We live within seven miles of an Indian casino. The casino opened fifteen years ago. At that time the slot machine games were three line nickel and quarter machines. There were a few dollar slots. All the slots were reel slots machine games. You played them by putting in coins one at a time and were paid in coins coming out into a tray under the machine.
Today there are slot machines that have as many as 100 lines. You can play any denomination from one cent to ten dollars. The slot machine games are now video games and are quite interactive. The machines make special sounds when you are winning and some of them even wish you luck when you hit the spin button. Today the machines accept all denominations of bills and pay you with a printed ticket that can also be inserted into another machine. There is still a sprinkling of the reel machines in the casino, but these are quickly being eliminated. Some people believe that the reel slot machine games had better odds than the video games; however the experts state that this is not true.
When the casino first opened there were more blackjack tables than slot machines. The building was little more than a steel shed with carpeting. Today there are over four thousand slot machine games, blackjack tables, poker rooms and a hotel with over six hundred rooms. There are four restaurants, a coffee shop, candy store and a full spa. They have also added on a conference center and auditorium. They host many big name concerts through out the year. They employ over eleven hundred people. This is quite an accomplishment in fifteen years time. Many people credit the advancements in the video slot machine games as the main reason why the casino is doing as well as it is.
There are bus loads of people that come to the casino on charter trips from the five state area. The casino has greatly improved the lives of the Native Americans that live in this area. They have built a new school, clinic and a great deal of housing. They have also built a government center and have re-established their tribal courts. There are many people that complain that they do not pay off well enough at the casino. They feel the slot machine games are set too tight. The gaming commission did sanction them last year for not paying off the proper percentage, but that does not seem to stop people from coming. We have heard that they are going to start a support program for people that have a problem with gambling.