Southeast Missouri State University student publication

SAC brings all fun and games with Casino Night

Tuesday, January 22, 2019
Southeast students gather around Blackjack table during the Casino Night on Jan. 19.
Photo by Kate Marshall ~ Photo Editor

Students braved the winter storm Saturday, Jan. 19, for their chance to roll the dice and win big at Student Activities Council’s first Casino Night in the University Center lobby.

The prizes included a PS4, 50-inch plasma screen TV, Beats Pill+, laundry basket filled with laundry essentials, three $100 gift cards to the Southeast Bookstore and one year of free textbook rentals. The prizes were purchased from the Transition Coordinator’s budget, funded with student fees.

Many students said they felt like they were being transported off campus to a real casino at the three-hour event that began at 7 p.m. And although they weren’t playing with or for actual money, they still had the chance to win prizes.

Southeast student Meghan Becker said what drew her to the event was being able to enjoy the casino experience without risking her own money.

“I’ve gone to the real casino and had a decent time there, and I knew I wouldn’t risk anything by coming here, so I figured, ‘Why not?’” Becker said.

To partake in the fun, all students had to do was show their student I.D. to receive one raffle ticket and a gold coin. The coin carried a value of “$10,000” which they presented to dealers for smaller coins. From there, they had the chance to try their luck at a variety of games, such as Blackjack, Poker, Russian Roulette, Craps and more. Slot machines were also available.

Members of the SEMO Sundancers, who participated as a part of their fundraiser, served as dealers for all the games. The third-party vendor supplying the games and tables trained the dancers on how to run the games, and “hired” them to work the event.

Snacks, such as crackers, pretzels and fresh fruit were provided by Chartwells as well as a “bar” serviced by members of SAC. The “bar” served non-alcoholic drinks that fit the casino theme, offering a Shirley Temple, Pink Flamingo and SEMO Cocktail.

Whenever students were finished playing, they were able to cash in their winnings for the night. For every $10,000 cashed in, students received one raffle ticket to enter the drawing for the prize of their choice.

Coordinator for Campus Programming and advisor for SAC Joanna Shaver said the idea came from Residence Life, which used to put on a casino night every year but stopped a couple years back. She said it always had been successful, so they decided to bring it back.

“Some students said they had never been to a casino, so from this, they are learning something so that when they do go they’re more knowledgeable and not making silly mistakes,” Shaver said. “I think everyone is having a great time, and given the success of the event, I don’t see why we wouldn’t do this again.”

SAC has a variety of events going on this week for Transfer Pride week, as well as an event at Escape Cape on Jan. 26. Reservations are required and can be made at, but students can get in for free with a valid student I.D.