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Where do I even start?

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Kearneysville, West...
posts: 1
Where do I even start?

One of the worst experiences ever and I go there 2-3 times a month. It started by it took forever for an elevator to come. The elevator let us into a non smoking part of the casino where low and behold a woman is standing there in the middle of it all smoking. Most of the tables were there but roped off. We were told they did not have licenses for these games and that the commission was close until Tuesday. God forbid anyone work over a weekend or a Holiday. The blackjack tables were all 100 minimums. Are you kidding me? We decided to go watch the races but could not find a place to sit inside. Why you ask? Because after 5 rows, the rest are blocked off because you are sitting above the poker room. The poker room not in the casino. another great management decision. People were angry and upset. 10 minutes later, they opened it up saying that since the poker room was not open until 8, there was no fire hazard. What, are the seats going to collapse on the patrons in the poker room? Then after 15 minutes, 6 security personnel show up telling us we have to leave. Me and another guy informed them that security opened it up for us 15 minutes ago. They then got on their walkie talkies and decided it was okay. I went to get food but since they built the poker room below us, the food is now only on the first floor. Of course that means 1 cashier and long lines. How about now that you have a casino, you stock your food places with personnel. I am firm believer that this happens because of mismanagement. Al Britton in my opinion shoud be fired but of course everything will be chalked up by the mangement team to being new. Stay away from Charlestown or excuse me, Hollywood Casino until they figure out we the players dictate the games, not vice versa. It is just not worth the hassle for the first few weeks. I hit the DD of 9-1 for 313.20 and then left with their money with no thought to come back anytime soon.

Charles Town, West...
posts: 122
reviews: 1
1. Re: Where do I even start?

You got that right. I went there Friday night and last night to see if anything had changed. Keep in mind I live less than a mile from CTRS, I mean HC at CTRS. Friday was unbelievable, with only a few tables open and people lined up 8 deep at each one. I couldn't even see what most of the games were. Last night it was a little better except for the extremely high minimums. I wanted to jump on a craps table until I saw that the minimum was $50. That's unreal. Even in AC on a busy night you can find $25 min craps at night. Blackjack minimums were $100 AND $200. All of these tables were still full though. 3-card and 4-card poker had $25 min which isn't that bad but they were packed. I coouldn't see the LIR mins nut it looked like $50. The signs are so small at the tables you have to get very close to read them. I usually go around 6-8 times a month so I will give updates occasionally since it's no big deal for me to stop in and walk around before I go home. PNG needs to get it together and get some organization in this place. They should not have annlounced a grand opening unless they were fully prepared to handle the mob that was this weekend. I'd be pretty angry if I had driven a long distance to play and found ridiculous table mins and a mob scene like it was this weekend.

Manassas, VA
Destination Expert
for Manassas
posts: 544
reviews: 197
2. Re: Where do I even start?

It was just bad all the way around, wasn't it?

I went on Sunday (July 4). I arrived at 11 am and it was very busy already.

I walked in the main entrance (I used valet parking) and I could not even get down the steps. A large bus load was just let out and they were at the bottom of the steps, stuck there because gawkers around the tables were 8 deep and blocking whatever walking area there was so that people could get around.

I can appreciate wanting to put the tables front and center for maximum exposure, but I think they need to re-think the amount of square footage allotted between the tables and the bottom of the steps. I would think the Fire Marshall would want to review this if nothing else.

With the tables all open down the middle of the front entrance, the only way to get to either the left side of the tables, is to squeeze between the slot machines and the railing around the Food Court. There was so much traffic trying to squeeze by there that there were 8-10 people in line waiting to pass. The Food Court ended up taking a lot of the foot traffic and people were dodging around tables in the Food Court trying to get around the poker tables. I’m sure the diners were thrilled having so many people whizzing by them while they were eating.

As others said, many of the tables weren’t open. From what I could see (and it wasn’t much because they were 8 deep standing around the tables) the tables weren’t full. There were more gawkers than players. I could not get close enough to see (a) what the games were and (b) what the costs were. The only sign I saw was “Three Card Poker.” I must know this game by another name, because I have never heard of Three Card Poker.

I was surprised at the amount of gawkers around the poker tables. I suspect that perhaps many have never had the opportunity to go to Vegas or AC and were interested. Hopefully this will die down. I was also surprised at how close the gawkers were allowed to stand behind the players. In Vegas and AC people keep a respectful distance. I don’t know if I would want to play with people literally breathing on me. I was in Vegas for Super Bowl Weekend this year and the casino was packed but you didn’t have the intense gawker factor like I saw this weekend. They really should push those people back.

I imagine that the casino was not prepared for the crowds on Friday and Saturday. By Sunday at 11 am they were extremely short staffed everywhere. The casino had clearly taken a serious beating prior to my arrival. As mentioned above, huge banks of slot machines were roped off and unavailable for play. However, the number of slot machines that were legally playable were out of order. Some were taped closed and many had malfunctioned and gone out of service recently. At any given time, there were at least 2 machines in each row out of service and 2 or more with blinking lights with players waiting for an attendant due to a machine malfunction. Attendants were scares all day long. I have never seen anything like it.

In addition, the casino was in bad shape cleanliness-wise. The bathrooms had clearly taken a beating overnight. No bath tissue in many stalls, no hand towels and no soap at most sinks. It got better later in the afternoon.

The soda fountain areas were out of soda and ice all day long. So many customers reported it to hostesses and attendants but it was never taken care of the entire time I was there. I suspect they ran out of supplies and being a Sunday/holiday, I doubt they could get anything in until Tuesday. I believe they severely underestimated volume for this weekend.

At one point, the lights were going on and off on the ceiling, it was over the poker tables and I have to think that was distracting to the players.

I had lunch at the Sundance Grill. At noon there was a 15 minute wait because they only had 2 servers and were trying to get more servers to come in so they couldn’t seat people.

For dinner I ate at the buffet. The lines were not bad at 6 pm. They had ample staff.

The Food Court seemed hit or miss. At times when I passed it was dead, at other times it was lightly busy. Not all of the food court venues were open. I think the Noodle place doesn’t open for another month or so.

I did not go near the race track area. I suspect that there are cheating concerns if people are above the poker tables for some reason. Perhaps I’ve watched too many episodes of Las Vegas, but my guess is that there are a LOT of rules for tables that we aren’t aware of and that this is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of inconveniences for non-table patrons.

I left at 8:30 pm and the place was incredibly busy, very difficult to walk around anywhere in the casino and looked to only be getting busier as the night wore on.

Hopefully they will get the kinks worked out soon.

Manassas, VA
Destination Expert
for Manassas
posts: 544
reviews: 197
3. Re: Where do I even start?

I sent a shorter version of my above post to the casino as well. They need as much feedback as possible if they are going to get it right.

I encourage everyone to use the "Contact Us" form on their website to give them feedback.

lpm5
posts: 6
4. Re: Where do I even start?

I went back to Charles Town today to see if things had gotten better and, sadly, they have not. I arrived at 11:30 am expecting to find a smaller crowd than opening night and reasonable table limits. At 11:30 am the minimums were:

Craps- $25.00, Blackjack-$100.00, LIR-$15.00, Roulette- $25.00, 3 card poker- $25.00. Again, many tables in the main gaming area were closed. One pit boss indicated that they were still awaiting liscenses so they could not open any of the other tables. One patron requested pit bosses maybe taking a list for players waiting for a seat but to no avail. Just terrible. As best as I could see not many people were winning money and the dealers were not being toked much. The upsetting part was how much the players were complaining about AC being so much better yet they continued to feed Charlestown money on top of money. I don't blame CT because there is no competition so they can make the playing environment as miserable as possible because demand is high and supply low. I threw my player's card away and will resume my patronage of AC. I am $25-50 dollar a hand bettor and receive pretty decent comps in AC and Vegas. I am disappointed because I live within an hour of CT but with high table minimums and lack of tables I can't do it.

Northern VA
posts: 392
reviews: 2
5. Re: Where do I even start?

Sounds like I will have to keep travelling to Vegas and AC. I'm a low roller ... rarely going over $15/min for BJ (avg bet is probably $15, even on $5/min tables). I can't imagine them being able to keep the mins that high for too long. For a decent session, you'd need at least a $1K bankroll for $100/min BJ. The novelty of having table games nearby will hopefully wear off sooner rather than later, and decent table minimums will be offered.

posts: 345
reviews: 39
6. Re: Where do I even start?

Thanks to everyone for giving us a bird's eye view of what went on at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races for the opening week (4th of July weekend 2010) I am now glad that I did not bother going and saved myself from frustration.

washington DC
posts: 2
reviews: 5
7. Re: Where do I even start?

I went on the 3rd... same story as the rest on here. Such a S-hole. I won't be back anytime soon.

if the had half a brain about them they would have advertised the opening a few weeks later after doing a soft unnounced opening.

the one thing no one meantioned on here is the lack of security. i saw several fights break out over spots at tables and no staff did anything about it. unreal.

Manassas, VA
Destination Expert
for Manassas
posts: 544
reviews: 197
8. Re: Where do I even start?

Cross Post from Hollywood Casino thread:

FYI - there was an article in the Sunday Washington Post available on WashingtonPost.com called "Poker at Charles Town Races and Greenbrier."

They cover Greenbrier first and then Charles Town.

Nothing we haven't reported ourselves already.

9. Re: Where do I even start?

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