Casino Reviews


Tunica Casino Locations

May 21st, 2013 ernie Posted in Tunica No Comments »

Tunica Casino LocationsThere are quite a few casinos along the Mississippi river south of Memphis. Memphis is actually in Tennessee and the border with Mississippi is just a few miles south of the city. The majority of casinos are located along the river just north of Tunica and there are a number south of the town as well. Casino patrons can visit any of these casinos coming south from Memphis, north from Jackson or across the bridges from Indiana. As far as we are aware at this time there are no casinos in Indiana along the river, however we must say that we have not had the time to visit this area.

At one time we had an objective to visit every casino in the country, however over the past 10 years many states have approved new casinos, large and small and it is virtually impossible to visit all of these casinos. In one state alone along route I40, we counted 15 casinos just along this highway. Many were on Indian reservations and they were actually quite small. They are sometimes even attached to gas stations and convenience stores. One of these days we will build a post that lists all of the casinos that we can find in every state, so stay tuned for that post.

Tunica Casino Locations – Major Location

With so many casinos to choose from, we are focusing on casino properties that are in the top four locations such as Vegas, Atlantic City, Laughlin and Tunica. Other properties will be included if we have visited them or if they are notable and interesting. For example we included the Windsor Casino and hotel in our blog. It is part of the Total Rewards Harrah’s slot program and it is a very nice place to stay for a few days.

Head south on highway 61 towards Tunica and after about 30 miles you will see the signs for the various casinos. Alternately take interstate 25 south from Memphis, then head west along interstate 69 towards Tunica. This same route can be taken from Jackson as well coming north on Interstate 25 and then exiting onto 69 as previously mentioned. Patrons can drive to any of these casinos, take a flight into Memphis and rent a car or utilize a limo’s to transfer to these locations. There is ample parking on surface parking lots as well as in parking garages located on the properties. They are also monitored by roving security guards on bicycles.

Topics we will be covering in this post include the following:

  • Listing of Tunica Casino Locations
  • A Mini Vacation in the Tunica Area
  • On the Top 10 List of Casino Locations
  • Use Your Slot Cards In Tunica and Across the Country
  • Competition for Your Gambling Dollar
  • Smoking is Still a Problem

Listing of Tunica Casino Locations

This is a partial list of the casinos located in the Tunica area. We have visited all of these casinos over the last couple of years.

  • Gold Strike Casino & Hotel
  • Horseshoe Casino & Hotel
  • Roadhouse Casino & Hotel
  • Fitzgeralds Casino & Hotel
  • Hollywood Casino & Hotel
  • Harrahs Casino & Hotel

A Mini Vacation in the Tunica Area

Many people come to Tunica every month to visit one of the casinos in the area. Some will just come for the day and many others will stay at one of the casinos for several days. Most people use their slot cards when they are playing and will receive invitations as a result to stay for free at many of the casino hotels that they frequent.

There are lots to do while in Tunica in addition to gambling. If you looking for a few days of relaxation, some nice meals, maybe take in a show or two and share a couple of drinks at the bar, all of the casinos and hotels in the area can meet this need.

Tunica is easy to get too by car, since it is less than half an hour from Memphis and several hours from Jackson, Mississippi. We have run into people who are making a road trip across the country or heading south on their way to their winter vacation home. Tunica becomes a great stop over point on the way to Biloxi, Golf Port and New Orleans as well as points east and west of these cities.

We have included another post on this web site that outlines all of the activities that can be of interest to people visiting the area. These include museums, music and even Elvis’s mansion. We have personally gone to visit this location and we can vouch that it is well worth the money to take the time and visit his home and grounds.

There are also golf courses in the area for those people who are so inclined.

On the Top 10 List of Casino Locations

Las Vegas is obviously at the top of the gambling locations in the country. Next you have Atlantic City, which is now recovering from a devastating storm in the fall of 2012. Laughlin in Nevada and Tunica in Mississippi are the next two locations that can be considered among the top 10. Both are on opposite sides of the country and both have approximately the same number of casinos. Most other locations around the country are more isolated and do not have much competition with each other.

Windsor/ Detroit and Niagara Falls are two other locations with small numbers of co-located casinos. Tunica is obviously 3rd or forth on the top 10 list of locations to visit in the USA. It is easy to get to by highway as well as by air and located in the central part of the US. There is also competition from the concentration of casinos in these top four locations.

Use Your Slot Cards In Tunica and Across the Country

One of the advantages of using slot cards from the main casino companies such as MGM and Harrahs is that their slot cards are good right across the country and in many of their properties. They do track your visits and your usage. From that they develop offers of free room visits, free entertainment to shows, free meals and other comp’s that may be interesting to you from time to time. These offers are available online as well as they can be sent to you in the regular mail.

Both Harrahs and MGM have casinos and hotels in all of the major centers and the most popular locations across the country. Tunica is no different with both companies having several casinos that they run in the Tunica area as well as in other areas of the state of Mississippi such as Biloxi on the coast. The Gold Strike Casino is part of the MGM group and accepts the MLife card. The Horseshoe, the Roadhouse and another hotel in the area (Harrahs) are part of the Harrahs chain and accept the Total Rewards slot card.

Competition for Your Gambling Dollar

As we mentioned earlier in this post, Tunica is on the top 10 list of casino locations in the country. We feel that this is a good thing because it means that there is competition for your gambling dollar on many levels.

None of the casinos advertise their payback ratio’s, however there are various ways that they compete for your dollars. These include free rooms while you are staying at their location, free meals in terms of write offs, express comp’s, free play and point play. Some days are better than others in terms of how many points you are allowed to collect each time you play.

These comp’s can be like mini jackpots for some people. For example, if your room is free or they write off all of your food and room costs, this is the same as winning a small jackpot and is really money that you save on your vacation. This is part of your overall compensation in terms of what you win or lose.

Payouts are Lower

Many people have mentioned to us in passing that they do not win like they used to. We have noticed this as well and even though there is lots of competition, the casinos appear to have tightened up their payouts. Large wins seem to be fewer and the cost of rooms and meals have gone up. The only way to deal with this is to make sure that you always collect all of your comp’s before you leave.

We always speak to the slot host and let her know that we are checking out. They do not always write off our expenses, but it happens often enough to make it worthwhile. The worst that can happen is that they decline and you just have to accept that decision. It is all calculated by computer anyway and they have very little discretion to go outside their guidelines that have been established by management.

Smoking is Still a Problem

In all of these casinos, smoking is still a problem. It continues to amaze the writer that they still allow smoking in the casino when there are so many issues associated with smoking from a personal level as well as a business level. They even allow people to smoke cigars inside the casino which annoys everyone including smokers since the atmosphere is polluted by some of the stronger cigars.

For the casinos, cleaning of the rugs, the machines and maintenance of the machines would be drastically reduced. No more ashes everywhere and no more nicotine getting on everything including the moving parts of the slot machines. The air would smell much better and more people who do not smoke would come to these casinos.

Banning Smoking

In other locations, they have banned smoking all together inside the casinos. They have built smoking rooms for smokers to go to and take a break. Some of these rooms are actually outdoors when the weather permits. If they are inside, there is ample air circulation to accommodate the smoke. A key decision was made by the casino management which in our mind makes this work.

Patrons are allowed to place their slot machine on hold while they take a break and go for a smoke. They are allowed to do this for a short time, 5 or 10 minutes while they take a smoke break. The economics are much better in terms of less cleaning. Also less maintenance on the machines which makes up for the down time of these slot machines during busier times in the casino. Placing a napkin or something similar over the screen is all that is generally needed. Speak to someone playing beside you to ask them to keep an eye on the machine for you. Never leave any more than two or three dollars in the machine. Patrons have lost large amounts by leaving too much in the machine while they went for a smoke break.

We have found that these casinos who do not allow smoking on the casino floor are busier than ever. People who traditionally stayed away because the smoke was too bad are now coming to these properties. They play the machines and enjoy an evening at the casino. The smokers seem to be happier and the non smokers are definitely happier.

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Visiting Tunica Casinos

February 21st, 2012 ernie Posted in Tunica 1 Comment »

Tunica CasinosIt is that time of year again and we are back in Tunica, Mississippi on our annual trip to Tunica and the Tunica Casinos. This time we are staying at the Gold Strike Hotel and Casino for four nights complimentary. This is such a great deal since the rooms are very nice, clean and modern as is the hotel. If you are looking for a place to stay for the night whether you gamble or not this is one of the better hotels to stay at. Tunica is just south of Memphis. It takes about 30 minutes by car to get from Memphis to the closest Tunica Casinos.

Tunica Casinos – Rooms at the Gold Strike In Tunica

Our room at the Gold Strike hotel looks out onto the Mississippi river from the 22nd floor. It is close to the elevators which we like and the room is one of the upgraded rooms with a separate foyer and a large marble bathroom. the only thing lacking is a flat screen TV in the bathroom to match the one in the main bedroom.  This is probably a $150 to $200 room and when you consider it is complimentary, it truly is a great deal. Sure we like to gamble and sometimes we pay for it in losses, but sometimes we also make money and it is a win for us overall.

Two for One Deals at the Buffet

We ate at the buffet this morning. Today is a 2 for one deal when you pay for your meal using your express comp dollars! These are dollars that you receive as you are gambling and can be used for everything from paying for meals to paying for your room if it is not fully complimentary. Several times during the month the Gold Strike offers these two for one deals at the buffet when you use you express comp’s. All you have to do is give them your MLife card, show proper ID such as a driver’s license and they will give you two free buffets which only cost half price when you pay with express comp’s. Pretty good deal if you ask me.

Tunica Casinos – Changes at the Gold Strike

So far we have not noticed any changes at the Gold Strike from last year. There certainly have not been any major upgrades that we saw and the same machines appear to be all in the same places. Many casinos will move machines around and / or install new ones from time to time. So far it does not look like they have done this.

The same is true at the Horseshoe casino run by Harrahs. It is next door to the Gold Strike. Unfortunately the Roadhouse was closed the last time we visited the area. We also visited the Roadhouse Casino next door to the Horseshoe which is also run by Harrahs. We like this small casino. It has introduced a lot of new machines in the last year, many that we like. It kept many of the old stalwarts that we also enjoy. One of the things we like the most about the Roadhouse is that you can order your drink at the machine. all you need to do is type on the slot machine message board. No waiting to flag down a waitress. Just type in your order and your drink is delivered a few minutes later! How great is that?

Summary

Well that completes our update for this visit. Looks like the same old great value and great food, what more could you ask for? Well maybe winning at the slots would help, which we have not done yet. If you have comments about this post , feel free to leave a well written comment. We will be happy to post it to our blog. We will even include your link if it is a good comment. Too many leave junk comments wanting a link and frankly these are all caught by our spam filter.

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Tunica Gold Strike Casino

October 14th, 2011 ernie Posted in Tunica 1 Comment »

Gold Strike hotel & casino in TunicaWe are visiting the Gold Strike Casino once again this fall. We are writing a brief update about this casino, as well as it’s neighbor the Horse Shoe Casino and the Roadhouse Casino. You can click on any of the links above. Review more information about all of these great vacation spots.

We checked in a bit early and were given our room key right away. The October time frame prior to thanksgiving is a slow period for the hotels in this area. There are lots of rooms available.They put us on the 31st floor with a great view of the river.

We are staying free at the hotel as part of a comp package we received in the mail from the hotel. We were offered free rooms for two nights, $25 towards meals and $55 in free play. When you combine this with the new express comps feature and points conversion for food while staying at the hotel, it turns out that this is a pretty good deal.

Gold Strike Casino Meets Expectations

The hotel as usual met all our expectations. We would recommend this hotel to anyone who wants to spend a few days gambling, playing golf in the area or taking in some of the activities in Memphis.

We noticed that the buffet is perhaps a little bit reduced from past years. However the food is just as great and the value is there.  Service was a bit slow, but then we are on vacation and not in a hurry.

The new express comp feature is a really nice add on. Your screen on the slot machine you play will show you exactly how much you have in express comp’s. You do not need to visit the M-Life desk any longer to get a comp for a meal. Just hand over your M-Life card to the cashier. They will use the comp’s on your card to pay for your meal. And the best part is that when you use your comp’s the meal will be half price! We think this is a really good deal for everyone and another reason to always use your slot card.

Gold Strike Casino Update

They have updated the slots with all of the latest multi-line penny machines while still maintaining many of the traditional reel machines as well. There are less video poker machines as well and very few keno machines. There was no damage at all due to the floods as far as we could tell to the hotel, the casino or even the grounds around the hotel.

This is a great place to visit and we will be coming back here again.

 

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News Flash – Some Tunica Casinos Reopening

May 19th, 2011 ernie Posted in Tunica No Comments »

We just received news that some casinos are reopening. The Gold Strike has reopened as of May 18th,2011 . Obviously they still have a lot of work to do, and the residents have many repairs to make, but at least some of them have jobs, even if it is part of cleaning up after the flood. this was truly a devastating blow to the region, not only to the casinos and the people who worked at them, but also to the farms and towns in the area.

Many people have lost homes and businesses, equipment has been ruined and land will take months to dry out. With a flood like this it is pretty obvious that the dikes, levies or what ever they are called are simply not high enough. They are also not strong enough. Many broke allowing millions of gallons of water to pass through and flood the surrounding land.

Rebuilding

The Casinos in Tunica have been rebuilt and are in full operation again. Hopefully there will never be another flood like this one in 2011 which disrupted many persons lives. We are looking forward to going to the Tunica area once again. Also we like to support the local economy and to try our hand in the casinos once again.

We love to stay at the Gold Strike operated by the MGM Resorts group. Also the Horseshoe which is operated by the Harrahs group of companies. Both hotels are side by side and compete with each other. They seem to offer the best deals for us and we will return to this area again in 2013. Our slot cards continue to keep us receiving comp’s in terms of food, rooms and beverages. So why not take advantage of these offerings and have a little vacation.

If you need more information about why slot cards are so great, check out the several posts that we have on this subject. Slot cards provide slot players with many benefits. You are really losing out if you do not take advantage of these benefits. I like to think of it as a small jackpot each time I receive a free meal or a free room! These comp’s can add up to several hundred dollars on each trip. Which you might spend anyway on paying for your room and meals if you did not take advantage of these advantages.

Check out our posts as well on the casino reviews for all of the casinos we have visited over the years. With the exception of Texas and Utah there seems to be a casino in every state in the nation.

Tunica Casinos Reopening

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Tunica Casinos Still Flooded

May 17th, 2011 ernie Posted in Tunica 1 Comment »

The water has surrounded the casinos in Tunica as well as the surrounding areas. It looks like they will be closed for another few weeks. This occurred in May 2011 and the casinos have obviously reopened since then. They re-opened about the middle of June, 2011.  Originally we were told that they would reopen sometime around May 23rd. However based on the level of the water, the damage that it is causing and the fact that it will slowly recede, these casinos were closed for sometime.

We have included a picture of Harrahs in Tunica, which we have visited several

Tunica Casinos Still Flooded

Thanks to WMCTV Action News

times. This picture is courtesy of  WMCTV Action News. Pictures are worth a thousand words. It is certainly true in this case. Based on this picture the main lobby area, the restaurants and perhaps even the casino is flooded. Rooms at the hotel will be find. However before guests can come back to the hotel a thorough cleaning is required. In addition, repair to the building, electrical systems is needed. All furniture that could not be removed prior to the waters appearing on the scene has to be replaced.

Tunica Casinos Still Flooded (2011)

At the present time there is over 7 feet of water covering the parking lot and the hotel entrance. The casino itself is supposed to float which will protect the slot machines. The casino operations should be ok. However there is a limit to how far up they can float.

As more information is made available we will include an update on this blog regarding the rising flood waters at the casino hotels in Tunica.

While this blog focuses on casinos and information about them for our readers,  we also want to acknowledge the hardship that many people in the Mississippi delta are experiencing. We have traveled to Tunica, to Memphis and Helena many times and our hearts and prayers go out to these people.

We once had car problems in Helena and the people at the garage were extremely helpful and friendly to us. They drove us to a hotel were we stayed the night while we were waiting for parts for our car and then picked us up the next morning to bring us back to the garage. this was service that we have never experienced before and we appreciated very much. The repairs were completed on time and the price was very reasonable as well. We compared the cost of repairs with our own garage at home and found them to be less expensive at this garage in Helena. Great people, very helpful!

They sure do not deserve this huge flood and the damage it causes to land , to buildings , to families and the ability to earn a living to support your family. Our prayers are with you!

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