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    On Terry Meiners’ WHAS radio show this fall, Gov. Matt Bevin was asked about the state’s pension crisis and whether he would ever consider legalizing marijuana as a way to generate revenue for the state. “So a lot of toked-up people gambling, that’s the solution for Kentucky?” Bevin said. Nobody mentioned gambling, Mr. Governor, but now that you mention it: Why not? Casinos aren’t legal in Kentucky, so let’s take a Friday-afternoon trip to the Horseshoe Casino across the river with two novice gamblers who are not-so-novice . . . never mind.

    Josh Moss: “Check out that ceiling, man. It’s painted to look like a blue sky with white clouds.”

    Dylon Jones: “There’s a disconnect between the concept of ‘sky’ and that hard ceiling. It’s unnerving. It makes me think of the fake, calculated prettiness of the place, and gives me the impression of being underground. It makes me think of Fallout 4. It’s this open-world role-playing game set in a post-apocalyptic nuclear wasteland.”

    Moss: “What?”

    Jones: “Open-world RPGs are video games with one big map or world. It doesn’t feel constrained even though there are boundaries. There are usually various towns, cities, economies, governments, guilds—” 

    Moss: “Hey, that chandelier is shaped like a horseshoe. I’m gonna get a pic.”

    Moss (talking to a security guard): “I can’t bring a water bottle into the casino? Can I at least drink some of it before dumping it out?”

    Jones: “You took a really long swig and handed it to me and coughed a little when I took a drink. We definitely looked like we were chugging vodka.”

    Moss: “Oh, whoa. Look at all the cameras in the ceiling. I don’t think Bevin realizes how paranoid those would make a toked-up gambler.”

    Jones: “How do I do this?”

    Moss: “Put your money into the slot machine. When you cash out it’ll give you a ticket that you’ll use until there’s no more money left on it.”

    Jones: “I bet they go through a lot of paper.”

    Moss: “I never know what the hell is going on with slot machines. Whether I win or lose, it never makes sense to me. The pictures always seem so random. Oh, shit, I just won like 90 bucks!”

    Jones: “The seat vibrates when you play this Big Bang Theory one.”

    Moss: “See, that’s what I don’t understand. You just won five cents with three Chinese-takeout cartons adjacent to a car and — what is that last one?”

    Jones: “Like a flag with a dragon crest? I’m gonna try this Walking Dead one.”

    Moss: “How long have I been staring into the gorilla’s eyes on this machine?”

    Jones: “One of us should play poker.”

    Moss: “The idea of playing table games gives me so much anxiety right now. Do you want to?”

    Jones: “I can’t do competitive social interaction right now.”

    Moss: “There really are a lot of cameras.”

    Jones: “There really are a lot of holes on this chair from cigarette burns.”

    Moss: “Should we wander around?”

    Jones: “So this is the section for big spenders? It’s pretty empty.”

    Moss: “I’ll try Wheel of Fortune.”

    Jones: “It’s a dollar a spin?”

    Moss: “Wow, I just lost 20 bucks in about 10 seconds. Should I try once more?”

    Jones: “Don’t.”

    Moss: “Are you hungry?”

    Jones: “I could eat.”

    Moss: “The website says the buffet offers ‘heartland cuisine.’”

    [The buffet is closed for dinner prep.]

    Jones: “Wow.”

    Moss: “I’m legitimately disappointed.”

    Jones: “Now we don’t know what heartland cuisine is.”

    Moss: “Let’s just explore some more.”

    Jones: “Look at this sign. You can rent a motorized scooter.”

    Moss: “How much?”

    Jones: “Thirty-five dollars for up to 24 hours.”

    Moss: “Isn’t it hypocritical that Kentucky embraces bourbon but Bevin won’t consider legalizing marijuana?”

    [Ordering lunchmeat sandwiches and Doritos.]

    Moss (to the cashier): “Can I ask you a question? Why do people call the casino ‘the Boat’?”

    Cashier: “It’s actually on the water. It doesn’t move or anything, but it’s floating.”

    Moss: “What?”

    Cashier: “Yeah.” 

    Moss: “Wow.”


    Cover photo:

    This originally appeared in the December 2017 issue of Louisville Magazine. To subscribe to Louisville Magazineclick here. To find us on newsstands, click here.

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