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2015-06 Short cliffs TR: Philly>Buffalo casino hoppin, ROYAL, few pics.

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Wezvidz, Jun 15, 2015.

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  1. Wezvidz

    Wezvidz High-Roller

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    My Trip Report

    So 1-3 times a year I take a random jaunt to an area of the country I've never visited to collect casino chips, stay at a casino after each leg and mingle with locals. It's a great way for me to invest time in my crazy chip collecting hobby (now up to 354 cainos visited), catch up on podcasts, and see areas of the country I wouldn't see otherwise.

    Took a trip from Des Moines this past April, up the west side of the state, played at Horseshoe Council Bluffs, hit some South Dakota casinos then flew out of Minneapolis. Hit a $1000 25c royal in Minnesota the night before flying out at Treasure Island casino.

    This trip I flew into Philly, drove down to Delaware for the night and gambled at Dover Downs. Saturday I drove through Baltimore up to Pittsburgh and gambled at Rivers for the night. Sunday drove north through WV to NW Pennsylvania, over to a few NY Senaca casinos

    My notes:

    - Too much driving. I anticipated 7 hours/day, but with staying a little while at each place, it was too much. Future trips (northern Minnesota, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Washington state, northern NY) will have a planned max of 4.5 hours driving each day so I'm not exhausted by the time I hit my destination.

    - Dover Downs: terrible vibe in the casino. NO BARTOP VP. First casino ever I've been in without them? At 25c, 6/5 DDB, 6/5 JOB. Wowzer, you think CET is raping Vegas strip VP, I saw similarly terrible paytables all over on my trip. Played a brief VP session and a lady beside me hit 2 $4k royals within 30 minutes. Must be nice. Had the worst craps session of my life (combined with the next night at Rivers). My 2 DC strategy got mutilated. First time that's happened. Drinks were cheap, 3.50 for a crown & ginger. Downside is no waitresses, just a rolling cart that comes around every 30 min. Not fast enough for me.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Uber is also new in the state and it was funny. There was 1 car available when I wanted to go the mile from my hotel (after a few drinks to the casino). John took me over, and 3 hours later, it was John again who took me back. Not a bunch of drivers but nice to see Uber penetrating more states, it's a FANTASTIC service.

    - PA casino laws are F'ing weird. I ran into this a few years ago when I went to AC and drove over to a few Philly casinos. The Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin is a "private resort" casino where you need a voucher to enter. This entails either staying at their resort or buying a $10 gift card for their gift shop? to get in. Either way it's not open to public walkins without this weird runaround. I had some nice security guys understand I was just stopping in for a chip and they let me walk to a table, get it and leave.

    - Ubers all over Pittsburgh which is nice. Bartop 30/6/5 BP and 7/5 DDB so basically CET Vegas standards. Bleh. Got killed at craps again but drink service was much better here and a decent casino.

    - Stopped at Presque Isle Downs in Erie PA, a horsetrack casino and since it had been a 2 hour drive from Mountaineer in WV decided to sit at the one open bartop for a little VP. Here's another nugget: no Game King machines, I don't know what these are but it feels like I'm playing a VP simulator on the computer. Slipped in a $20. Hit this within 5-10 minutes.

    [​IMG]

    According to Royal Flusher's strict rules of parlay, I went up to 50c. Not 5 minutes later...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    BINK. This sure felt nice.

    - Weather got terrible going into Buffalo. Rainy, muggy and became very foggy. At this point I should have said Fu&K Canada because I was running behind schedule and had to be up at 4:30am for my flight out of Buffalo. Crossed border and had to pull over and have my car searched. My story of collecting casino chips and having $2k cash on me was suspicious I guess. Border officers were asshole. Then I didn't realize my phone wouldn't work in Canada (duh?) so navigating with Wayz was a no go. I got half lost and decided to just cut bait and head home. Skipped Fallsview, Casino Niagra, and Senaca Niagra. It was dark, foggy as hell and I was lost. Finally found the Rainbow bridge over to the states. Yet again I had to pull over and have my car torn apart because my "story" didn't sound legit to the asshole border agents. Wasted like 3 hours getting no chips in Canada, but I'm sure I'll be up there again sometime in my life. Really soured my trip how rude these border people are to law abiding citizens.

    The $2k royal still kept my mood up though. Enjoyable trip. Officially was in 7 states and Canada over 3 days.

    Chips collected:

    Delaware (3)
    Harrington Raceway (Harrington)
    Delaware Park (Wilmington)
    Dover Downs (Dover)

    Maryland (4)
    Hollywood Casino Perryville (Perryville)
    Horseshoe (Baltimore)
    Maryland Live! (Hanover)
    Rocky Gap (Cumberland)

    New York (3)
    Seneca Allegany (Salamanca)
    Seneca Buffalo Creek (Buffalo)
    Seneca Gaming and Entertainment (Salamanca)

    Pennsylvania (4)
    Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin (Farmington)
    Meadows Racetrack (Washington)
    Presque Isle Downs (Erie)
    Rivers (Pittsburgh)

    West Virginia (2)
    Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races (Charles Town)
    Mountaineer (New Cumberland)
     
  2. kwwood

    kwwood Tourist

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    Great read. Are all the PA casinos private resorts? Interesting to read on differences of casinos around the us
     
  3. Wezvidz

    Wezvidz High-Roller

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    Only 1 other (Valley Forge?) had this rule.

    "Pennsylvania gaming regulations require that gaming machines return a minimum of 85%. All casinos are open 24 hours and admission is free. However, the casinos at the two hotel resorts are not open to the general public. You must be a guest of the resort in order to play at their casinos."

    So I guess I've visited the only 2 with this rule in place.
     
  4. kwwood

    kwwood Tourist

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    Interesting. Congrats on the royal!
     
  5. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Yes. Mostly PA casinos are "free" except the resort casinos like Wezvidz said. PA taxes slots/VP at 55%, so paytables suck. Nice royal on the bally unit! I generally hate those games unless full pay pickem is involved.
     
  6. LVHooked

    LVHooked High-Roller

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    Nice hits in Erie, that's my local casino. They have game kings on the floor and in the non smoking room at the bar. Or at least they did, been a while since I've been there. And ddb is 9/6 on the floor.
     
  7. bobby jones

    bobby jones Low-Roller

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    How did you get lost going to Fallsview and Seneca? Cross the Peace bridge, see sign, turn right, turn right then turn left then turn right into parking garage:)


    I enjoy both of these casinos. Seneca had a fairly recent makeover which I like.

    Sorry about the border hassles. Lesson - GET NEXUS CARD NOW! We just came back from UK to Toronto at the same time as a full flight from Narita and Paris. Customs hall was packed. We strolled over to the Nexus kiosks, scanned the passport, did the retinal thing and done.
     
  8. Imperial_Palace_King

    Imperial_Palace_King High-Roller

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    2015-06 Short cliffs TR: Philly>Buffalo casino hoppin, ROYAL, few pics.

    Very cool trip! I agree about uber. Awesome service! You should see how many cars are available when pull the app up in San Fran. Like one on every corner!

    Did you have a favorite casino of the ones you visited?
     
  9. TIMSPEED

    TIMSPEED !địt mẹ!

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    Those are Bally Game Maker's...I actually like those better than IGT Game King's...
     
    Palace Tower Suite!
  10. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    Just the two casinos in Nemacolin and Valley Forge. These casinos have class 3 "resort" licenses so guests must buy a membership or spend $10 on the premises. The two other types of casinos in PA have race tracks (like Parx and Harrah's) or stand alone (Like Sands or Sugar House). There is still one license available in Philly, it was awarded to Foxwoods but never built.

    We went to Valley Forge once and bought $10 gift certificates which we used at the tavern for dinner. I doubt we will ever go back, the machines were tight and the place is small. To call it a resort is a joke, it was built in 1985 as a convention center which failed. It has two hotels adjoining and sits in between an industrial park and the Valley Forge National Historical Park. I highly recommend viewing the short film at the VF Park visitors center: Valley Forge a Winter Encampment.

    As for Fallsview, that's too bad you were lost, it's a really nice casino with a great buffet and a bargain with the USD worth $1.23 Canadian. Most everyone there speaks English, and Canadians are universally friendly, those from Quebec excepted. Did you stop and ask for directions? Yes, a single guy with $2,000 in cash with plans to return to the U.S. in a few hours will elicit a hairy eyeball. You're probably a righteous dude, but if you told the U.S. Border guards you couldn't find the casino(s), that is a red flag.

    Best of luck on your quest for chips, if I make it up to Fallsview, I will pick one up for your collection.
     
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