(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.
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.
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.