Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway opened Thursday to great fanfare. The gaming facility features more than a thousand lottery terminals, five restaurants and lounges, and a 1930s-style décor. Even before opening, the gaming facility has been a boost to the Dayton economy.
Penn National Gaming Inc., says 90% of the employees working there have been hired from the Miami Valley. Mayor Nan Whaley called the North Dayton gaming facility a welcome addition to the city.
Whaley said, from the start Penn Gaming was “Making sure that they were local contractors using local employees to build the site, and then local workers to work in the site. I’ve gotten a couple of FaceBook notices from some of the residents of Dayton... and the excitement that they have around work for Penn Gaming has been pretty impressive.”
Cheryl Thomas was hoping to be the first person through the doors as they opened to the public. She also sees the raceway as a positive for Dayton.
“Well, I’m excited just because we have something that was in this vacant area here that will give jobs to people and hopefully help the economy here, she said.”
About 500 jobs have been added in Dayton at the new racino, and more area jobs are expected to come.
Despite the city’s economic hardships, Gary DeWitt, the new general manager for Hollywood Gaming said Dayton provides the right atmosphere for the racino.
“We were extremely impressed with the Dayton elected officials, the local businesses, the community partners, welcoming us with open arms," the GM said. "We thought it made perfect sense for us to be here in Dayton.”
Now that the doors are open, Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway will stay open 24 hours a day—seven days a week. Live harness racing will commence in early October and be simulcast nationally.