Local racino is next to open

The red carpet rolled out Thursday in North Dayton as Austintown’s sister racino showcased glitz and glamour at Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway.

The Dayton opening comes just weeks before the local racino bearing the same theme and name, Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course, opens its doors on state Route 46 in Austintown.

Dayton’s new racino represents the third Ohio facility for Penn National Gaming, which is putting the final touches on its Austintown location.

While the racino here is scheduled to open Sept. 17 with simulcast racing, live thoroughbred racing is not scheduled to kick off until Nov. 24. So far, 21 live race dates in November and December have been set for the winter track. Penn National has filed application with the Ohio State Racing Commission for another 60 dates beginning Jan. 3 through April 15. The request outlines live racing on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout those months.

The application calls for live racing to start back up Oct. 6 and run through Dec. 30.

Of the requested dates, about 100 are for thoroughbred racing and two dates are for quarter horse days, according to race commission spokesman Martin Evans.

As per its agreement with the Ohio Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, Penn National Gaming has said it would seek to avoid any overlap with 2015 racing dates at nearby Thistledown in North Randall.

The race commission is not expected to take up the issue of 2015 race dates until October.

Meanwhile, Dayton’s mayor and other local government and Penn National officials on Thursday cut the ribbon allowing what was described as thousands of patrons inside. The Austintown racino is expected to host a similar high profile event Sept. 17 at its $125 million facility here.

“Today marks the opening of our third gaming facility in Ohio and, with our fourth set to open in just a few weeks, clearly demonstrates our commitment to the state,” Penn National Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jay Snowden said during the Dayton opening. Penn National executives said they are expecting a million guests a year at the Dayton facility. They haven’t yet released attendance predictions for the Austintown location.

The Dayton gaming floor features 1,000 video lottery terminals, or VLTs, with denominations ranging from penny to $25 games and jackpots up to $100,000.

Austintown’s facility will open with 850 VLTs, but with room to expand up to 1,000.

Both Hollywood style facilities are expected to be open around the clock.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.