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Heard it on the River

11 March 2004

The most recent newsworthy event that will have impact for TUNICA RESORTS was a presentation by PricewaterhouseCoopers of its summary of findings for the proposed Tunica Convention Center and hotel. The five-month study provided an analysis covering the firm's findings on the potential of the market for a convention center of up to 300,000 square feet at an estimated cost of up to $49 million as well as a 300 to 500 room connected hotel costing up to $50 million. This development has a lot of interest but challenges exist, not the least of which is the nearly $100 million cost. There is no doubt such a development would accelerate our attractiveness as a destination site but the ball is now in the hands of the County Board of Supervisors. The site for the new center would be on Highway 61, just north of the new Tunica National Golf & Tennis Club. More details are included in the front-page story in this issue of JACKPOT.

Other news we are waiting on is the announcement of financial backing for the proposed NASCAR track for the county. We heard that the money might be coming out of Arkansas with some local backing as well. Stay tuned. I have this picture in my mind, thousands on thousands of visitors driving to the track and past a beautiful new convention center and hotel.

BALLY'S has boosted the prize money significantly for its very popular ULTIMATE BLACKJACK SERIES. The next event, scheduled for April 16-18 now guarantees a $60,000 first prize, up from the previous top prize of $50,000 and the casino has also upped the total prize money from $125,000 to $150,000. The success of this event and the record player turnouts is the reason Bally's is increasing the money and they are now setting their sights on 300 participants which is very realistic. Call ACE at 1-800-38 -BALLY, Ext. 1511.

SPEAKEASY GAMING of FREMONT has completed purchase of BINION'S HORSESHOE in Las Vegas. In conjunction with the transaction, HARRAH'S ENTERTAINMENT acquired rights to the Horseshoe brand in Nevada and to the World Series of Poker. The casino is expected to reopen on or about April 1 and host the 35th WSP beginning April 22. Speaking of poker, congrats to SAM'S TOWN dealer, TONY BIRCHER, who won a seat on the WORLD POKER TOUR cruise. Call us when you get back, Tony, with some good news. Thanks for the timely tip, FRANK R.

For the first time ever, HARRAH'S is opening is famous MILLIONAIRE MAKER slot tournament to the public in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the biggest slot tournament series in the USA. Previous events were by invitation only. Sign up must be before May 22 when the next tournament is held that will provide one winner with a trip to Atlantic City in October to compete for the million-dollar top prize. During the period April 17 to May 8, Harrah's will hold a car drawing each Saturday.

The font of information when it comes to gambling is the GAMBLER'S BOOK SHOP
in downtown Las Vegas that is operated by HOWARD SCHWARTZ. This is the man and the place known for an expertise in supplying books and information not only to players but to casino management, researchers, TV production people, movie directors and even the stars themselves. Howard, "the gamblers librarian" has been running the store for over 25 years and has mailed out about 80,000 catalogs that contain 80 pages on 1,000 different books on gambling and anything related to it. You can get a free copy by calling 1-800-522-1777 or check it out online at www.gamblersbook.com.

Speaking of catalogs, or rather a tome that is a business directory, if you are in casino management or a vendor or would-be supplier to casinos, you have to check out the new 2004 edition of the Gaming Business Directory that is has just been issued by CASINO CITY PRESS, a leading publisher of reference books and directories for the gaming industry. I scanned the new directory and have to tell you, if it pertains to the biz, it's in this edition. It has the most up-date-info on gaming properties, property owners, gaming industry suppliers and their executive contacts in over 35 casino departments. This treasure trove also lists over 5,000 industry suppliers along with agencies and commissions, associations, trade shows, trade publications, and more. EDITOR MICHAEL OPTON says it's a must-have for anyone doing business in the gaming industry and that it is also available on CD and online at GBDonline.com. Want to know more, call 1-800-490-1715 or visit www.CasinoCityPress.com

HARRAH'S ENTERTAINMENT says it will keep the WORLD SERIES OF POKER at Binion's Horseshoe in downtown Las Vegas for the 2005 event. Harrah's has also announced approval of construction of a $142 million, 450-room hotel tower for its New Orleans casino that is expected to open in early 2006. STEVE PAIROLERO. Executive chef for Grand Casino has been elected president of the AMERICAN CULINARY FEDERATION, Tunica/Memphis Chapter. Board members elected to serve included BALLY'S Executive Chef, WILLIE SINGLETON, and Caesars Entertainment Regional Director of PR and Community Affairs, VALERIE MORRIS. At SHERATON, BRIAN EBY has moved up from director of slot operations to VP of Operations and now has duties in operation and management of all F&B outlets, slots, table games, environmental services, and hotel and valet operations.

HORSESHOE EXECUTIVE HOST GEORGE KLEIN now has a new TV show on Channel 18 called "Memphis Sounds With George Klein." It is basically a talk show with Memphis music folk, and is on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. and repeated Fridays at 4 p.m. and Sundays at 9:30 a.m. Speaking of the 'Shoe, I noticed they now have FOUR CARD POKER on the floor.

With milder weather creeping up, you might start thinking about a cruisee on the TUNICA QUEEN riverboat that sails daily from the dock at the recently opened RIVERPARK. Just call 866-805-3535 for cruising times.

CASINO FACTORY SHOPPES, the locally- owned and operated outlet Mall in TUNICA RESORTS, has launched a new website for its 30 name brand outlet stores on Highway 61. Check it out at www.casinofactoryshoppes.com. HOLLYWOOD CASINO'S Star Peformers of the Year 2003 are GLENDA MINATREA and DAVID WALKER. You have probably seen the billboard on Hwy 61 for SOLID GOLD casino in Mhoon Landing, where it all started, but no permits have been issued, we heard.

FROM THE QUOTABLE GAMBLER…The Lyons Press

"When I told Canada Bill the game he was playing in was crooked, he said, "I know it is, but it's the only game in town."

GEORGE DEVOL…Forty Years a Gambler on the Mississippi (1892)

LAISSEZ LE BON TEMPS ROULER

Heard it on the River is republished from CasinoVendors.com.
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
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