Saratoga Gaming and Raceway Hot
Toll-Free: (800) 727-2990
Casino Hours: 8am-4am
Restaurants: 5 Valet Parking: $3
Buffets: L-$12.95 D-$14.95
Casino Size: 55,000 Square Feet
Overnight RV Parking: Free
Games Offered: Only Video Gaming Machines, similar to slot machines
Special Features: Live harness racing Thu-Sat evenings from March through mid-December. Daily simulcasting of thoroughbred and harness racing. Tues Senior buffet for $6.95. Buffet discounts for slot club members.
First of all why do all the drink girls walk around going "driiiinks... beveraaaages.... sooooda..." it's annoying, and they sound like unhappily programmed robots speaking out of their nasal cavities. Anyways, I used to randomly frequent the casino for the past five years, never won enough to say so but I guess I always felt that in the long run it mostly kind of evened out. Well the beginning of February, when I got my taxes back and had some money to burn I decided to return after months of being away. My second visit back I won two jackpots, one for $1,800 and one for $700. Whoop whoop, AMAZING jackpots (not). I mean don't get me wrong it was okay with me, but this month they were running a promotion, $30,000 bed of roses or something like that. The rules online concerning this event on Feb. 28th were VERY misleading, I was under the impression that on that day you got a certain amount of entry points for all your points earned on you club card for the WHOLE month, not just the day of Feb. 28th. It specifically said "play throughout the month at no point reduction to earn entries into out $30,000 Bed of Roses drawing". Well after going maybe half the days out of the month and never once winning anything off my club card aside from two $10 free plays, none of the $250 free plays, not a scratch off free play (they would only give those out on Wednesdays and one girl at the players club was paticularly rude, condescending and impersonal), I really felt cheated by the casino. This place just doesn't play, and after going through over $4000 (so much for my total $2,500 in Jackpot winnings) in the month of February I just have come to decide that this is not the place for me to play. I will travel the 3 hours to Turning Stone in Oneida or the dumpy little racino that pays much better then Saratoga just down the road from there. Saratoga is just a disappointment.
The payouts on the slots are terrible! I played the triple diamond machine for 5 quarters hit 3 triple diamonds and won $250! I played the exact same machine in Vegas last year and won $ 1250!! Nothing else needs to be said.
BONUS = NOT!
After years of attending this casino and winning several jackpots I have decided not to return. Over the last 1 1/2 years it is more than difficult to walk out with any winnings. If you are lucky to get the bonus it rarely gives you the return and not until the third bonus that you are in the green again --MAYBE. Frustration grows waiting for service on a machine and decrease of floor monitors ever so noticeable (no doubt due to poor attendance). Through the last 1 1/2 years many people have commented that they travel to CT often as the returns are frequently more in than favor and these people are NEW YORKERS! So go ahead and expand -- reduce the bonus rounds more -- but let it be known that New Yorkers are not blind! Since female gamblers have increased during the years it truly saddens me that we can be taking a cruise anywhere instead of watching the spiral ride of our money -- instead of a bonus round it should be called KABOOM!
When Saratoga first opened, that place was a skipping and a hopping. If you want to blow your money away, Saratoga Racino is a good choice because as one customer put it, its a giant money pit. All you do is look inside the large black hole and that's what you see, a large hold. Basically, stay away from this place because their $$$ payouts have gone down significantly over the years. I recently wrote to the NYS Lottery Division and they defend their payouts as the best in the country. THe place is a massive rip-off. If you want to throw your money, you might as well open your car windows and just blow your $$$ out the window. More information below.
Most people don't realize that Racino's in NYS are regulated through the NYS Div of the Lottery. Because casinos are not yet legal in NYS, the existing racinos are regulated under NYS Lottery DIvision rules and regulations. Your chances of winning at the racinos are about as good as buying a lottery ticket. Most lottery tickets don't pay. The machines are referred to as video lottery terminals (not slots - big difference). What that means is that the State Central Control System run by the NYS Lottery determines the payouts NOT THE individual racino operators. If you get mad because the machines aren't paying, take it up with NYS.
WIth that said, the State Lottery Div. prides itself that its machine payouts are way about the 90% payout requirement. According to stats put out by NYS, the racino payouts are about 92%. Here's the dirty little secret, payouts are not the amount of money paid out, but the number of times a machine pays. I've seen many times when a machine will pay out maybe $.18 on a $2 bet. That $.18 payout counts as one time towards the 92% payout. So, while the state boasts that it has a high payout, what they don't tell you is the dollar amount payouts are significantly less because the State controls how much each machine pays out. Also, the video lottery terminals at all the NYS racino facilities are owned by the State and not the operators.
If you wish to just go out for night and have a little fun, don't expect that $50 to carry you very long. In fact even at $.40 a bet, that $50 may last you 15 minutes if you're lucky because the machines simply don't pay. Its awful.
Love the Saratoga area and would like to spend a few hours on the weekend there for entertainment. But...we have spent many days and evenings at the casino trying to enjoy ourselves. On the slots, we mostly play max bet of $4.00-$6.00 and when we finally get a bonus the payout it is $17.00 to $50.00! Now we realize gambling is just that, a gamble but you would think if you spend $500- $700 on one trip you would at least get to play a couple of hours, not so. Last trip I play $4.00 all night and finally got wilds all across the screen with a double sign and got $100.00 (I had already put in $50.00) And then they send us $20.00 free play after you leave $500 there. When we returned home, we talked to relatives and friends who visited Saratoga casino and they had very similar stories. So like our friends and relatives we are sorry to say we will not be returning and last year we were so looking forward to the expansion to the casino...
Waste of Time and Money
Just got back from that place. First of al I just moved up to the upper NY area from CT. Mohegan and Foxwoods I though previously weren't that great, but in comparison they seem like 5 star restaurants to this place. The place has this very sterile atmosphere, where it feels like you're just in this big money vacuum. No table games really kills it for me, and having automated ones is just worse than having none at all. Essentially they have only slots, and bad slots at that. I want to say something nice, but I just can't.
Saratoga racino- a bad bet
I don’t have much of anything good to say about this casino....well, technically racino. In general, it seems to be so tight that whoever plays, loses so much money over even a short period of time that even the argument for gambling as entertainment falls sour on my ears.
Perhaps seeing a friend drop $35,000 in just over a year there skews my appreciation. He has no way to recoup the money he had saved to use as a house deposit. He is missing all these house deals. He has signed himself out of the casino, so they should not let him play there again were he tempted.
Then an older couple I know drop hundreds every week. I try to get them to take the money and go to Vegas where they could be really entertained, but I can’t move them. It is expensive entertainment, and the slots are so tight that even they admit that they can’t win over the course of a year and be ahead.
Once in a great while they leave with a win or two, ahead.
The VP boarders on criminal. The machines are fake. They are Class II machines, basically bingo machines with a predetermined payout, making our choices and any paytable calculation totally irrelevant. If we make a stupid play when the machine has decided it is time to pay us, a little cartoon genie comes out on the screen and changes our choices so we we have the right cards.
At other times good choices go unrewarded.
Unlike the video poker games that most of us play, the cards displayed are not from a 52 card virtual deck as they are most other places, but just a cute way to present the slot result.
How this sort of greedy bait and switch is allowed to prey on gambling folks is just hard for me to understand.
The food is minimal except for the buffet. I do like that. Everything is tasty. Great beef. I go, have that, and then watch the harness races. They are so much better than the casino.
The more famous flat track is a bit away from the track with machines, and has a shorter season.
There is no live poker at the racino. Florida put fine poker rooms in their horse and dog tracks and the two entertainments work very well together. Folks in Florida can play cards and bet horses/dogs. Not New York State.
I have not played the new electronic table games or seen mathematical analysis, but those at least offer some hope for a decent gamble. So that is one positive new note. Also, you can gamble there if you are 18 years old. That is another.
There is talk in New York of expanding gambling in the state. Hopefully that would mean including live poker that competes with Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun. But for now, I advise you, against my own self interest in seeing NY get more tax dollars, to save your money and buy a flight to Vegas, or just play the horses. Watching horses run is still a rich and most wonderful experience. It may have a high vigorish for those of us who are not handicappers, but I have read that because the betting moves at a slower pace, it often ends up raking less than those fast moving bingo slots, especially for those of us who are just as well entertained by a frugal bet. You can bet as little as a dollar on the horses. My friend who barred himself from the racino still goes to the horses every season. He has a rather simple way of picking only certain races to bet. He wins at least as often as he loses. Probably, he is ahead for the hobby.
I love Saratoga.
Saratoga Gaming and Raceway, not too shabby!
Saratoga gaming and raceway's food places are not bad, they have a small food court which sells above average burgers, sandwiches, salads and pizza. You can use your gaming card there for food and non-alcoholic beverages. They also have a decent buffet, on par with some of the older casinos in Vegas, again you can use your players club card for that as well.
I have won a few decently sized jackpots there, a few over $1,000 and 1 over $2,000. Overall with most gambling I am down. In 2008 I gambled 15000 there and had W-2Gs for 8000, and gambled in 2009 12000, with W2Gs for 9500...take it for what it's worth.
They have a small nightclub there called Vapor, never been inside it. No smoking is allowed in the casino, they do serve alcoholic beverages, but you have to buy them.
I never gambled on the harness racing, but that place was pretty steady for customers unless there was a big race going on like the preakness, the derby or travers.
Overall, considering how many times I've been there I would say you are better off going there than Turning Stone if you want to play slots. There is not a hotel there, but if you are a member of their player's club, they send you a voucher in the mail for the Giddeon-Putnam Hotel which is about 1 mile from the casino.
Non smoking in the Casino. Great atmosphere. Several choices for food from sit-down dinners, quick food and buffet.
As a member they're always offering ways to save time and money. There are no table games nor is there a hotel.