Southern & Midwest Gaming and Destinations │ January 2023

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2022 READERS’ CHOICE AWARDS ...THE RESULTS ARE IN! PAGE 8 PLUS: TIPS ON BLACKJACK • CRAPS • VIDEO POKER & MORE! Covering casinos in Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida, Alabama, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, and more! FLIGHTLINE: A HORSE LIKE NO OTHER PAGE 4 CRAPS: BEST BET IN THE CASINO? PAGE 18 GAMINGANDDESTINATIONS.COM $5.00 JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2023 - VOL. 25 ISSUE 1

When you visit Coastal Mississippi, you will be met with southern charm, miles of scenic shoreline, and white sand beaches. Not to mention fabulous casino resorts, beautiful championship golf courses, world-class restaurants serving freshly caught coastal cuisine, headliner concerts, and thrilling attractions.

With itineraries to meet every budget, why not start planning your next getaway today?
COASTALMISSISSIPPI.COM ™
IN THIS ISSUE ON THE COVER 2023 Readers’ Choice Awards: Gaming enthusiasts from around the region have voted, and the awards have been announced. Check out the top properties in categories ranging from best suites and rooms to restaurants and buffets. 8 Gulf Coast 9 Tunica & Mid-South 10 Louisiana & Missouri 11 Indiana 12 Iowa & Michigan 14 Minnesota & Wisconsin ARTICLES & EDITORIAL 2 Casino Scene: Hot Happenings at Our Preferred Properties Get the scoop on what’s happening at our preferred properties around the region. 4 Breeders’ Cup Classic Champion Spotlight: Flightline – What could have been… 16 Top Cruise Line: Sail the Seas with Celebrity Cruises, the top pick for cruising by our readers. 16 Top Slot: Bull Blitz by Konami Gaming Find out why this hot new slot is all the rage and hitting casino floors nationwide. 18 Craps: Best Bet in the Casino? 19 Casino Strategy: Short Run Decisions 20 Sports Betting: Moneylines and Halftime Spreads Find us on Facebook @SouthernGaming @MidwestCasinos 4 16 18

GAMING AND DESTINATIONS CASINO SCENE

HOT HAPPENINGS AT OUR PREFERRED CASINOS, RACETRACKS AND MORE.

(Coastal Mississippi) As the website says, “When you visit The Secret Coast, you will be met with warm welcomes and 62 miles of shoreline dotted by unique coastal communities.” This is a perfect description of the Southern destination loaded with casinos, great golf, restaurants and more. Plus, with an array of luxurious casino resorts boasting delicious dining, relaxing spas, headlining entertainment and Vegas-style gambling, you can’t go wrong. Be sure to book your next gambling getaway on the Coast! Get more information about the area and other events and entertainment at GulfCoast.org.

(Tunica, MS) Hollywood Casino Tunica – Explore the glitz and glamour of the stars at Hollywood Casino Tunica with their amazing collection of Hollywood movie memorabilia scattered around the property. Guests are treated like celebrities with award-winning dining at Fairbanks Steakhouse, relaxing offerings in the Spa and luxurious accommodations in a 5-story hotel overlooking the casino floor or the 8-story tower next to the largest indoor pool in Tunica. When it’s time for casino action, Hollywood has you covered with over 1,000 slots, almost twenty table games and a sportsbook to get in on the action for the biggest games. For more information, call 1-800-871-0711 or visit HollywoodCasinoTunica.com.

(Mount Pleasant, MI) Soaring Eagle Casino Resort – If you are looking for great gambling and a full resort experience, look no further than Soaring Eagle. With 210,000 square-feet of gaming space, five hundred rooms and suites, and a Spa & Salon with everything you need to relax and be pampered, you can’t go wrong with a Soaring Eagle getaway! Also be sure to check out the array of dining options to fill any appetite that include Legends Diner, Ascend Sports Book & Lounge and more. Plus, don’t miss headliner entertainment with Anthrax and Black Label Society (Jan. 28), Chris Young (Feb. 4), John Michael Montgomery and Larry the Cable Guy (March 5). For information, and reservations, call 1-877-232-4532 or visit SoaringEagleCasino.com.

(Bowler, WI) North Star Mohican Casino Resort –North Star has plenty of reasons for a quick getaway and ensures a great stay from the second you step in the lobby. Guests enjoy great gambling with over 1,200 machines, and plenty of table games including blackjack, Three Card Poker, Let it Ride, Craps and more. Also, book a room in their luxurious contemporary hotel or the 57-site RV Park with 20-30-and 50-amp service, pull thru sites and an area with picnic tables and more. Also check out top entertainment including The Glam Band (Jan. 21), Dylan Scott (Feb. 3), Skid Row and Buckcherry (March 9) and The Oak Ridge Boys (March. 24). For more information and reservations, call 1-800-952-0195 or visit NorthStarCasinoResort.com.

(Onamia, MN) Grand Casino Mille Lacs - Visit Grand Casino Mille Lacs for your next weekend getaway and enjoy over 1,800 slot machines, an assortment of table games including blackjack, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, Mississippi Stud, and more. The ultra-cozy hotel offers a great option to kick back after a fun-filled day and if you are looking for more relaxation check out the top-notch amenities from a 24/7 fitness center to an oversized swimming pool. For more information call 1-800-472-6321 or visit GrandCasinoMN.com.

(Hinckley, MN) Grand Casino Hinckley - Grand Casino Hinckley is the northland’s go-to gaming destination for everything from slots and pull tabs, to bingo and Blackjack, making it truly a gamers paradise. Plus, the amenities at the property give guests the opportunity to enjoy downtime between gaming sessions with delicious dining, exciting nightlife and the award-winning Grand Harmony Spa. Here, guests can indulge in rest and relaxation with massages, facials, steam showers and more. Stay in style at the Grand Casino Hinckley Hotel for the full resort experience by calling 1-800-472-6321 or visit GrandCasinoMN.com.

(Sioux City, IA) Hard Rock Casino Sioux City – When it comes time to live it up like a rock star, a sure bet is Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Sioux City, Iowa. The hotel has 54-rooms and suites and is housed in a totally re-invented Battery Building that was once used for train traffic. Be sure to make reservations at the award-winning Main + Abbey Restaurant where you will be treated like royalty with their vast selection of wines and full menu of delicious offerings. The 45,000 square-foot casino is sure to keep you busy and there are two live entertainment venues that play host to great acts including One Night with Elvis (Jan. 28), Casey Donahew (Feb. 10), Thompson Square (Feb. 11), The Kentucky Headhunters (March 3) and more. For more information, call 1-844-222-7625 or visit HardRockCasinoSiouxCity.com.

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BREEDERS’ CUP CLASSIC CHAMPION SPOTLIGHT:

FLIGHTLINE: WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN...

Even though my contemporaries wouldn’t go as far as to label me an “old timer”, the truth is; I have been meticulously following thoroughbred horse racing for well over a quarter-century. Correspondingly, you can believe me when I say that inside of this epoch, I have beheld some equines that literally took my breath away. Specifically, horses like: Awesome Again, Smarty Jones, Ghostzapper, Zenyatta, Arrogate, American Pharoah and Justify, just to name a few. That said, it’s my humble opinion that none of the aforementioned racers are worthy to be mentioned in the same breath

as your 2022 Breeders’ Cup Classic Champion; Flightline.

Retired behind accumulating six wins from as many starts, Flightline transcends the moniker of “undefeated” because he is the only elite race horse I know of who was likewise “untested” throughout the duration of his career. In fact, Flightline’s slimmest winning margin was a gaudy six length gap (this after a tardy start) in Belmont Park’s 2022 1-mile $1 million Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap. Conversely, we have the undefeated (likewise six for six) Justify (your 2018 Triple Crown Champion)

who was basically “saved by the wire” in the Preakness Stakes from an “average Joe” named Bravazo.

As a two-year old, Flightline inexplicably gouged himself on a stall latch. This gruesome injury coupled with some other physical setbacks (which occurred early on in his three-year old season) cancelled out all hope associated with qualifying for the 147th Kentucky Derby. Hence, Flightline was ultimately cleared for takeoff on April 24th, 2021 at Santa Anita Park in a six furlong (¾ of a mile) $62,000 Maiden Special Weight

4 | GAMINGANDDESTINATIONS.COM
courtesy of Evers/Eclipse Sportswire/Breeders
Photo
Cup
Eric Floyd is a veteran turf writer who passionately promotes thoroughbred race horse aftercare. An excerpt from his all for charity thoroughbred horse racing novel, “Heaven’s Premier Horse Race” can be viewed at Amazon.com.

race. Owning a “bird’s-eye view” that witnessed an obliteration of six rivals by 13 ¼ lengths, track announcer Frank Mirahmadi thus divulged, “What a dazzling display at first asking! A potential star here! Flightline wins by double digits while wrapped up!”

Any thoughts pertaining to Flightline’s first race being a fluke were emphatically erased four months later at Del Mar Racetrack. It was there on September 5th, 2021 where trainer John Sadler’s star pupil pulverized a quintet of opponents by 12 ¾ lengths in a six furlong $40,000 Optional Claiming event. Conclusively closing out his three-year old campaign with a bang in late December, Flightline cantered home to win by 11 ½ lengths in Santa Anita Park’s seven furlong (7/8th’s of a mile) $300,000 Grade 1 Malibu Stakes.

Since extensive intervals of rest seemed to be an effective elixir, John Sadler didn’t commence Flightline’s four-year old season until June 11th, 2022. Putting himself “behind the 8-ball” due to a

tortoise-like start, the “odds-on” (less than even money) favorite in the aforementioned Metropolitan Handicap was consequently forced to uncharacteristically “rate” behind the well regarded Speaker’s Corner for the better part of four furlongs (½ a mile). Soon showing his adoring public that he simply scoffed in the face of adversity, Flightline subsequently drew off to win the “Met Mile” in a sizzling time of 1:33.40 seconds.

The big question surrounding Flightline as he entered the starting gate for Del Mar Racetrack’s $1 million Grade 1 Pacific Classic was whether or not he could “stay” thoroughbred horse racing’s “classic distance” of ten furlongs (1 ¼ miles). In hindsight, we can see with 20/20 vision that this bay colored son of the sensational sire Tapit actually desired to “run all day”. In what was likely the most dominant performance since Secretariat’s 31 length victory in the 1973 Belmont Stakes, Flightline ultimately carved out 20 lengths

of separation between himself and second place finisher Country Grammar.

In what would be the final start of his career, Flightline entered Keenland Racetrack’s starting gate as the overwhelming 2/5 favorite for the 1 ¼ mile $6 million Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic. Behind tracking speedster Life Is Good for the majority of the contest, the Breeders’ Cup’s most popular participant romped through the stretch en route to an 8 ¼ length score. Conclusively awarded 60% of the race’s purse due to their equine’s extraordinary effort, Flightline’s ownership group accordingly pocketed perhaps the easiest $3.6 million bucks in the history of thoroughbred horse racing!

So now that we have chronicled Flightline’s remarkable resume, we confront the logical question of, “Where does he rank all time?” Well before I attempt to answer this, I’d like to throw out two more

Photo courtesy of Carolyn Simancik/Eclipse Sportswire/Breeders Cup

startling statistics. The first is the staggering reality that Flightline went off at odds of 0.45 or below in five of his six starts. The second supplementary stat worth mentioning speaks to the point that Flightline was awarded a Beyer Speed Figure of 126 for his prized performance in the Pacific Classic. (This is the 4th highest number given out since the Daily Racing Form started publishing Beyer Speed Figures in 1991.)

In back of thinking long and hard about where Flightline rightly belongs in the long and storied annals of thoroughbred horse racing history, I have settled on the following (probably controversial) conclusion; “He could have been the greatest race horse of all time”. I say “could have” because at day’s end, Flightline’s comprehensive body of work is simply too small for him to ever supplant those immortal names like: Secretariat, Citation and Man o’ War. (Incidentally, the aforementioned equine magnates made a total of: 21, 45 and 21 starts respectfully.)

While the following is pure fantasy, I thought it would be fun to plot out

a hypothetical scenario for 2023 that could’ve legitimately landed Flightline in the ever evolving conversation which centers on, “Who is thoroughbred horse racing’s G.O.A.T.?” (Greatest Of All Time). For starters, suppose Flightline began the year by easily bagging Gulfstream Park’s $3 million Pegasus World Cup? Moving forward, let’s say this score was followed up by effortless victories in both the $20 million Saudi Cup and the $12 million Dubai World Cup. In back of a well deserved three month break, imagine that Flightline subsequently “repeated” in both Belmont Park’s $1 million Metropolitan Handicap and Del Mar Racetrack’s $1 million Pacific Classic. Finally, let’s visualize Flightline’s descent on Santa Anita Park in early November where he becomes only the second equine to go “back-to-back” in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. (Tiznow 2000-2001)

Now, it goes without saying that I just listed an ample amount of “what ifs”. Be that as it may, I truly believe (assuming he stayed healthy) that the preceding theoretical would have been well within Flightline’s reach. As a result, 2022’s “Horse

of the Year” could’ve then galloped off towards the stud barn at the end of 2023 with the supplementary moniker of “Thoroughbred Horse Racing’s G.O.A.T.”

As a concluding thought, I wanted to mention that Flightline’s ownership group ultimately faced the extraordinary difficult decision of either: manufacturing millions of dollars via the stud barn or embarking on a 2023 race campaign that could’ve conceivably christened Flightline, “Histories’ Greatest Race Horse”. (Quite obviously, the justifiable fear of a life threatening injury sustained during competition no doubt played heavily into this decision making process.) Let it be known though that if the choice had been mine, I would have vehemently pursued the “Greatest of All-Time” title rather than the referenced “studfee” monies (…and I really don’t care if you call me a liar). Alas, whenever I hear the name Flightline for the rest of my days, I will always automatically conjure up a thought anent to, “What could have been…”

6 | GAMINGANDDESTINATIONS.COM
Photo courtesy of Jessica Morgan /Eclipse Sportswire/Breeders Cup
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We are excited to once again unveil the winners of this year’s Readers’ Choice Awards showcasing the top casino properties that have excelled and garnered accolades from gaming enthusiasts throughout the region. Casino resorts are the best in the world showing their guests the best of the best, and these awards are a small token of appreciation from you, the gamers, and from us at Gaming and Destinations

Our annual Readers’ Choice Awards is designed to showcase the different regions for gaming options in categories that will introduce gamers of any type to properties they may not already be familiar with, and to help plan their next casino visit. A full-list of awards and contact information can be found at GamingandDestinations.com

Thanks to all of the voters who took the time to share their opinions. We hope you enjoy this year’s awards and find a few new casinos to add to your ‘favorites’ list.

8 | GAMINGANDDESTINATIONS.COM
THE RESULTS ARE IN 2022 GAMING & DESTINATIONS BEST OVERALL PROPERTY 1 BEAU RIVAGE RESORT & CASINO 2 GOLDEN NUGGET BILOXI 3 HARRAH’S GULF COAST  Suites 1. Beau
&
2. Golden
3. IP
Rooms 1.
2.
3.
Floor 1.
Casino Resort 2. Beau Rivage Resort & Casino 3. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sportsbook 1. Golden Nugget Biloxi 2. Beau Rivage Resort & Casino 3. Island View Casino Restaurant 1. Thirty-two @ IP Casino Resort & Spa 2. BR Prime @ Beau Rivage Resort & Casino 3. Mignon’s Steakhouse @ Palace Casino Resort Spa 1. Harrah’s Gulf Coast 2. Beau Rivage Resort & Casino 3. Palace Casino Resort Pool 1. Hollywood Casino Gulf Coast 2. Beau Rivage Resort & Casino 3. Golden Nugget Biloxi Golf Course 1. Fallen Oak-Beau Rivage 2. The Bridges-Hollywood Casino 3. Grand Bear-Harrah’s Gulf Coast Entertainment 1. Beau Rivage Resort & Casino 2. Harrah’s Gulf Coast 3. IP Casino Resort & Spa Entertainment Venue 1. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino 2. Beau Rivage Resort & Casino 3. IP Casino Resort & Spa Nightlife 1. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino 2. Beau Rivage Resort & Casino 3. Golden Nugget Biloxi Players Club (Ie. Comps, rewards, etc…) 1. Hollywood Casino Gulf Coast 2. Beau Rivage Resort & Casino 3. Harrah’s Gulf Coast Casino Personnel (Dealers, Slot Attendants, etc…) 1. Beau Rivage Resort & Casino 2. Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort 3. Hollywood Casino Gulf Coast Customer Service 1. Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort 2. IP Casino Resort & Spa 3. Hollywood Casino Gulf Coast Theme 1. Hollywood Casino Gulf Coast 2. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino 3. Golden Nugget Biloxi GULF COAST BILOXI, GULFPORT, BAY ST. LOUIS
READERS’ CHOICE AWARD WINNERS
Rivage Resort
Casino
Nugget Biloxi
Casino Resort & Spa
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Golden Nugget Biloxi
Harrah’s Gulf Coast Casino
Scarlet Pearl
Beau Rivage Resort & Casino
GAMINGANDDESTINATIONS.COM | 9 BEST OVERALL PROPERTY 1 HOLLYWOOD CASINO TUNICA 2 GOLD STRIKE CASINO RESORT 3 HORSESHOE TUNICA Suites 1. Gold Strike Casino Resort 2. Hollywood Casino Tunica 3. Horseshoe Tunica Rooms 1. Hollywood Casino Tunica 2. Gold Strike Casino Resort 3. Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall Casino Floor 1. Hollywood Casino Tunica 2. Horseshoe Tunica 3. Gold Strike Casino Resort Sportsbook 1. Gold Strike Casino Resort 2. Horseshoe Tunica 3. Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall Restaurant 1. Chicago Steakhouse @ Gold Strike Casino Resort 2. Fairbank’s @ Hollywood Casino Tunica 3. Binion’s @ Horseshoe Tunica Spa 1. Gold Strike Casino Resort 2. Horseshoe Tunica 3. Hollywood Casino Tunica BEST OVERALL PROPERTY 1 PEARL RIVER RESORT 2 AMERISTAR CASINO HOTEL VICKSBURG 3 WIND CREEK ATMORE Suites 1. Pearl River Resort 2. Ameristar Casino Hotel Vicksburg 3. Wind Creek Atmore Rooms 1. Ameristar Casino Hotel Vicksburg 2. Pearl River Resort 3. Riverwalk Casino Hotel Casino Floor 1. Ameristar Casino Hotel Vicksburg 2. Wind Creek Wetumpka 3. Pearl River Resort Sportsbook 1. Pearl River Resort 2. Riverwalk Casino Hotel Vicksburg 3. Ameristar Casino Hotel Vicksburg Poker Room 1. Ameristar Casino Hotel Vicksburg 2. Pearl River Resort Restaurant 1. Fire Steakhouse @ Wind Creek Atmore 2. Phillip M’s @ Pearl River Resort 3. Fire Steakhouse @ Wind Creek Atmore Pool 1. Hollywood CasinoTunica 2. Horseshoe Tunica 3. Gold Strike Casino Resort Entertainment 1. Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall 2. Horseshoe Tunica 3. Gold Strike Casino Resort Entertainment Venue 1. Horseshoe Tunica 2. Gold Strike Casino Resort 3. Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall Players Club (Ie. Comps, rewards, etc…) 1. Hollywood Casino Tunica 2. Gold Strike Casino Resort 3. Horseshoe Tunica Nightlife 1. Horseshoe Tunica 2. Hollywood Casino Tunica 3. Gold Strike Casino Resort Casino Personnel (Dealers, Slot Attendants, etc…) 1. Hollywood Casino Tunica 2. Gold Strike Casino Resort 3. Fitz Casino and Hotel Customer Service 1. Gold Strike Casino Resort 2. Hollywood Casino Tunica 3. Fitz Casino and Hotel Theme 1. Hollywood Casino Tunica 2. Fitz Casino and Hotel 3. Horseshoe Casino Tunica Spa 1. Wind Creek Atmore 2. Pearl River Resort Pool 1. Wind Creek Atmore 2. Wind Creek Wetumpka 3. Pearl River Resort Golf 1. Pearl River Resort Entertainment 1. Pearl River Resort 2. Ameristar Casino Hotel Vicksburg 3. Wind Creek Wetumpka Entertainment Venue 1. Ameristar Casino Hotel Vicksburg 2. Pearl River Resort 3. Wind Creek Wetumpka Nightlife 1. Ameristar Casino Hotel Vicksburg 2. Wind Creek Atmore 3. Wind Creek Montgomery Player’s Club (Ie. Comps, rewards, etc…) 1. Ameristar Casino Hotel Vicksburg 2. Pearl River Resort 3. Wind Creek Atmore Casino Personnel (Dealers, Slot Attendants, etc…) 1. Wind Creek Atmore 2. Riverwalk
Vicksburg 3. Pearl River Resort Customer Service 1. Ameristar
Vicksburg 2. Pearl River Resort 3. Riverwalk
Vicksburg
MID-SOUTH (MISSISSIPPI - ALABAMA)
Casino Hotel
Casino Hotel
Casino Hotel
TUNICA
Hollywood Casino Tunica Pearl River Resort
10 | GAMINGANDDESTINATIONS.COM BEST OVERALL PROPERTY 1 L’AUBERGE CASINO LAKE CHARLES 2 BALLY’S SHREVEPORT CASINO & HOTEL 3 MARGARITAVILLE RESORT CASINO Suites 1. Golden Nugget Lake Charles 2. Margaritaville Resort Casino 3. L’auberge Casino Lake Charles Rooms 1. L’auberge Casino Lake Charles 2. Bally’s Shreveport Casino & Hotel 3. Coushatta Casino Resort Casino Floor 1. Margaritaville Resort Casino 2. Golden Nugget Lake Charles 3. Coushatta Casino Resort Sportsbook 1. Golden Nugget Lake Charles 2. Paragon Casino Resort 3. Bally’s Shreveport Casino Poker Room 1. Bally’s Shreveport Casino 2. Harrah’s New Orleans 3. Paragon Casino Resort Restaurant 1. Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse @ Golden Nugget Lake Charles 2. Jack Binion’s Steakhouse @ Horseshoe Bossier City 3. Legend’s Steakhouse @ Paragon Casino Resort Spa 1. L’auberge Casino Lake Charles 2. Bally’s Shreveport Casino 3. Golden Nugget Lake Charles Pool 1. Paragon Casino Resort 2. L’auberge Casino Lake Charles 3. Golden Nugget Lake Charles Golf Course 1. Tahmaka Trails - Paragon Casino Resort 2. Contraband Bayou - L’auberge Casino Lake Charles 3. Koasati Pines – Coushatta Casino Resort Entertainment 1. Golden Nugget Lake Charles 2. Paragon Casino Resort 3. Horseshoe Bossier City Entertainment Venue 1. Paragon Casino Resort 2. Golden Nugget Lake Charles 3. Coushatta Casino Resort Nightlife 1. Horseshoe Bossier City 2. Golden Nugget Lake Charles 3. Bally’s Shreveport Casino & Hotel Player’s Club (Ie. Comps, rewards, etc…) 1. Bally’s Shreveport Casino & Hotel 2. Horseshoe Bossier City 3. Cypress Bayou Casino Hotel Casino Personnel (Dealers, Slot Attendants, etc…) 1. Cypress Bayou Casino Hotel 2. Margaritaville Resort Casino 3. Paragon Casino Resort Customer Service 1. Cypress Bayou Casino Hotel 2. Golden Nugget Lake Charles 3. Paragon Casino Resort
L’auberge Casino Lake Charles Ameristar St. Charles BEST OVERALL PROPERTY 1 AMERISTAR ST. CHARLES 2 HOLLYWOOD CASINO ST. LOUIS 3 RIVER CITY CASINO & HOTEL Suites 1. Ameristar
2. Hollywood
St. Louis 3. Horseshoe
Rooms 1. River
2.
3.
1.
2.
3. River
Poker Room 1.
2.
3.
Poker Room 1. Horseshoe
2. Riverside
3. Grand Falls Casino & Golf Resort Restaurant 1. Bugatti’s Steak & Pasta @ Ameristar St. Charles 2. 1904 Steak House @ River City Casino & Hotel 3. Final Cut Steakhouse @ Hollywood
St. Louis Spa 1. Ameristar
2.
Entertainment 1.
2.
3.
Entertainment Venue 1.
2. River
3.
1.
2.
3.
rewards,
1.
2.
3.
1.
2.
3.
Customer Service 1.
2.
3.
Theme 1.
2.
3.
LOUISIANA
St. Charles
Casino
St. Louis
City Casino & Hotel
Ameristar St. Charles
Hollywood Casino St. Louis Casino Floor
Ameristar St. Charles
Horseshoe St. Louis
City Casino & Hotel
Horseshoe St. Louis
Ameristar St. Charles
Hollywood Casino St. Louis
Council Bluffs
Casino & Golf Resort
Casino
St. Charles
Horseshoe St. Louis
Hollywood Casino St. Louis
River City Casino & Hotel
Horseshoe St. Louis
Hollywood Casino St. Louis
City Casino & Hotel
Horseshoe St. Louis Nightlife
Horseshoe St. Louis
Ameristar St. Charles
River City Casino & Hotel Players Club (Ie. Comps,
etc…)
River City Casino & Hotel
Hollywood Casino St. Louis
Horseshoe St. Louis Casino Personnel (Ie. dealers, slot attendants, etc…)
Hollywood Casino St. Louis
River City Casino & Hotel
Ameristar St. Charles
River City Casino & Hotel
Ameristar St. Charles
Hollywood Casino St. Louis
Hollywood Casino St. Louis
Ameristar St. Charles
Horseshoe St. Louis MISSOURI
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Voted the Grandest Players Club in Minnesota,15 years and counting!

We are thrilled to be voted the Best Players Club in Minnesota! It is an honor to have won this year, and numerous times in the past! We’re always motivated to consistently bring the best experiences to Grand Rewards™ members. A huge thank you to all the readers who voted for us. We couldn’t have done it without you.

Not a member yet? Sign up for Grand Rewards Players Club at Grand Casino for access to endless benefits and exclusive members-only perks at both casino locations. Visit our website at grandcasinomn.com to learn more.

BEST CRUISE LINE

CELEBRITY CRUISES

Celebrity Cruises has been catering to the gaming enthusiasts and it has paid off with a first-place finish in this year’s awards. Offering several convenient ports of call for excursions around the world, you won’t have trouble finding that unique and memorable vacation you’ve been looking for. The casino is partnered with M Life (MGM’s Player’s Club) so your tier status with MGM properties will be utilized for comps and upgrades with your cruise. The casinos offer the hottest slots and table games with a sophisticated ambiance and a captivating atmosphere that comes alive with plenty of action with over 2,000 slot machines and over 150 table games and much more available across our fleet. With late hours, action-packed casino cruise tournaments, and Lady Luck on your side, experience non-stop action available right on board your cruise and discover why our casino is where you play to win. For more information, visit CelebrityCruises.com

BEST SLOT MACHINE

BULL BLITZ

Bull Blitz by Konami Gaming is our Top Slot of 2023 and it is hitting casinos across the country as we speak! This amped-up version of All Aboard offers credit collection bonuses to ultra-high heights of reward potential through a new Xtra Hit feature.

Similar to All Aboard, this linked progressive slot series awards the credit prize feature with any 6 or more golden Bull Blitz symbols, where there’s a chance at random credit prizes, bonus awards, and progressive jackpots. If all 15 positions are filled, the big progressive Grand Jackpot is awarded.

The series is making its U.S. debut with many multidenomination options and two original base games: Fortunes of the Orient and Roses & Riches. Fortunes of the Orient features full-reel nudging wild in the free games, while the free game feature in Roses & Riches guarantees at least 2 full-reel wilds for every spin.

For more information on Konami Gaming and their line of casino products, visit Konami.com/gaming

Game Facts:

• Class III video slot game

• Integrated linked progressive series

• 2-level linked progressive

• 3-level non-incrementing bonus awards

• Stay & Spin feature

• Two unique base games: Fortunes of the Orient and Riches & Riches

• Multi-denomination: 1-cent, 2-cent, 5-cent, 10-cent, $1 and $2

16 | GAMINGANDDESTINATIONS.COM

CRAPS: The Best Bet in the Casino?

Let’s say you are playing a random game at a casino meaning you are solely relying on luck to win. Given that as the underlying basis, what is the best bet you can make? In short, it is the bet that gives you the best shot to win some money tonight, today, this week and maybe even this month.

Obviously, no one would pick the slot machines as almost all of those have edges ranging from around two percent (a rare occurrence!) to around 10 percent (a normal edge) all the way up to around 17 percent (those giant progressives). Play the slots and you need outrageous fortune to get in on any of the fortunes labeled on those machines.

Would you play roulette where the house edge is 5.26 percent on the double zero wheel or 2.7 percent on the single zero wheel? Roulette is a slot game but those edges are still way too high to make this the best bet you can make.

How about all those carnival games such as Three-Card Poker, Four-Card Poker, Let It Ride and Caribbean Stud? These games are fast and all of them have house edges at, about or above two percent. So I say no to these.

What about one of my favorite games, Pai Gow poker? If you can’t afford to bank the game, which can sometimes give you an advantage, the house edge is about 2.6 percent. But the game is slow and you get to make decisions on how to play your hand. So this game is a possibility because of its pace.

How about blackjack, the most popular table game in the casino? Playing perfect basic strategy gives the house a mere one-half percent edge as long as you don’t play the games that pay 6 to 5 on blackjacks or games that severely limit the choices you can make. This is another possibility.

However, all the possible best bets are no comparison to a simple bet at the game of craps called the Pass Line (or its twin the Come bet) with Odds, which is a separate bet that has no house edge.

Once you place the Pass Line bet, the house has a 1.41 percent edge – higher than blackjack,

lower than all the other games. Once a number has been established as the point, the Pass Line bet can have Odds placeed on it – some casinos allow two times the amount of the Pass Line bet (2X Odds) and that reduces the house edge to around .61 percent. If the casino allows three times Odds (3X Odds) the house edge drops to .47 percent. If the casino allows 5X Odds bets, the house edge goes down to .33 percent and with 10X Odds the house edge is just .18 percent.

That’s the first ingredient in why this is a great bet – the low house edge.

The second ingredient is the fact that your bet is not being decided on every roll of the die.

If your number is a 6 or 8, the bet is decided 11 times out of 36 possible combinations. If your number is 5 or 9 your roll is decided a mere 10 times for every 36 combinations and if your number is a 4 or 10, you face a very low 9 decisions for every 36 combinations.

What does that mean? It means simply that the game is slow when you bet the Pass Line with Odds. You face less than a 33 percent chance of winning or losing with each roll of the dice. Now that is just a great bet for a random player.

By the way, the Come bet works exactly the same way as the Pass Line bet and has exactly the same odds of winning and losing.

If you are the type of gambler who does not want to get an edge at craps by learning a controlled throw, the next best thing is to make the lowest house edge bets and the lowest of these is the Pass Line with odds. It is also a bet that is not decided on each and every roll.

Sadly, craps is a game where foolish ploppies attempt to come up with outlandish betting systems on really high house edge bets. A favorite of the real dopes of the game is one labeled “See a Horn, Bet a Horn” which is really stating that you should bet whatever number or multiple numbers that have just shown. The ploppies who bet this way are not only poor players but intellectually challenged.

Frank Scoblete’s web site is www.frankscoblete.com. His books are available at Amazon. com, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, e-books and at bookstores.

18 | GAMINGANDDESTINATIONS.COM
FOR MORE FREE TIPS, VISIT GAMINGANDDESTINATIONS.COM PLAYER STRATEGY
THE PASS LINE BET IN CRAPS HAS A 1.41% HOUSE EDGE, AND PLAYING BLACKJACK USING PERFECT BASIC STRATEGY GIVES THE HOUSE A MERE ONE-HALF PERCENT EDGE

CASINO STRATEGY: Short-Run Decisions

When you read gambling books and articles, you sometimes see a distinction made between the “short run” (tonight, this weekend, this week, this month) of a few hundred or a few thousand decisions, and the “long run” (a few years or more) of millions of decisions. In the short run, anything can and does happen. Players can go on incredible streaks of improbable wins or equally improbable losses.

Yes, it is true that tonight you can have a string of great luck and, maybe, you’ll have a week of incredible good fortune. But, the bigger the house edge on bets made and the greater the number of decisions you face, the more likely it is that your winning streak will come to a halt and you start a slippery slide down that icy mountain called loss.

Frank Scoblete’s web site is www.frankscoblete.com. His books are available at Amazon. com, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, e-books and at bookstores.

The long run is a very long time. Usually, it can be stated as the amount of time, or number of decisions, necessary for the probabilities to be within a given range of results. A coin flip will be, in the long run, faster than a roulette wheel because a coin flip has only two possible decisions and a roulette wheel has 37 or 38, depending on the type of wheel. As I stated, in the long run, the math of a game will win out over any aberrations that take place tonight.

So what is a gambler to do when making strategy decisions for the game of his choice? Some gaming writers suggest that since most players will never truly get into the long run, that strategies based on long-run results are fundamentally flawed, if not irrelevant. Some will suggest that you go for a guaranteed short-run win, (i.e. taking insurance when the dealer shows an ace and you have a blackjack.) In the short run, applying strategies based on the math of the games will only work if you intend to hit the casinos weekly, or daily. Many players buy into this notion. They prefer to play for here and now and they tend to forget about tomorrow.”

I play for tonight,” a gambler once told me. “I have no interest in learning strategies for craps. I just hope my luck will hold out and I can make some money. I have had some great evenings at the craps tables when everything went my way. I’ve also had very bad evenings as well. Overall? Overall, I am a loser. But so is everybody who goes to casinos.”

Although it is definitely not true that “everybody who goes to casinos” is a loser, it is certainly true the overwhelming majority are.

The types of streaks you have in all negativeexpectation games will be longer on the losing end, monetarily speaking, than on the winning end. The games are structured that way. Even when games are 50-50, such as a coin flip, the casino will (if it offered a game called “coin flip”) take out a tax on the winning bets. While a streak of three heads and three tails are equally likely, if the player won, the casino would take out “vig” or tax his winnings. If he bet $10, he’d win $9.50. However, when he lost, he’d lose the whole $10. So a winning and losing streak of three in a row would see the player down $1.50.

Is it wise to forgo what we know about the proper long-run strategies at games such as blackjack craps, Let It Ride, Caribbean Stud, and others, to take a chance on “luck” in the short run? Obviously, no. In fact, it is silly. There are only two ways to play casino games, the best way and all the other ways. The best way is to make the proper decisions each and every time. In games such as blackjack, that means following basic strategy to the letter, even if certain hands (such as 8:8 vs. a dealer’s 10; or 12 vs. a dealer’s 2) seem intuitively, almost suicidal. In games such as craps and baccarat, it means making the low house-edge bets. Likewise with card games where your strategy choices matter, such as Let It Ride, Caribbean Stud, Pai Gow Poker, and Three-Card Poker, the long-range strategy should be your short-range strategy. So keep these ideas in mind when you play. The long run is just made up of a lot of short runs and the math, not “luck,” will usually win out in the end. So to get lucky, stick with the math!

GAMINGANDDESTINATIONS.COM | 19 FOR MORE FREE TIPS, VISIT GAMINGANDDESTINATIONS.COM
THERE ARE TWO WAYS TO PLAY CASINO GAMES, THE BEST WAY AND ALL OF THE OTHER WAYS.
PLAYER STRATEGY

FUTURE ODDS

Check out the latest odds for major sporting events. For the latest up-to-the-minute odds, visit GamingandDestinations.com

KENTUCKY DERBY

MAY 6, 2023 – CHURCHILL DOWNS – LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY

Horse January

Forte 10-1

Extra Anejo 13-1

Loggins 19-1

Signator 27-1

Instant Coffee 35-1

Blazing Sevens 37-1 Disarm 45-1

Echo Again 45-1

Cyclone Mischief 47-1

Litigate 57-1

Victory Formation 60-1

Curly Jack 61-1

Capture the Flag 65-1

Corona Bolt 65-1

*All other 3-year olds 4-5

*All others are higher than 65/1

**Odds courtesy of VegasInsider.com

2023 MASTERS

APRIL 6-9, 2023 - AUGUSTA NATIONAL – AUGUSTA, GEORGIA

Player January

Rory McIlroy 9/1

Jon Rahm 11/1

Justin Thomas 13/1

Cameron Smith 13/1

Scottie Scheffler 15/1

Will Zalatoris 17/1

Jordan Spieth 19/1

Collin Morikawa 21/1

Dustin Johnson 21/1

Patrick Cantlay 21/1

Xander Schauffele 21/1

Brooks Koepka 29/1

Matthew Fitzpatrick 29/1

*All others are higher than 30/1

**Odds courtesy of VegasInsider.com

NBA CHAMPIONSHIP – JUNE 2023

Team

Boston Celtics

January November

7/2 7/1

Milwaukee Bucks 5/1 8/1

Brooklyn Nets 8/1 9/1

Phoenix Suns 9/1 12/1

Los Angeles Clippers 10/1 7/1

Golden State Warriors 12/1 7/1

Denver Nuggets 13/1 18/1

Memphis Grizzlies 13/1 23/1

Philadelphia 76ers 16/1 14/1

New Orleans Pelicans 18/1 27/1

Cleveland Cavaliers 20/1 30/1

Dallas Mavericks 30/1 27/1

*All others are higher than 30/1 **Odds courtesy of VegasInsider.com

NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP APRIL 3, 2023 – NRG STADIUM (HOUSTON, TEXAS)

Team January November

Houston

7/1 11/1

Connecticut 11/1 N/A

Arizona 11/1 N/A

UCLA 11/1 17/1 Kansas 13/1 13/1

Texas 14/1 N/A

Gonzaga 15/1 11/1

Kentucky 16/1 12/1

Purdue 16/1 N/A

Baylor 17/1 16/1

Tennessee 17/1 N/A Duke 22/1 14/1 North Carolina 25/1 12/1 Arkansas 25/1 15/1 Virginia 25/1 N/A Alabama 25/1 N/A

*All others are higher than 30/1

**Odds courtesy of VegasInsider.com

20 | GAMINGANDDESTINATIONS.COM