Tahlequah Daily Press

Checking It Out

February 19, 2008

Cherokee Casino: Great fun, food, folks

(Continued)

TAHLEQUAH DAILY PRESS —

Though there's much else to do (there's a golf course on the property, for one thing), Cherokee Casino Catoosa (hereafter I'll refer to it as CCC) caters to the gambler, both big-time and small, and if you haven't visited a tribally owned casino lately, you might be surprised. Things are different these days -- very much like you'd find in Vegas, in fact. About the only difference between the gaming floors in Vegas the one in Catoosa is that in Catoosa, you don't hear the clank of coins against the metal tray when someone wins a jackpot. At CCC (and other tribal casinos as well), you get a printout of a paper voucher, which you can either slide into another machine or turn in for money at a cashier.

Smoking is still allowed in casinos in Oklahoma, but most non-smokers won't be bothered by it at this facility. The ventilation system is one of the best, and although there's a subtle smell of smoke in the air, you can't see it, and your lungs won't sting the next day from breathing it. (Many of the hotel rooms, of course, are non-smoking, as are the main rooms of the restaurants.)

The excitement on any of the gaming floors is palpable with anticipation, laughing and casual camaraderie, and during our visit, we observed several people winning smaller jackpots. Amanda says there are more than 1,500 electronic games, both slots and video poker; 35 poker tables, featuring Texas Hold 'Em, Omaha poker, seven-card stud, Pai Gow and more; 37 table games, including Blackjack and others; a Bonus Roulette; and a Bonus Craps. The ever-popular progressive slot machines -- Wheel of Fortune is the best known -- are in abundance, linking slot machines in native American casinos across the country.

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