The casino opened at 11:20 a.m. on Monday, about 40 minutes earlier than planned, to several hundred excited players. The 475,000-square-foot facility features about 3,000 slot machines, 100 table games, a poker room and four restaurants. The property is also decorated in an art-deco, movie-industry theme.

Due to both its size and location, many state officials believe the Columbus casino will also be the most lucrative in the state.

“My expectation is that this will be the flagship property for the state of Ohio,”  said Ameet Patel, general manager of the Columbus casino. “I won’t rest until we get there.”

Casinos have already opened in Cleveland and Toledo and a fourth casino will be opening in Cincinnati next spring. The Columbus casino will employ about  2,000 people.

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