A few days ago at work, I noticed something. Next to the time clock was a flyer; it trumpeted the yearly holiday party for employees and this year’s theme was, of all things, Casino Night. There would even be a Bingo Hall.
Since I’m not part of the employee club, I’d have to pay for Prime and I to get in the door and I wouldn’t be eligible to win any prizes. There’s no real point for me to attend. Besides, there was only one place that had a Casino Night that I truly enjoyed and that was BotCon.
When Fun Pub took over the license back in 2005, I knew there would be changes. But I didn’t know that we’d be getting the chance to play Bingo and rake in “money” to bid on items. Whenever we had one of these events, we were given a voucher for Casino Bucks in our registration packages; we would use these at the dealers tables during the games.
I always gave mine to Prime. He had better luck with card games than I. Me? I usually stuck with Bingo, even though I never won.
The dress code was business casual and sometimes there were dinners and almost always a cash bar. I developed a taste for Cape Codders thanks to that. I also remember Prime having a Jack and Coke one year, but mostly, he stuck with beer.
There was laughing, joking, goofing off and just general light-heartedness; Casino Night usually took place on Saturday, towards the convention’s end. It was like the final shindig to the party. Things may have been winding down, but not just yet.
The prizes were also something else; there were exclusive toys, Hasbro display signs, things like that. Brian Savage was the auctioneer and he did an amazing job. The only one who topped him? None other than John Moschitta Jr. Hey, he just happened to be the fastest speaker in the world! (If you haven’t heard him as Blurr, then you know him as the “Micro Machines man”.)
Compared to the games, Bingo was low-key, but it was still a lot of fun. I never won anything, but I always kept trying, just so I could try and win Prime a Shattered Glass Hot Rod. For reasons.
With the convention gone, the Casino Nights followed and nothing else can really take their place. I don’t have the desire to go to a work Christmas party and play Bingo for prizes that don’t matter to me. It wouldn’t be fun. Casino Nights at BotCon was like lightning in a bottle; brilliant, but impossible to duplicate.
Well, by others, I mean. If BotCon were to rise up again, Casino Night might return. It would be nice.