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Best of John G. Brokopp

Gaming Guru

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Players Rate Midwest Native American Casinos

10 November 2004

In spite of the fact state sanctioned and regulated casino gambling in Illinois and Northwest Indiana gets a majority of the attention, there's a thriving Native American casino and hotel industry in the Midwest in Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota.

In its July 2004 edition, Midwest Gaming & Travel Magazine devotes a section to the results of its annual Readers' Choice Awards for Midwest Native American casinos. Since many Chicago-area gaming enthusiasts enjoy getaways to these destinations, I thought I'd share with you some of the survey results.

Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel in Tama, Iowa, made a clean sweep of awards in the Hawkeye State, proving without a doubt it's the hands-down Native American favorite in a state which also has a thriving state-regulated casino industry.

As for Wisconsin, which has no state-regulated casino gambling but 16 Native American properties, Ho-Chunk Casino Hotel & Convention Center in Baraboo pocketed a majority of the honors, including Favorite Casino. The Potawatomi Bingo Casino in Milwaukee and Oneida Bingo & Casino in Green Bay were also well represented. Lake of the Torches Resort Casino in Lac du Flambeau picked up a trio of awards while Majestic Pines Casino Bingo & Hotel in Black River Falls collected a tandem of key customer service awards, including Most Friendly Employees and Most Friendly Dealers.

The readers' choice in Minnesota, which has 18 Native American gaming properties but no state-regulated casinos, is the Treasure Island Resort & Casino in Red Wing with 11 awards. Mystic Lake Casino Hotel in Prior Lake and Northern Lights Casino & Hotel in Walker, were among honorees in the "Land of a Thousand Lakes".

Michigan has 16 Native American casinos in addition to a state-regulated gaming industry in the Detroit area. The Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mt. Pleasant received the most first-place honors, but Chip In's Island Resort & Casino in Harris was also popular with readers as were the Kewadin Casinos (there are three of them), Turtle Creek Casino in Traverse City and Little River Casino resort in Manistee.

Check out complete survey results in Midwest Gaming & Travel, visit their Website at www.midwestgamingandtravel.com or call 507-835-1662.

CASINO NEWS: In response to the column two weeks ago about 3-5-7 Poker, one of the poker craze table game spin-offs, I received several inquiries from readers asking where the game is available in the Chicago area.

Two of the four casinos properties in Northwest Indiana currently offer 3-5-7 Poker, including the Majestic Star at Buffington Harbor in Gary and Harrah's East Chicago Hotel & Casino, where it can be found in the new "Party Pit" table games area located on the second level of the vessel.

The new $50-million parking facility at Jack Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana, is now open. It can accommodate 2,000 cars for casino patrons and boaters who visit the Hammond Marina.

"The addition of this new facility will complement our existing nine-story structure and will provide ample parking and convenience for those visiting the lakefront," said Rick Mazer, Senior Vice President and General Manager.

The facility is very aesthetically pleasing, unique in the Chicago-area gaming market. It has an attractive Las Vegas-style lighted display sign, upscale ornamented facade, state-of-the-art illumination and an elevated walkway.

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