INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Pacers star Victor Oladipo is one of the first people in that state to roll the dice on the craps table with live dealers at Harrah's Hoosier Park in Anderson.
"Happy new year to you guys and thank you for letting me be here and experience this, and be a part of something that improves the state of Indiana," Oladipo said.
Harrah's vice president of operations says this marks a culmination of 10 years of trying to bring table games to Anderson.
In place of electric tables, you can now play games like blackjack, craps, and roulette with live dealers.
"They looked like it, they felt like it, we even had live dealers that couldn't touch anything other than putting cash in and Tito's out and high-fiving people when they had a blackjack, but now this is it," Todd Berendji, Harrah's vice president of operations, said. "It's the real deal, the real chips, the real cards — everything."
It's a change leaders hope will attract more people to Hoosier Park in Anderson and Indiana Grand Casino in Shelbyville.
"We think people will come from all over the state, where they might not have come before for table games," Berendhi said. "It's definitely a draw for other people."
"It's going to add a whole new dimension and a whole new aspect of entertainment. And fun to the casino," Joe Putnam, who attended the live table games launch, said. "A lot of people like the live dealers, and you can see around here today everyone is excited."
Herbert Hillman from Gas City usually drives to Michigan to a casino with live dealers, but now he can play in Anderson.
"It's a lot closer. We are only 20 miles away. Up there, we are 150 miles away," Hillman said.
"A live person is a lot different," he continued. "You know how to bluff them; you know how they play; computer you don't. It makes a lot of difference."
The change to live dealers is also helping put Hoosiers to work.
Out of the table games alone its created 220 new jobs with potential to expand and add more tables at both locations in the future.
Leaders say the new law now puts Hoosiers Park and Indiana Grand — which are owned by Caesars Entertainment — on a level playing field by allowing them to operate like the 11 other state-regulated casinos where live dealers were already legal.