Choctaw Casino and Hotel, Grant Oklahoma
As Texas has not figured it out yet, there is plenty of revenue to be had by allowing Casinos for anyone wanting to throw their money away (be entertained by blinking lights and noises). Currently one must either travel to Oklahoma or Louisiana or further.
Don Williams was playing at the Casino in their attached “event center” just a few miles north of the Red River in Grant Oklahoma. We purchased the tickets a month and a half in advance and the seats were a mere 5 rows back from the stage. The seats were off to the extreme right of the stage so watching the entertainment meant turning your head at a constant 30 degree angle. The floor of the “event center” is not raised in the back meaning, the further back you are, you will most probably be looking at the back of someone’s head or worse, a cowboy hat.
We arrived early with a budget set aside for gambling. We found parking close by as someone was leaving however; there is ample parking if you don’t mind the walk. They do have a shuttle bus that is working the lots. They also offer Valet. I noticed police on bicycles checking the lots every few moments. The building was pretty full at 3pm on a Friday. There is smog inside as they allow smoking inside the building. Within minutes of being there my eyes started watering and nose starting running so I was off to the room to take some Benadryl. While the smog was not as bad as some that I have been in; if you are not a smoker beware.
All of the “one arm bandits” are computerized; simply meaning that there is probably more to it than simple “random results.” My guess is that not only are these things computerized, but they all attach to some sort of master server that keeps up with what is going on and who is doing what and at any given instant the owners/management know what is going on to the penny. The good new is that they are heavily regulated by the state to make sure that the games are honestly run.
If ever I were to describe a ZOMBIE, it would be “the people sitting at those machines” for hours on end transfixed on spinning wheels, blinking lights, and noises. I am not a betting man but, I would think that your odds of winning would be better playing something that was not computerized, like Black Jack, Keno or roulette or even Craps. I also noticed that the Scooter Store was well represented there as the average age of the gamblers had to be in the high 60’s.
The prose were that this was a clean well run establishment with security everywhere. There are hundreds of cameras, watching every thing. I felt fairly safe there and I would bet that if someone had picked a pocket, security would know who it was before they reached the parking lot.
There are only two places to eat there so getting in to eat was an ordeal.
The Drinks, if they had alcohol in them; I would never have known it. Stick with bottled beer if you want something other than soda or water.
Soda was complimentary and self serve however; they only allowed you to get it in those small Styrofoam cups which hold about 8oz. including the ice and of course those things do not biodegrade easily or quickly. While I am not a “green freak” I would like to see them come up with a better solution.
As far as our gambling experience, knowing when to stop is key. We broke even, if not a little ahead on the money spent playing the machines.
As we were leaving the next day we watched people leaving who had been there all night.
The concert was good and Don Williams was as good as ever. They played less than 90 minutes, and it was to a sold out house. Interesting side note; people were taking video, pictures and what have you and it was evidently allowed! Here too there was enough security to handle a small mob. I think that if I ever want to change careers, being a security person for the event center would be cool as you get to go to all of the concerts!
No review would be complete without talking about the room. Finding a non-smoking room you need to go to the second floor as there is no smoking allowed on that floor at all. The bed was a little firm for my taste. The TV was an older flat screen regular definition. If you are used to high def this will get your attention. There is no refrigerator in the room and the biggest disappointment of the room was that there was no Wi-Fi. As well as no Wi-Fi, there was extremely limited cell service on ATT. We were on the edge network with one or two bars if you stood by the window.
One would think that the owners would have more pull with ATT and others to improve performance for their guests. There was local internet in the room if you brought a laptop with a cable.
The one thing that was noticeable in that it was odd to me was the smoke alarm. It had not one but two different “bright” LED’s that would strobe every few seconds. Every now and then they would stay on for one or two seconds and then go back to blinking every few seconds.
If you wonder why I am mentioning this here is why. When you pull the curtains and shut off the lights, those led’s in that alarm are noticeable big time! It is almost as if (and I am exaggerating) they were landing lights on a runway.
I also should mention something about the food. We ate at the restaurant that was not a buffet. The staff was confused at best and the line was very long. There were empty tables and I overheard one girl telling the hostess not to sit anyone in her section for another 5 minutes as she could not get to them. The hostess doubled as a busboy so this was very confusing to me in that the whole place seemed to be so polished and so well run as far their operations with everything else. The food was not something that I would recommend. It was several steps down from Chilies, if you like their food. I ordered the fish and chips. The fries were cool if not cold; and the fish was soaking in oil and warm. If they were not over burdened, I would have sent it back. As it was I ate a few bites and left it.
All in all I would go back. I would bring with me some small bottles of whatever I wanted to drink that could be added to soda. I would bring my laptop instead of an iPad and a network cable as I am not a gambler. I would make certain that I got the more expensive seat for the concert and I would shop early. I also think that I would learn more about non-computerized games as mentioned above, so I could gamble if I choose to with odds that are easily calculated.
As far as eating was concerned, I might be inclined to valet park and just drive into the nearest city and see what I could find. I would also make certain that I had plenty of Benadryl and I would make certain that I brought a plastic bag to put my clothes into when I returned back to the room as to not get the smell of cigarette and cigar smoke in the room or on my clean clothes. I would also not wear anything that needed to be dry-cleaned as to keep my laundering bill down.
One last mention here and that is about the staff, very friendly and very helpful. I realize that this Casino is a major employer for an otherwise severely impoverished area of the states for both Oklahoma and Texas.
If you are one of the ZOMBIES that I mentioned above, (which by the way I mean no derision or disrespect) or just someone like me has a casual interest in slot machines, this link is fascinating!
–Best to you and all those that you care about!