Casino Reviews

Rideau Carleton Casino

November 21st, 2013 ernie Posted in Rideau Carleton No Comments »

Rideau Carleton CasinoThe Rideau Carleton Racetrack Casino in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada is one of the least competitive casinos that we know of when it comes to comps and promotions. It is run by the provincial government who is intent on taxing Canadians as much as possible and they do not allow any competition. As a result they do not offer many comp’s and if they do the comp’s are not very lucrative compared to other locations.

Lower Competition Leads to Low Promotions at Rideau Carleton Casino

It is the only casino in the city and as a result it is very crowded, but the comp’s are very limited, the cash back and free play are minimal compared to the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino for example in upper state New York. The other major factor that we noticed as well is that the people working at the Rideau Carleton Casino are decidedly not friendly compared to other casinos that we have been to. Even the servers are not friendly even when you tip them and the slot attendants who pay the jackpots have their hands out for tips. This is after making you wait for 10 or 15 minutes for them to acknowledge that you won a jack pot.  This is not one of our favorite places to go based on service and level of promotions and casino comp’s.

We added a check list of casino comps and / or promotions to this post and others that we will be doing, which you can see below. Not all comps and promotions will be of interest to you. If there are some that you do not understand leave us a comment and we will add a post to let you know what they are. If we missed a comp or if there is a new promotion we are not aware of let us know and we will add it.

We will complete and add comments about the other two casinos that we included on this chart shortly. Watch for these posts or view our categories.

Comparison Chart

For more reviews of casinos based in Ontario, click here.

Casino Akwesasne Rideau Carleton Lac Lemay
Free Alcoholic Drinks No, low prices No, very expensive No, very expensive
Free Soft Drinks Yes Yes, must tip Yes, must tip
Free play Yes, lucrative Yes, not lucrative Yes, not lucrative
Free Rooms Yes No Yes
Discounted Rooms Yes No Yes
Free Wifi Yes,casino and hotel No No
Free Newspaper No No No
Free Spa Yes, depends on play No No
Free Tickets Yes, depends on Play Yes No
Free Bridge Pass Yes, use points No No
Free travel No No No
Senior Discounts Yes on specific days No No
Half Price Deals Yes on specific days No No
Free Draws Yes Yes No
Free Ticket Promotions Yes No No
Random In Your Seat draws Yes No No
Multi Times Points Yes, 5 times, 13 times No No
Personal Slot Host Yes No Yes


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Ottawa Betting on Rideau Carleton Raceway

September 1st, 2013 ernie Posted in Ottawa No Comments »

Rideau Carleton RacewayOttawa city council, as of late summer 2013 have finally come to their senses and voted to keep Rideau Carleton Raceway as a casino in the city. There was a lot of noise about having another casino in the city or moving the casino to another location that can be larger support tables, and more slot machines, however, this seems to have gone away at the moment. These councilors cannot decide their way out of a wet paper bag, so it is surprising that they got this far. We think that they will vacillate on this decision at least one more time. In the meantime, the owners of what is known as the Scotiabank place and now the Canadian Tire place is threatening to sue if he cannot also have a casino at that location!

Rideau Carleton Raceway – One Casino

One casino for Ottawa is not enough. We need at least two with one owned by a private company. The folks in the west of Ottawa need a place to gamble. The Rideau Carleton racetrack is just too far away for most people.

Rideau Carleton racetrack is located at the south end of the city. Most tourists are not going to out there anyway. If you are staying downtown in one of the hotels, it is closer to just go over to Hull and go to the casino at Lac Lemay. This has always been the argument for another casino located downtown. However, we think that located where the current casino is, it is a better draw from Ottawa and surrounding communities than another one or a replacement casino would be in downtown Ottawa. Keep the present location and add a new casino in the west end of Ottawa.

The Market needs Competition

The market needs competition though and real competition. If the government plans to build another casino or allow one to be operated in Ottawa, frankly it is a waste of time. We would rather go to Akwesasne in the States than go to one of these casinos. The drinks are much cheaper and the comps are much better as well. Why spend your money in Canada at the ridiculously high prices they charge at the racetrack?

Nongovernment run & owned is the only way real competition will be brought into these casinos. If several locations are competing for your dollars, the deals will get much better. This is what happens in Vegas, Atlantic City, Tunica, and many other locations. The government casinos are just fleecing us. They do not pay well and they charge high prices for everything compared to American casinos.

The city of Ottawa is Addicted

The City is addicted to profits. They need to have the casino operating full-time bringing in the money they have been receiving for the past years. There will always be a city-shared casino in the city. If they can find a way to politically bring another one into the city, they will as long as they can get their money. It is another form of tax in my mind. I would rather contribute to free enterprise rather than some swollen overpaid government employees.

Ottawa residents will continue to be fleeced. For more posts about casinos and things to do in Ottawa, click here.

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Facial Recognition Software at Casinos

May 7th, 2013 ernie Posted in Ottawa No Comments »

Facial Recognition Software at CasinosRideau Carleton Raceway has introduced new software into their technology to help deal with problem gamblers. In addition, those people voluntarily want to be banned from the casino. Rideau Carleton Raceway’s slot machines are now equipped with facial recognition software at casinos they operate. As a result, this is part of a bid to help addicts bar themselves from gaming facilities. Although this is portrayed with a positive spin.  I guess it is for those who want to be banned from the casino. What about the rest of us who are on camera? Also, Hardrock casino group purchased this casino. Subsequently, there should be many improvements at this venue.

Facial Recognition Software at Casinos – Rideau Carleton

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation installed the technology at the complex. They have also installed the same technology at about two-thirds of the slots and casinos across the province of Ontario.

The Rideau Carleton Raceway technology relies on a method of “self-exclusion”. Whereby compulsive gamblers volunteer in advance to have their photos banked in the system’s database. This is in case they ever get the urge to try their luck at a casino again.

If that person returns in the future and the facial-recognition software detects them.

Over 15,000 gamblers signed up

Already, about 15,000 gamblers across Ontario have signed up. They want to restrict themselves from playing at slots or casinos, according to the OLG. Roughly 100 had signed up at Rideau Carleton Raceway to restrict their gambling before the introduction of the new software.

Can this information be misused? What about divorce situations? What about situations involving the misappropriation of funds?  As a result, the temptation by the government to use it is just too great.

We have to remember that it is the government that runs OLG. They already have a bad rap of not representing their customers very well with recent scandals of ticket-selling crooks pocketing millions by taking winning tickets from unsuspecting customers.

Can we trust them? Well, it turns out that we really do not have any choice. If you visit one of the casinos you are on their property. You are on camera. In fact, most if not all casinos have sophisticated video systems geared to catch cheaters at tables and also the slots. As a result, this should be no surprise to clients of the casinos.

Your comments about this controversial subject are welcome. Have you had yourself banned from the casino?

For more posts about casinos in Ontario, click here.

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Windsor Casino Hotel Deals

August 7th, 2012 ernie Posted in Windsor Comments Off on Windsor Casino Hotel Deals

Windsor Casino Hotel Deals We just got one of the best Windsor Casino Hotel Deals ever. We belong to the Harrah’s Total Rewards slot card program which is good for over 30 properties across the US and Canada. The Caesars casino hotel in Windsor is part of this chain, so we decided to call them to see what kind of deal they could provide to us. We were traveling though Windsor and needed to stop for the night, so why not stop at a nice hotel, have dinner and play the slots a little bit before going to bed.

Well when we called and gave them our Total Rewards number, they quickly came back to us and gave us two nights free at their hotel! This was much to our surprise since we have never stayed at this particular property. although we have stayed at many other Harrah’s properties in the US. This is one of the benefits of belonging to a slot card program, particularly one that is good at over 30 properties across the US and Canada.

Windsor Casino Hotel Deals – Review

We reviewed the casino and hotel in a previous post, “Caesars Casino Windsor”, so we will not repeat all of what we covered in that post here, however we do want to mention one thing that is so far unique to Harrah’s casinos. On their slot machines, you can order all of your beverages right from the slot machine, including beer, wine, mixed drinks, juice, and coffee and have it delivered. You have to pay for any alcoholic drinks, however having this service makes it so convenient. Note that in the US most of the casinos offer free alcoholic drinks, but not in Canada.

If you are looking for a Windsor casino hotel deal, call your slot card host at the casino for reservations. If you do not have a slot host, just call the number located on the back of your Total Rewards card and select the correct property and make your reservation. Make sure you give them your Total Rewards number so they can look up your playing record and make a decision to comp you or not.

Get a Total Rewards Card

If you do not have a Total Rewards card and want a Windsor Casino hotel deal, you are going to have to make a reservation at what ever the going rate is, however there is still a chance you might get the room comp’d. before you start playing the slots or the tables, register for a Total Rewards card and then use it at all of the slots you play at. before you leave and before you check out, call your slot host and ask if they can do anything for you regarding your room or meals that you have charged to the room. Depending on your play they might comp you for your room charges. If not there is always next time and they will definitely want you back so watch your email to see what deals you may get.

Click the following link for to see a short video of the  Windsor Casino.

Hotel Description

The hotel by the way was great. There are two towers and we recommend that you sty in the new tower. Ask for a view of the river and the Detroit sky line. Also use the valet parking. The parking garage is just too far away to drag your bags etc from the garage to the check in counter. You will have to navigate the casino floor. You will have to go down escalators just to get from the parking garage to the hotel check in counter.

In our minds this is the best way to get a great Windsor casino hotel deal. Why pay for a room and why pay for the Ontario 13% tax plus city tourist tax when you can stay for free. We probably saved over $200 for our two nights that we stayed at the Harrah’s Caesars Windsor casino hotel. We will definitely go back sometime this year for a another mini vacation in the Windsor area.

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Caesars Casino Windsor

July 30th, 2012 ernie Posted in Windsor No Comments »

Caesars Casino Windsor This is the Windsor casino in Windsor, Ontario Canada, right on the border across from the city of Detroit. There is a lot of competition now between several casinos in Detroit and this one. Since it has been taken over by Harrah’s, the casino and the hotel have been spruced up, and the comps have improved. We tried staying at the hotel a few years ago before it became part of the chain and they wanted almost $200 a night for a room. Now that they are part of the Harrah’s chain and we have a Total Rewards slot card, we get the room for free!

The official name is Caesars Windsor, and overall, this is a lovely place to stay. The rooms in the new tower are fresh and clean with the latest in amenities. We had a great view of Detroit, the river and parts of Windsor.

The following are some of the details about the hotel and the casino in Windsor, Ontario.

Caesars Casino Windsor – Slot Machines

We did not find any information about the number of slots at this casino. However, there are slots of every kind on two floors available for your pleasure of all denominations. They have many of the traditional slots as well as the newer machines that include many of the penny machines that seem to be the trend these days.

Caesars Casino Windsor – Table Games

There are blackjack, craps, roulette, baccarat and pai gow poker games available at the Windsor casino. Again we could not determine how many tables there are. However, there seemed to be lots of tables available when we were there.

Caesars Casino Windsor – Restaurants

There are six areas where you can grab something to eat as part of the casino. These include the Artist Cafe, Legends Sports Bar, the Market Buffet, Neros Steakhouse, Pronto Cafe and the Taza Mediterranean Cafe. We ate in the Artists cafe and were not overwhelmed by the food or the service. Nothing wrong about it, but it did not impress us.

Caesars Casino Windsor – What We Liked

  • Variety of slot machines on two floors
  • You can drink while playing the slots or tables, but you must pay for the drinks
  • Buffet
  • Hotel rates are very reasonable, com’d if you are a Total Rewards member
  • Covered garage parking
  • Easy access from Detroit via the tunnel
  • A safe environment in the casino, hotel and parking areas
  • Great stopover point on your way to points west in the US or east in Canada

Caesars Casino Windsor – What We Did Not Like

There are no real complaints about the Caesars Windsor hotel & casino, other than the parking. If you do not want to use the valet parking service, you will have a rather long walk with your suit cases to the check-in counter.

It is a 4-star hotel in our estimation and quite adequate for our needs

Caesars Casino Windsor – Slot Player Card

They are part of the Total Rewards slot players card system. Slot members can take advantage of benefits at many Las Vegas hotels,  as well as sister hotels in Tunica, Biloxi, Laughlin, and Reno.

If you have not taken advantage of slot player cards, there are several benefits that many slot players should consider. Free or discounted rooms, the email mailing list of promotions, free or discounted meals, access to entertainment, and a tax report outlining your losses and wins for tax claim purposes. We are Harrah’s Total Rewards members, and although we have not been to this casino for many years, we were comped for the rooms while staying in the Windsor area.

Click the following link to see a short video of the Windsor Casino. Windsor Casino Hotel Deals


There is ample parking at Caesars hotel & casino in a large parking garage beside the hotel with a walk way directly into the casino on the second floor. There is no surface parking that we observed. Once in the casino, you have a long walk to the check-in counter for the hotel. If you are just going to the casino, there is no problem. We suggest you use the valet parking service if you are staying at the hotel. It is a free service and much more convenient. Parking was also free.

Directions: You can follow the signs when you get to downtown Windsor, which is probably the easiest way. If you have a GPS, just do a search for casinos, and your GPS will point the way. Access is accessible from both the 401 in Canada, the international bridge or the tunnel from Detroit. The Casino is located on Riverside drive right along the river between Windsor and Detroit.

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