Sunday, July 20, 2008


(the smudges on the photo are John's dirty car windshield.)

Just outside of the quaint little town of St. Charles, built into the Missouri River (to avoid gambling laws, the “offshore” trick, I guess) is a huge casino – Ameristar.

John and I decided to check it out on Sunday morning. I guess I’ve never been into a full scale casino before. No charge to get in, but we had to show our IDs and were issued a special card to stick into the machines. It would keep track of our earnings and losses. We were told that in the state of Missouri, if you lose more than $500 in 2 hours, you’re cut off and have to wait 24 hours before you can gamble again. Gee. We were advised that if we got close to the $500 loss, we could just wait an hour and then would have another hour to gamble.

It was a strange kind of place – I couldn’t quite understand the energy. A lot of people there, even on a Sunday morning. I wonder what it was like on Saturday night. The gamblers were all ages (over 21) and came in wheelchairs and with walkers, like to a shrine. Most sit alone before the myriad of glitzy machines. A few at the card tables.

Smoking was mostly allowed – there were a few small non-smoking areas – even though the air-conditioning was cranked down low and the ventilation was good, the smell of smoke was in the air. Bars were open and busy. Loud music – I remember hearing “What’s new pussycat?” play for a very long time.

What attracts so many people to a place like this? Is it the lure of winning big? Risk? Having fun?
It’s fancy, that’s for sure. I just don't get it.

This is the hotel that is attached to the casino. Wonder what it is about red and black? The Roulette Table?

Sign in the bathroom.

Again, smudges are on John's windshield.
Post note: The states of Iowa and Missouri have sought to revive their waterfronts by permitting riverboat gambling. The initial gambling regulations required the casinos to navigate the river. They were subsequently amended so that the casinos could be permanent land-based structures as long as they had a moat with Missouri River water surrounding them. - from Widipedia


H.M. said...

I don't get it either. :)

beth said...

Well then, there are at least 2 of us:-) ...

I have to admit that I spent a buck in there to press a button to spin some wheels (and promptly lose my dollar).

Interesting too that there are no windows or clocks in there - at least I didn't see them.

Sally Clay said...

I've never been drawn to actual casinos like that one, although I have always enjoyed a good game of poker. It's good to be kept up to date on your adventures!