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Best of John G. Brokopp

Gaming Guru

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Craps Players Hit Jackpot with Promotion

14 April 2004

There is news and noteworthy developments from the local casino gambling to report, so let's take a one week hiatus from our analysis of Chicago-area blackjack and concentrate on some headlines you should know about:

The Grand Victoria Casino's ongoing "Cash for Craps" bonus has without doubt proved its merit as the most significant table games promotion ever offered in this market. The $4,000 bonus that the Elgin property pays to craps shooters who make all six points on the same hand has been awarded 60 times during the last six months for a grand total of $240,000.

Table games promotions in the Chicago-area gaming market are as rare as daisies in December, so hats off to the Grand Victoria for introducing such an innovative and exciting perk. "Cash for Craps" is a pure bonus for everyone who plays the game. No entry fees, no special days and no "high roller" restrictions.

To collect the $4,000 bonus, a player holding the dice must wager the pass line minimum, which in many cases at the Grand Victoria is $5.00, and then shoot all six points (four, five, six, eight, nine and 10) on the same hand without rolling a "seven out".

It isn't easy to do, mind you, as any veteran craps player can tell you, but it is done at casinos around the country every day. Players will usually collect a tidy sum of chips on such a hot roll anyway, but only at the Grand Victoria in Elgin will the victorious shooter rake in his normal winnings plus a $4,000 bonus.

The bonus aspect also adds a new dimension of excitement to the game (as if a hot roll doesn't already generate the loudest cheers on any casino floor!). When a shooter is one point away from turning the trick, you can almost feel the electricity.

The Grand Victoria's "no-strings-attached" "Cash for Craps" is a promotion that gives the Elgin property "Most Favored Casino" status for dice aficionados in the Chicago-area.

Swinging over to Northwest Indiana, there's good news for video poker players from Harrah's East Chicago Casino & Hotel. As part of the property's expansive $27 million renovation, they've done some major upgrades to the video poker product.

For openers, the machines have all been converted to ticket-in/ticket-out technology, giving players the convenience of cashing out their credits in voucher form which can then be redeemed at the cashier or used to play another machine. The property already has 480 games converted to "fast cash". Later this year, more than 1,900 games will be "ticket-in/ticket-out" compatible.

The technology makes it easier for players to keep their winnings. For example, if you catch four-of-a-kind on a quarter machine for 400 coins ($100), instead of having to stop and collect the coins in a bucket (and risk the inconvenience of a hopper fill if the machine goes empty), just hit the cash-out button, collect a $100 voucher, and continue play with another twenty-dollar bill.

Harrah's East Chicago has also introduced 20 new slant-top video poker games available in such popular themes as Super Double-Double Bonus, Super Double Deuces Wild and Double Bonus Poker Plus.

Video poker players can also experience dedicated service in the newly redecorated table games area on the third level of the spacious vessel, where many of the new games are located. There's another dedicated video poker area on the other side of the floor which has been redesigned for the comfort and convenience of players.

One other bulletin: The casino is adding "Fast Action" video poker games that are being linked to a 5-tier progressive. But the best news of all is that the pay tables of some of the games have been restructured for more player-friendly games and higher percentage pay back. Check them out.

The renovation in progress at Harrah's East Chicago is certainly going to create one of the most exciting playing environments in this market.

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