Sure there is plenty of gaming action to be had, but the entertainment reach of the Choctaw Casino and Resort in Pocola, Okla., stretches much further than games of chance.

“Choctaw Casino Resort in Pocola has much more to offer than the 1,800 slots and exciting table games like poker and blackjack,” said Choctaw Director of Marketing Leslie Lumley.

First, if the word resort caught you off guard, Lumley explains, “the property has 118 hotel rooms, several different dining options. We are also a place for social gatherings and have a selection of meeting spaces to host company parties and weddings. And exciting live entertainment.”

On Friday night at CenterStage, an intimate 600-seat venue Lumley says is a great place to see performers up close, inside the casino, Grammy award winner Blues Traveler will kick off their 18-date spring 2017 tour. Last week only various single tickets were available.

That show comes on the heels of Tesla selling out the venue for the second time in 25 months. Also selling out CenterStage recently was Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame member Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.

Lumley said last week the casino and resort is excited to bring not only such storied acts to the Eastern Oklahoma and Western Arkansas area but also entertainment of the free variety.

“CenterStage hosts top notch acts like Keith Sweat and Aaron Watson. The resort is also home to Gilley’s a fun and lively place to see free live music from all our your favorite local bands as well as tribute bands from around the country,” she said.

For instance, Poison Overdose, a Poison tribute act is set for an April 14 show at Gilley’s where live entertainment is offered Wednesday through Saturday each week.

For more information about the schedule at Gilley’s visit, https://www.choctawcasinos.com/choctaw-pocola/entertainment/.

There is also a constant variety of acts, Lumley notes.

“We try to accommodate all of our guests’ favorite genres of music. El Poder Del Norte (April 21) is a hot Mexican music group. We are excited to have them come to Pocola,” said Lumley. “We also host some of the world’s most popular Thai Lao musicians, comedy acts like Leslie Jones and Sinbad and break out internet starts like Anjelah Johnson. We are very proud of the diverse entertainment we bring to Fort Smith and Pocola.”

To find the acts offered within 45 minutes of Booneville, Lumley said Choctaw officials scour the internet for leads on tours coming near the area and they also work with Choctaw officials at the flagship facility in Durant, Okla. to route shows through Pocola. Upcoming shows include Gin Blossoms on May 6 and, according to their Facebook page, Three Dog Night on May 26.

If live music doesn’t hit the right chord for you there are plenty of other activities.

“The resort also broadcasts all the UFC fights,” said Lumley. “Another fun event that will begin Thursdays in April is water pong. Every Thursday night beginning at 7 p.m. will be a water pong tournament with a tournament of champions on May 7.”

Free play for the casino is up for grabs in the tournaments and another event starting this month is Jackpot Karaoke.

“Come out and sing your favorite song and have the opportunity to win some free play,” said Lumley.

The calendar also plays a part in the events offered.

“The resort has exciting events going on throughout the year from a huge 4th of July bash to hosting Jetsetters Ball every Halloween, to a spectacular New Years Eve party, and much more,” said Lumley.

The casino has also hosted a sports memorabilia show recently.

The Choctaw also supports the local music and art community.

“Our associates volunteer and support local events like Ales for Trails Festival, the Peacemaker Music and Arts Festival and The Unexpected Project in downtown Fort Smith. Supporting the arts is a very important cause for us,” said Lumley. “Our associates also recently participated in the River Valley Dragon Boat Races last September to raise money for The Hamilton House and Breast Cancer Awareness is a very important cause to us at Choctaw Casinos & Resorts.

“Since 2015, we’ve hosted activities throughout the month of October and raise money for Susan G. Komen in addition to sponsoring the local Breast Cancer Awareness events in Fort Smith.”