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Best of John G. Brokopp

Gaming Guru

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News and Views on Chicago-Area Gaming

4 December 2000

Congratulations to Harrah's Entertainment, Inc., for bringing direct-mail casino marketing to a refreshing new plateau with "Harrah's World", the first promotional tool that treats recreational casino gamblers not only as consumers but also as fans.

Printed in magazine format on glossy paper, the 20-page publication contains news and updates from Harrah's properties around the world, as well as information, articles, and features that are of interest to people who enjoy casino gambling as an entertainment option.

The Summer 2000 edition, for example, had a two-page spread about casino craps and how to play the game, along with a fascinating historical sidebar. There was also a feature about three Harrah's slot winners and their first-hand accounts of what it was like when they hit jackpots.

There was an equally informative feature about roulette in the Fall 2000 edition, along with some stories about slot jackpot winners and a revealing article about the research, design, and manufacture of slot machines.

Each issue also includes coupons for Harrah's properties, travel tips, recipes, news from local properties, as well a "ticker" of fast facts run across the bottoms of the pages that reveals such things as 7,123 decks of cards are used by Harrah's dealers every day or that there are 30,162 slot machines found in all Harrah's casinos world-wide.

"Harrah's World" was developed by David Norton, the company's national vice-president of loyalty marketing. When contacted at his Las Vegas, Nevada, office, Norton acknowledged that the magazine has been an unqualified hit with Harrah's customers.

"The Fall edition is the third issue in its present form," Norton said. "When our Total Rewards players club program expanded from Total Gold to Platinum and Diamond levels, we felt a magazine worthy of the improvements that were made was in order.

"It comes out four times a year (summer, fall, winter, and spring). The front and back portions of the magazine are consistent with the national perspective. There is a 6-page section inside that is devoted to the local properties in the particular region of the country the magazine is distributed.

"We feel the magazine gives a good balance of gaming-type articles. There is information about the games as well as an element of history. In addition, we promote our new slot products in a manner that's very pleasing to our customers."

Congratulations, Harrah's, on a major break-through for those of us who like to be informed and entertained when reading about gaming.

Hollywood Casino's new $3.25 million link barge opened to a gala grand opening in August. The response from patrons was an instant "hooray". It connects the City of Lights I and City of Lights II riverboats on the west side of the casino's land-based pavilion.

The link barge is 40 feet wide by 120 feet in length. It houses a new casino bar, promotions booth, and coin redemption cage. It gives customers the feeling that all of Hollywood's slots and tables games are now under one roof, as opposed to in two separate and distinct casino gaming areas.

"It eliminates the need for our patrons to disembark and walk from one casino to the other when they are looking for a certain game or just a change of pace," said Patt Medchill, executive vice-president and general manager of Hollywood Casino Aurora.

Guests are able to cross the link barge on both the first and third levels of the four-story casino. The link barge is the first step toward the eventual construction of a totally new 75,000 square foot, two-story dockside facility, which will replace the current boats and link barge.

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