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Best of John G. Brokopp

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Harrah's Happy It Found a Lucky Horseshoe

13 April 2005

Harrah's Entertainment has established a high profile presence in the Northwest Indiana gaming market, a presence the company does not want to see diminished once its highly successful East Chicago Casino & Hotel property officially becomes a member of the Colony Capital family later this year.

That's the main reason Harrah's will probably invest heavily in Horseshoe Casino Hammond, the brand it acquired last year. Harrah's is looking forward to capitalizing on the public perception and name recognition that gaming legend Jack Binion created with Horseshoe.

In spite of operating with a space-challenged gaming vessel and no hotel facility, Horseshoe is the long-time Northwest Indiana market leader in gross revenues. Its status as the closest casino to downtown Chicago certainly doesn't hurt.

Once Harrah's severs its ties with East Chicago, look for the gaming giant to flex its marketing muscles with the Horseshoe. At some point in the future, a larger gambling vessel and development of a hotel complex and associated amenities isn't out of the question.

Harrah's is not about to surrender the customer base it so successfully cultivated at East Chicago. They want to bring that business to the Horseshoe, but in order to accomplish that they'd have to make major revisions to the slot inventory and bring in more lower denomination games.

Harrah's executives are smart enough not to mess around with the enormously successful Horseshoe brand and the Jack Binion mystique. But only after the property is expanded and its corporate footprint at the present location is enhanced will it ascend to the next plateau.

Meanwhile, Gary DeWitt, vice-president of slot operations at the Horseshoe, reports that the property's entire slot inventory has been converted to TITO (ticket-in/ticket-out) coinless technology, which means every one of the Horseshoes 2,012 machines now accepts and issues cash vouchers.

This is in addition to the Horseshoe's recently introduced DirectBet system, which allows guests to use cash-back coupons that they receive in the mail directly at the machines instead of having to redeem the coupons at the cashier. All that's required is for players to insert their Winner's Circle players card in the machine and wait for their name to appear in the LED display. The player then inserts their DirectBet coupon directly into the machine's bill validator, after which the credits will be applied immediately for instant play.

CASINO NEWS: The Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin will continue to uphold its award-winning reputation for guest-pleasing promotions this spring with a cash drawing bonanza called Break the Bank, during which a total of $450,000 in guaranteed cash prizes will be awarded to lucky winners. Each Thursday during April and May, drawings will be held at 2 pm, 6 pm and 9 pm. Five winners will be selected at each drawing with each of them having the opportunity to win up to $10,000.

Club Victoria members will receive one entry for every 1,000 points at any slot or table game from April 1, 2005 through April 28, 2005 for April's drawings, and from April 29, 2005 through May 26, 2005 for May's drawings. New members in Club Victoria will receive four bonus entries just for signing up.

The Grand Vic has some great entertainment scheduled this month on the entertainment stage in the Fox & Hounds Lounge in the pavilion. Performances start at 9 pm and 2 am on Friday and Saturday nights.

As always, the entertainment is presented free of charge. Fox & Hounds also features a variety of refreshing beverages, a great selection of domestic and imported draft and bottled beer, and a menu of appetizers, sandwiches, soups and salads to satisfy every late-night culinary craving.

Harrah's Happy It Found a Lucky Horseshoe is republished from Online.CasinoCity.com.
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