The Best Deal “to” the House

seminole_player_s_life.3050This is a piece a wrote for Seminole Player’s Life, a quarterly publication for the Seminole Casinos.

CLEARWATER, Fla.—Gamers looking for ways to stay one up on the house may want to use its bus service to do it.  I did. And I was $3 ahead before I even got to the casino. Plus, in the 40 minutes I spent on the bus I met some dynamic people and made a friend I just may have for life.

For $20 or $22, depending on the time you go, you get transportation to the casino, $25 in free play and a Player’s Club card. See? Already ahead. Not only do you have extra scratch, but you also have a card that earns points you can redeem for food, drink and gifts. If you play your club card right, you may just get a free lunch.

So I parked my car in a store parking lot no more than a mile from my place, and five minutes later my bus pulled up.

Dave the driver greeted me with a smile and a hello. My seat was clean and comfortable; the temp a just-right cool. I settled in and mused over the cranky faces behind the wheel in Friday-morning traffic.

After a few more stops, I got a seat mate. Tiny in stature, Cass Bush never stops smiling. Her vibrant energy and easy laugh eased my loneliness at being a single woman heading to the casino on my own. She told me she’s been riding the bus for four years, four times a week.

“I used to drive over there,” she explained. But then I had open-heart surgery and I didn’t want to drive medicated. I liked the bus so much I’ve been riding it ever since. I’ve found this is easier.”

As the Seminole Hardrock loomed ahead, Dave the driver stopped at a red light and announced that the bus would be loading at 1:45, leaving at 2 p.m.

Cass broke our conversation without missing a beat. “It’s Friday, Dave.”

“Is there a drawing today?” he asked.

“No but it’s Friday and we leave at 2:15.”

Dave smiled. “Okay.” He addressed the crowd. “We board at two and leave at 2:15.”

“Thank you,” Cass smiled. A couple of others chimed in with their thanks.

The day went by in a flash. An hour learning blackjack at the free lesson table and more spent at the slots, I found myself $6 ahead.

Outside the bus at 2:15, Dave waited to greet the few stragglers with a smile and a good-natured shake of his head.

Cass and I shared our stories on the way home. I told her about my Blackjack lesson.

“Oh no”, she said. “You should have told me you wanted to learn. I know how to win that game,” she smiled knowingly. She rummaged around in her purse for a piece of paper and a pen. “Here’s my number,” she said. “You give me a call and we’ll go play. I’ll teach you everything you need to know.”

That was perhaps my best win of the day.

Banner photo by vineszoocontact.



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