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Best of Rudi Schiffer

Gaming Guru

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Heard it on the river

13 December 2012

By Rudi Schiffer

I would think that many of us hope 2013 is a lot better than the year about to end. Heck, even a little better would be fine. So many challenges remain out there that affect the casino industry and with them a lot of economic uncertainty. While the biz takes its share of arrows it is still a great source of entertainment and an impactful contributor to the tax revenue bases of the communities it operates in.

Online gaming is fast emerging but with legislative obstacles to overcome. As it makes headway how much impact will it have on existing and traditional markets? It is an interesting development that will be closely watched.

If there is one thing the industry has, it is resilience and a strongly developed sense of competition. No operators are closing their doors in Mississippi and none are expected to do so. Look at the success of Southland Racing & Gaming in West Memphis, which turned an aged dog track into a casino that has enjoyed great success in tough times.

I feel a modest turnaround is coming. Let’s face it, people love to gamble, and with an uptick in the economy, the number of gamblers will increase. Gambling money is highly discretionary and has undergone lots of pressure the last several years. My gut feeling is that 2013 will be a better year, not back to the salad days of yesteryear, but forward moving at least. Ask me about my thoughts next December.

Poker players are not worried about the state of the business, just thinking about tournaments like the WINTER POKER CLASSIC getting ready to kick off at GOLD STRIKE CASINO RESORT on Dec. 14 and running through the 22nd. Poker Room Manager Karen Kaegin says the Main Event will be a $750+$50 buy-in with nightly no-limit tournaments and daily super satellites. While the tournament is running, non-poker gamers can get in on the $1,000,000 FREEPLAY promo running through Dec. 22. And in the spirit of the season, you are invited to bring the kiddies for free photos with Santa on Dec. 15 and Sunday Dec.16 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Gold Strike’s lobby. The kids get to eat free in the Courtyard Buffets with the purchase of an adult buffet. That means the dessert bar will be raided. And HERMAN’S HERMITS starring PETER NOONE are still with us and will be performing Dec.14-15 with an OLDE ENGLISH CHRISTMAS. And if you want to escape the kitchen during the holidays, leave the cooking to Gold Strike on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. Chicago Steakhouse offers a specialty menu as does the Atrium Café.

What would you like to see in our Mississippi casinos next year? A new game, looser slots, more freeplay, easier comps, what? E-mail me your thoughts at and I might put your name and suggestion in my next column. Send to me by Dec. 19 and keep your comment to about 20 words. And being the Holiday season don’t forget to tip those who serve you all year . . . the dealers, valets, cage folks, servers, maids, bartenders et al. They work hard for you and tips are most welcome this time of year. Spread some cheer.

The Mayans of Mexico predicted the world would end on the 21st of this month. They must have had a heck of a calendar. So why not go out in a blaze and attend the END OF THE WORLD PARTY at SOUTHLAND PARK? There will even be Mayan dancers on the casino floor and every hour $1,212 in Freeplay will be given away. If it goes as predicted at least we won’t have to file taxes next year. Reminder that Southland Park will be closed on Tuesday, Dec. 25 but will reopen the next day. Nice to see somebody respects this holy day.

Resorts Casino Tunica and Bally’s Tunica will both be giving away cars for the holidays. Resorts is giving away a Fiat each day from Dec. 29 to the 31st plus $20,000 in free slot play each of the days. Sister Bally’s is doing much the same but with three VW Beetles. At Gold Strike you can win a Lexus IS350 during Revved Up Jackpot Penny Machines.

The Fitzgeralds Casino Hotel - Tunica “Loosened Our Slots” promotion has taken hold and one-third of the slots there are tagged as such. If you are playing there on Friday nights you can get in on the $60,000 Santa’s Stash of Cash from 6-10 p.m. There will be 45 winners.

“The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that’s the way to bet.” -- Sportswriter Grantland Rice
Rudi Schiffer
Rudi Schiffer is a long time columnist and contributing writer for Jackpot Magazine, the South’s leading gaming publication, and for, 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 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.

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