Traveling Around - Casinos - Natchez, Mississippi - Magnolia Bluffs Casino
We had no difficulty locating the casino. As with most Mississippi casinos, it is located on water therefore had to be in one direction off of Canal St. It's a block or two off Canal to the northwest, When you arrive, you're not sure if you're going to wind up in the river or in the casino. The road to the casino is as steep as any you'll care to drive on.
The location was the site of a sawmill that operated from 1828 until 1962. Although plans for the casino were approved in 2008, financing problems delayed construction. The plans were modified to make it one floor instead of two and the opening was on December 18, 2012.
We visited on a Saturday night and it was very busy. Most machines had players at them. The table games were active. We didn't locate the poker room during our tour of the facility. When you enter you are at the center of the action. The Player's Club is to the left and is sort of combined with the Gift Shop. There are rest rooms to the right and a buffet.
When we got there we headed for the Player's Club to get a card and, hopefully, some free play for being new members. I also asked abut a birthday promotion since mine had just occurred. We each got $10 as new members and I got to spin a wheel for something more. I figured it was an indicator of things to come when I got the lowest amount on the wheel - $5 free play. Could have hit as much as $50. Ah, well, it's free
Went looking for video poker where we could use our free play. Made a round of the casino and saw only three video poker machines. There were lots of new slots and I enjoyed standing and watching a few major jackpots being hit on penny machines and watching the pennies roll upward. The three video poker machines that we saw were multi-game machines that had Keno on them and two of the machines had Keno players at them. The player on the third game looked ensconced so we just wandered on, looking around.
In the center of the casino is a bar that is a big square with seating for perhaps 40 people. As we passed it, Sharon wonder if there was bartop video. Good thought. There was no customers at the bar and we had our choice of some 40 machines. Payoff tables were nothing to brag about so we sat at the most convenient and figured out how to use the free play. I wound up with $22.75 from my $15 and Sharon wound up with $23 from her $10.
Then, the casino showed how new and inexperienced the employees and the casino was.
We'd decided to use the proceeds from any free play to pay for dinner so we pooled our money and searched out the buffet. Earlier in the day while at the Visitor's Center, I'd picked up an ad for the casino that specified the buffet at $14.75. When the cashier rang up the two of us and I paid with the 2 twenties from our cashout, my change was $3.50. I very mildly said something like "That's a little more than we thought it would be". She explained that the pricing was $17.95 each. I pulled out the ad that I'd had enough sense to bring along and showed it to her.
That was cause for her to calll her supervisor because she didn't know how - or was prohibited from backing out a transaction and re-entering it. The supervisor looked at the ad and looked puzzled. "We picked it up this afternoon at the Visitor's Center", Sharon volunteered. The supervisor called over the manager of the buffet and explained the situation to her. Somehow a security guard got involved at this point. Patiently, we waited. There was much murmuring and consternation. The three of them had obvioously had not seen the ad. The manager called over someone else that was up the chain of responsibility. They, too, looked flummoxed. Sharon and I waited patiently.
Finally, the cashier asked for the change she'd given me from the $40 I'd used to pay for the meal. I did so, and she gave me back my $40. I asked "Are we ready to just start over again?"
"Nope," she told me. "The bosses decided to just comp your meal because of the confusion."
Well, happy day, I thought. Only bad thing at this point was that I had to give Sharon back her $23 that she'd won and donated to the cost of the meal.
We got seated in a very crowded buffet where the food quality was only so-so but our costs were such that we weren't complaining. We'd noticed a sign on the way in that proclaimed they were now serving beer and that customers were limited to one 12 ounce draft. We ordered beer to drink and within about 10 minutes our waiter was back offering us another beer. When asked about the limit of one, he obviously had never heard of such a restriction and continued to serve us beer throughout the meal. When we had finished, he came by and offered another one to carry out of the buffet.
I guess the casino industry also has the problems of different departments doing things without telling anyone, chains of command with broken links, and inadequate training for employees.
I think that this casino would be a lot of fun if a time were found that it wasn't busy. They had table games and a poker room that would be fun to find and try. I'd guess that it would be a reasonably easy game. If we're back in this area again, I wouldn't hesitate to find a convenient hotel (I never did quite understand where the hotel associated with the casino was located), stay here and play for a bit.