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A look at casino gaming and entertainment around New Mexico

Smoke-free slots: Palace West is an alternative spot for those who don’t smoke

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Palace West Casino employee LeRoy Lucero unpacks new chairs in the slot machine area. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

Palace West Casino employee LeRoy Lucero unpacks new chairs in the slot machine area. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

A trip to Isleta Resort & Casino’s sister location, Palace West, was literally a breath of fresh air. The nonsmoking facility was an inviting alternative.

I’m a nonsmoker and I realize that smoking and casinos usually go hand-in-hand. Some area casinos have great air-filtration systems, but there are others I visit and leave smelling like an ashtray. This was not the case at Palace West. But, those who do need to take a smoke break are allowed to step outside and do just that.

The place was jam-packed for its opening weekend last week. There were plenty of slot machines and video poker games to accommodate the masses. The new games, accompanied with new comfy chairs, kept slot and video poker players trying their luck over and over again. There also were some fun promotions in celebration of the grand opening. Guests can still earn three times the points on their Isleta Eagle Players Club card on Thursdays at Palace West through May 31.

The new 12,500-square-foot Palace West building, with more than 250 slot machines, is a significant difference from the old facility that was made up of a few mobile trailers. The old site was torn down and will now serve as a parking area.

Sometimes you can get a little hungry after some good slot and video poker playing. And, now Palace West has a cure for that. It offers a new restaurant that has a number of items on the menu to satisfy any hunger.

Palace West is located at 2 N.M. 45, which is southwest of Isleta Resort & Casino. It is open daily from 9 a.m.-1 a.m. For more information, call 724-3800 or visit isleta.com.

SANDIA RESORT & CASINO: Be one of 1,200 winners this April to win your share of $300,000 in cash as part of the “$300,000 Building Bucks” promotion. Every day through April 30, $10,000 will be given away. All drawings are hot-seat drawings and will be held from noon-9:30 p.m. every half-hour. If a winner does not claim his or her prize before the next drawing time, the prize money will roll over to that drawing. On Fridays through Sundays, there will be cash prizes awarded. On Mondays through Thursdays, there will be free slot play prizes given away.

Beginning at 2 p.m. and ending at 2 a.m., all Peak Rewards Club card members will receive five times the points for slot play on Thursday, April 24.

BUFFALO THUNDER RESORT & CASINO AND CITIES OF GOLD: Be part of the TournEvent of Champions every Sunday through Wednesday on the TournEvent of Champions machines. Earn one point to play a round, and play additional rounds with every 30 points that you earn on your Lightning Rewards card, up to four times per day. The top 11 scores each day will share $2,000 in free play and get a Golden Pass good for entry into the Golden Pass Tournament in August.

If you earn a Golden Pass from the TournEvent of Champions, then you can be part of the Golden Pass Tournament beginning at noon on Aug. 15. Winners will share a $20,000 prize pool and the top scorer will take home $5,000 and a trip to a TournEvent of Champions in Las Vegas, Nev., on Oct. 1 for a chance to win their share of $500,000.

The jackpot is growing in the Progressive Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em at Buffalo Thunder. Come play this exiting poker game every day at 10 a.m. for your chance to win big. Poker players also can be part of several weekly tournaments at Buffalo Thunder. Games start at 5 p.m. with a $25 buy-in on Sundays and Mondays. Games begin at 6:30 p.m. with a $75 buy-in on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

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