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Best of Rudi Schiffer

Gaming Guru

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Heard it on the River

1 July 2005

"We are pleased to bring our two great companies together." With that statement GARY LOVEMAN, chairman and chief executive officer of HARRAH'S ENTERTAINMENT announced the closing of the deal that married CAESARS ENTERTAINMENT with Harrah's, but it also marked the beginning of what Loveman called the "most important task in the history of our company: Capitalizing on the tremendous potential of this merger.

That challenge will encompass Harrah's new properties in Mississippi, namely the two Grand Casinos on the Gulf Coast and Grand and Sheraton in Tunica. Loveman believes that the joining of both companies with their proven capabilities and marketing expertise will "generate strong sustainable growth that will benefit our shareholders, our employees, our customers and every community where we operate." Loveman's optimism bodes well for the new Harrah's properties and the company has the muscle and a proven track record to make it happen.

The Harrah's File:

  • 4 million square feet of casino space
  • 40,000 plus hotel rooms • Nearly 100,000 employees
  • Age of company, 67 years
  • 40, number of casinos
  • www.harrah's.com

    Lots of folks are asking me what will the casinos be named and in all likelihood, Grand in Tunica will carry the Harrah's brand, Sheraton will probably remain the same, Grand Gulfport will likely become Harrah's and Grand Biloxi will probably become Horseshoe.

    The deal is the last one for Tunica, at least for the present, and marks the close of period that saw GOLD STRIKE sold to MGM/Mirage, Harrah's Tunica and Bally's Tunica acquired by COLONY CAPITAL, and HORSESHOE to Harrah's. The way the industry is moving forward these days, look for more takeovers down the road.

    RESORTS TUNICA made a strong statement this past week. It could be called "false advertising" but if you said you were going to award one car and then changed it to FIVE cars, what would you call it? How about something like…"great move," or "wow,' or, fill in your own description here. Not stopping there, Resorts also announced on the day of its grand opening celebration that it was giving $10,000 to five charities rather than the one also. What a great statement to make about community involvement.  

    Popular freestyle fighting is making a comeback at GRAND in August. The last time these brawls were held there they drew very well. HORSESHOE has announced the opening of its new poker room that has moved to the area facing the high limit blackjack room. The new room is said to be Binion-style with 16 poker tables and anew snack bar. I'm sure poker players are already checking it out.

    SMOKEY JOE'S CAFE has been re-incarnated at SAM'S TOWN and its comeback will be featured in the next issue of JACKPOT. F&B DIRECTOR JACK ELIA and EXECUTIVE CHEF BARRY RHODES and their staff have worked hard to make this happen. The restaurant is located by the escalator on the second floor of the atrium where CORKY'S was formerly situated. The ever-poplar ribs and barbecue of Corky's can now be found in the Great Buffet. Any place that serves MEE -MAW meatloaf has to be good. Also coming soon to Sam's Town are two big money promotions…the $100,000 RED, WHITE and BLUE slot tournament on July 15-17 featuring a $50,000 first place prize, and the $150,000 BUST THE BANK GIVEAWAY every Wednesday and Saturday in July.

    GoodTimes radio will be celebrating FITZGERALDS 11TH anniversary this Saturday with a live broadcast from the lobby, just around the corner from the Blarney Stone. Stop by and say "laissez le bon temps rouler" and we will comp you with some buffets. Well, at least the first two or three to show up. Highlight of the birthday is a free trip for two to Ireland given away on the grand finale weekend (this one). There is still time to get in the on last FAST 500 FRIDAY (June 24). So far, there have been 420 winners who have crossed the finish line with their share of the more than $210,000 given away.

    AGA BOOM, which is Russian for the word "paper", will be making a second stand at GOLD STRIKE'S Millennium Theatre soon. This talented troupe provides fun for all ages and because the show is so popular it won't be a one-night appearance. The run will extend from July 7 through the 25th. Call 1-888-24K-PLAY for more information. When you attend the show you will see why they are called Aga Boom. The act has the wildest finish going.  We took in the ground breaking for the $10 million B.B. King museum that took place recently in Indianola, where King was born. The ISLE of CAPRI supported the event and to honor the legendary blues king, the regional gaming company will host a concert on Saturday July 30 that will also be the only official birthday celebration for King's 80th birthday. President TIM HINKLEY said the event would be a benefit to help raise funds for the museum that will preserve Delta blues heritage and encourage and inspire young artists and musicians. Get tickets to the concert at ticketmaster.com when they go on sale July 1.

    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
    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