Casino blends classic games with latest technologyWritten by Brigitta Burks | News Editor | BBurks@toledofreepress.com
When Hollywood Casino Toledo opens its doors May 29, patrons of all skill levels will have a lot to choose from with 60 table games, 20 poker tables and 2,002 slot machines.
The casino offers classic games like blackjack, roulette, craps and mini baccarat in addition to several varieties of poker. Hollywood Casino Toledo based what games it offers on several factors.
“We looked at the Detroit market and we kind of went off of their game mix to see what this area has an appetite for,” said Neal Perry, director of table games for the Toledo casino.
“A lot of it is just our own experience and what we wanted to offer,” he said. Prior to moving to Toledo, Perry was the director of marketing at the Hollywood Casino in Aurora, Ind., and the director of table games there before that. He started as a dealer in Atlantic City, N.J., before moving up the corporate ladder.
Hollywood Casino Toledo, owned by Pennsylvania-based Penn National Gaming, does have some unique touches.
“For blackjack, we offer a couple different side wagers, which is a little bit different than what the Detroit market is offering. We try to be a little unique in that respect,” Perry said. Craps also has side wagers available.
If possible and if there’s enough interest, team members can open up tables for requested games. “We’ll always have a list of interests. A list of interests is where we get enough people showing up who want to play that game, then we’ll open up a table,” Perry said.
The casino will also offer Crazy 4 Poker, a version of the game that recently came on the casino market. Other poker games include Fortune Pai Gow Poker, combining the Chinese game Pai Gow with poker, Texas Hold ’em, Mississippi Stud, Let It Ride Bonus Poker, Three Card Poker Progressive, Seven Card Stud and Omaha Hi/Low.
“We’ll just have different variations and different blind structures for those games,” Perry said.
With 33 tables, blackjack is another major draw for the casino. “Blackjack is the most popular game and that’s why we have the most tables of them,” Perry said. A high-limit area, at $50 per hand, will also feature seven blackjack games and one mini baccarat game.
In addition to eight craps tables and six roulette tables, there will be a Big 6 Wheel, also known as a carnival wheel. Inexperienced casino-goers can start there or at the slots — or they can pick up one of the instructional how-to cards available at the casino for the other games.
“If someone that comes in and doesn’t have knowledge of the game, that’s why we have the how-to guides,” Perry said, adding that team members are happy to explain the games.
One of Perry’s favorite parts of his job is his crew of about 450 in the table games section.
“I had the opportunity to put together a fantastic team of people that are friendly, want to come to work and have fun, patient, willing to help others and train,” he said.
Still, the table games section isn’t the only thing the casino has going for it — with 75 employees and 2,002 machines, the slot section is nothing to scoff at. In fact, slot machines typically account for 80-plus percent of a casino’s revenue while table games make up about 10-15 percent, according to Jeffrey Goodman, vice president of casino operations.
Hollywood Casino Toledo has the “popular” machines with themes like “Wheel of Fortune,” “Ghostbusters,” “Alice in Wonderland” and “Tarzan.” Toledo will also have an exclusive “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” slot machine.
Slot machine denominations start at a penny and for $200, patrons can win up to $250,000.
Goodman said he is anxious to get the games and fun going. “We’re extremely excited about the opening and just looking forward to transitioning from construction to operation,” he said.