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Elgin's Own Grand Victoria Receives High Industry Honor

9 March 2005

By John G. Brokopp

The Grand Victoria Casino deserves a tip o' the hat for being recognized for sponsoring one of the "Ten Best Casino Promotions of 2004". It was honored for the imaginative and highly successful "We'll Pay Your Bills" giveaway that was held earlier this year.

The award ceremony took place at this year's Global Gaming Exhibition which was held in Las Vegas. This annual event is the biggest of its kind in the world and brings gaming industry exhibitors from all over the globe in addition to a bevy of internationally recognized celebrities.

The promotions awards were sponsored by "Playback", an e-report that is written entirely by players. After all, it is players who are the vital component of any casino's promotional business plan. Playback saw the need to analyze the best promotions from the player's point of view, recognizing the fact that we enjoy promotions that are fun, ones that do not prevent us from participating by scheduling the drawings at times we cannot attend, and ones that reward us for our loyalty.

Apparently, "We'll Pay Your Bills" did it all. The giveaway was structured so that players could choose the time they wanted for the drawings by using an innovative twist that allowed them a choice as to which drum they placed their entries in, which gave them control over the drawing time. They even had the option of spreading their entries across multiple drums. It was an imaginative luxury component that the Grand Victoria formulated in answer to a common question from guests: "What good is earning a lot of entries if I cannot be there for the drawing?"

Norma Foote, Playback's executive editor explained: "In July we sent faxes and e-mails to every casino in the United States and Canada asking them to please submit their best promotions. Each entry was reviewed by a special panel who each independently selected the Top Ten promotions. At the end of their ballots, the judges also chose four promotions that were their personal favorites."

Besides Foote, the judging panel consisted of Jeffrey Compton, vice-president of Compton-Dancer Consulting and one of the industry's most highly regarded player's club experts; Michael French, CEO of Inn of the Gods Casino; Wendy Grandin, former general manager of the Lady Luck Casino in Natchez, Mississippi; and Richard Langlois, former vice president of marketing for the Las Vegas Hilton.

Playback will also be sponsoring the Best Promotions of 2005 at next year's gaming show. For the first time, players will be included on the panel of judges.

The Grand Vic's "We'll Pay Your Bills" promotion featured weekly prizes totaling $15,000, including two weekly Grand Prize finalists winning $2,500 and a Grand Prize of $3,000 per month for a year or a one-time lump sum of $30,000. Players earned one entry for every 1,000 points of slot play in addition to bonus direct mail entries and four bonus entries for new player's club members.

The award-winning promotion awarded $1,000 and an entry into the weekly Grand Prize drawing from names that were pulled from the drums. The winners of the weekly drawings were then eligible for the drawing for the three finalists. The three finalists played a "Pay Your Bills" game to determine the Grand Prize winner.

The Grand Victoria was the only Chicago-area casino recognized in the "Ten Best Promotions of 2004" competition.

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.

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