Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Gale and Gang Go Gambling!

I finally made it to the Hollywood Casino in Columbus, Ohio.  Today was the first anniversary of this very controversial establishment on the west side of town.  The reviews are mixed, as is mine.

We went last Thursday afternoon and I will grant that is probably not their peak time of the week.  My friends and I were surely among the youngest there among the blue hairs, walkers and wheelchairs.  (I actually saw someone in a wheelchair, dragging a walker...)  It was right after they got their social security checks and apparently they were feeling flush enough to gamble.

I may go back sometime, but I will try the "racinos" that are nearby first.  I think if I hadn't been to Vegas several times, I might have been more impressed.  When you first walk in it's a bit disjointed.  They have a few tables, but mostly its a whole lot of slot machines.  They have an initially confusing registration program way over to the side.  We "won" our introductory $5 credit which was gone in a couple of minutes.  The rewards program is a joke for amateurs.

One of the gals with me aptly described the place as a "Chuck E. Cheese" for adults.  That's exactly what it felt like.  Not a posh entertainment mecca.  There are some "Hollywood" references, but the theme doesn't carry through that well.  There is no entertainment, no hotel and the only free drinks are from a self-serve Coke dispenser with Styrofoam cups tucked away in the back.

In Vegas, you normally asked the waitstaff in your section if there's a machine they think is good and you tip them well if it works out.  Here you can't find an employee to save your life.  I walked all around.  Once I stopped a fellow and realized that the staff just wears jeans and t-shirts or whatever and all they have to identify themselves is a tiny badge.

Now I realize my friends and I weren't big spenders and perhaps there is a whole other realm we weren't privy to, but you would think they would at least wear uniforms and serve drinks to us commoners.  They would've sold a lot of prune juice spritzers that day!  LOL!

I have never had much luck on slots and that continued to be the case.  Even on the 1, 5, 10 and 25 cent machines, you could drop several bucks a "pull."  These new-fangled machines are way more complicated than the traditional ones and half the time, you wouldn't know why you won or lost.  Nobody wants to take the time to read all of that, so you stick in your cash and hope for the best.

It didn't take me long to move over to the hidden handful of Black Jack machines mixed in with the Draw Poker ones.  The minimum bets were something like $2, so I could play a lot longer than slots.  I at least know the rules of it and was ahead for a bit until the machine mysteriously hit Black Jack after Black Jack.  If you go to a casino to actually make money, play at the table!  I am just too shy, LOL!

After we dumped most of our gambling funds, we decided to get a dessert.  They have a nice looking buffet and bar, but we stopped at the snack shop (where they sell the same Cokes that are free a hundred feet away.)  The desserts were good and quite a bargain at $2.95.  No complaints there.

I decided since I didn't go on a vacation, I would spend another $20 beyond my limit of $40 (big spender ehhh?) and went to the ATM.  Holy cow!  They were going to charge me a $5 service fee!  Are they kidding???  This is probably more profitable for them then the slots!  So good friends always loan each other gambling money so I played out a $20 and then we left.  Fortunately, a Huntington bank is at the end of the entrance and I was able to pay her back right away:)

We stopped and watched a few folks at the tables on the way out.  It's probably a good place to practice as it's not as intense as a Vegas table.  There are designated smoking areas, so that was nice as the Vegas of old was smoky and the restrooms were nice.

I heard this casino cost $400 million to build and they were disappointed that it only made $200 million this year.  Perhaps the best way to make money in a casino is to invest in it.....

But for the average person, this place needs ramped up a bit and definitely some entertainment.  I don't know how they thought they could make it without a hotel.  There isn't even a decent one nearby.  The neighborhood is economically disadvantaged to put it nicely and shopping is nil.  They put it there for the tax credit and it's pretty obvious.

Well, this is my 2 cents for the week!  (All I can afford until payday.)   Come back next time!

Gale
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