Casino neighbors talk about opening

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) – Many people are excited that Toledo will have a casino in its own backyard, but some Toledo residents have a casino in their front yard- literally.

With one week to go, neighbors are talking about what it is like to have a casino for a neighbor.

The only thing between Rita Allen's home and the Hollywood casino is Miami street. If she is hanging out in her yard, she can't miss it.

Allen worries about the traffic congestion it will bring, and says she doesn't know if she'll be able to make a left turn out of her driveway ever again.

"We have a problem with turnarounds on the street here and there has been several accidents, always during the summer and that with people making u-turns and that would be the biggest concern. Accidents," Rita explained.

Several confused drivers needed to turn around near her house during the interview. It is a problem she says will only get worse when the casino opens. Rita is also concerned about parking:

"Well if they pull up and drop people off, that's not a problem. But I really do not want their customers parking on my property. The street over there is a public street, I have no control over that but I really don't want them parking on my property."

Neighbor Marv Sondergeld has some of the same worries. He has lived off of Selkirk Street for 15 years.

"I think the traffic is going to be a headache and a problem, probably for us, and an inconvenience for us but I am hoping it will settle down after a short period of time," said Marv.

Sondergeld says there is also talk in the neighborhood about prostitutes attracted by casino traffic. However, he says the Hollywood Casino has been a good neighbor, and always responded to their concerns. He is confident the casino's security and that Toledo police won't be far away:

"Just sit back and let's see what happens and don't worry about it until it does happen and it might not be anywhere near as bad as we think it might be."

It also appears the casino has reached out to the neighbors. Marv says he's been invited to the casino's soft opening this Thursday.

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