Gaming begins at Dayton Hollywood racino ahead of Austintown gra - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

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Gaming begins at Dayton Hollywood racino ahead of Austintown grand opening

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DAYTON, Ohio - The bright lights and billboards make you feel that much closer to hitting it big when you step foot inside Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway.

The racino's Tinseltown theme is designed to make guests feel like they've just walked off the Vegas Strip and onto the red carpet.

"It's all about the 1930's Art Deco theme," Scott Frost said, marketing director for the Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway and Mahoning Valley Racecourse. "It's truly Hollywood."

It's the sixth racino to open in the state of Ohio and it's described as the Austintown location's identical twin. Gamblers can try their luck on the 1,000 video lottery terminals, live entertainment will play for guests on a weekly basis and the racinos will boast six food and beverage outlets, including the Skybox Sports Bar.

Penn National is placing its bets on appealing to patrons who live about an hour away or less and the company has the ability to expand its gaming floors to add more slots if demand grows.

"Austintown is the same way, we certainly have the capacity to expand up to 1,500 machines, we're opening with 850," Frost said.

Dayton's racino offers indoor 1,037 seats for harness racing fans. 

Austintown's thoroughbred race track boasts the same amenities with 1,001 seats-- a topic that was the focus of debate throughout the process of earning the Ohio State Racing Comission's approval to build the valley racino.

"It's totally glass enclosed, people can walk outside on the track level if they want, but there will be 1,001 enclosed, heated seats, and all of them will a direct view of the racetrack," Bob Tenenbaum says, Penn National Gaming spokesperson.

Live harness racing in Dayton is set to start October 3, but simulcasting begins on day one. The Austintown track is scheduled to host 21 races from November 24 through December 30. Penn National has requested the Ohio State Racing Comission to approve a 100 live thoroughbred racing line-up for the 2015 season.

From pennies slots to machines that challenge gamblers to roll the die on $100 a try, it's the games of chance that are already the big draw.

And Penn National is planning on an even bigger opening day in Austintown on September 17.
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