By John Liu
NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
My friend, Amos, Dhairya, and I had been planning to head to Muckleshoot Casino in Auburn to check out their new VRcade.
Muckleshoot partnered with VR Studios to become the first casino in the nation to bring wireless Virtual Reality gaming to its guests.
With the Northwest Asian Weekly’s monthly $10 Match Play coupons, we were ready to have some fun and make some money. I was excited to check out the $1 Blackjack and Roulette games, because where else can I find casino games requiring just $1 to play.
Of course no casino trip would be complete without indulging ourselves at the buffet! For the non-smokers, be sure to look for Entrance 2, as that is their designated non-smoking entrance. The non-smoking section has grown significantly since the last time I was there. I read there are over 35 table games and 1,000 slot machines in the non-smoking area now.
The Sunday Spicy Bay buffet brunch had a great variety of food for only $19. The Asian cuisine was quite noticeable. Amos wanted seafood, but didn’t want to exert the effort needed to get crab meat out of its shell. Oh, Amos! So he settled on grabbing large plates of clams. Eventually, he wiped out three large plates and said, “Clams are good.” That was the understatement of the year since he must have eaten at least 100. I also ate a lot and ended my buffet with a delicious almond pudding with lychees.
Now that we were full, we were ready to get our Virtual Reality on!
The VR is a welcome addition, but felt a little lacking. No one was playing at the VRcade when we got there and it felt like we were the only three people to play all day. We were able to select from five games, but the VR games could handle only two players at a time. Unfortunately, we were forced to stay in a small boxed grid the entire game. There wasn’t a single game that allowed any kind of forward movement, and I felt stuck the whole time. If the VR area could be expanded for a full first person shooter game with multiple players, I would say it would have some amazing potential. My advice to the casino is the VRcade should be offered as complimentary for people who gambled for a few hours and need a change of pace. You may even be able to use a fitness perspective to get people off their butts and do something else. I know casinos would rather keep players sitting down and dumping money onto tables or in machines as long as possible, but casinos need to come up with new marketing ideas. Otherwise, I have to decide between spending $5 on a VR game for 3 minutes or gamble it away!
When we got to the table games, the $1 Blackjack table was full and we had to wait our turn. We passed the time by playing $1 Roulette. I usually don’t play Roulette, as it’s notorious for having a 5% house edge.
Eventually, a player left the $1 Blackjack table and Amos took a seat. I thought it was great that casinos came up with a way to keep dealers occupied during slow times. Then I realized that the $1 Blackjack game was paying even money rather than 3:2. I told Amos afterwards, but he didn’t care. He still felt the $1 Blackjack had good entertainment value.
I’m quite pleased at the amount of unique entertainment available at Muckleshoot. I remember the good ole days of Indian Casino trips and coming back with all my clothes reeking of cigarette smoke. I can’t wait to see what other changes the Muckleshoot Casino will have the next time I visit.
John can be reached at email@example.com.