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Best of John G. Brokopp

Gaming Guru

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Readers Speak Their Peace about Casinos

4 August 2004

Even though people attend casinos primarily for the gambling, many of the properties in the Chicago area have evolved into regional "getaway" destinations that feature luxurious hotel accommodations, fine and casual dining, lounges and clubs, and popular entertainment.

In its March issue, Midwest Gaming & Travel magazine asked readers to select their favorite casinos in a variety of gaming-related and hospitality categories based upon their experiences over the preceding 12 months. The complete survey results were published in the June edition, but here's a recap of the people's choices:

In the categories which this columnist deems most significant, the Hollywood Casino in Aurora was the most decorated property in the Chicago area, sweeping six awards overall, four of them in my target areas: Favorite Casino, Best Selection of Slots, Favorite Casino Fine Dining Restaurant (Fairbanks Steakhouse) and Favorite Casino Buffet (Epic Buffet).

Argosy's Empress Casino & Hotel and Harrah's Joliet Casino and Hotel each picked up five awards. Among the target categories, Empress was selected as the property with the Best Video Poker while Harrah's was cited for Best Players Club (Total Rewards) and Favorite Casual Dining Restaurant (Winning Streaks).

The most honored casino property in Illinois was the downstate Casino Queen Hotel and Casino in East St. Louis, Illinois. It finished on top in seven categories including Favorite Casino Hotel and Best Selection of Table Games.

In Northwest Indiana, the Majestic Star Casino in Gary led the awards parade with five, including the all important Best Video Poker and Best Selection of Table Games brackets.

Harrah's East Chicago Casino & Hotel was honored as having the Best Players Club (Total Rewards) and Favorite Casino Buffet (Fresh Market Square) while Jack Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Hammond was voted as having the Favorite Casino Fine Dining Restaurant (Jack Binion's Steakhouse).

All of the other Indiana awards went to the properties in the southern sector of the Hoosier State where there is a thriving gaming market on the Ohio River.

If you're a casino gambling fan who's also interested in the many travel and tourism options available in the seven state Midwest region, Midwest Gaming & Travel is an excellent monthly information resource.

The June edition also covers properties in Iowa, Michigan and Missouri while the July issue will feature Native American Casino destinations, including properties in Wisconsin that are a relative short distance away for Chicago area weekend and vacation travelers.

The magazine features monthly columns by the best known gambling authorities in the country, including Frank Scoblete (Craps Connoisseur) Henry Tamburin (Blackjack Magic), Bob Dancer and John Robison (Video Poker Insights), Jean Scott (Makes Cents), Fred Renzey (Poker Pundit), John Grochowski (Casino Q&A), and Victor Royer (Slot Smarts). Dan Donarski authors a monthly "Midwest Sportsman" column.

There are at least three special features in each issue, plus there are monthly updates on Midwest casino happenings, entertainment, tournaments, general information and travel tips, and announcements about festivals and events of interest for the entire family.

Check out Midwest Gaming & Travel's Website at www.midwestgamingandtravel.com or call 507-835-1662.

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