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Best of John G. Brokopp

Gaming Guru

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Sports betting, poker and other reader questions

21 February 2007

Q. What is your view on someone physically in Las Vegas placing bets on behalf of other people? Is this legal? It seems to me that if the bet is being placed where betting on sports is legal, there would be nothing wrong with it.

Bob C.

A. First of all, messenger betting is against the law in the state of Nevada. But knowing that there are ways around everything, I posed your question to an inside source in Las Vegas sports and race book operations. He told me: "Race and sports books in Las Vegas reserve the right to refuse any and all bets. They make it very difficult for messengers to place bets. If they suspect the action is messenger betting, they may confront the individual and refuse the bets entirely."

Q. I was curious if you've heard any whispers about Harrah's bringing a poker room to its Joliet Casino? I figure that with Harrah's owning the World Series of Poker, it would be logical for them to have a poker outlet in Illinois.

Joshua M.

A. Harrah's would love to be represented in the Chicago market with its powerful WSOP brand but the Joliet property faces two major hurdles: space limitation and the Illinois restriction on the number of gaming positions. I'm thinking Harrah's is waiting for the new barge to open at Horseshoe Hammond in the summer of 2008. The Las Vegas-style 36-table poker room that's on the drawing board for the property will give Harrah's all the marketing and promotional might they've been looking to generate in the underserved Midwest market.

Q. Suppose a casino offers Guaranteed Play video poker at the quarter level at the rate of $20 for 100 plays. I calculated for optimum play on 9/6 Jacks or Better, after 100 plays you'll be behind $20 or more just four percent of the time. I cannot see the casinos offering decent pay tables when they could be missing out on four percent of the players' money.

Jim. T.

A. Your estimate could be a conservative one. IGT's Guaranteed Play will likely not appeal to, nor is it intended for, skilled video poker players. It will likely be marketed to casino novices and people on weekend getaways who will receive Guaranteed Play vouchers as part of their overnight packages. The pay tables, as you suspect, will probably not be of the variety that the expert players look for.

Q. Can you please write a column on proper tipping when receiving casino dinner comps. What's your take on the subject?

Tony V.

A. Good service should be appreciated and rewarded appropriately regardless of whether you pay for your meal or not. Complimentary meals, be they at the coffee shop or the high-end restaurant, are commonplace in casino dining venues. But at the end of the dining experience when your server requests that you sign the tab, it's proper etiquette to make note of the dollar amount of the bill and leave your server a 15 - 20 percent gratuity just as if you had paid for the meal.

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