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Charles Town Races & Slots: Had fun, even with losing

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  • Charles Town Races & Slots: Had fun, even with losing

    First, for all the naysayers, let me state ardently that I do not work for CT, nor have I ever. I’m also not a regular player. Indeed, before our trip to CT, it had been three years since our last gambling venture (in Vegas). And while CT is no Vegas, we still enjoyed ourselves very much. Why? Because we don’t gamble expecting to win. We hope to do so, but we know it’s highly unlikely regardless of where you play. So we go expecting to lose. We set our limit, play it, go a little beyond it, laugh at ourselves, and then leave.For our kind of player, CT is just fine. My husband and I spent 24 hours there after July 4th and had a delightful time. We only played the slots and bet the races. We played conservatively—5¢ slots, $2 on a horse—to make our money last longer. On our second day, just about the time we’d hit our final limit, my husband’s 5¢ machine paid $232. That wasn’t enough to cover all our spending, but it sure brought the cost of the trip way down. So, we feel like we came away as winners.As for the casino, it’s nice enough. It’s clean and sparkly, with a suitably helpful staff. A couple of cocktail waitresses were especially nice and responsive. Food and drink prices were higher, but that’s the norm. We thought about going to the steakhouse restaurant until one man told us the steaks’ prices ran from $34 to $85 and everything was a la carte. We preferred to gamble our money instead of eating it. The races were just okay, but that was probably due largely to the excessive heat. We could have sat inside, but the thrill is in feeling the hoofbeats as they thunder across the finish line. The horses appeared to be handling the weather well. I’m extremely sensitive about the treatment of animals, and I felt comfortable with the way the horses looked and behaved.We stayed at the Hampton Inn, which was very nice—especially the beds and the breakfast. The cost was about $10 less than a comparable room at the casino hotel. The shuttle to the casino goes to both hotels, plus the Holiday Inn. As for the "gaming atmosphere," I find all casinos have a mildly depressing aura. Maybe it's because too many people are expecting to win and are being disappointed. Maybe it's the disappointment that permeates the air. On the other hand, we managed to maintain our own festive feelings and are very much looking forward to visiting again.

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