Rehab Is For Quitters : Casino Morongo Review

If a quick tribal fix is all that is available, I'll take it.

Posted by Miss Monkay

It has been nearly 3 months since my last Vegas fix. The itch isn't unbearable yet, but it's presence is constant. I am craving the cacophony of a casino, the weight of a proper gaming chip, the locust-like crackle of ruffling chips, the feel of felt. I want to be offered a cocktail while commiserating with a complete stranger over her missedthisclose progressive jackpot spin (or, better yet, offering congratulations on hitting it). My problem is that it is the beginning of the month, which means rent and bills. Vegas isn't really an option and I am aware of this.

Thursday, 10:00 am

Jane 'Jackpots' Doe, John Doe and myself are having a smoke break. Talk turns to 'Jackpot's' penchant for finding the right machine, hence the nickname. Stories of $2000, $1500, $3500 jackpots are legendary in our gaming-lovers circle. She inherited this skill from her father - Papa Jackpots - who recently hit $5K. We toss out the idea of a quick tribal fix. Chumash? The former Trump 29, now the Spotlight 29? What about the Morongo? It recently opened a $250 million expansion in Cabazon and is meant to be pretty tight. Ms. Jackpot hedges a little, stating that she has never won at Morongo, but decides to give the redux casino a second chance. Both John Doe and Chuckmonster have other plans: a poker tournament, so they are out. It's decided - we're goin gamblin'.

Saturday, 1:30 pm

I pick Jackpots up and, after fighing city traffic for an hour, we hit the I-10 eastward at 2:30 pm. A little over an hour and a half later we roll past the tall Palms-style tower, and I am pleased to see a new parking tower, a vast improvement over the previous outdoor, uncovered parking lot. The elevator let us off right in the casino, a nice little difference from having to walk miles of hallway. The first thing I notice is the poker room to the right. It is non-smoking, as the norm, and has 22 tables and TVs tuned in to a basketball game. Further in is the reception area, restrooms and ATMs. A food court lined the opposite wall, which leads to the tower.

Jackpots and I start wandering the floor while she feels out the slot situation. The video slots (mostly Quarters) outnumber the reel slots. I am still of the old school mind and prefer the reel slots. The handful of 25cent reels, however, are very occupied. We head over to the less crowded dollah slots and find more options for reels. Well, more reel slots, but not really a diverse selection. There are 2 (count em - TWO) Triple Double Wild Cherry machines and a mere handful of Double Diamonds and Red White and Blues. Mostly, there are the simple colorless bar|bar|bar machines. I pick a 5 line play $1 machine and feed it a couple $20s. Within 10 minutes, I turn them into $190 and another 15 minutes after that, into $0. While there are some 'sustainer' machines, as Jackpots likes to call them (machines that give and take, allowing you to play at it for long periods of time), I got bored pretty fast. The lack of machine variety is a complete turn off. I leave Jackpots to the machines to take a pass at the tables.

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great article - interesting read.

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