Saturday, December 19, 2009

Parx Casino - Bensalem, PA

The Parx Casino opened up December 18th in Bensalem, PA. The good thing is that it's about 35 minutes from my house as opposed to Atlantic City which is 2.5 hours (and Vegas which is even farther).

I take Route 1 South and once you're in PA you look for PA-132 East which is also State Street I believe. It's the second exit for 132. After that it's only a few traffic lights down the road on your left. Upon arriving I was greeted by fancy lights. They look like they're done with high powered LED's. They change color constantly. It certainly looked like a casino. You can't miss it.

I signed up for their membership on their website before they opened, it was free and gave me $25 bucks to spend in their casino. Who could pass up free money and the possibility to strike it rich?

You have to show your drivers license to get your card. This works similar to other casinos. You put your card in every time you play, it tracks what you spend, and you get freebies. There was six or seven people waiting on customers, so the line wasn't long and we got through it pretty quick.

You insert your card into any machine and there's a free play button that had our $25 balance. We were free to load $5, $10, $15, $20, or $25 into that machine and play away. Winnings are given out on paper tickets which you can insert into any machine or go cash out.

They allow smoking inside. The lady told me that the air system is really good, so I shouldn't smell anything, although I think it smelled like some car an old lady owned for 20 years and chain smoked.. and this is only the first day of being open! The air was thick in certain spots.

A bunch of the machines said "Out of Order" on them. Already? Not even 24 hours passed! I would estimate I seen 30 or 40 like this, which is only about 1% of their 3300 slot machines, but still shocking to see. These are brand new machines.

The casino is not that big. I believe it's only one floor. I don't think it's totally finished yet or maybe I just missed seeing everything. I didn't see the Parx Grill Steakhouse and Chickie & Pete's Restaurant. Foodie's was open, but it was pretty lame. It's like a food court you'd see in the mall. The food was reasonably priced, but it's just your standard fare: Cheesesteaks, BLT, Turkey Club, Grilled Chicken, Hot dog, etc. I would have expected something more from a place like this. An all you can eat buffet would have been nice. The food court isn't that big. They have a small bar and club called 360 which spins music and eventually live shows.

Now on to the games. There's themed slot machines such as Soprano's, eBay, Wheel of Fortune, Wizard of Oz, Indiana Jones, JAWS, and more. They also have Roulette machines.

There's no card dealers here.. everything is electronic and that's a big turn off for me. They have Blackjack and Poker, but they're all machines. It looks like I'm playing against Max Headroom. The video of the dealer is sometimes "jerky" and there's no conversation. Here's a picture of a machine:

We blew our free $25 in no time. Mine went quicker than my Girlfriend's because some Roulette machine "ripped me off". I tried to load $10 into the machine and it gave me an error message, so I tried again. Another error message. Even though the message came up, it still had taken my money. I was about to walk away when my Girlfriend noticed I had $20 credit.

There's plenty of penny slot machines, but you can bet like 20 or 30 lines, so it still costs you like 30 cents to play and that goes pretty quick.

Would I go back again? Surely! There's lots of shopping malls in the area for when I'm done in the casino. I wouldn't rate it as one of my favorite casino's and I'd prefer to visit Atlantic City (nothin like playing Tic-Tac-Toe against a chicken that always wins, or bowling in Ceasar's, or if you're bored at one casino walking to another), but this was still a fun experience and a lot closer to home.

I want to say I think their website is pretty fabulous. You can search all their machines online by type or by money amount and find out exactly where your favorite one is. They didn't list my favorite one.. the winner.

I just wonder where all the shady people came from. There's people standing around doing nothing looking shady (maybe they were security in disguise), some fat black chick in a Santa Claus outfit and a leather biker jacket on (man that was scary), and people just staring at you. Fortunately nobody bumped into me and I still had my wallet.

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