The truth behind the secret student ‘casino’ on campus

Rumors and whispers have been spreading through the NMU halls of a student-run gambling night.
A QUESTION ON CAMPUS - The truth behind Casino Night is simple - it is all real.
A QUESTION ON CAMPUS – The truth behind Casino Night is simple – it is all real.
Antonio Anderson/NW

In busy halls, on five-second Snapchat Stories, waiting in line at Starbucks or even in classrooms before the professor walks in, whispers and rumors have been circulating of a ‘Casino Night’ on campus. Allegedly, a card shark of a student hosts this event in the basement of a building, betting bills with his face on it. It may sound crazy, but it is all true.

A student in his first year at NMU, with no help or association with a student organization, has begun a free night of enjoyment for any student willing to seek him out. Grayson Grifhorst, the founder of Casino Night, explained how easy it is to start playing.

“I give everyone that walks in the door $100 of rare ‘Cole Bucks,'” Grifhorst said. “‘Gray Bucks’ are 20 … [and] Cole bucks are five-dollar bills.”

TRUTH TO THE RUMOR – A logbook accounting for credit with the ‘house’ and signed Gray (left) and Cole (right) bucks.

Eventgoers can bet any amount of their unique Casino Night currency on any of the games offered, from blackjack to poker and even pool.

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“[This] is something that can join people together, that they might have backgrounds in growing up with, and there have been times where people come together with their families and they sit down and they play cards, and they just enjoy each other,” Grifhorst said.

This notion was repeated by Rachel Rose, a returning player at Casino Night who said she enjoyed playing poker as she grew up. She also mentioned how it is often challenging for students who want to play cards to find a ride to the nearest casino, as well as the challenges of funding such an outing. Casino Night is unique as it is hosted at the dorms, and it is free to play.

Around twenty people can be spotted each Thursday night from 8 p.m. to midnight in the Meyland/Magers basement betting and enjoying each other’s presence at this literal underground Casino Night.

FUN WITH FRIENDS – Grifhorst dealing for Texas Hold’em and providing a space for three new players to learn and have fun at no cost. (Antonio Anderson/NW)

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