Richard Smith, Contributing writer
On Feb. 25, more than 100 Roanoke College students gathered in the upper floor of the Colket Center to test their luck at casino games. Many were dressed up in ‘cocktail attire,’ the boys wearing button-up shirts and blazers and the girls wearing becoming dresses. The mood was energetic, but elegant, and the atmosphere was much like that of a reputable casino.
Despite the handsome attire, a dress code was not enforced and the event overall was catered to all students. “We’ve got professional dealers in here to teach people how to play if they don’t know… we’ve got showgirls on stilts, a photographer coming for awesome pics, and it should be a really fun night,” said Nikki Sabilia, event supervisor of the Campus Activities Board. Admission was free for students, as was the food that was provided. For those over 21, alcoholic beverages were sold from a cash bar.
The college’s ‘Casino Night,’ now an annual event, was organized by the Campus Activities Board and was hosted by both students and professional dealers from Massino’s Cassinos. The latter organization outfitted the event with casino tables and equipment; students grouped together and filled the available spaces around the tables in the hopes that they would win big. Casino games included blackjack, poker, roulette and a horse-race betting game with people representing the horses. “I liked the horse-betting game the most, and roulette. Roulette’s my favorite casino game – always bet on black,” said Sidney Rhyne, a college student who attended the event.
Each student, upon entry to the event, was given $50,000 of fake money. Students raised fake money through various games, then exchanged the ‘money’ for raffle tickets around the end of the night. Tickets went towards a variety of prize packs, such as the ‘GTFO’ pack, complete with a backpack, bugspray, a headlamp and other related items. Other prizes included a $100 Ticketmaster gift card and a variety of ‘mystery’ gift cards hidden within popcorn boxes.
Students stayed the full three hours of the event and seemed to be satisfied with how it went, even if they didn’t win anything. Rhyne, for his part, had some 30 tickets in the raffle, but did not win anything; nevertheless, he was pleased with the time he had at the games. “It was a really good event. A lot of fun. I would definitely do it again – like next weekend, if it was happening again,” he said.