NICHOLS - Tioga Downs’ new casino officially opened to the public Friday.

The opening comes three months after Tioga Downs was granted its full gaming license on August 30 under New York’s Proposal 1, following a campaign by Tioga Downs and community leaders for the establishment to be considered for a license.

“This has been a long journey, but one that I have stated from the beginning is an important one for the people of the Southern Tier,” American Racing and Entertainment Chairman Jeffrey Gural said. “I am so appreciative of our local and state officials, as well as the Southern Tier community for the overwhelming support of the project that helped it come to fruition. It would not have been possible without their help.”

The new main game room consists of 33 tables. Featured games include Blackjack, Roulette and Craps, and Big 6 Wheel.

In addition, poker varieties such as Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em, Pai Gow Poker, 3-Card and 4-Card Poker, and Let it Ride will be available.

These poker games will be played in the casino’s new Poker Room - a space that originally housed the Winner’s Circle Lounge. The room has been laid out with 12 tables, each seating 10 people. 120 people can accommodate the space, and plans are already in the making for several tournament events to take place in 2017.

Guests will also find new slot machines at their disposal. The machines will replace all of the 798 video lottery terminals. The themes of these new games will include Game of Thrones, and Plants vs. Zombies, including “plenty of bells, bars and cherries.”

“The trend in slot manufacturing the past few years has been to make games that are bigger and more comfortable for players,” Tioga Downs President and General Manager Scott Freeman said in a statement. “The dynamic themes and interactive bonuses give the guests a better overall gaming experience.”

Many of these machines also include USB charging stations for guests to charge their cell phones.

With the casino open, Tioga Downs will pursue additional construction to its facilities, including a hotel, spa, an additional restaurant to complement Virgil’s BBQ, an events and convention center and more.

The construction of a six-story hotel featuring an entertainment center and other amenities began in September.