Putting My Values to the Test – Betting On Unions


A fun part of my Buy Union! challenge has been learning about how much of LA is union and searching for new labor experiences. Recently, I was watching the Clippers on TV and saw that Manny Pacquiao commercial about the San Manuel Indian Casino. I realized it’s a union facility – represented by CWA 7900. It’s been years since I have gone gambling. Hmmmm…

San_Manuel_SlotsI convinced my hubby that it was for the good of the Buy Union! challenge that we spend a Saturday at the blackjack tables. He agreed and we took the not-so-long drive out to San Bernardino to hit the slots.

The casino was located just a little ways off the 210 Freeway and was extremely convenient to get to. Valet parking was only $3 and we were able to get in and out quickly. The casino itself has a nice entry way and pleasant design. It wasn’t the Bellagio, but it was nice.

San_Manuel_Bingo_HallWhen I walked in, I was hit with a wall of people, noise, activity and oh yes, cigarette smoke. The place was packed. My husband and I struggled to find a seat at the blackjack tables. Within 30 minutes we were already down by around $150. (Now why has it been three years since we’ve gone gambling? Oh yeah! The $300 we lost in Vegas!) My husband was starting to give me that look so I told him, “Why don’t we get something to eat?” Online I read about a steakhouse they have called The Pines but what I didn’t read was that it didn’t open up until 5PM… and it was only 3PM now.  We had the choice between the food court (no thank you), the Sportswatch Grill and the Serrano Buffet. I’m not much of a buffet fan so we decided upon the Sportswatch.

After we ate, we were both a bit too shell-shocked to jump right back to blackjack tables so we took a walk around. The place has a gigantic bingo hall. Apparently San Manuel was a bingo hall first before it became a casino and it carries on that tradition.

San_Manuel_BarWe finally settled on nickel slots where we managed to shave away a few hours. I ended up being up $12; my hubby was down about $35. I was enjoying myself, but I could tell that he wasn’t having fun losing money, so we decided to take off a little early.

In summary, I’m a lousy gambler, but we had fun at San Manuel. The place was clean, the design was nice and you could pretty much play any game that you’d find in Vegas. It’s convenient to get to from pretty much any place in the Los Angeles area and we were able to make a quick day trip of it—which is something we certainly couldn’t have done if we went to Vegas or some of the other Indian casinos in the area. Best of luck! Hope you do better than I did!

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