Casino night benefits county charities

Botsford/Swinford residence halls will be offering 15th annual casino festivities this weekend.

The Ball State community will do some on-campus "gambling" for charity during the 15th annual BotSwin Casino Night Saturday.

The event, which benefits the Delaware County United Way, will take place in the Botsford/Swinford residence hall lounge from 8 p.m. until midnight.

Casino Night chairman Mat George began working on the event this summer and said he hopes the event will raise $2,000 this year.

John Guthrie, the director of community service at United Way, said Casino Night has raised some $12,000 in the past eight years.

"Our records [of Casino Night] only go back to 1993. The event has raised $1,500 each year since then," Guthrie said.

Guthrie said the money raised is usually earmarked for the Isanogel Center, an organization run by United Way that benefits children and adults with special needs.

According to George, the event is set up as a mock casino and will feature poker, blackjack, roulette and craps that can be played with printed paper money bought in the lounge.

Guests will also be able to purchase "mocktails" such as strawberry daiquiris, pina coladas and mudslides.

George said that a $4 donation will buy participants 50,000 units of the fake paper currency called "Basil Bucks," which can then be used to play the games -- which he described as "user friendly."

"The dealers aren't looking to make players go broke," George said. "It isn't hard to double or triple your money in one game."

There will also be an assortment of prizes for players who do hit it big with their Basil Bucks. According to George, every 100,000 Basil Bucks may be cashed in for a chance to win one of the donated prizes. The prizes include certificates to the Muncie Mall, and two-day trips for two to Casino Aztar, Grand Victoria Casino and Argosy Casino.

Other sponsors for the event include Student Government Association, Residence Hall Association and the Honors College.

The theme for this year's Casino Night is "2001 -- A Space Odyssey," which has been incorporated into such things as clay poker chips that will be given away to some participants.

"The first 300 people through the door will receive one of these," George said of the red and black chips with the Space Odyssey logo engraved in the middle.

Formal attire is suggested for the event, but George said the dress code is not strict and shouldn't scare anyone from attending the event.

"It's all right for people to show up in just about anything," he said. "No one will feel out of place -- we just want people to come out and have a good time."

For more information about BotSwin Casino Night, contact the Botsford/Swinford desk at 285-5017.


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