R is for Rivers Casino

Rivers Casino Dorr

(My theme for the A-Z challenge is places, things and people around Chicago)

When I found out that we had a casino close by, I could not wait to try it out. Here is something you might not know about me: I used to work for a casino in Michigan in the 1990s and despite what you might hear about them, it was one of the best jobs I’ve had. Not initially, as I started there as a door greeter. Then I went on to office support and from there to the uniform department.

Despite being employees, we were allowed to gamble. Or perhaps for that very reason … to give back some of our paychecks? And for a while I actually did play the slot machines. Oh, no worries, I did not leave part of my paycheck there … on the contrary, I managed to make $20 in nickels last for hours, at least breaking even, or win enough for weekly gas money for a time. I once won a nickel poker jackpot too. I even wrote an article on how I managed that.

Rivers Casino Building

Anyway, back to the Rivers Casino. When I finally got to go, I was very disappointed with a little embarrassment thrown in. I walked up to the cage and asked for a roll of nickles, just to get blank stares. I then did what I should have done in the first place: Ask them how the machines worked. To make a long story short, you have to insert the cash and the machine gives you credits. If you want to stop playing, the machine will give you a paper to take back to the cashier to get money back.

We walked around for a bit and I asked Tom to just point out the first nickel machine for me. I found one, sat down, but now what? It was all computerized. I could not figure out how to change the bet amount and lines properly so I burnt through five bucks in about 2 minutes. I told Tom I had enough and to get me out of there.

Rivers Casino Sign

It seems that things have changed since I gambled last in the 1990s: No more arms to pull the machines (not that it makes a difference) and no more coins to put in and hear/see them fall. That last part is a big part of the fun for me, and also how I calculated if a machine was worth playing. I’ll never gamble again, that is for sure. We’ll be back though because they do have an entertainment room and we would love to come there to see the Beatles cover band.

6 thoughts on “R is for Rivers Casino

  1. The clinky clinky money noises and pulling the arm was the best part!

    The last time I played was in the 90s too. I’m sorry to hear your experience wasn’t what you remembered. I’ve thought about applying at our casino here, it seemed to me it might be a fun job.

  2. It’s a pity that times have changed so much, in a way. But at least now you probably know you won’t feel the need to go gambling ever again 🙂

  3. Funny. The cashier probably thought you came out of a twilight zone episode into the future. 🙂 The first time I saw that you could either use the arm or just push the button, it wasn’t the same experience. It seems when you put in that extra effort of needing to pull the arm, that you’re putting your own mojo into the workings of the machine, instead of all electronics – which of course it was all along, but at least there was the dream of your own power used to create your own destiny of winning or losing. Writer’s Mark

  4. Hi Alex and Tom .. interesting to know they’ve changed so much .. I had no idea – but then I don’t frequent the ‘dens’ … but appreciated the story .. cheers Hilary

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