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    by Randy Ooney     

My Nickel’s Worth                     by Randy Ooney


Big Casino


Sometime around the mid 80s, a friend approached me with news about a casino in Morton, Minnesota that was dealing blackjack at tables, just like Nevada.  Of course it was a Casino where Native Americans figured out a legal way to provide gambling to Minnesotans.  About the same time, there was Little Six gaming in Shakopee, and casinos were popping up all over Minnesota and Wisconsin.  Around that time, in 1984, (however, not predicted by George Orwell), the Dakota tribe opened a casino near the Prairie Island Nuclear generating plant, and Treasure Island was born.


I visited there once in the late nineties to gamble and see The Smothers Brothers on stage, but for the most part it was a long drive to drop a few quarters into machines.  However, Treasure Island became much more attractive to me when they added a beautiful 24 lane Xtreme bowling center and game room that will rival most Brunswick Zones.  I found myself visiting the island more often for bowling events as I did last weekend.  Once again, Treasure Island is hosting a PBA50 tour stop in August.  As an added feature, they are hosting several satellite qualifiers where a $50.00 entry fee to the eight game event could earn you a spot to bowl with the 50+ year old professionals in August.  Dana Wright earned an entry in May.  I am thinking about trying again – June 29 or July 27, as I competed with Dana and did fairly well on the Sport PBA pattern that was offered.


Also on tap is the no tap pro am on August 10.  It’s a fun event that will precede the pro tournament and allow you an opportunity to bowl up close and personal with three of the guys you have been watching on TV for the past 25 years.

However, one final note.  I have enjoyed playing the Roulette machine on the Island in the past, but when I went looking for it in the main casino, it was gone.  Obviously it was not paying its rent or something, or maybe too many people figured out how to beat it.     




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