It is not every day you see college students slide thousands of dollars onto the blackjack table with nothing to show for it except excited smiles.
However, thanks to Casino Night hosted by Activities Program Board (APB), on Friday night students were able to enjoy classic casino games like roulette, blackjack, the money wheel and craps without the fear of depleting their bank accounts.
Held in the Ceddia Union Building Multipurpose Room (MPR), most of the equipment used, like blackjack tables, craps tables and more were contracted from Fantasy World Entertainment. APB also placed slot machines in the corner of the MPR to create casino nostalgia.
Amid the flashing lights and music provided by a DJ, students enjoyed free food, drinks and entertainment provided by a magician performing various tricks to the astonishment of the students.
APB President Evan Redding, who ran the event, explained that Casino Night is an annual spring event.
Upon entering the MPR, students were given their starting amount of chips, to which they could use at any of the games to grow their chip stockpiles. Once students cashed out, they were given one electronic ticket per $5,000 worth of Casino Night chips. Tickets were then entered into a raffle in which 10 people could win $100 of real money.
Many students seemed to favor blackjack, which APB prepared for with about eight different blackjack tables.
One student, senior Zach Zirk, thrived at the blackjack table as he toted around a gallon-sized Ziploc bag filled with Casino Night chips. Zirk was happy to share his strategy with students looking to match his fortune.
“I put in a lot of money to the university so it only seems fair I win some back,” Zirk said.
With students like Zirk stockpiling a massive amount of chips, APB members were forced to constantly re-supply each table’s dealer with chips of various values. The dealers were all APB members who worked hard to regulate each game and reward students with the correct amount of earnings.
Senior Sam Tomlin also spent most of his night at the blackjack table, reaping the benefits of no-risk gambling and left during the event with nearly 250 tickets.
“It’s pretty awesome that you can win real money from these games,” said Tomlin. “I’m an average college student — I could use a little extra cash.”
Redding explained that APB’s goal was to swipe 300 students into the event, and with a few hours remaining the total was already up to 200.
Casino Night operated until midnight and did not seem to slow down until closing, forcing most students to the cash-out tables where they learned the amount of tickets they had earned for the night.