Throwing up in a garbage can in wine country

slots-001The highlight of our holiday weekend was my niece’s big $15,000 win off a quarter slot at the shiny new Graton Casino in Sonoma County wine country.

A pretty damn memorable and positive moment, especially since it happened on her birthday.

But judging by user reviews on Yelp, the “Graton experience” has sucked ass for most visitors.

Get a load of these comments…

“This place is terrible, I got questioned 3 times in the 10 minutes I was there and I wasn’t even on the gaming floor. … This casino’s security has something up their anus, they’re always trying to bust your balls on anything you do. To be honest, I hope Graton casino fails and just becomes an empty lot for a better business or a better casino to come in.”

“Boycott the Graton Casino!”

“Let’s just say that I won’t be back. This casino three-striked within three hours of my being there.”

“Won’t be coming back. Not ever.”

“The building itself looks like a giant big box retail store turned into a mall. Actually, most malls have more interesting exteriors. The effect is walking into a Home Depot and upon entering you are in this giant smoke filled cavern filled with slots and sour looking people sucking down tobacco smoke.”

“No craps tables? What kind of casino is this?”

“Groups of ridiculously loud, drunk guys stumbling around, a wasted woman throwing up in a garbage can while her companion holds her hair back. What a mess! I can’t believe not one security person came up to get things in hand. For a place that’s supposed to be so upscale, you’d think they would take care of spectacles like that.”

“This is the worst casino in the bay area I have ever been, I and my family will never come back here again.”

“Three words: Traffic. Smokey. Sleazy. If those three words appeal to you, you should go.”

“This is one of the worst casinos I have been to. … Decor is ok, but cheaply done, employees are rejects from Walmart, security is thuggish and makes you feel not welcome, food is crap, bathrooms dirty.”


That much negativity is exhausting, even for a crusty old curmudgeon like me.

But digging even further into the Yelp reviews, the complaints seem pretty specific and manageable.

Security’s lousy.

Service is poor.

Food is so-so and overpriced.

Here’s hoping the Graton Casino people pay attention to customers, figger out a few fixes, and start flying straight PDQ.

My niece understandably had a phenomenal time on her first visit. But there’s more to keeping people happy than an occasional $15k payout.

Listen to your customers.

It makes sense, cuz it makes money.

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