre Daris Taylor said.

While many people are excited to gamble, some are very excited to eat.

"I've been to the Hollywood casino in Indiana before, and I know they've got a great buffet, so I'm actually looking forward to that." Bilski said.

For those concerned with crime or traffic, the Toledo and Rossford police departments, as well as the Wood County Sheriffs Department, say they have been working together and with the casino to prepare for opening day.

"well we've done a lot of research, we visited casinos in Michigan and also Missouri and talked to the local police departments there on the opening of there casinos and what to expect." said Lieutenant Brad Weis of the Toledo Police Department.

Police expect issues with traffic for at least the first few weeks, and they say they have a plan that includes the Rossford Police Department and the Wood County Sheriff's Department.

Police plan to direct the overflow of vehicles to a parking lot at the Rossford Rec Center. They say they will monitor that area closely, and help prevent vehicle thefts, deal with traffic and parking issues, and keep the area safe.

"There's always going to be that criminal element out there that's going to try and take advantage of the good people that either want to be entertained or the business people that are supplying that entertainment." said Rossford Police Chief Glenn Goss, adding there will be an increase in the amount of patrol for the first few weeks.

"Our role will be strictly to enhance or help Rossford in any way they wish  and we will probably have several of our auxiliary deputies helping with traffic, whether it's just going to be on opening day, or for several days maybe for a couple weekends." Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn explained.

This is the first time local law enforcement is dealing with the opening of a casino, and they also say they will work to eliminate any problems that unexpectedly arise. The casino will officially open its doors on May 29th, and will also have a practice run on May 24.

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