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Best of John G. Brokopp

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Iowa and Indiana Survey Results

10 September 2002

Any "best of" survey of the Chicago-area casino gambling market has to reach beyond the boundaries of Illinois simply because there are five riverboat destinations located in Northwest Indiana, four of which are as close or even closer to many people in this state.

Half of Indiana's 10 riverboat casino properties are gaming options that many people in this area take advantage of, including Jack Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Harrah's Casino and Hotel in East Chicago, the Trump and Majestic Star in Gary, and the Blue Chip Casino & Hotel in Michigan City.

The other five properties that constitute the Indiana gaming mix are situated along the southern border of the state, including the Argosy Casino & Hotel in Lawrenceburg, the Grand Victoria Casino & Resort in Rising Sun, the Belterra Casino Resort in Belterra, Caesar's Riverboat Casino in Elizabeth, and the Casino Aztar in Evansville.

The 2002 Readers' Choice Awards for Riverboat and Land-Based Casinos conducted among the readers of Midwest Gaming & Travel magazine put the spotlight on Jack Binion's Horseshoe and Harrah's East Chicago, each of which received four top awards. The Majestic Star was selected tops in three categories, including two of the most important: Best video poker and best selection of table games.

The Horseshoe was singled out for favorite casino fine dining restaurant (Jack Binion's Steakhouse), most friendly employees, friendliest dealers, and most comfortable pavilion. Harrah's received accolades for best casino hosts, best player's club (Total Rewards), favorite casino buffet restaurant (Fresh Market Square Buffet), and best live entertainment.

The most decorated casino in Indiana according to the Midwest Gaming & Travel survey was Caesar's Riverboat Casino, which was the recipient of five awards, four of which came in hotel categories. The Argosy was honored in two areas, topped by the all-important favorite casino award as well as the best selection of slots bracket.

Even though Iowa gambling destinations are a stretch when it comes to being included in the Chicago-area market, there are five properties situated along the Mississippi River that are within driving distance. The Quad Cities region is home to the Isle of Capri Hotel & Casino in Bettendorf and the Rhythm City Casino in Davenport. Further north is the Mississippi Belle II in Clinton and the Diamond Jo Casino and Dubuque Greyhound Park & Casino in Dubuque.

Iowa is home to 11 other casino destinations, three of which are situated in the middle of the state and the remaining six along the western border.

Of those Iowa casinos located closest to the Chicago-area, the Isle of Capri in Bettendorf received a pair of Midwest Gaming & Travel awards in hotel-related categories. The Diamond Jo's employees were Reader's Choice award winners in two categories.

The most important gaming accolades in Iowa went to the Ameristar Casino Hotel in Council Bluffs. The nine awards it won included favorite casino, best selection of slots, best video poker, and best selection of table games. Harrah's in Council Bluffs notched five awards, including best player's club (Harrah's Total Rewards).

Look for complete survey results in the August edition of Midwest Gaming & Travel magazine. For information or subscription information call 507-835-1662 or visit www.midwestgamingandtravel.com.

CASINO NEWS: A tip of the "Thrifty Gambling" hat to Trump Casino in Gary which has designated every Tuesday as "Five Dollar Day". Minimum bets at all tables outside the high limit room, including blackjack, craps, roulette, Three Card Poker, and Spanish 21, are $5 all day.

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