The Good: Very friendly staff, Laid-back atmosphere
The Bad: Bland and unmemorable
The Basics: If the average Las Vegas casino is a flashy girl who everybody wants to date, the Tuscany Casino is her plain sister, who is sitting by the phone.
I tend to root for the underdogs. I like underdogs; I ought to, I've been one most of my life. So when I was going through my list of casinos yet to review from my recent trip to Las Vegas (I'm down to the last two!), I was pretty much ready to pan the Tuscany Casino. Then, I began to go through the materials I brought back from Las Vegas, including paperwork I picked up at the Tuscany. It was then that I discovered a map featuring the casinos of Las Vegas and the poor little Tuscany wasn't on it. My heart sank. It's the underdog casino and I was about to sink it!
Actually, the Tuscany was on the map, I was just looking at the wrong place, but it's no surprise as I sit to write this review that others have reviewed the Tuscany as a Hotel. It's an honor to be the first to write a review focusing on the casino aspects and the truth is, this is a very small casino and it is definitely trading on word of mouth. Honestly, as I look over the materials I brought back from it, all I remember was that the people at the Tuscany (staff) were exceptionally friendly and the place was pretty small. My mother wanted to go there and I took her and it was typical, save that it was very small.
Tuscany Casino: came in with $5.00, left with $0.00.
The Tuscany is a large hotel and very small casino located at 255 East Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, Nevada. This is just a block over from The Strip and Flamingo Road seems to be one of the major cross streets with the Strip, so it has a pretty decent number of casinos on it, too. The Tuscany is near Terrible's which is another fairly small casino, with a real kick-butt buffet.
I cannot speak to parking at the Tuscany; I walked there from Terrible's the morning of my four casino day.
The Tuscany Casino is a fairly small casino in Las Vegas and it feels like it is doing its best to squeeze into an already packed niche. The casino floor is not uncomfortably packed, but the 800 video slot machines are arranged such that it feels like they have made good use out of very limited space. The ceilings are not that high, so perhaps that is why it has a slightly cramped feel in the casino.
The low ceilings do not do much to help dissipate the cigarette and cigar smoke that is prevalent in the casino, but given that when I was there, there were less than fifty people in the casino, the generally low attendance served the same purpose. In other words, when there aren't many people at the Tuscany, it does not seem very smoky. One of the games I sat down at I had an issue (a cigar smoker plopped down next to me and began puffing away), but I moved away and was fine even just ten machines away.
As for the "atmosphere" of the Tuscany, the serving women wore a pretty standard bathing-suit style outfit and, like the clientele at the Tuscany, they seemed more mature than at many of the other casinos. What I remember most about the "atmosphere" were the people at the desk when I signed up for the player's card. They were friendly, gave great eye contact and seemed very knowledgeable. There were two workers at the desk and they both seemed happy to be there and when I approached, they had a nice banter going between themselves and while waiting on me, they had a pretty good back and forth. This is important to me because of all the places I went, these two employees distinguished themselves as the ones in that capacity who seemed to be having the most fun. Just as the dancing serving women of the Rio (link below) seemed happiest at what they were doing, the desk staff at the Tuscany seemed happiest and most competent at theirs.
As far as other aspects of "atmosphere," this is a relatively nondescript casino, especially on the casino floor.
Gaming Options/Player's Club
I have a very simple gambling philosophy: I sit down at a slot machine with $5.00. I work it up to $10 or down to zero. I know my limits: I can afford to lose $5.00. So, when I am above that, I'll usually work it up or whittle it down to the next even $5.00. Have a strategy, know your limits: the Tuscany Casino worked quite well for me. I came in, lost my five dollars on the first machine I played at and spent the rest of my time (waiting for my mother to finish her gambling) looking around the place.
I'm primarily a slot machine player and I have no shame in admitting, I tend to like the ones that are more video game-like and have more girly themes, like Sea Monkeys and Enchanted Unicorn. At the Tuscany it was the Pufferfish game that cost me my five dollars. The Tuscany had a pretty impressive selection of video slot machines, especially for such a small casino. In addition to a variety of Egyptian themed machines, they had Dean Martin's Sing-A-Long, The Munsters, Wheel Of Fortune, Frog Prince, and Invaders From Planet Moo-lah, among others. This was a decent little casino in that regard.
For those who might be into games of chance and card games instead of the fun video slot machines, there were very few. There were only a few tables with table games that I saw, but they included blackjack, roulette wheels, craps, and something called Super Fun 21 (seriously, that was what the sign said). While they didn't seem to have a formal Keno area, they did have video keno. They had a small sports betting area in one corner of the casino, so that was clearly not a priority either.
There is also a small poker room.
There is a player's club at the Tuscany, which is the Tuscany Player's Club. Signing up is easy and there was no line when I went to sign up. Signing up entails the member to pick a card out of a vat of plastic cards. Each card is supposed to have somewhere from $5.00 to $500 on it. The one I selected was supposed to have $5.00 free play, but when I tried to access it following the directions at the machine I went to, it did not seem to acknowledge the supposedly free money.
Supposedly, I was given 1000 points as well. Points at the Tuscany seem to be accrued based on every penny bet, so it should be fairly easy to accrue points, though I did not see a single thing saying what points could be redeemed for. One presumes, then, that everything that may be purchased with points costs an excessive number of points.
The Tuscany Casino is a very classy place, but the priority does seem to be on the hotel side. As a result, the only entertainment I found for the casino was access to a golf course and the hotel's pool.
The Tuscany was part of a four casino day for me, so I did not dine at this casino. However, the Tuscany was the one that tempted me most to change that plan (though I would have been severely under dressed for the best options there)! The Tuscany has five dining options, ranging from a coffee bar near the pool to some of the nicest, sit-down dining at the Tuscany Gardens Italian Restaurant (which had some of the nicest looking food I saw in Las Vegas . . . but is very fancy!).
In between those two options are a Mexican restaurant, a sports bar and a cafe which seemed most like a family restaurant. Next year when I go back to Las Vegas, it is my intent to go on a date and the Tuscany Gardens is certainly in the running!
The Tuscany has a very hotel-like gift shop. The focus seems mostly on snacks, toiletries, souvenir t-shirts and knickknacks. The Tuscany is not a place capitalizing on shopping.
The Tuscany is not exactly a part of a Las Vegas adventure. It's small, a little cramped and simple. There is no flash and that limits the fun some, especially for those who go to Las Vegas for a Vegas Experience. As a casino, there are many, many other places that are better to stop at.
As for the ultimate "recommend," objectively it's not much of a casino, so I'll rate it earnestly what it deserves. But will I stop there again? Probably, yes. After all, I'm rooting for the underdog.
For other destination reviews, please visit my reviews of:
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
The Spam Museum
For other travel reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!
© 2011, 2008 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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