In California, casino and gambling doesn’t really have the same attention as it does in other parts of the US like Atlantic City and that place a few hours away, Las Vegas. Of course, while there are some casinos around, they are not so prominent. But some outside the Sonoma Valley and California may wonder why.
The other thing across California of course is that gaming online, certainly casino gaming and gambling is still prohibited. Although, there is the option for betting on horse racing and fantasy sports gambling. If you add to that the gambling age too is varied, it depends on the casino itself as some allow gambling from 18 and others from 21. Some may say that it’s this laid-back attitude toward gambling, maybe an ambivalence which is halting the growth of the industry in the area.
So, what could be done is that one casino could stand apart from the rest but if it was to pay homage to what California and the Sonoma Valley has to offer visitors, it may become an icon in its own right.
A casino and resort has more than just the tables and slots, there are places to entertain, wine and dine. Of course, Sonoma County is world renowned for the wine produced in Sonoma Valley, North Sonoma and the Sonoma Coast. Wine lovers across the world are sipping the finest drinks from St Francis Winery and the DeLoach Vineyards. If a casino resort was to celebrate the excellence of these fine wines with its own wine bar, it could potentially attract a new clientele from that of a ‘traditional’ casino-goer. Naturally the attraction would be that of sampling the finest wines of the area but for international visitors, how about the option of a taste from home in the bar, too.
Heading south from Sonoma, just a 90-minute drive in fact, is one of the most famous places on the planet. Ok, if someone asked where was the home of Apple, Google, Facebook and Zoom they’d certainly recognize Silicon Valley. The place which has designed things which touch almost every single home in the world. Could this or, video game technology be utilized, as based in California, there are almost 100 video game companies.
One of the most popular games series of recent times has been Fallout, and its iteration based in post-apocalyptic Las Vegas, Fallout: New Vegas was made by Obsidian Entertainment based a little down the road in Irvine, CA. Within the game the protagonist finds himself in a casino, where all the options are there for him to play in the virtual world. Video game technology in the home continues to advance at pace and other well-known games offer the casino experience within them, including Red Dead Redemption, Final Fantasy and Watchdogs which are AAA titles. Whilst there have been slots based on video games, it could be a real niche to truly integrate the two worlds into the casino space. Again, much like the celebration of local wine it could be a real showcase opportunity but with a different twist.
Whilst utilizing all the Sonoma and local California areas have to offer in terms of a show of celebration and modernization, there are a few things that are sacrosanct. One of which is Texas Hold’em, it’s synonymous with casinos and any casino has to embrace it. Texas Hold’em remains far and away the most popular variety of poker, and has seeped from its roots into modern day culture. It’s easy to learn, easy to play but difficult to master and that’s why it keeps bringing people back to the table time after time.
In Sonoma County there are some of the finest restaurants within its borders. Casino resorts are well known around the world for their options for visitors but rather than being a threat to the local restaurateurs, but is there the option to bring them together for one off events? Imagine the Michelin Star chefs from SingleThread and Barndiva combining for a true one-off dining experience, showcasing their talents and their own restaurants. There are residencies at other resorts from big name chefs but could a Sonoma casino stand out from the crowd by using its space as a showcase rather than somewhere who hosts the same menu each week? There have been collaborations before in the dining world, but ones which celebrate the unique flavors of Sonoma?
All in all, there is an opportunity to be different. To stand out and cut a new path in the casino space. Utilize everything that Sonoma has to offer and give a new feel and meaning to the industry. It may be a daring move, some could say it’s too much of a leap but things often only progress when the perceived norm is challenged.