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Aaron Todd

Aaron  Todd

Home-game hotshot Aaron Todd was an editor/writer at Casino City for nearly eight years, and is currently the Assistant Director of Athletics for Communications and Marketing at St. Lawrence University, his alma mater. While he is happy to play Texas Hold'em, he'd rather mix it up and play Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw, and Badugi.

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Top 10 Fourth of July resort-casino activities

22 Jun 2015

By Aaron Todd
The Fourth of July is coming up next weekend, and casinos across the United States are looking for ways to draw people to their resorts to celebrate the holiday.

Here are 10 great ways to celebrate America's independence, and maybe make a bet or two along the way.

10. Fourth of July Picnic Buffet at Grand Casino Hinckley
Nothing says the Fourth of July more than a picnic lunch of hot dogs, hamburgers, potato salad and watermelon. Grand Casino in Hinckley, Minnesota (about halfway between Minneapolis and Duluth) is hosting a buffet lunch for just $10.99. The casino is also giving away 19 "mouth-watering grilling meat packages" and three brand new grills to players who earn entries that day by swiping their rewards card at a kiosk or earn points by playing slots.

9. Travel and play in Tunica, Mississippi
When it comes to music, there's nothing more American than the blues. Head to Tunica and visit the Gateway to the Blues Museum, travel the Mississippi Blues Trail, and while you're there, visit some of the nine casino-resorts for some good-old-fashioned American gambling, too.

8. Fireworks on the Boardwalk - Atlantic City
Atlantic City is offering not one, but two fireworks shows to celebrate America's independence. Both shows (one on Friday, July 3rd, the other on Saturday, July 4th) will begin at 9:30 p.m. Shows are 15 minutes long and choreographed to music.

7. See Terminator: Genysis on IMAX at Tropicana
While you're in Atlantic City, head to the Tropicana Atlantic City Casino & Resort to see the latest installment of the Terminator series at the IMAX Theater there. Nothing says "I love the USA" more than contributing to the success of a big blockbuster movie, and I for one would love to check this one out on IMAX.

6. Play Independence Day online slot
If you're looking for an American-themed slot to play during the Fourth of July weekend, head to Intertops Casino Classic and give Independence Day a spin. A five-reel slot with nine paylines, Independence Day has a wild symbol (George Washington), a scatter symbol (Betsy Ross), free spins when three or more scatter symbols appear and a bonus round, which is triggered when three or more Declaration of Independence symbols appear on an active payline.

In the bonus round, you select a president, a city and a landmark to determine how many credits you win.

If you're looking to do more than just play the game, you can enter the Intertops Classic Casino slots tournament for the game that runs from June 30 – July 5 for just $5, and there's a $1,200 guaranteed prize pool.

5. Play some high-stakes bingo at Foxwoods
If you're in New England and are looking for a big buy-in game, head to Foxwoods Resort Casino and play in their special Fourth of July $500 bingo game. The game offers a $20,000 guarantee and could be a big draw. If that's a bit bigger than you'd like to play, go in together with a group of friends to buy your entry and split up any winnings. Gambling with a group is always much more fun than going it alone, anyway, because your fortunes are shared.

4. Fireworks at Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood
If you're planning to be in Florida for the Fourth, head to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood for their fireworks celebration. Food trucks will be on hand starting at 6 p.m. serving up "gourmet-style cuisine," with activities and entertainment to keep you engaged right up until the fireworks show begins at 9 p.m.

3. Coyote Valley Casino 19th Annual Big Time Celebration
While most Americans don't think of Native American traditions when planning their Fourth of July celebrations, the truth is Native American tribes have played a huge part in our history. Coyote Valley Casino has been honoring their tradition and culture with an annual "Big Time Celebration" in early July for nearly two decades, and this year the event falls on the Fourth of July.

The event runs from 1-8 p.m. at the Redwood Valley Casino and includes a traditional salmon feed, native dancers, craft and food vendors, bouncy houses for kids and the 14th Annual Tom Ramos Stick Game Tournament. The tournament, which is free to enter, traditionally features a $2,500 grand prize, as well as second- and third-place prizes. The game is a guessing game — teams hide bones and sticks in two locations, and other teams have to guess where the bones are.

"A lot of chanting and mind games go on," Todd Ramos told the Ukiah Daily Journal in 2012. "It's such a simple game — you think it's 50-50 — but then you look at the really good teams and they win over and over again."

2. Fireworks at the Stratosphere - Las Vegas
Is there a better place in Las Vegas to watch fireworks on the Fourth of July than the Stratosphere Casino Hotel and Tower? I can't think of one. There are indoor and outdoor observation areas on the 108th and 109th floors of the tower, and a party with a DJ and two free drinks from 6-7 p.m. Admission is just $15 for hotel guests and $30 for non-hotel guests.

1. Play in a WSOP Main Event satellite
After watching the fireworks at the Stratosphere, head to the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino and try to get into the World Series of Poker Main Event through a satellite tournament. Despite its international moniker, there's nothing more American than the World Series of Poker, and there's no event like the Main Event. Getting in through a satellite would be the best way to go, because it's the underdog route for a nation that was itself a big underdog almost 250 years ago.

The WSOP Main Event will get underway on Sunday, July 5, with starting days on July 5, 6 and 7.
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