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Hot Fall Promotions at Hollywood Casino

21 November 2001

Hollywood Casino Aurora has announced a fall promotional schedule that gives Chicago-area gaming enthusiasts a two-tier opportunity to win and earn rewards in return for their patronage. Similar programs have been used at other Chicago-area riverboat casino destinations to entice gamblers but not on the same level or scope as Hollywood is doing.

The first tier, which Hollywood has called the "Quarter Million Hit Game", is based on the standard format of players earning entries for cash and prize drawings based on their play. The more you play the more you earn. What's not so typical is the $250,000 grand prize that's being offered. This promotion is targeted to slot and table game players of all levels.

The second tier is a rather unique concept geared only toward slot and video poker players whose level of play is well above average. It gives such players the opportunity to earn, rather than win, spectacular rewards. There's no "luck of the draw" involved here. The first 300 people who qualify will receive a free 7-day vacation aboard Norwegian Cruise Lines.

Here are the details of the program, followed by the usual caution signs and nitty-gritty realities that must accompany any company's promotional marketing spin.

The Quarter Million Dollar Hit Game, to be held Oct. 1 through Jan. 11 next year, offers $335,000 in total cash and prizes. Slot and table games players will receive one entry for every five Star Points (slots) or five table game points earned. The entries will then be used for drawings to be held Nov. 10, Dec. 15, and Jan. 12. There will be $27,000 in cash prizes and eight 3-day Norwegian Cruise Line vacations given away on each of the drawing dates.

Additionally, all of the cash prize and vacation cruise winners from the three monthly drawings will be invited back to the Hollywood Casino Aurora on Feb. 2, 2002 and given one entry for the $250,000 grand prize drawing to be held at Noon.

In the second aspect of the promotion package, 300 slot and/or video poker players will earn a free 7-day vacation for two with Norwegian Cruise Lines to the Bahamas, Alaska, or New England and Canada. The retail value of each package ranges from $3,700 to $4,200 per couple. That's the good news. The not-so-good news is that you've got to churn a lot of money through Hollywood's slot machines to qualify:

The promotion will be in effect from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, 2001. The vacations will be awarded to the first 300 slot players who earn 1,000 Star Points and who have a minimum of one rated visit (including one visit in which you earn a minimum of 175 Star Points) to the casino in each of October, November, and December of 2001. A rated visit is when you play slots using your player's club card.

Slot players at Hollywood earn one Star Point for every $100 they play in the machines (you can track your individual play on each machine's metered display). This means that to earn 1,000 Star Points you must "churn" $100,000 through the machines during that 3-month period. To earn 175 Star Points on one of the visits means that you have to churn $17,500 through the machines.

The money you spend is not necessarily out of pocket. Anything you win and choose to play back is also counted, not to mention the very real prospect that if Lady Luck is on your side you could have a minimal out of pocket expense or even wind up with more money than you started with and still qualify for the free 7-day cruise.

There's no doubt you are required to play a lot. That one 175 Star Point visit requirement is out of reach for a majority of average players. And if you "chase" the free vacation by playing above and beyond your means you are totally defeating the purpose of responsible gambling. The same holds true for earning entries in the Quarter Million Hit Game.

But if you happen to be a higher level player anyway and usually play somewhere else, playing slots at the Hollywood Casino during Oct-Nov-Dec to earn a valuable reward could be well worth your while. Its kind of like a table games player choosing one casino over another because of better odds or more player friendly rules.

Qualified players may earn only one vacation cruise and the Star Points are ones actually earned and not those received via coupons or other promotional incentives.

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