Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Pass on WinStar

If you're considering a mini-vacation trip to the WinStar Casino in Oklahoma, don’t. It is not a real casino. It is an over-hyped bingo pull-tab parlor. Save your money and go to Las Vegas. The Shreveport sharks are even better than WinStar.

The first hint of a problem upon arrival is the tent. When was the last time someone saw a casino in a tent? Granted, it is a nice tent. But no matter what anyone does, it’s still a tent.
Once in, it’s difficult to find an open "slot machine" (at least on Monday while they’re giving away a Hummer H2).

I also question the legitimacy of these video-screen slot machines. I know casinos are all about odds and the house will always win, but this takes it to a new level – a low level. The machines are Bingo pull tab machines without the paper tabs. The player places a bet. The machine gives the player a one-second visual joy-ride cartoon of wheels turning and viola, the casino made more money.

Wasn't that fun? Try it again.

There is no interactivity to the games. Players can choose the amount they wish to lose and how many lines to play (how quickly they wish to lose). Then - brace yourself - push the flashing button like a well-trained chicken and you're done. The player either wins or loses. Wow.

There are some video poker machines, but they aren't even real. After the initial draw, the machine is willing to auto-draw for the player (and picks which cards to hold), or the player can hold and lose. This is still more exciting as the player gets to press the chicken button twice.

I anticipate some social gamblers giving the same argument as me, it's cheap entertainment and free drinks. Wrong. No alcohol. Actually, they look aghast if you mention alcohol. They do provide free sodas in polystyrene cups (how environmentally friendly for "Native America").

If you're looking for the same excitement, do it at home. Here's how:
Lock yourself in bathroom.
Put a cushion on the toilet to simulate the uncomfortable, backless barstool and tight space.
Put a TV on a TV tray (simulates the video Bingo screen).
Unplug a keyboard or some other push-button appliance which is not connected to anything meaningful.
Light your garbage can on fire (for the smoky room feeling) and press enter while burning dollar bills.
Otherwise, Yahoo Games has some interactive games the whole family can play while you save up for a real vacation.

Enough for now,

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