Tag: casino

Why

Why

Why?

Why are there no casinos in Texas?

Texas-Map
This is a map of the locations of Casinos near Texas draining revenue from this state and what are we doing about it? The larger question is why?

With the huge influx of aliens from Mexico and beyond, we clearly could use the revenue so again I ask; why are there no casinos in Texas?

TO GO WITH AFP STORY: MEXICO-MIGRATION -

Why should Texas Dollars end up in BFE Oklahoma or Shreveport or even Vegas?

We have the lottery; so it really can’t be religious objections.  You could blame them if you want but, I for one would not believe you.

Why not Casinos with places that can host Vegas style entertainment as well as produce revenue from those with a penchant for gambling?

We have horse races for Pete Sake, why not Galloping Dominoes?

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Why are we letting all of that revenue go north, or east, or to Nevada? If it is an Indian thing, we have Texas Indians too.  I know this for a fact so, why?  Why does it have to be an Indian thing?

I would bet that the good folks at Winstar or Choctaw or even Shreveport or possibly some of the folks in Vegas who manage an Oasis in a desert, would love to open up a casino here.

After you have scurried around trying to come up with an answer I have a bigger question than that, Why the hell doesn’t California have Casinos?  They are billions in debt, why not bring some dollars to their state via Casinos.  With competition everybody wins!

After asking yourself this question and going through all of the possible machinations of why, we can take it one step forward and probably answer the question.

What would happen if Texas and California allowed it, along with the other states?

What would happen to Vegas?

What would happen to Winstar, or Shreveport, or even Chocktaw, if they suddenly had competition?

And the multi-million dollar question is, why do we care?

In 2011 a town in northwest Arkansas which had been dry for ever, wanted to sell alcohol.  It was put on the ballot and by a margin passed.

Previously just outside the city limits were several “boozatoriums” which were set up to sell to that city along with other surrounding cities just outside their borders.

It turns out that the people who owned those or who had interest in them, alerted the various churches that this town wanted to go wet and got the people all up in arms.  The churches were the pawns for the owners of the existing stores which would lose business if the local Walmart could sell booze.

Never mind the fact that people would go out of their way to buy beer at the towns edges and start drinking it on the way home, on mountainous roads!  Those folks who owned the “joints” didn’t care if people got drunk on the way home and drove off a cliff!  There was the bottom line and after all, what else is there? 

A dichotomy existed between those that wanted to buy booze and those that thought it was the work of Satan, the latter being stirred up by the folks who owned the existing stores on the periphery of the city.  Huge vinyl yard signs were created and distributed to the town’s people both for and against; in the end Walmart and others who actually had businesses in the town won.  Tax dollars for Booze now went into the city, which hosted the stores and had to provide the infrastructure for its people.

Who is pulling our chains?

People with an interest in gambling will go to where it is legal, much like those with a desire to smoke pot; they will either simply do it, damned the consequences; or they will go to where it is legal.

Instead of making all of these toll roads in Texas, which is nothing more than a hidden tax on the people, let’s use funds from gambling to build our infrastructure and stop charging the people for services that you should already be providing!  Since our population is increasing from external sources who will all need medical and scholastic services, let’s find the funding for it from those that already spend the money elsewhere.

I welcome dissenting opinions and arguments, as I love good debate.

I certainly don’t have all of the answers but, if there is dialogue then maybe we can learn to at least ask why, and think outside the box!

The answers are out there, we just need to ask the questions and not be satisfied with “because,” or “that is just the way it is,” or “it’s the law.”  If it’s the law and it is stupid, let’s change it, or change the people who made it!

People need to rise up and question the status quo, if the status quo does not make sense!

-Best

Spring Road Trip 2015

Spring Road Trip 2015

Spring Road Trip 2015 Rohmers’ and Muenster

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Meunster TX

Every now and then I run across a place that is worthy of mention either for good or not so good. These last few days I found myself on a road trip of sorts.  West of Gainesville Texas a few miles is a town called Muenster. The Town founded in 1889 lies about 15 miles west of Gainesville. My road trip consisted of Antiquing, eating, and a visit to Winstar Casino. One of the highlights of this trip was Muenster and Rohmers. http://www.rohmersrestaurant.com/

lemonpie
This was the best!
coconutpie
This was really good as well…
pecanpie
Next time…..

The down home feeling one gets once inside the establishment is unmistakable.  While I have never been there before I was made to feel like a local, and was treated the same as they would treat anyone else. The food was top notch, fresh and brought in about the normal time one would expect.   I found the food rather bland but I suspect that might be the culture and as I was not going for Tex-Mex or some spicy food so it was as you might expect. I usually do not eat dessert when I eat out as the serving sizes today are too large to accommodate room for it however; when I entered into the establishment I spied what looked like fresh made pies on the counter top. Inquiring about them well into the meal indeed; the pies are made fresh each morning.  Lemon pie pecan pie and coconut pie are made fresh daily. Folks, good lemon pie is hard to find.  This was the real deal including the pie crust which was light and flaky. I give this place two thumbs up and suggest you give it a try if you are ever in the area. That night I stayed in Gainesville at the Comfort Suits right off of I35.

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Nightmare stay, too much for too little with rude ass patrons.

Requesting a room away from the freeway we were placed at the west end of the hotel.  Right next to us with an adjoining room separated by a locking door they placed a family with young children and a dog. The room keys were not created correctly the first time and I had to wait over 20 minutes in line to get them re-created.  The girl behind the desk was chatty and nice enough but the manager was the one who quietly got things done. The room / hotel was under construction so an afternoon nap before dinner was out of the question.  The room was barely what I would call clean with stains of some sort on the couch and although the sheets appeared clean they did not smell fresh.  As the matter of fact the pillows had the distinct smell of burned hair.  There was a free breakfast in the morning which we opted to skip as we did not want to take any chances on the food being taken care of the same way that the hotel was.  This hotel gets two thumbs down and although the manager was trying, I think it is going to take a village to get that place where I would want to stay there again.

A note to the “assholes” in the room next door.  If you have a child and you stay in a hotel, your child should not be allowed to scream at the top of their lungs until they tire of exhaustion. And just as an FYI, you really can hold the doors until they close as to keep them from slamming and the same is true of the toilet seat.  I found it a true amazement that the dog was better behaved than the child!

Sanger sports one antique mall worth a visit.  The Sanger McDonald’s however is a travesty managed by a complete buffoon.  I cannot understand how someone can take the tried and true methods of McDonald’s and screw it up as badly as this one is! Gainesville sports a couple Antique stores worth the time, Muenster had one good one with a few other little shops worth the visit and the little town of ST Jo  a few more miles to the west was also worth a visit, as they had one small antique mall worth a visit to.  I found the folks in ST Jo also very friendly and the local DQ while very clean and well run seemed to be a local hangout. Marietta Oklahoma had one antique mall that was rather interesting.  We went up the road to Ardmore where there was several small antique malls / stores where things were priced not much differently than one might find on eBay. The old adage about eggs and cars being cheaper in the country does not seem to apply to junk / antiques in stores that depend upon visits from folks you like you and I.  If I want to pay eBay prices I will shop on eBay. Winners, Losers, Zombies and Geriatrics Crooners, Arriving at Winstar around 3 we were unable to check in until after 4, although I did watch several check in at 3 while I was waiting in line.  They have something called a guaranteed check in at 4. The purpose of the trip was to see Merle Haggard, Chris Christopherson and Willy Nelson perform. article-2313275-19708E19000005DC-195_634x766 GettyImages_79495526-1-0 MTE4MDAzNDEwMjcxOTYyNjM4 gVYltpil_400x400 As we could not check in until after 4 we elected to go check out the casino.  The casino is massive and requires a lot of walking and after a few hundred feet it all looks the same.  The noise is what you would expect, the smoke is filtered pretty well but, if you have asthma, I would stay away. The algorithm for the electronic bandits are all pretty much the same.  Give you a little taste of winning, and then empty your pocket.  I would love to have access to the P&L as I doubt that there are any “big winners” ever.  I remember that someone won over 11 million dollars there; they refused to pay because it was an “error.” http://www.storm2k.org/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=81798

I have no expectations when I visit such a place as I understand how it all works.  The only way you stand a chance of winning anything is to play cards or some other game that is not tied to a computer. Once upon a time it was a algorithm built into the mechanical wheels cogs and gears of the machine, now it is programmatically accomplished. I would recommend setting a budget and understand that it is entertainment and expect to lose what you set in your budget.

I understand math to an acute level and I still purchase a lottery ticket every once in a while.  The odds are so far against me they are unrealistic.  My one or two dollars is spent thinking “if I win…”  That is it. I supports education and I can feel good about that. The concert was not the greatest.  I have paid much less for better but, let’s face it, where are these three going to get billed at some place that seats many thousand folks.  I grew up with them so it was an honor to see them possibly for the last time.

The chairs were less than comfortable and pushed so close to the next guy that even skinny folks were sitting on each other laps. During the intermission there was piss poor planning where the bathrooms were concerned as a few thousand worked their way through the maelstrom of bumping and shoving and by now some folks who had drank too much, and were in a hurry to pee!

While paying extra for Good seats, this too would have been better if televised to some private cable channel or PPV where you would not have bubba in the seat ahead of you with a hat and a camera trying to video the whole event, when the signs clearly said “no cameras of any kind!” There were 20 something year old kids with “security uniforms” on which did not fit them correctly, trying to garner the respect of the mostly geriatric crowd.  These kids still had pimples, trying to boss around people who were in their 60’s and 70’s and beyond.  It was laughable actually.  Get some booze in these old folks and well, you can guess what the conversations went like.  I know I heard the kids voice crack as he was telling one guy that he could not film the event.

Hundreds were filming and taking pictures with their damned flash on so either the whole damned crowd is illiterate, or just simply does not give a fuck!  You tube has much better video of them and you can download all of it you care to, no pimple faced kids to harass you unless of course your kids are there and don’t like what you are downloading. 

The act started out with Chris who I must say I was impressed with.  Merle had little breath to sing with, but he could still play the guitar.  This was my second time to see him in concert and I feel will probably be my last. Willy put on one heck of a show for an 81 year old guy.  I felt it unfortunate that the camera angle showed his wrinkled skin in all of its glory.  Like his guitar, he has seen better days. His style has changed over the years as he too most probably lacks the breath to croon as he used to.  He talks a good part of his songs but all in all, still puts on a good show! I would have really liked Chris to start out one of his songs with “look who’s advertising…..” maxresdefault (1) I know him best in a Star is Born.  There was one surprise of the night and that is when his daughter Kelly came out and did a duet with her father.  She is attractive and has a good voice.  I look for her to do some good things in the future!

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Chris and Barbara who not only dated for a time but also starred in A Star is Born back in the 70’s
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He has several of these around the country.

Toby Keith Entrepreneur.. A flaw with the casino is they really don’t have enough eating establishments for the crowds that they draw.  When checking in you are given coupons for one thing or another and one of them was for free chips and salsa at Toby Keith’s restaurant. download (22)Heading to the place at 4:45 to eat and make it to the show by 7 there was already an hour and a half wait!  There was even an hour wait at the El-Fenix! Since getting in your car and leaving is not an option, you are a captive audience, so bring energy bars, and don’t think about eating there if there is a show that you are going to see. We decided to go after the show, at 10:15 there was still a 15 minute wait and we left the show early to manage that. Folks, I know food.  I ordered a $31 dollar 6oz filet, medium-well.  It took the better part of 45 minutes before the food was delivered and … not only was the meat “not a filet” it was cold.  It was raw and when I put the bloody raw meat into my mouth to discover it was cold, EWWWWW!

I have no idea what cut of meat they served me or where it came from.
This is a filet…

My guess is that it was prepared and sat somewhere for a while and allowed to get cold before it was delivered.  The baked potato was warm as was the cornbread. When one orders a filet, as in beef, it means beef tenderloin!  I guess you can call anything a filet but if I were a place with a name like Toby Keith I don’t think I would split hairs and call any cut of meat a filet! I can eat medium rare if it is hot, I don’t typically eat under-cooked food however as the dangers of illness are much greater. Retiring to the room was different. The room was $233 for one night.  Now I have stayed all over the world so $233 is not really out of the way but, for Oklahoma?!  That is $233 a night for 19 hours of which you are in the room for possibly 8. $12.26 an hour. I heard others complaining about the $149 a night, so I am guessing that once you become a “player” offers for cheaper rooms to get you back will be forth coming. Here is the rub.  While the room was quite, really quite, no noises from the hallway, the rooms next door or above us, the damned bed was hard as a rock!  Not only was the bed rock hard, the pillows were so fluffy that I had to roll up a towel and use it for a pillow as I cannot have that much of an extreme angle of my head without risking a pain in the neck! Had the bed had some give it might not have been that big of a deal.

The room was clean, the bathroom was clean and there was a sign in the bathroom cautioning people about stealing things but in a clever manner.  It went something like “We are glad that you enjoyed your visit, take it with you!  If you like the towels or radio clock or such, contact hotel management for pricing!   I laughed at that, as we all know someone who takes the extra soaps and shampoos and other extra shit, and we may know people who have actually taken towels and things.  Cheap bastards the lot, but those people visit these places too.

I get dirt cheap rooms from the Hard Rock in Vegas. 

hardrockhotel
Hard Rock in Vegas

I can use miles to get there, practically free, and I get free drinks delivered to me by some attractive lady at the machine on the floor as opposed to $5 well drinks from the bar, delivered by someone who has the attitude of F U if you don’t like it.  This guy at the bar really did exude an FU attitude, like he did not like white folks. IMG_5901_resize-588hard-rock-poolwin-4139

Vegas is a plan ahead, make reservations , flight to and from and taxi ride etc. well Winstar is 65 miles north of me, short car ride.

This is my third Indian owned Casino that I have stayed at, the first being The Mystic in Minnesota. The theme that is re-occurring is the smoke, and Zombies that are at a machine when I retire; and still there when I awake and no booze. screen568x568 The Mystic actually had the cigarette smoke in the hotel that was thick even in my non-smoking room.

Winstar is the first casino that actually had Alcohol, so why not take it the next step and give it away like Vegas does?  You got people dropping $4 a throw, spending $100 in less than 10 minutes, you can afford a free drink!

We crossed some imaginary line with a drink in hand and were accosted by some older gentleman who fussed at us for having alcohol near the hotel.  We originally bought it in the casino, we were in the casino when he accosted us and we had just walked near a shop in the hotel for a second and then back into the casino when we were forced to throw it out. 

Taking a line out of WKRP in Cincinnati from Less Nessman, watch out for those imaginary lines!

les-nessman

Of the three, Chocktaw probably has to be my favorite of  easily accessible casinos; as I really don’t care about alcohol, and it is not so big that I cannot get my car and go find food that is not tethered to the casino. I need to check out Shreveport and see how it stacks up. amelia-belle-alt-bam download (24) 5892165240_7d400992ac_b If Winstar wants to compete with Vegas, they need to hire people who like White Folks.  They need to get some comfortable beds and loosen up on the rules with imaginary lines and drinks for Christ sake! Nobody but nobody likes to be harassed about such things when you are trying to have a good time.  Go spend a little time in Vegas.  People are walking around everywhere with drinks in their hands on the streets, and the cops just look the other way even though it is probably illegal.  So walking from the carpeted area to the tile for a few seconds gets Barney Fifth upset!!!!? barney-fife

Oh, here is the kicker, it was sierra mist, as you guys don’t have 7up, it was not even booze, although it was in a plastic cup from the bar which once had rum and sierra mist in it, 4 hours ago!  Why?  I like to keep the amount of Styrofoam that I use to a minimum and you folks must burn through it like crazy! download (25)

Toby Keith needs to go and visit his place, and hire someone who can manage it better.  Maybe you could ask Gordon Ramsey for a little help? 1d3c57278e64cbc3_FF_501_1432.preview The live entertainment was surprisingly good and the waitress was personable. How the food was allowed to get cold is your expediter’s deal, if you have one.  There was no manager, no apology, nothing.  Really a disappointment.

As an aside I have visited Gordon Ramsey’s place in Vegas, TOP NOTCH!

  • What is your take?
  • Which Casinos have you visited and what did you like? 
  • What did you not like, other than losing money?
  • Would you return?  
  • Do you Antique?  
  • If you are in the area or even close are there places that you would recommend?

-Best © 2015 All rights reserved.

Choctaw Casino Grant Oklahoma

Choctaw Casino and Hotel, Grant Oklahoma

http://www.choctawcasinos.com/Grant.aspx

http://www.city-data.com/city/Southwest-Grant-Oklahoma.html

http://www.library.ca.gov/crb/97/03/Chapt6.html

http://www.don-williams.com/

http://www.thescooterstore.com

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.

The cons:

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!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slot_machine

–Best to you and all those that you care about!

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