Hittin’ the casino from your wheelchairFeb 17 07:35
There are several things you’ll notice when you go to a casino in a wheelchair. For starters, when you pull up to the casino, you’ll find the seemingly endless amount of disability parking spots are always 80% full (even on a slow day). And once you enter you’ll see exactly why: There are old people everywhere and they'll also be permanently parked at the best slot machines the entire time you‘re there.
Gambling with a bunch of seniors isn’t all bad though. It has it perks - a lot of them won’t stare, they have more pressing concerns like cataracts and figuring out how they’ll gather their winnings in time for their 4 ‘o clock dinner. And of course there’s the accessibility aspect of the casino they bring to the table. A lot of seniors use scooters and they have money, so the casino caters to them even more than the ADA requires, providing big bathrooms with multiple wheelchair stalls, buttons at all the entrances of the casino and more. But the casino is far from a wheelchair-user’s paradise.
My main complaint: Slot machines with fused stools on the floor. Whoever thought it was a good idea to bolt a stool to the floor in any shape or form should be fired from life. They can not only never be moved, blocking wheelchair-users from using a machine indefinitely, they make it impossible to clean the floor underneath, becoming the arch-nemesis of floor cleaners everywhere. To sum up: Casino designers - no one likes fused stools (Sex and the City slots I’m looking at you)
Lucky for me, I wasn’t cursed with a gambling addiction. I subscribe to my Grandma’s gambling golden rule: Go in with $20 and once it’s gone, you leave. But I gotta admit, the energy on a casino floor can be intoxicating. Being in a place dripping with pretty colors, the noises, the possibility of making bookoo bucks everywhere you turn, is pretty great.
But despite that, the casino has the power to do something that’s even cooler than all of that: It can put you on the same level as everyone else, if even for awhile, and that is refreshing change of pace. And while that may be a gambler with equally shitty odds, at least you're in the same boat as everyone else for once, and that is a damn good feeling.
Which casinos do you think cater the best to people with disabilities?
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1. D | Feb 18 11:17
Been there, done that. Went to Vegas w/a friend during holiday's 2008/2009. Stayed at this monthly hotel joint off Fremont/6th. Eden Inn. Adam and Eve never came around. LOL Not much of a gambler to begin with, but it was interesting. Your right tho, mucho wheelchairs. Think I'll just stick to the occassional run out to an OTB parlor or horse track. I understand thorobreds better.
2. rob | Jun 09 09:28
1. I was on one of those slots without a chair and wondered 'why don't they have a chair here? I want to seat'. Now I know why there was no seat. Thanks for the info. 2. "the casino caters to them even more than the ADA requires," I thought that was hilarious. Money makes them do things they don't wanna. 3. Be careful with the 'energy'. You WILL become a compulsive gambler if you go more than twice a year. That's how I started, with the 'energy' and winning in the beginning. I know you are going to say 'not me'. Read about compulsive gambling. It's NOT about the money. It's about the 'energy', the escaping. Be careful, be very careful with casinos. They are the worse addiction in the market.
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Tiffiny Carlson is freelance writer and writes the “SCI Life” column for New Mobility. She's also a C6 quad from a diving accident that occurred when she was 14 years old. A lifelong resident of Minneapolis, Tiffiny has been a writer in the disability community for over 10 years and writes for several publications and blogs, as well as her personal blog BeautyAbility. Her work has also appeared in mainstream publications such as Nerve.com and Playgirl.