Hustler casino a place for diversity

Hustler casino a place for diversity

June 13, 2017 2:59 AM


After riding over our heavily-trafficked and congested, potholed roads to get to Larry Flynt’s Hustler Casino in Gardena, Calif., I needed a short break before venturing into the main area to play my favorite game of poker.

So, I decided to relax a bit in the lobby area, and sat down on one of the comfortable, well-padded couches along the wall. Before long, I found myself watching people entering and leaving the casino. Not that I am a people-watcher, but this just naturally happened.

What struck me right off the bat was how diverse the people were – tall and short, fat and skinny, young (must be over 21) and old (no age limits), men and women. Every race and ethnic background were represented. You name it; they were there. I think the diversity is wonderful. No prejudice; no bias. All are welcome – as long as they abide by the posted rules of conduct, of course.

Especially among the men, several used canes as they rambled along. There were a few using walkers for support. I saw one man in a wheelchair; he was an amputee. Many elderly folk came and went, walking slowly and, often, with some difficulty – but they were determined to get involved in the action within.

For the most part, they entered and left alone; though, there were quite a few couples. Small groups of three or four people (apparently, friends) also strolled in, side-by-side, most often in silence. On the other hand, those leaving were frequently engaged in conversation, with nary a smile among them (Losers? Telling bad-beat stories?).

Most wore casual, comfortable clothing, especially tee-shirts and loose-fitting pants, jeans and shorts. Makes good sense. I did observe a few men – very few – wearing ties and jackets; probably coming from work, I assumed, and planning to relax for a few hours at the tables after a hectic day in the office.

Most of the women wore slacks and loose-fitting blouses; some wore comfortable skirts, usually dark in color. No high heels. Many wore sneakers and sandals on their feet.

Baseball caps – all colors, but mostly dark black or blue – a few red – covered many of their heads, especially among the men. Many wore glasses. I saw very few wearing sunglasses. No hoodies.

It seemed those entering tended to walk more briskly, looking straight ahead – probably in anticipation of the game they were about to play. On the other hand, most of those on the way out walked at a slow pace, usually looking down at the ground. The new arrivals probably were anxious to get started playing their favorite games – anticipating (actually, hoping for) a big win.

The expressions on their faces seemed to offer a message – just as tells do at the table. Most likely, the majority of those leaving were losers; few were smiling. Most players do lose, you know. Some of those leaving did move at a fast gait; most of these were on their way out for a smoke. Many already had an unlit cigarette between their lips, and a cigarette lighter or book of matches in one hand – ready to light up the first chance they could. They can hardly wait. Five minutes or so later, the smokers marched back into the casino – anxious to resume playing their game of choice. (Casinos do offer several games besides poker.)

By the way, I noticed how pleasant and courteous the security staff officers were as they checked carry-in bags and verified the age of the younger people – and held the door open for older folk, always with a pleasant smile.

I didn’t realize it, but I had sat there in the lobby, relaxing, for well over 15 minutes. Time to play poker!

Next time you visit the casino, take a few minutes to sit in the lobby and observe those coming and going. I’ll wager you too will find it interesting. Something to think about.