My 90-year-old aunt used to have a ritual in the New York City apartment complex where she lives. Every so often, she'd take an early morning bus provided by casinos in New Jersey, which would deposit her back at her building later that day, her wallet usually a little lighter. I hadn't realized that Washington state casinos were doing something similar until I saw a couple dozen seniors this morning congregating in the parking lot of West Seattle's Admiral Safeway. What could they be doing? I wondered, a question that was answered when a Tulalip Casino van rolled up and a gray-haired brigade made a bee line for it.
One older gentleman explained that this is a monthly outing organized by the Senior Center of West Seattle. The casino provides the van free of charge, picking the seniors up at around 9 a.m. and returning them at 4 p.m. The senior center also organizes trips to the Snoqualmie and Lucky Eagle casinos as well as the Emerald Queen. Gambling naturally appeals to the older set, who have a lot of time on their hands, as a 2005 Seattle Times article on gambling addiction pointed out. Of course, you'd never know if from the promotional pictures for the Tulalip Casino and others (like above), which make it seem like it's the sexy 30-somethings who have nothing better to do.