So, I was wondering what to write next. Friday, we check out Plainridge after their successful January – revenue up to slow the nay-sayers. So, what do some your friends say about casinos when those of us who visit say we’re going – “they don’t visit because they don’t like to gamble,” right?
Yes, the casino industry tries to dazzle, and mislead us, with big promises of the financial possibilities and a vast array of ways to make money. But, aren’t we smarter than that? In this age of casino resorts, casinos as vacation destinations, and casinos of all sizes and amenities, there are many more reasons to venture out, at least just once.
Here are NON-GAMBLING OPTIONS – in no particular order:
MUSIC & COMEDIC ENTERTAINMENT – Whether I pay for it or have a concert comped freebie (Free? – we both know better), I love the entertainment casinos offer, whether it be 30 miles away or across the country in Vegas. Whether it be Cirque in Vegas or at Foxwoods. And let’s not forget some of the local talent featured in every size casino. There’s something for everyone.
STAYING IN A BEAUTIFUL HOTEL – Sometimes, I just like to kick back, away from sounds of ringing slots and screaming winners. I still remember staying at Wynn and Cosmo the first time in Vegas. I just love that “ritzy” feeling of staying at a great hotel. Soon, we will have more choices than the great accommodations in Bangor, or in CT casinos. Wynn and MGM are coming to Massachusetts, complete with their luxurious brands of service, decor, and amenities.
PEOPLE WATCHING – Remember that movie title – “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.” Watching people at a casino, hotel lobby, lounge, or club includes all three and everything in between and beyond. Seriously, have you ever wondered how many people don’t have mirrors in their home? But, the creme de la creme usually lingers around the casino gaming tables , so check it out and give yourself the opportunity to mingle with the wealthy crowd and even to form new relationships, both private and business. You never know who you might see – celebrity watches in Las Vegas turned up Ashton Kutcher at Aria when we stayed there. Pretty cool…..
SOCIALIZING – Catching up with friends and socializing is another very common reason for visiting a casino. We will often meet friends for coffee and just to catch up, never spending a dime on gaming because many times the casino is in between us. Watching a sporting event on massive TV’s chowing on some wings can be a great group time out.
EATING & DRINKING – I know singles and couples visit the casino to enjoy a few drinks at the bar or dance at a club. My wife and I enjoy the vast offerings in dining available. Whether it be a terrific buffet, a gourmet burger, fine dining, or something in the food court, there’s always something for everyone. Many casinos now feature famous chefs seen on TV.
EMPLOYMENT – yes, it’s true. As a musician, I have performed at the Foxwoods Atrium Lounge, Foxwoods Conference Center, Mohegan Sun’s Wolf Den and Twin River’s Lighthouse Lounge. Many people visit to check out the casino to report on – like this blog – NETimeGambling.com. By the way, it’s always a good idea to leave with the money you make as an employee instead of turning into a patron.
SPORTING EVENTS – Boxing matches, basketball, arena football, CES cage fighting, Pro Lacrosse – these and more I have enjoyed at casino arenas. My two favorite events: #2 – PBR Professional Bull Riding in Las Vegas, and the Connecticut Sun of WNBA Basketball at Mohegan Sun.
ACCOMPANYING A FRIEND OR GIVING A TOUR – “I just wanted to see the inside.” “Someone brought me here.” Being that someone can be fun. So bring a partner, relative, friend or colleague. Many tribal casinos will include historical background, tours and museums. Being a “Tour Guide” for a newbie can be a real ego boost, and it doesn’t have to cost anything except walking around.
THE DECOR – Ever walk in the Bellagio Garden in Las Vegas, or walk on the beach outside of the Biloxi casinos? The AC Boardwalk is a wonderful stroll on a spring afternoon. Take a good look around and you might be surprised what artistic and natural beauty you may see. Some of the world’s greatest architects has built amazing casino buildings & attractions. Sculptures, paintings, lighting – heck, even new casino carpeting – can be a wonderful eyeful of artistic stimulation. (ok, maybe not the carpet, but casino carpets are still pretty interesting to notice.)
RELAXATION – As a means of relaxing and letting one’s hair down, casinos can offer a great way to unwind from the many stresses of life. Going for a walk in an empty casino in the morning can be surreal. The pleasant, elegant and relaxing atmosphere of the casino itself can be a major source of appeal in itself – without the people of course. People tend to ruin serenity wherever you go. Spas, pools, even cigar clubs can get you away from the sound of slots.
Yes, a casino is more than just gambling….you just have to look around.
That’s all for now!