Casinos have consistently offered ample opportunities for gaming and gambling fun, but these havens of entertainment are rapidly evolving.
“Today, our casinos are more than just bingo halls,” says Robert Tehee, director of marketing at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tulsa.
With 454 rooms and suites, Hard Rock offers a bevy of amenities beyond traditional gaming – and many are realizing they can travel just a few hours to enjoy all types of fun at the casino.
Leadership at Choctaw Casinos and Resorts has also taken notice of the shift in goals of some of their guests.
“There’s an expectation for a resort experience,” says Wendy Carter, executive director of marketing for the Choctaw Nation Division of Commerce. “[They want] something for the family, and other things to do besides gaming. We call it ‘gaming plus.’”
Both Hard Rock and Choctaw present a wide range of options beyond the gaming floor. At Hard Rock, guests can find restaurants – both casual and fine dining – a sports bar, and a country music and dance hall. Many guests even come for community events and weddings hosted at the facility.
“These amenities allow them to come in and experience something that maybe they’re wanting to do initially, and then we can get them out on the gaming floor in hopes that they love the games, win some money and start their gaming adventure from there,” says Tehee.
Choctaw Casinos and Resorts boasts a spa, pools and a hefty line-up of concerts. They have also branched out with offerings for the whole family, including restaurants, a bowling alley, cinema, arcade, family-friendly pool and numerous food court-style dining options.
Gaming and gambling continue to be the most popular draws – but even gaming itself has seen changes in recent years. In part due to more adults today having grown up with video games, the popularity of “skill-based” games has seen a rise in recent years, says Carter. These take away the random nature one might expect and instead involve some critical thinking.
“We do see that the consumer does enjoy that kind of game that puts a little bit of the outcome in their own hands,” she says.
But Carter goes on to add that the traditional, three-reel slot machines remain the favorites, despite the waxing and waning popularity of other types.
Whether visitors are there strictly for gaming or to enjoy some of the many amenities, tribal casinos continue to change with the times and offer their guests all the attractions and activities they could imagine.
“It’s an exciting time; there’s a lot on the horizon for tribal gaming in Oklahoma,” says Carter.
A Look Ahead