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Best of John G. Brokopp

Gaming Guru

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Casinos Listen To Constructive Criticism

2 December 1999

If you've ever figured that voicing your opinion to management about an unpleasant experience falls on deaf ears, a conversation with Patt Medchill, senior vice-president of casino operations and marketing for the Hollywood Casino in Aurora, Ill., will restore your confidence in quality customer service.

My wife and I paid a visit to the City of Lights II at the Hollywood Casino in Aurora, Ill., one evening last month. Since we usually gamble aboard its bigger sister ship, the City of Lights I, it was our first session aboard the vessel in quite some time.

While the spacious, bright, and clean City of Lights I is arguably one of the best riverboat casinos in the Chicago-area, the City of Lights II qualifies as one of the least desirable gaming venues in the area. It's small in comparison to the others and quite out of step with its companion vessel and other vessels in the market.

Many of the slot machines are older models that have been in place on the casino floor since the vessel was put in service some years back. Worse yet, I played at a roulette wheel where the felt layout was faded, dirty, and stained from drink spills. Customer services, such as change persons and cashier staffing, left much to be desired, as well. There is simply no excuse for something like that.

When I called the Hollywood Casino to complain, I was put in touch with Patt Medchill, who wholeheartedly agreed. Rather than make excuses, he took action:

"The fact that the City of Lights II is the smaller of our two vessels has no bearing whatsoever on the quality of service we should provide our patrons," Medchill said. "I'll see to it that the felt on the roulette table where you were playing is changed at once. As for the service, I'll review our staffing on the cruise you were on and make some inquiries."

When you're planning a visit to the Hollywood Casino Aurora, my advice is to make every effort get on the City of Lights I, which has 10 boarding times daily starting at 9:00 a.m. If you wind up aboard the City of Lights II, however, I expect that things may be getting a little better. Let me know what you think.

In the meantime, let's hope that the powers that be at the Hollywood Casino give serious thought to upgrading the City of Lights II.

John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp
John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp