To get an idea of how big Indian casinos are in the United States, one need look no further than the WinStar World Casino, in Thackerville, Oklahoma.
Thackerville itself isn’t very impressive, there’s less than 500 people that live here, but it happens to have a casino in its midst, and not just any casino either.
The casino used to be called the WinStar Casino, but a recent expansion had them changing the name of it to WinStar World Casino. The addition of world in the name isn’t pretentious at all though.
There are only two casinos in the world with over 500,000 square feet of gaming space, the Venetian Macau in China, and the WinStar World Casino in Oklahoma. Three of the world’s five biggest casinos are U.S. based Indian casinos in fact, WinStar, Foxwoods, and Mohegan Sun, so these are major players on the world casino scene for sure.
For years, the American land based casino industry was segregated in just two locations, Las Vegas and Atlantic City, and governments had been reluctant to permit casinos in other areas of the country. Once Indian tribes had their sovereignty recognized to allow them to build casinos on their land, they stepped in and expanded the casino market in the country, and some of them have been wildly successful.
The WinStar World Casino is now bigger than anything they have in Vegas, it’s actually bigger than the 3 biggest casinos in Vegas, combined, to give you an idea of the scale here. Of course, there are a lot of casinos in Las Vegas and the total gaming space there is many times what the WinStar boasts, but this little town of 445 people in Oklahoma is now solidly on the map.
Bigger may not necessarily mean better, but when you look at how many people visit this quite isolated casino, you know that they must have something going for them. They are in a pretty good location actually, on the border between Oklahoma and Texas, only about an hour away from the 6.5 million people in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, and two hours away from Oklahoma City’s 1.3 million people.
There are other casinos in Texas and Oklahoma, but none of a scale that even comes close to the WinStar. The Winstar World Casino is a true destination as well, a place to spend your vacation at, and for a lot of people, one that is within easy driving distance as well.
The WinStar World Casino Property
The Winstar Oklahoma is a sprawling property that first opened up in 2004, run by the Chickasaw Indian Nation of Oklahoma. The casino was expanded significantly in 2009, and in 2013-2014, they added a further 1000 hotel rooms, bringing their total up to 1495 rooms, including 100 in an off site location.
They also feature a 3,500 seat Global Event Center, which brings in many top entertainment acts, and they also have other popular amenities and features that guests expect a large casino complex to have.
They have added the word Resort to the title of the place recently and this can indeed be considered to be a resort, especially considering the sheer size of their hotel accommodations. They also get a lot of day visitors as well though, especially from the Dallas area, so this is a great place not only to stay but to just visit for the day and pack in some great casino action.
There are three different hotel towers here, in addition to The Inn at Winstar, located nearby, with 100 additional rooms, and a free 24 hour shuttle service to the main property.
While the accommodations are on the more modest side compared with some other big and more glitzy casinos, this is a new and very up to date facility that provides a comfortable stay for its many guests.
There are two pools here to be enjoyed, for those who want to get a break from the casino action and spend a little time outdoors. There are two spas as well in addition to a fitness center to take care of your physical well being. There’s also a 27 hole golf course for your further enjoyment. You’ll also find several shops to check out as well.
There are plenty of good dining options here, including 3 upscale restaurants, 8 casual dining spots, and 6 places to get a quick bite. The WinStar also has 4 bars and lounges, a night club, the large Global Event Center, and even an outdoor arena which operates during the summer.
The Casino At WinStar Oklahoma
So there’s lots to do at this resort besides gamble in the casino, but the casino is the main attraction of course. It all starts with their electronic games, and there are over 7,400 of them spread across 8 gaming plazas.
Stakes run from one cent all the way up to $25, to suit every gambling budget. No other casino in the world has this many gaming machines, and this is a slot player’s dream come true, or as close to it as you can possibly get.
They also have a special room called Casino 360 which takes the light and sound experience of playing electronic casino games to a whole new level. You can even get your favorite sporting events streamed live to your gaming machine so you can both play and watch sports at the same time.
They also have 98 table games to enjoy here, including Blackjack, Double Deck Blackjack, Roulette, Craps, EZ Baccarat, Midi Baccarat, Pai Gow Poker, Ultimate Texas Holdem, 3 Card Poker, Let It Ride, Mississippi Stud, and Royal Match 21.
The poker room here is a large and very impressive one, with 46 poker tables and 19,000 square feet of space. WinStar takes their poker seriously and you’ll find all the action you can handle right here. There’s a restaurant right in the poker room to take care of your dining needs as well.
WinStar tops things off with bingo, keno, and off track betting, ensuring that all your gambling needs are well taken care of. This is an impressive property indeed and well worth a visit to, especially if you want to see what a world class casino really looks like.