NIU students get involved in casino nights

By R. Scott Lohman

Riverboat-style gambling is in DeKalb, and NIU students are getting involved.

Legal casino gambling nights are here and NIU students, especially fraternity and sorority members, are encouraged to help as dealers for the nights, said Jim Kasputis, president and owner of Rockford Casino Players.

Since there are no professional dealers involved in the casino nights, NIU fraternity and sorority members often volunteer to help as dealers, Kasputis said.

Casino nights are a “wonderful opportunity for not-for-profit organizations to raise funds,” said Regina Maggio, vice president of Rockford Casino Players.

The casino nights are good for non-profit organizations to “get a lot of money with little effort, and quickly,” she said.

Kasputis said the casino nights in DeKalb and other towns in Illinois are legal with the state for non-profit organizations which are tax-exempt and are community service-oriented.

He added that organizations such as VietNow, Moose Clubs, Societies against Leukemia, other veterans’ organizations, churches, unions, fraternal organizations and volunteer fire departments are just some of the beneficiaries of the casino nights.

The mood for casino nights is non-competitive and the stakes are low, Kasputis said. Casino night “gamblers” only can bet $10 maximum, but they have the opportunity to take home a couple of hundred dollars if they are good and lucky enough, he said.

Games included in casino night are blackjack, craps, poker and roulette.

DeKalb resident David Jeremias said that he likes “casino gambling nights in DeKalb, as long as it (the gambling) is friendly.” He added that the gambling is good as long as there is “no bingo.”

Maggio and Kasputis both feel there are a lot of opportunities with casino nights, not only to raise funds for non-profit organizations, but also for jobs.

Maggio said there will be many jobs in legal gambling in the future. “It (gambling) is the next wave of the future,” she said.

The Rockford Casino Players main market is in the Chicago area.