smoothgrh
smoothgrh
Joined: Oct 26, 2011
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January 3rd, 2018 at 3:26:00 PM permalink
My family and I visited Oregon to view the “Great American” total solar eclipse—apologies for taking so long to document it—and had a great time viewing this syzygy! The gambling, however, was so-so.

Even though I knew Oregon Lottery games are an incredible ripoff (see http://www.oregonlive.com/mapes/index.ssf/2015/01/oregon_lottery_video_poker_mac.html), we were in Manzanita, Oregon, near the ocean, and I decided to play the only machines in town (at the Sand Dune Pub) for entertainment purposes—to hang out with mrs. smooth and to see what the machines were like.

I actually won on my first spin of video slots, $0.45, and should have quit then. However, we kept going and eventually lost $18. Not only was there a long streak of losing spins, the games were visually unappealing, in my opinion.


Video poker was better for me only because of luck—I won $3 on five 7s, then cashed out. The payable for Deuces Wild looks like it’s a decent game—25-15-10-4—but don’t be fooled! A royal flush pays a paltry 300 instead of 800, and 4 deuces pays a minuscule 45 instead of 200!


If you play Oregon Lottery games, consider the money you will lose as a donation to businesses!

After we viewed the eclipse in Oregon’s state capital of Salem, we drove 30 miles west for lunch at Spirit Mountain Casino. The casino is spacious, with several wings and slot/video poker nooks to explore. There weren’t too many people present immediately after the eclipse, so the air was pretty good then. The casino is generally nice, and I would have liked to stayed longer. The buffet food was very good and the service was excellent. Across the parking lot, there’s a kids arcade, but the air inside has a heavy, greasy smell from the snack bar. The arcade games were standard (no pinball), and based on other places we had visited (such as the arcades in Seaside, Oregon) they seemed subpar.


Interestingly, there’s a big sign that highlights how Oregon’s casino games are different from Washington’s. When I went to college in Oregon (I’m from California), I was amused by the rivalry between Oregon and Washington. It looks as if that rivalry extends to casinos!


I call Spirit Mountain a “second best” casino, which means they offer games that don’t have the best odds, but the second best. For example, their Jacks or Better video poker for quarters and higher denominations are 9-5, instead of 9-6 (which is still way better than crappy California 7-5 video poker). Their table games include $5 blackjack from a shoe that pays 3 to 2 on blackjack, but doesn’t have other player-friendly rules like stand on all 17s.



I lost $24 on blackjack and won $0.25 on 8-5 nickel Jacks or Better!



So I lost $38.75 altogether in Oregon. Maybe that’s what I would have paid during my trip in sales tax, which Oregon does not have!
Last edited by: unnamed administrator on Jan 5, 2018
MrV
MrV
Joined: Feb 13, 2010
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smoothgrh
January 3rd, 2018 at 8:53:10 PM permalink
I was staying at the Lincoln city beach house on eclipse day; great view.

The threatened bumper to bumper traffic never materialized.

Spirit Mtn. put up the sign comparing their slots to Washington slots solely due to the threat of the newly opened Ilani casino, which is much closer to Portland than is Spirit Mountain.

As a stand alone casino Spirit Mtn. is fine, but I much prefer going a bit further west (about 28 miles) to my favorite NW tribal casino, Chinook Winds.

Unlike Spirit Mtn, CW is not parked out in the middle of nowhere; it's in Lincoln City, which is just the right size and mix of attractions for a seaside getaway.

Tax free shopping at Tanger outlets, great used book stores, and good dining options (I love Otis Cafe and Nepali Cafe).

Good craps crews, nice mix of slots, and pretty generous comps at CW.

"It's better at the beach."
"What, me worry?"
DeMango
DeMango
Joined: Feb 2, 2010
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smoothgrh
January 3rd, 2018 at 11:14:33 PM permalink
But are you pumping your own gas yet?
When a rock is thrown into a pack of dogs, the one that yells the loudest is the one who got hit.
smoothgrh
smoothgrh
Joined: Oct 26, 2011
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January 4th, 2018 at 9:03:00 AM permalink
I visited Chinook Winds about 3 years ago, and I agree that it's a better overall mix of entertainment. It's probably the only Indian Casino I've seen where I could buy cancelled dice at the gift shop—so I did!

We left Manzanita super early to drive to Salem, and the traffic was totally clear. I had bought a portable toilet seat to go with a hardware store bucket, but those weren't needed. Traffic going back to Portland after the eclipse was heavy, as expected. We left after 2:30 p.m., and didn't get to Portland until 5:30 or so, even by taking the side routes.

Apologies for the broken photo links. I don't know what I did wrong—I followed the coding!


AH! For imgur, use the Direct Link, not the Image Link.

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