To me, gaming involves three or more geeks, nerds, or dorks around a table or living room, playing games involving either major character creation and lots of dice with more than six sides, or dice, cards, and/or tiles with complicated rule-sets. To me, gaming is not usually done at the Tulalip Casino and Resort. I fully expected to be a little bored (not very, as it was Ladies' Night Out for our family, everyone who wanted to go and is old enough), because slot machines - even the newfangled digital ones that take tickets rather than tokens - don't require strategy or planning like a board game or an attack on the Technocracy.
I had never been to a casino before tonight - I hadn't felt comfortable leaving Abby with a sitter when I was a single mom, or Lizzy when she was a baby, but her dad is certainly capable of caring for her - unless one counts Casino Night at summer camp thirty years ago, where we used Monopoly money and played craps and blackjack. Or of course the production of Guys and Dolls I attended with my dad and siblings a few months ago. I had only before played slots in places like Gold Saucer or Yoville, so I was a little clueless, and Laston & I had had a little chat before I left, which involved a little quote ("Luck was a Lady in that I did not lose any money. I went in with forty dollars and I came out with slightly more. Since I didn't pay for my own drinks (thanks, Cousin Monica!) or my superb clam fettuccine dinner (thanks, Mom!), I came out a bit ahead.
Can I just say here that - at twice legal age - I am more than happy to be carded? Thanks, guys.
The games are all bright and colorful of course; they all have names like "Cleopatra" and "Lotus Blossom" and so forth; in fact, they sound rather like the names of the more creative fireworks one sees on the Fourth of July. My favorites were "Secrets of the Forest" (fairy theme) and "Michaelangelo" (sculpture theme). These two were basically the same game with different music and art, but they were both pretty to look at and the music/sound effects were not too annoying. "Tumbling Reels" are good too; they allow for potential extra matches after your first set disappears off the screen.
I think as long as a) one goes in with a set amount and does not spend more than that, and b) one is content to blow that set amount and count it as a good few hours entertainment, regardless of fiscal outcome, this is a fun activity. Adults only of course; 21 is the minimum age (I thought it was 18, but I imagine this is easier for cocktail purposes - if you're there, you've already been carded, full stop).
It was a different experience for sure. First of all, the casino is on Tulalip Tribal land, so the Washington State rules do not apply. This means that smoking in a public place is legal. It's been awhile since I was in the presence of that much second-hand smoke, but they have great HVAC so it's really only a problem if the person right next to you is smoking. So not somewhere I'd be able to go often, but once in a while won't kill me. Second, all those thousands of slot machines result in this constant hum at about an octave above middle C, which I was able to tune out after a few minutes. I'll go back, but not often. Maybe on my birthday, when apparently I can go in with no cash at all and get twenty bucks to play with...