The Good: Some good games, Lax security
The Bad: Smoky atmosphere, Lack of flash, Location
The Basics: Underwhelming in every way, Mount Airy Casino is nestled in the Pocono Mountains and is very easy to pass by.
My wife and I hit a lot of casinos when we travel (she is SO looking forward to Las Vegas later this year!) and as such, it might seem like no big deal when she looks at me blankly when I name a casino we went to and asks "Which one is that?" The truth is, though, there has only been a single casino she has reacted that way to and while I was initially considering Mount Airy Casino Resort an "average" casino, I took my wife's reaction as something of an omen that this was the appropriate time to downgrade this casino.
Moreover, the fundamental problem with Mount Airy is not anything that it does, but rather what it doesn't do. Mount Airy is a remarkably indistinct casino with no flash, no gimmicks, no substance. The casino is entirely forgettable and I, for my money, want a casino that leaves me both with memories of the time I had there and enthusiastic about returning. Mount Airy was only memorable to my wife and I because when we visited, she was under twenty-one and she was not proofed getting into the casino. Otherwise, the games, atmosphere and entire experience was unremarkable and that is the death knell of a casino experience. Moreover, because there is nothing around Mount Airy, this is a long way out of one's way for such an indistinct casino experience.
Mount Airy Casino: came in with $5.00, left with $15.00.
Mount Airy is a small casino located at Woodland Road in Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania. We came across signs for Mount Airy while traveling back from New York City through Pennsylvania. This is fairly easy to find simply from roadside signs along Interstate 84 - a major east/west route running through Pennsylvania. Woodland Road is off PA-611; Mapquest and yahoo directions are quite precise with the above address.
Mount Airy has a large parking area near the casino and it was about eighty percent when we went through, which was interesting considering it was a Thursday morning. Given that this is the only building around for about a mile, it is the main attraction in this area.
Mount Airy Casino is a small casino in Eastern Pennsylvania and it looks small on the outside, but has an intriguing shape with very high ceilings to make it feel bigger inside. All of the ceilings are very high, all of the carpets are clean and the place feels like one massive hotel lobby or a very generic casino. To get to the main gaming floor, one needs to go up some stairs, pass by a security officer. Once inside, we were underwhelmed because of the lack of dazzle, gimmick or flash. There is little sense of style here, just the cold, hard reality of coming to game, despite the walls being colored fairly neutral earth tones.
The casino is spaced and dressed up like any number of other casinos, evoking a general memory of a hotel lobby. The main gaming floor is huge and actually is spaced and arranged for ease of movement, with some limits. Banks of video slots are fairly regular and have pretty decent stretches before one runs into a perpendicular bank which forces one to either stop and gamble or turn. Mount Airy had a fair selection of many of the video slots that it had.
The high ceilings should help dissipate the cigarette and cigar smoke that is prevalent in the casino, but there was still a pretty significant amount of cigarettes and cigar smoke around the establishment and a large number of people there were smoking, but it was not oppressive. For those who are sensitive to smoky environments, this casino has annoyingly little in the way of separations for nonsmokers. Indeed, the whole casino is one large gaming floor. The problematic aspect here is that there are no clear delineations between the smoking and nonsmoking areas.
As for the "atmosphere" of the Mount Airy, this is a casino trading on the gambling, not much more. The workers on the casino floor all wore suits and pantsuits. Women are in no way exploited in this environment and the servers wore tasteful tuxedo shirts and slacks. The floor staff blended right in with the gamblers.
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 Mount Airy Casino worked quite well for me. I arrived, signed up for the player's club card and was smirked at when I asked if there were any freebies for signing up. There were not. I played my five dollars, got up quickly and let my partner play with some of it (the security here was not the most vigilant) and we left ahead after about an hour of underwhelming play. I found games I enjoyed playing, so this was a pretty easy casino for us to get in and get out of.
Having had pretty extensive experience with the video slot machines, I know what I like. I tend to enjoy the slots that are more girly themed or video game-like. Mount Airy had a surprisingly light selection of video slot machines and ultimately, all I ended up playing was "Crystal Enchantment." Some of the new games they were highlighting included Deal Or No Deal, Gold Fish and Blazin' 7's. This casino had a remarkably standard collection of video slots, with games Mystic Mermaid, Enchanted Unicorn, Cleopatra, Reel Gems, Clara T, Wheel Of Fortune and Reel Money and several others. There were no unique or extraordinary games in the lineup here and my partner cannot even recall what she ended up playing during our time there.
For those who might be into games of chance and card games instead of the fun and controlled reinforcement of video slot machines, there are electronic table games, which I do not trust. There are no actual card games or roulette wheels at this casino.
There is a player's club at the Mount Airy, which is the Mount Airy Players Club. Simply present a driver's license at the player's club center and get a card. Points here are accrued based upon bets placed and time spent through some mystery formula. By the time we left, we did not have much in the way of points and I saw nowhere to cash them in outside the buffet.
The Mount Airy Casino is quite light on entertainment. While we were there the only things advertised in the way of entertainment was a forthcoming concert by James Darren. As a fan of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, I think that's cool, but objectively, this is not the most exciting place for entertainment. They currently have a car giveaway contest going on.
We arrived at Mount Airy in the morning and the buffet was the only option we saw. The buffet carried a pretty steep $19.99 price tag which was not discounted at all for lunch. We decided to pass on that and eat elsewhere, though people who were eating there seemed to be enjoying themselves.
Unlike Las Vegas casinos, Mount Airy Casino is not trading so much on shopping. We did not see anywhere to shop, though it appears there is a resort - with golfing - attached and one supposes there are shopping options there.
Mount Airy Casino is bland and suffers mightily from being boring and out of the way. There is not great reason to make a detour for this casino. It is not bad, but there is nothing to recommend it, either.
For other casino reviews, please check out my takes on:
Palace Station Casino
Soaring Eagle Casino
Finger Lakes Casino
For other travel reviews, please visit my index page on the subject by clicking here!
© 2012, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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