This is one of the worst run casinos in the state, as far as casino customer service, and casino games goes. But their location is so good they get the most business. Why people play here, I don't know. Their hotel is great, and they have some decent restaurants.
The casino staff is so rude. The floor people are all rude. The managers in charge on every shift are all unqualified, and are most likely in their positions of power because of tribal nepotism. The "slots" they have are not really slots at all but are Video Lottery Terminals (VLT) meaning they are basically scratch tickets. The holds on the "slot" things are like 20-30%; the worst odds. I have never seen someone win a five figure jackpot, or even a large jackpot advertised by the casino. The biggest jackpot I have seen advertised is usually under a 10K jackpot- that is ADVERTISED. I have never actually seen anyone win a significant amount of money. I don't blame the casino- if they can get away with it- why not?
The table games are not much better. They only have three blackjack tables unless its the weekend when they open more tables than needed. Even if a blackjack table is packed without a seat during the week, including the $25 table, they will not open another table, and will leave a dead Let-It-Ride game sit there with a dealer doing nothing. Again, going back and emphasizing poor casino management. The comps are also really poor. You can lose a large sum of money (four to five figures) and they will give you some free nights at the hotel and free food. Compared to Vegas, the comps are laughable.
The casino floor is so smoky, and the ventilation system does not do a good job. It doesn't seem to have been updated since they opened the casino in 2000.
The restaurants aren't bad. Some are terrible, some are really good, and some are average. Stay far away from the buffet. It is probably the worst buffet EVER. The Steakhouse, Tulalip Bay, is very good with great service but pricey. The BlackFish restaurant is dedicated to seafood offerings which is good, but service is hit or miss and its pricey. I don't think BlackFish is worth the value. Their 24 hour diner Cedars Cafe, is okay. The food is mediocre but is acceptable for a 24 hour place. The Canoe's Carvery a sandwich place, is disgusting and not eatable; steer clear. Their newly opened Asian restaurant, Journey's East, is probably their best restaurant. It has an extensive offering of different types of Asian cuisine, all done, surprisingly, very well. The service there has always been excellent in my experience, and this is my restaurant of choice when I come to Tulalip. Unfortunately they have limited hours 5pm-12am (which coincidentally may be why it's so good).
The Hotel at the resort is excellent. Not surprisingly the hotel is not run by the tribe, but by a third party hotel operator. As a result the check-in agents, valet staff, concierge, cleaning staff- EVERYBODY, has excellent customer service skills and are some of the best in this luxury property. I have stayed at Tulalip a lot, and never had a problem with any of the hotel staff, they are all wonderful. All my requests were met with quick and prompt attention. I can't say for the same for problems that arise when I play in the casino. Whoever runs the hotel needs to start running the casino too.
If I had to choose which casino to go to in Washington for a night or two on vacation, I would not choose Tulalip. I would probably choose the Silver Reef Casino Resort. It is up the road from Tulalip about an hour away. The dealers keep their tips, so everyone is really friendly, and the management is actually somewhat competent. The hotel is newly built and is stunning. Do yourself a favor and spend your gambling dollars somewhere else, not at Tulalip.
First of all, this is a beautiful physical facility, and they keep it nice and clean.
The parking is convenient, unless you go when it is mobbed, and there are ample ticket/money changing machines inside, avoiding lengthy waits at a cashier cage. . The entire casino is now finally on one convenient machine system. They all take cash and tickets, and the tickets out are all interchangeable in all of the other machines. This was not always so.
We have found their machines to be extremely fair and playable, but that's always a matter of which types you play and how you play them, and whether you are willing to walk away with a win or a draw in the end.
They probably do the best job of keeping their machine inventory current of all the local casinos. Most of their machines are now the penny stacked wild/free spin bonus types. They still have a lot of Copper Droppers on one end, and rows of Meltdowns in denominations of $.25, $1, and $5. There are also still some of the nickel novelty bonus types still around too, but mostly newer "pennys" now..
The buffet is average for the price. They are a bit greedy when it comes to drink prices, considering you are in a casino gambling and not getting comped drinks in Wa. casinos. For example, $4.25 for a bottle of Bud, before tip . This is why I rated food/drink a "2". The restaurant offerings are better than that. The hotel itself is beautiful, but again, expensive to stay in for Marysville Wa. I was forced by the website to rate it above, but have not actually stayed there.
All in all, I believe this is probably the most well run of the local tribal casinos, and a good place to play.
I don't play slots too much, but the table games are great with the exception of customer service. Three times in this last week dealers have misplaced my bets on the craps table. Luckily, only one time did it end up costing me money. Just keep an eye on them.
When questioned about it they get very defensive as if they couldn't have ever misplaced a bet, all three times the player next to me had to tell them that they had misplaced my bets on top of theirs. I have also witnessed pit bosses being quite rude when it was uncalled for. This is my biggest problem with the gaming floor.
On Dec 21st they had a $30,000 giveaway given out to 10 different players. There were so many people there that no one could hear the names they were calling out. It was a waste of time to be there. They then used a microphone that worked everywhere else in the casino except where we were standing, and there were plenty of speakers directly above us. It was extremely poorly executed on the casino's part. Apparently this was their first rodeo. Many people were mad at them, much yelling occurred towards the staff.
This is a decent casino, coming from a non-complaining Canadian as Sam would say. Sam is a fool with no knowledge of Canada or our standards, Sam doesnt mind losing his money with the low percentage lottery scratch system that Washington Tribal casinos? use because Sam is a complete idiot.