There is much more to Colorado than indian gambling. Although its indian gambling facilities have been around far longer, and they're all absolutely high-profile perations, brick and mortar gambling in this state has received an additional thrust in 1991.
The new law passed in 1991, allowed limited stakes gambling, in a few historic mining towns (Cripple Creek, Central City and Black Hawk). The max amount of a bet was set to $5 and efforts were made to preserve the historic nature of the whole undertaking. While in the beginning these efforts paid nice dividends, lately there's been less and less attention dedicated to this idea. Apparently, history is only worth something for some people while they can reap benefits off it, as soon as something more lucrative appears, it gets tossed aside. Hopefully in the future there will be more pressure on gambling enterprises to preserve the heritage of these mining towns.
In our continuing tour of the Colorado brick and mortar gambling facilities, today, we take a closer look at some of the casinos from Black Hawk.
Located in the heart of downtown Black Hawk, the Black Hawk Station Casino is one of the hotspots for local gamblers. Compared to the indian casinos presented in our previous article, the Black Hawk Station Casino is a small establishment, its primary appeal being the cosy feel it's got about it.
Back in the days, there used to be live music in the weekends (in the bar upstairs) but unfortunately, for economical reasons, it got cancelled.
You guessed it: they filled up the place with slot machines instead. Obviously, the one arm bandit was more profitable than live music.
In every other respect, though, the casino has retained its friendliness. The staff is great and there's still a bar downstairs that serves refreshments, snacks and hot dogs for gamblers whose hunger is not exclusively money-related.
The game selection is, however, somewhat limited. There are over 90 slots, and video poker machines. The progressives are only in-house ones, and there are no poker or blackjack tables.
The atmosphere in Black Hawk Station Casino, a place known for its wild parties and good live music in the past, has certainly cooled off recently, especially since it's been sold to the Wild Card Casino and Saloon, another interesting spot – with a gambler's eye - in Black Hawk.
The Wild Card Casino strives for a more authentic look and feel, and they are pretty successful at it. This one too, is a small establishment, hardly representing any sort of competition for the Ute casinos in Ignacio and Towaoc. Again, they don't have any poker or blackjack tables at The Wild Card Casino and Saloon, the main focus is on slots and video poker.
You'll find about 220 slot machines here, with everything from 5-cent denominations to $5. The progressive video poker is linked up with other facilities in the state, so they do have state-wide progressives at the Wild card Casino.
The authenticity is upheld by the live music (every weekend) and the country meals offered. They even have a small shop in the back with reasonable prices. Everything is built around an 'Old West' theme and the Wild Card Casino and Saloon does a pretty good job of creating just that kind of atmosphere.
Continuing with our tour of the Black Hawk gambling establishments, we check out Bullwhacker's, one of the larger casinos in downtown Black Hawk.
Finally, a casino with a full restaurant upstairs, and free valet parking. Bullwhacker's is a package deal, in the sense that there are two more casinos belonging to the same ownership: one of them is right next to Bullwhacker's, the Bullpen casino (they serve pizza here) while the other one is on Chase street, the Silver Hawk Casino. The Sliver Hawk is reachable from Bullwhacker's via a free shuttle, and it delivers probably the most genuine western feel of the three.
Gambling at these three casinos is confined to slots and video poker too, though they do have state-wide progressives for the video poker machines.
The lack of live poker or blackjack games (especially poker) is quite a big disadvantage these casinos present, but hey, you can't always have everything, can you?
The casinos that we've presented you in this article are only a handful of what Black Hawk, Colorado can offer gambling-wise. Be sure to check back, as we plan to feature all (or at least most) brick and mortar gambling opportunities in the state of Colorado.