Sunday we all headed off to The Turning Stone Casino. This unusual family place of entertainment has been a backbone of our family since Mark and I first started to blend our families, and most often where we meet when Bubbe is in town.
I would have never thought that a casino would be such a great place to have family fun prior, but since we have celebrated several traditional holidays such as Easter, Thanksgiving and Mother's Day, I would recommend this to anyone. (Although each year these Holidays are getting more and more crowded so maybe I should keep this a secret).
Most gamblers are aware of the casino's offering COMPS for gambling. The more you spend the more you earn, and although I am not a big gambler, I still get flyers every month offering meal vouchers and FREE play's to gamble with. Mark gets more since he gambles more, but his often include a FREE hotel stay and more Free play money. The idea is to keep the players coming back. Free stays and FREE PLAYS keeps people in the Casino putting up their own money.
Smart people (I think if myself as one of these) would simply play with their free play, eat their free meal, stay in their Free room and get the hell outta dodge before they spent another cent, and since NO MONEY WAS SPENT HERE..you can throw that penny into one of the fountains for good luck before you submit your $15-$20- voucher into a machine.
Interestingly enough, that $15-$20 free play was SOON spent...GONE..OUTTA HERE, BYE!!! and as the casino hopes...you are quickly adding your own cash. That is where they GET ya!
Like I mentioned I am not a big gambler. Although I have spent what some might consider quite a bit of money at a machine or two in Vegas, and I have drank my fair share of hundreds of dollars in FREE drinks at several Let it Ride table, I am, shall we say REFORMED. It is easy to get carried away and if you do not watch yourself you can and will loose your shirt.
I try and play it safe. I try and give myself a set amount of money that is JUST for the casino. (this doesn't work when your husband is addicted too and hands you more money once you've lost to prevent his own guilt of continuing to play). I am working on the; do not add your husbands money as it is yours too dumb ass...its just a little more difficult. The rational is, he's gonna spend it anyway...Back to the intelligent gambler.
This weekend I had $40- in free play, and the Casino has a new program, where you cannot access your free play until you add your own funds. Historically I would try and play off my free play only adding my own money when I'd loss all of the free play money. With this new program I had to start with my own cash. Once I added even $1- I could access my free play and was off. So I set aside $20- just for CASINO fun. As I continued to play the Free Play every winning went back into cash, at which point I would cash out. Once I had my $20- back (Plus about another $18 and change), I was playing solely on my FREE Turning Stone money, not my own $20 and the $18+ I had won, that money was safely in my wallet. Fun for FREE and I walked away $18 richer (although I did end up playing with that winnings later and actually walked away only about $12 richer), a smarter player would have bee-lined to the buffet to use their FREE meal voucher, or take a few laps in the pool. OPPS! So I'm not perfect. The downside to only using your Free play money is you do not earn points. Points are what you use towards gifts in the store, or if you don't have a meal voucher etc. It is kind of like Disney dollars and can only be used in the casino. Mark has had enough points to buy the entire family dinner at multiple holiday meals. (sad isn't it). My points have never been big, but I have afforded myself a few " free" meals after several months of point accumulation. It was a fun day and as always the buffet is everyone's favorite, and I wonder why I cant loose any weight. GHEEZE!!!
Overall I had a winning day on Sunday. $12- richer even after spending $10 of Marks money. (my money too remember). Even Mark walked away a winner..(he has me)....but really he did win some money too.