Monday, August 08, 2005
Ontario's Thousand Islands Casino shears more sheep each year than most wool farms.
This is a mighty mystery.
Follow the signs near Gananoque, and you arrive at what appears to be a failed Wal-Mart or Loblaws in a field. Inside this eyesore box is more security--and less fun--than most airports.
An Unsmiling Uniformed Greeter will decide if you should be allowed in. If she suspects you are under 50, you will be shepherded into a second line-up to produce two pieces of identification for a Large Uniformed Bald Guy. Prove you are 18. People obviously in their 30s and 40s were digging in their wallets when I was there. Or having their cameras confiscated.
Are we having fun yet?
Beyond the doors is an area smaller than a Canadian Tire store, filled with slot machines. It is patrolled by Large Uniformed Security People. A few random table games are under the yawning control of Uniformed Croupiers. You will notice there is much less sound than in a Vegas or Atlantic Casino. No yelling, no laughter. Are we having fun yet?
At the far end of the hall is an entry to the Grill. It is more brightly lit than the casino or most high school cafeterias. Here you will order your overpriced beer and a bump. Do try the Virgin Baah shooter. Thanks to Ontario's arcane liquor laws, drinking and gambling may never be mixed. No cocktails for high rollers.
But then, you can buy beer, wine and booze at many rural groceries. The province insists all city folk buy their drinks from lazy LCBO stores, conveniently located wherever the MPP of the government of the day insisted there be one.
In short, here is a sullen, imitation casino for sheep. It is a sad, insulting imitation of the real thing, where sheep are stripped of their money with Great Joy and Delight.
Ontario is politically correct so it is a "charity casino." The charity of course, is the Ontario government which thanks to your participation, can ignore good causes they really don't give a darn about. You have bought them The Freedom from Guilt.
Aren't you taxed enough? Casinos are a tax on the stupid. Why would you give them a cent? If you are wise, you will just take a nice snapshot of the large rock in parking lot C2. And leave. Shaking your head.
Is it more humiliating to work at the Thousand Islands Charity Casino Penitentiary? Or to actually spend a dime there as a customer? Discuss.