Grey Eagle Calgary Review for May 2024

Ziv Chen

Updated by

Ziv Chen


Michael Graham

Fact Checked by

Michael Graham

Content Editor

Last Updated on 16th April 2024, 09:34 AM


Travel back in time to days gone by, when you could light up a Marlboro indoors without getting harassed by angry door staff. Seems like a distant memory in today’s world, right? Wrong! 

Enter Grey Eagle Resort & Casino, Alberta’s one and only smoking-friendly casino! Its unique position on First Nation land means you can light up a cigarette without ever moving from your favourite slot machine or table game. 

Of course, the casino has more going for it than its alarming absence of smoke detectors. 

Keep reading my in-depth Grey Eagle Resort & Casino review for details about the casino’s game selection, unique location, non-gambling facilities, bonuses and promotions, and more. 

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♦️ An Overview of Grey Eagle Casino

Away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Calgary sits the Grey Eagle Resort & Casino. Situated one hour from the beautiful Banff National Park on the Tsuut’ina Nation reservation (and not so easily accessible by public transport), this First Nation casino attracts a more mature crowd of concertgoers, buffet lovers and weekend trippers. 

Boasting Date Night, Weekend, and even Pet-Friendly packages, Grey Eagle positions itself more as an overnight gambling getaway than a casual walk-in casino. The resort boasts a recently renovated 4-star hotel equipped with standard king, double queen, and premier king beds, plus a few 1,000-square-foot presidential suites. 

Included with the room is access to the pool, outdoor hot tub, and 24-hour fitness center. You even get free cookies in the reception – talk about five-star service!

Grey Eagle does its best to respect the culture of the First Nation land it is built upon, with Indigenous art adorning its walls and restaurants offering First Nation cuisine. Many of the casino and hotel staff, as well as the chefs in its Little Chief restaurant, are First Nation.

Quick Info

🪪 Membership required:❌  No, but Winner's Edge Reward Club recommended
👔 Dress code:❌  No, but smart-casual recommended
🏧 ATMs:✔️ Yes
🚘 Parking:✔️ Yes
♿ Wheelchair accessible:✔️ Yes
🛏️ On-site accommodation:✔️ Yes
🍴 On-site restaurant:✔️ Yes, multiple
🍹 Free drinks and snacks:

✔️ Soft drinks

🚬 Smoking:✔️ Yes

🛎️ Services and Facilities at Grey Eagle Casino in Calgary

Due to its unique location on the Tsuut’ina Nation reservation, Grey Eagle is the only casino in Alberta where smoking is permitted indoors. Cigarettes, e-cigarettes and vapes are all allowed inside, though cigar smokers will still have to grab a jacket and head to one of the outdoor areas. 

The staff, both in and outside of the casino, go above and beyond to ensure you have a pleasant experience. I visited during winter and even saw some staff go so far as to help boost vehicles out of the snow. 

Talking of the cold weather, the setup of the casino is ideal for escaping the elements. Forego the winter coat; each section of the resort is connected to the other by a corridor, so you can wander freely between the casino, restaurants and concert hall without stepping foot in the rain or snow. 

Besides its 84,000 square feet of casino action and state-of-the-art concert hall, Grey Eagle is perhaps most famous for its weekly buffets. Situated right behind the welcome desk area, you can’t miss it. Every night offers a different cuisine, from Pan-Asian to Prime Rib. 

The Thursday Seafood Buffet is a particular hit with diners (so much so that it’s the only night with a first-come-first-serve setup) and boasts every type of seafood from squid, mussels and prawns to crab legs and lobster claws. 

Though Grey Eagle describes itself as just “minutes from downtown Calgary”, it’s actually more of a 25-minute drive and too far of a walk from downtown. As is to be expected from its secluded location, some amenities are therefore a little overpriced.

There is a spacious free parking lot available to any Grey Eagle guest, whether you’re there for the casino, a concert, or the seafood buffet. Just be aware that on concert nights (which are most nights), the parking lot can fill up pretty quickly. 

While the resort is ideal for those with a car looking for a nearby getaway, it’s pretty tricky to reach by public transport. If you do decide to go by local bus or train, I’d advise wearing suitable shoes as you’ll be dropped off at the far end of the parking lot.



84K Sq. Ft Venue
31 Live Tables
7 Table Games
1k Slot Machines
24/7 Slots Daily

Every buffet also comes with an impressive selection of entrees, salads and desserts, including a chocolate fondue fountain (which looks as mouth-watering as it sounds). 

The only thing I found disappointing was the lack of an ice cream bar. Staff are swift to remove your finished plates, leaving you plenty of table space for a second round of ribs. Grey Eagle’s buffets are truly famous in Alberta, so there’s a hefty queue pretty much every night. Reservations are highly recommended.

For non-buffet options, you can check out the Blaze Bar & Grill – which has a daily Happy Hour with cocktails starting at $5 – and the Little Chief restaurant. 

Little Chief offers a more up-market eatery while retaining its Indigenous roots through a selection of First Nation dishes. They even decorated their tasty bison burgers with an image of the animal; if that’s not on brand, I don’t know what is.

Overall, Grey Eagle Resort & Casino leaves a positive impression on almost all its guests. Whether you’re there to dine, gamble, or sing along to the evening’s entertainment, this off-the-beaten-track resort provides a weekend getaway that doesn’t take long to get to.

🎰 Games at Grey Eagle Casino Calgary

Grey Eagle crams a lot of gambling into less than 90,000 square feet of casino floor, including 31 table games, 6 poker tables, a not-for-profit bingo hall, and just shy of 1,000 slots. Boasting everything from penny games to huge progressive jackpots, you can gamble as little as $0.01 and up to $25 on slots, while table games have a slightly higher introductory bet limit of around $5-10. 

Fortunately for night owls, Grey Eagle’s slots and electronic table games are open round-the-clock every day of the week. Meanwhile, live table games are open every day from 10am to 3am, and the bingo hall is also open daily. 

Since bingo is often overlooked at Albertan casinos, the dedicated bingo hall is a great addition, and having attendants selling snacks inside is an added bonus.  

Pensioners have a bit of a reputation as savvy slot connoisseurs who are ready to jump on your machine before your seat is even cold. 

While I don’t want to confirm what’s obviously a very broad stereotype, Grey Eagle does attract a more mature crowd, and I did spy a few slot-spinning grandmas eyeing up my machine after a series of unfruitful rounds. 

♣️ Poker :✔️ Yes, dedicated poker room
⚪ Roulette:✔️ Yes
🃏 Blackjack:✔️ Yes
🎲 Baccarat:✔️ Yes
🎰 Slots:✔️ Yes
💎 VIP:✔️ No, but there are high limit areas
🏆 Tournaments:✔️ Yes, slots and baccarat

To prevent the outbreak of what would be a very slow-moving brawl between its older guests, Grey Eagle lets you put a ‘reserved’ sign on your machine while you nip to the bathroom or outside for a cigarette. 

These signs are valid for 10 minutes, and you can even ask the staff to time someone’s ‘reserved’ break if you want their machine (and plenty of guests do take advantage of this).

Grey Eagle boasts tons of progressive jackpot slots. For novelty, if nothing else, you should check out Alberta’s own original slots, which include American Original (with a $4,000 seed) and Alberta Gold (with a $20,000 seed). If you feel like branching out beyond Albertan borders, try the aptly named $1 million-seeded Diamond Millions.

Guests can enjoy exclusivity and a private dining area in the new non-smoking High Limit room. Boasting high-limit blackjack and baccarat, it is reserved for the casino’s highest rollers. 

Though the room itself is smoke-free, unfortunately, it’s not impenetrable to the fumes of cigarette smoke that waft over from the main casino. For players who aren’t averse to some full-on hazy wagering, the smoking High Limit room also has blackjack and baccarat alongside high-limit poker, slots, and tiles.

The best payout casinos tend to be landbased and it's no different here, Cash withdrawals are instant via the ticket redemption machine or cashier. 

💰 Bonuses and Promotions at Grey Eagle Casino

Through multiple monthly promotions, Grey Eagle shows its appreciation for its guests (and their willingness to part with their sweet Canadian dollars). “Ladies Night” occurs on the last Wednesday of every month, offering prizes such as Chinook gift cards, branded t-shirts, and $500 cash. 

As the casino’s main demographic, Grey Eagle looks after its grey-haired guests. “Senior Days” for the over 55s take place every Sunday and Tuesday, with hourly draws throughout the day. The last Sunday of the month is “Super Sunday”, where seniors can win up to $1,500 cash. There’s also a Seniors Special available at the Blaze Bar & Grill every day from 11am to 5pm. 

Following the ‘monthly’ trend, Grey Eagle hosts a monthly free-to-enter slot tournament with prizes up to $1,000. The “Month End Madness” promotion occurs on the 29th of every month and boasts almost $19,000 in baccarat prizes and a cash prize draw of up to $5,000.

The casino is part of the “Winners Edge” rewards program, a loyalty scheme that’s available across all Albertan land-based casinos. Simply register an account, insert your loyalty card into whichever slot or electronic table game you’re playing, and you can rack up loyalty points to exchange for vouchers and prizes. 

If all that wasn’t enough, Grey Eagle regularly runs giveaways with enormous prizes. During my visit, there was a celebrity cruise experience up for grabs. Every Grey Eagle guest got a free entry from Guest Services, while casino players could get extra ballots by winning on jackpot slots or on baccarat and blackjack tables. 

You could also exchange your Winners Edge points for extra shots at the giveaway. This is just one example of the regular prizes on offer and it puts even some of the best online casinos to shame.


Grab a winning edge...

The Winners Edge Rewards Club is well worth joining as it comes with regular promotions and serves all Albertan casinos.

🎇 Atmosphere at Grey Eagle Casino

With live music from renowned musicians in the concert hall and local bands playing live music in the casino, there is always a lively atmosphere at Grey Eagle. The resort is famous for its state-of-the-art concert space, which holds regular gigs throughout the week from musicians to comedians and even live game shows like Wheel of Fortune. 

Its high-quality AV equipment means that no matter what you’re watching, it’s going to sound incredible. However, drinks inside the hall are pretty costly compared to those served inside the casino, so I’d recommend nipping in for a cocktail and a quick hand of blackjack before heading into the venue.

The casino and the overall resort are very clean and well-maintained, with an army of staff patrolling each area to ensure it’s spotless. The only issue I had with the casino’s cleanliness didn’t actually relate to cleanliness at all, but rather the smell of smoke that somehow penetrated every corner of the casino. 

While Grey Eagle’s status as the only smoke-friendly casino in Alberta is a huge selling point for some (particularly older bettors for whom the smell reminds them of the ‘good old days’), for us asthma sufferers, it can be a wheeze-inducing inconvenience. To some, it will certainly makes it feel a little more claustrophobic than most new casinos

Though some may feel put off by Grey Eagle’s remote location, its being situated a little off the beaten track makes it a highly safe and secure casino. 

Unlike its downtown competitors, you don’t get rowdy drinkers wandering in from a night out and causing havoc with the security. Though incidents are few, there is plenty of security on hand to sort out any problems as soon as they arise.

💭 My Verdict on Grey Eagle Casino

Overall, Grey Eagle Resort & Casino leaves a positive impression on almost all its guests. Whether you’re there to dine, gamble, or sing along to the evening’s entertainment, this off-the-beaten-track resort provides a weekend getaway that doesn’t take long to get to. 

For gamblers, the main attraction seems to be its vast slot machine collection, though many come to wager on its range of high-limit table games and play a few games in its lively bingo hall. 

As long as you don’t mind looking at your hand through a haze of smoke, Grey Eagle Casino is a great land-based option for any type of player. 

What I Liked and Didn't Like

Over 1,000 slots, including local Albertan progressive jackpots
The hotel is connected by an indoor corridor, saving a walk through the elements
Option to play in both smoking and non-smoking rooms
General attentiveness and high-quality service of the staff
Only a 25-minute car journey from downtown Calgary
Didn't Like
The smell of smoke travels around the whole casino
Far away from town for those without a car and difficult to access by public transport
Limited hours on live table games

Licensing Authorities and Testing Agencies

Meet The Author

25 Years
Ziv Chen
Ziv Chen
Writer Writer

Ziv Chen has been working in the online gambling industry for over two decades in senior marketing and business development roles. Ziv writes about a wide range of topics including slot and table games, casino and sportsbook reviews, American sports news, betting odds and game predictions. Leading a life full of conflict, Ziv constantly struggles between his two greatest loves: American football and US soccer.

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