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Heard it on the river

6 November 2006

By Rudi Schiffer


Nothing but positive news is coming out of the Gulf Coast these days as far as the casino industry is concerned. The SOUTHERN GAMING SUMMIT returns to BILOXI after staging the industry event in Tunica last year. The 14th annual summit and trade show will be held May 9-10 at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum and attendees will get a first hand look at the how the region is rebuilding in the wake at Hurricane Katrina. What they will find is a thriving gaming business but not much else as residential and business reconstruction is far behind as we write this column. On the plus side of the rebound revenue is up and the increase in casino jobs has been dramatic. With the recent opening of the SILVER SLIPPER there will be more than 14,000 casino employees at work.

In another media note closer to home, GOODTIMES RADIO SHOW for gamblers has increased its listenership with a 113 percent increase for cume listeners adults over 21 on WMC790 AM, Memphis. The new Country Legends music format for the station has proved popular and with recent purchase of the station by ENTERCOM, it is expected it will be an even more powerful entity under new Marketing Manager STEVE SANDMAN since Entercom is a strong believer in local marketing.

There is still time to buy tickets for one of my favorite annual events, The RED CARPET BASH at HOLLYWOOD CASINO. The gala on Saturday Nov. 11 directly benefits the life-saving work at ST. JUDE CHILDREN'S RESEARCH HOSPITAL and includes a sumptuous dinner after cocktails, and silent auction as well with dancing to follow. Tickets are $100 in advance by calling 901-373-5051, and are $125 at the door. You can also check it out at www.redcarpetbash.com. The gala will be a subject of a lot of talk on the GOODTIMES RADIO remote show at Hollywood the morning of the 11th from 8:30 to 10:30 and if you stop by our show in the lobby near the hotel entrance right next to the BATMOBILE and buy some tickets, we will have a special extra gift for you.

PEARL RIVER RESORT, the wonderful casino/hotel/golf/water park complex in the south-central area of the state, continues to thrive and improve as an economic engine for the region and we HEARD that plans are in the works to build a HILTON HOTEL there. The luxury hotel will be located on the site of the present golf cart barn at the end of the parking lot by the clubhouse at DANCING RABBIT golf course and give immediate access to the OAKS and AZAELA courses. While playing there recently, I saw something on the course that I have seen before… a flock of unconcerned turkeys about 50 feet away, not so unique, but in the flock was an albino hen. If there is a turkey-hunting season on the Choctaw's reservation, that bird should end up on a protected list, not on a Thanksgiving table.

FITZ is staging another of popular "FIGHTS AT THE FITZ" on Nov. 18 but this event will be sold out in advance as the card will be perhaps the best one ever put on there by PRIZE FIGHT BOXING. The Peterson brothers, both undefeated, will appear and the main event features the #3 world-ranked ANTHONY PETERSON (20-0-16 KO'S) in a lightweight eight-rounder against former world champ, ALRED KOTEY (24-13-1), from Ghana. Brother LAMONT (18-0-8 KO'S) will square off against MARTEZE LOGAN in a junior welterweight match. As a bonus to the stellar card, 8-time world champ ANN WOLFE (24-1-16 KO'S will fight a revenge six-rounder against the only gal that has ever defeated her, tough VALERIE MAHFOOD (19-11-9 KO's). Tickets are now on sale at the Fitz Casino gift shop for $25 in advance and $30 at the door as available. Call 800-766-5825.

JAY EUBANKS, poker room manager at the new Sports Ticker Poker Room in the GOLDEN MOON at Pearl River Resort, has announced a Christmas Classic No Limit Texas Hold 'em tournament for Dec. 9. The buy-in is $2,000 plus a $200 entry fee but only 100 players will be admitted with payouts based on total entries. Super satellite tournaments will be held on Sundays at 4 p.m. prior the event with the exception of the Thanksgiving weekend. You can contact Jay at 800-557-0711, ext. 6176 for more info.

The Resort has also announced that the WORLD SERIES OF BLACKACK qualifying tournaments return there every Thursday from Nov. 23 through Jan. 4. Weekly winners get $1,000 and advance to the finals on Jan 4. The winner of the finals wins $5,000 and a paid trip to the World Series of Blackjack Championship in Las Vegas with a shot a the $1 million prize pool. The weekly buy-in is $200 and is limited to the first 60 players. Call 1–866-44PEARL for more info. Also in December, Pearl River Resort is giving away $50,000 during a series of drawings on Dec. 2 with the grand prize of $25,000 set for a 10 p.m. drawing. Collect tickets for the drawing by playing your favorite game.

It was BALI-HAI but now has the name HARLOW'S CASINO RESORT. Slated to open in GREENVILLE, MS in Fall 2007, owner RICK SCHILLNG, changed the name of his new venture "to bring back that lavish old Hollywood style with even more grandeur to this new property." GM and COO DOM MEZZETTA of Tunica, said plans are for the destination to reflect the era known as the Golden Age of Hollywood. The 33,000 square foot casino and its 150-room hotel, will feature art deco décor.

Want to be famous? WHEEL of FORTUNE'S Wheelmobile will be at SAM'S TOWN this Saturday, Nov. 11 searching for contestants for the show. The first audition is scheduled for noon based on completed applications and a random drawing to play a simulated version of the game onstage in the RIVER PALACE. The casino version of this game has a proud history at Sam's Town and this year alone four MegaJackpots have been hit there for a total of $5.5 million.

FROM THE QUOTABLE GAMBLER. Lyons Press

"We needed money real bad at home and my daddy told me I had to stop work or stop gamblin'. And I said, 'Daddy, if I don't work how can I get money to gamble?' And Daddy, he said, 'Son, that's what gamblers got to figure out.' So I quite work."
Johnny Moss, World Championship Poker Player (Fast Company (1975)

LAISSEZ LE BON TEMPS ROULER.
Rudi Schiffer
Rudi Schiffer is a long time columnist and contributing writer for Jackpot Magazine, the South’s leading gaming publication, and for casinocitytimes.com, the world’s leading casino industry internet news distributor. He is also owner and co-host of the 20-year-old Goodtimes Radio Show, now simulcast on Fridays from 3-6 PM Central Time from Country Classic 1180 AM, Memphis networked with KMIS 1050 AM, and 103.9 KGLU FM from Kennet, MO covering parts of Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi. His radio show is also archived at audiovegas.com. A Boston University Journalism graduate, he resides in Memphis, TN. Known as the "Voice of Tunica" for his support the gaming jurisdiction for two decades, he was also recently named to Memphis Business Quarterly Magazine’s 3rd annual “The Power Players, Who’s Who” of Memphis.He is also a contributing writer for Southern Gaming & Entertainment and Mississippi Gaming.

Rudi Schiffer Websites:

www.AudioVegas.com