SEATTLE, Washington - I saw a few months ago when driving to golf at Mount Si that they were enhancing the little traffic intersection that leads to the casino. It's done - and it's a roundabout. A little traffic circle. Is this Washington in 2008 or New Jersey in 1935? I can't believe a new traffic circle has entered the world.
Only in the hills: I parked in the above-ground garage, drove up a few levels, parked, and took the elevator down. Mistake: The casino is on the top floor of the above-ground garage. The whole place seems to be a single big room with all the restaurants and shops on the perimeter i.e. there's no hallways or side areas.
I was there the day after Thanksgiving and it was not as busy as I was expecting. (The day after X-giving is a brutally busy day in Atlantic City casinos.) There were quite a few dead spread blackjack games and only two craps tables open.
I started with roulette. They made me buy nickels on a $10 game, which is odd. But good - I hit on the first two spins. On the third spin, the amateur dealer screwed up and actually hit me with the ball. Eventually we got the ball back on the wheel and I missed the third spin so I colored up with $400 profit and walked away before I got injured.
I wasn't hungry (day after X-giving) but for the sake of journalism I tried the (barely adequate for its price) $14.95 lunch buffet.
A spot finally opened on a craps table after lunch. I was looking for a weak craps dealer that I could confuse and manipulate but they all seemed competent enough for moderate action. I wanted to shoot but the shooter before me got hot and I decided to color out with $155 profit at craps without even touching the dice. There was a classic grumpy Don't bettor standing right next to the dealer (where they always stand) getting killed - the kind of bitterman who, in defiance of all mathematics, is betting the Don't Come and if a 6 or 8 rolls he tells the dealer to "just leave it."
The big new-casino goof of the night was this: When I cashed out my $855 in chips, the cashier paid me and said "congratulations". Wrong Wrong Wrong Wrong! I've gambled in the best casinos in this country and many of the dumps, and I've never been "congratulated" by the cashier. She has no way of knowing if I'm up $300 or down $5000 or whatever. That needs to stop. I didn't make a scene but sooner or later some crusty guy who's down a lot of money will blow up upon hearing that.
Overall the place seems fine - it's somewhat smaller than the Muckleshoot or Tulalip but I think its proximity to Mount Si golf will have me rolling the bones. Its poker room only has ten tables, you're better off at the Muckleshoot for poker.
P.S. their website (not linked here) is overwrought, you apparently scroll it by moving your mouse above or below the browser window and the music sounds like casino promotional tunes from fifteen years ago.