Casino Night at Marina Bay Sands and Refueling 2600 Calories

While The Wife is away, the husband will play…slots. I’ll get to that in a minute. YAW is home for a week spending mandatory time with her folks and not so mandatory time at South Coast Plaza and her favorite eateries. I get pictures. I can’t complain about my wife getting to buy things at U.S. prices. It is much cheaper than here on the little red dot. Of course I had my own items that I purchased and shipped to her parents. I don’t think my new Crazy Shirts are too hard to bring back. This also includes the new 7lb carry-on suitcase she’ll need to bring stuff back in and that we will use for the upcoming trip I have previewed.

Today our gym, Pure Fitness where they provide the all-black uniforms, had a fundraiser for a children’s organization. Two teams, of 22 people each, paid a small fee to have the pleasure of attending five 30-minute fitness classes with a 15-minute break in between each.  At total of 3.5 hours of fitness fun (pain, sweat, swearing, trying to find a corner to crawl into). It was the male instructors against the female instructors. You can continue to wonder which team I was on. Spinning, Weights, Spinning, Suspension fitness (TRX), and Kickboxing. I won’t regale you with the gory details of how often I changed my t-shirts (remember they provide free t-shirts in the gym!) or how much pain I may be in on Sunday morning.  It was fun although I was acutely aware I could have ended up on a stretcher at any time.

I did wear my handy Timex Ironman heart monitor. According to it, I burned 2590 calories today and hit a high of 102% of my suggested maximum heart rate. If you know I am slender to begin with, this meant I had to replenish said calories. While The Wife is away, I’ll have steak! Yes, I went to our local haunt The Cut at the Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. When you know the bartenders by name, it is easier to enjoy a solo meal. This one included tempura appetizer (free!), salad, steak, creamed spinach, baked Alaska, pretzel bread, and 2 dark beers (they are really good for men’s heart health).  I think I have done the appropriate calorie load. Funny that the price was almost the same as when there are 2 of us. Hmm.

Before heading over to The Cut in the torrential downpour, I remembered I had yet to walk into the Casino at Marina Bay Sands Hotel during our 5 months of living here. Therefore I actually put on pants, versus shorts, figuring I might as well take a stroll inside. First of all it’s not Vegas. It is one giant 4-story atrium room with slots, card games, some electronic tables, no one yelling “yeah” and…smokers. A lot of smokers. There are a number of places you can no longer smoke in Singapore but the casino is not one of them.  There is no designated smoking area. The entire casino is open for your smoking pleasure. It was Saturday night around 8 PM and there were a lot of people. Many walking with cigarettes dangling in their hands; ashes dropping to the ground while they looked for their next big ‘win’. I was right about the pants requirement but turns out I could have worn an old t-shirt.

I spent about 10-15 minutes walking around and people watching. I could count the number of Caucasians on one foot. It is a majority of Asians, which makes perfect sense, and then a huge contingent of Indians. I personally don’t gamble or at least I should say my limit is about $300…total. Yet by the looks of these people, and the sheer numbers, I’d wager (okay that is gambling) there are a lot of people with the typical day job here, the ones in the $30K-40K range per year, hitting up the tables that have $30 minimum bets. It just seems fiscally unsound to me but if it gives them something to do on a rainy Saturday night, then have at it.

Of course I had to play something but I did not feel like hands of Blackjack for $30.  I usually break even but there was no excitement in this casino. It was surprisingly quiet. There might have been a cheaper table but it was not obvious. I did see the nickel slots and that is where I headed. If you have played slots in the past decade or so, you’ll realize a nickel slot machine is misleading. You’ll never win big with $0.05 per spin. You have to put 10 credits on each line and there are 5 lines. Do the math and suddenly every spin is $2.50 or even higher! I could not do the math fast enough but when I pressed the ‘max’ button, my credits dropped by ½ and my starting wager of $50.00 now was $25.00.

After I lowered my wager to less per line and fewer lines across, or something like that, I was only going through $0.25 to $0.50 per spin. Cool. Now I could play for 4 more minutes. When I was down to what I think was $0.40, I put in another $50. Why not? Now I can say I gambled with the rest of Singapore.

On about my 5th spin, I won some type of 10 free game spin where any win in those 10 games paid out 33 times. On the 8th of the 10, I won some number that converted to some other credit number that eventually equaled $200. I got my slip and walked away. I found the cashier, got my dough, found the checked bag place to pick up my umbrella, and scooted out! My gambling experience was 10 minutes in front of one slot machine but it was enough. I can use that extra $100 above my starting wager to buy about 6-7 beers here in Singapore. Yes, they are that expensive.

In one Saturday I managed to donate to charity, sweat out the last 10 years of toxin buildup, enjoy a US steak, and win a wee tad bit o’ money. The latter while inhaling some of that 2nd hand smoke I miss from the 1980s in the US. Have I ever mentioned the cigarette packets here have those pictures of people with very bad lung, throat, and mouth damage? It is on every packet and I think the price is $10-$11 per pack.  The purchase rate, even with those photos, has not decreased. I believe this summer the US Supreme Court shot down a possible rule that would allow the same type of warning picture on US cigarette packs. But at least there is no smoke smell on my clothes in the US casinos. That’s a plus!

If you venture at some point to the Marina Bay Sands Hotel and Casino, I wish you luck. I’ll guarantee you’ll walk out with something.