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SPECIAL EDITION : 2018 CASINO DINING GUIDE

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SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018 VOL. 20 ISSUE 5 GAMINGANDDESTINATIONS.COM

TOP CASINO CHEFS: SUBSCRIBE TODAY & WIN BIG! PAGE 9

WINNERS RE VEALED PAGE 18

MISSISSIPPI SPORTBOOKS:

LET THE GAMES BEGIN PAGE 30

QUEEN + ADAM LAMBERT: SIN CITY'S HOTTEST RESIDENCY. PAGE 14

PLUS: TIPS ON BLACKJACK • CRAPS • HORSERACING • VIDEO POKER & MORE! Covering Mississippi, Louisiana, Indiana, Florida, Alabama and the entire South!!


THE BEST OF THE SOUTH MEETS THE BEST OF GAMING

©2018 MGM Resorts International®. All rights reserved. Must be 21. Gambling problem? Call 1.800.522.4700.


August 1-September 30, 2017

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LETTER

from the Publisher

UP FRONT with G. DOUGLAS

PUBLISHER

Gaming Media Group Inc. PRESIDENT

G. Douglas Dreisbach

Casinos take great pride in their food offerings for guests and have proven that by showcasing some of the premier chefs creating menus that rival some of the best restaurants in the world. Be sure to check out some of our favorite properties and what they have to offer on page 6. You won’t be disappointed with any of the recommendations…enjoy!

Sports gambling is here! In May of this year, the Supreme Court overturned a law that had previously banned sports betting and now gives the green light for each state to implement their own regulations allowing the popular pass time. The new law opens the door for states to capitalize on the estimated $150 billion of illegal wagers currently being placed annually and paves the way for casinos to be the vehicle for facilitating the latest trend in gaming. It didn’t take long for states to jump at the opportunity and for casinos to open Vegasstyle sportsbooks for their customers to watch and wager on their favorite sports teams. We look forward to expanding our sports betting coverage with more tips, information and updates about where you can wager, and ways you can maximize your bankroll. Be sure to check out the article on page 30 for an overview on how Mississippi was one of the first states to hit the ground running and what properties are ready to roll for your next visit. This issue also celebrates the culinary caveats of casinos throughout the region. A casino visit isn’t complete without a lavish meal at the posh steakhouse or a trip to the bountiful buffet.

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We also pay tribute to the chefs that make it happen behind the scenes with our annual Casino Chef Showdown recipe contest to determine our Culinary King of the Casino. The online contest took place in July and garnered nearly 10,000 votes from casino food fans from around the region. After a tight competition, Chef Shawn Mac from Greektown Casino in Detroit, Michigan was crowned this year’s champion and is featured on page 18. In addition to Chef Mac, we have also highlighted the other top finishers in the contest, so be sure to check them out. As part of the Casino Chef Showdown, each year we give away the Ultimate Casino Culinary Getaway for a lucky voter to live it up like a high roller with a comped room, dinner at the fine dining restaurant and more. This year’s winner is Margaret H. from Huntsville, Alabama and she can’t wait to take advantage of this awesome prize. Congrats Margaret… we can’t wait to hear all about the trip! We hope you enjoy the issue…and as always, if you can’t be good…be lucky!

FOUNDING PUBLISHER

Larry Bisig LAYOUT AND DESIGN

Hill Harcourt CONTRIBUTING AUTHORS

Linda Boyd Sheree Bykofsky Lane Gold Terry Parrett Patrick Ryan Frank Scoblete Henry Tamburin GAMING AND DESTINATIONS

640 South Fourth Street Louisville, Kentucky 40202 (502) 212-5177 e-mail: editor@gaminganddestinations.com The goal of this publication is to help drive awareness of the ever-growing popularity of the gaming industry and to assist gamers in enjoying their gaming experience to the fullest. Gaming and Destinations is published for those who seek the best in gaming and in life, and is produced bimonthly by Gaming Media Group Inc. of Louisville, Kentucky. Copyright 2017 by Gaming Media Group Inc. All Rights Reserved. This publication is printed by Publisher’s Printing Co., Inc. of Shepherdsville, Kentucky. Postage is paid in Lebanon Junction, Kentucky. Opinions of columnists are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher, nor does Gaming and Destinations assume liability for claims of advertisers.

G. Douglas Dreisbach Publisher & President

POSTMASTER:

Send address changes

to Gaming and Destinations, 640 South Fourth Street, Louisville, Kentucky 40202. On the cover: Adam Lambert headlines Queen's Las Vegas Residencey. Photo courtesy of Bojan Hohnjec - Miracle Productions LLP


CONTENTS WINNING TIPS AND STRATEGIES

ON THE COVER

14 Queen + Adam Lambert: 24 Craps: Sin City's Hottest Residency

18 Casino Chef Showdown: Check out the winners of our annual Casino Chef Showdown.

The Truth About Craps

25 Video Poker:

FEATURE ARTICLES

Jumping the Haystack

34 Casino Directory:

Our preferred properties and attractions.

26 Blackjack:

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Casino Dining Guide:

Great food finds at casino properties from across the region.

20 Breeders’ Cup:

HIGHLIGHTS & HOT SPOTS

Hand Frequency

27 Poker: Fold for an Hour

Top Thoroughbreds Return to Churchill to compete for over $28 million.

28 Sportsbook Glossary: Advice from the Expert

30 Mississippi Sportsbooks: 29 Sports Wagering: New federal legislation makes sports betting legal. See how the Magnolia State reacts.

Know the Lingo

36 Sport Wagering: Future odds on major sporting events.

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2018

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Find us on Facebook

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@SouthernGaming G A M I N G A N D D E S T I N AT I O N S . C O M |

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FACTS & FUN STUFF SIPS WITH GAMING & DESTINATIONS

DID YOU KNOW

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?

WHICH FOOD WAS BASICALLY INVENTED AT A CASINO? a. Fried Shrimp b. The Sandwich

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d. Lobster Mac N Cheese

d. Carp Fish

ON AVERAGE, HOW MANY EGGS ARE SERVED IN LAS VEGAS CASINOS EVERY DAY? a. 547,000

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Directions: 1. Fill a pitcher with sliced apples, lemons, and oranges. 2. Add apple cider, ginger beer, and white wine. 3. Stir mixture then pour into serving glasses. (Ice optional)

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a. Group Bet c. Clump Bet d. Chump Bet

THE FIRST RUNNING OF THE BREEDERS’ CUP WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS® TOOK PLACE IN 1984 AND WAS A SINGLE-DAY EVENT. WHEN DID IT BECOME A TWO-DAY EVENT? Answers: 1.) B; 2.) D; 3.) C; 4.) A; 5.) B

Ingredients for 6 Cocktails: 1 Red apple, sliced (Red Delicious) 1 Green apple, sliced (Granny Smith) 1 Yellow apple, sliced (Golden Delicious) 1 lemon, sliced 1 Orange, Sliced 2 cups apple cider 2 bottles ginger beer 1 bottle white wine

WHAT IS IT CALLED TO BET MULTIPLE TEAMS IN A SINGLE BET? b. Parlay Bet

d. 253,000

Nothing welcomes the fall season like a tasty treat that says goodbye to summer and hello to cooler temperatures on the horizon. We came across this easy to make Sangria recipe that can be batched for tailgates or larger gatherings, or individually for a quick evening cocktail. Regardless of where are, or who you are with, we think you'll love this fantastic fall cocktail.

b. Carbs c. Carpe Diem

c. 110,000

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a. Crabs

c. Chicken Tenders

b. 1.2 million

AWESOME APPLE SANGRIA SPLASH

THE WORD “CRAPS” DERIVES FROM WHAT WORD?

a. 2006 b. 2008 c. 2007 d. 2009

The average annual salary of a buffet chef in Las Vegas.


$56,574

$28

million Total Purse Money for the Breeders’ Cup races.

60,000

$150

Pounds of shrimp served daily in Las Vegas.

Amount of illegal sports wagers made annually.

billion

2,226 feet

Surface area in feet of the world’s largest blackjack table. It was at Viejas Casino in Alpine, California and used for a 21-year anniversary promotion.


PLUS

COMING SOON!

NOW OPEN! All new gaming and gathering spots! IP is off and running with the best in sports betting action at our new Sports Book now open. Plus–score even more with our exciting new dining venue set to open this fall in the main lobby! Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, this new restaurant will become the hangout hub for everyone. From pre-show cocktails and big family dinners to late night munchies and morning meals for movers and shakers, even more fun for everyone is on the way. Stay tuned! Don’t Let The Game Get Out Of Hand. Gambling Problem? Call 1-888-777-9696.

| IPBiloxi.com


e d i u G g n i Din 2018

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Welcome to Southern Gaming and Destinations Casino Dining Guide featuring tasty eats and treats from some of the top casinos around the region. This years’ guide includes highlights from restaurants, bars and lounges that you should definitely add to your itinerary on your next casino adventure. Get ready to grab your fork and chow down on some of the tastiest casino grub around.

IP Casino Resort & Spa BILOXI, MISSISSIPPI 1-888-946-2847 – IPBiloxi.com Food Finds: thirty-two Steak & Seafood, Tien (Asian cuisine), Back Bay Buffet, Highlights Sports Lounge, High Tide Café (casual fare), Quench (poolside café) There is a menu for everyone at IP Casino Resort & Spa. Whether you are looking for a steak while overlooking the beautiful Back Bay of Biloxi, or a juicy burger sitting pool side catching some sun time, you'll find it at IP. With two AAA Four Diamond Award-winning restaurants, the innovative fine dining choices please even the most discriminating palates. Indulge yourself in your choice of menus and specialties, from the Coast’s favorite selection of fine wines and prime steaks at thirty-two Steak and Seafood, to the authentic flavors of Asia at Tien. Interested in eating poolside this summer? Try Quench. Game night? Try the hot wings and beer at Highlights Sports Lounge. Lunch with friends? A hot bowl of Mississippi Gulf Coast gumbo pleases everyone at High Tide Café. Hearty appetite? Back Bay Buffet covers every craving, including your sweet tooth with award-winning chocolate desserts. The property offers a premium Asian dining experience with Tien, showcasing a variety of expertly prepared dishes from Vietnam, China, Japan and Korea, as well as thirty-two Steak & Seafood serving savory prime steaks, seafood and the finest wine selection on the Coast all overlooking the sparkling Back Bay of Biloxi from the thirty second floor of the hotel. Casual Cocktails: Chill Ultra Lounge is a great place to start your evening or cap off the day. Kick back and relax in the ultra-chic, ultra-cool, Ultra Lounge with live local music and an extensive martini menu.


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Beau Rivage Resort & Casino BILOXI, MISSISSIPPI 1-888-567-6667 – BeauRivage.com Food Finds: BR Prime (Steakhouse), Stalla (Italian), Jia (Latin-Asian Fusion), Terrace Café (Contemporary American), Snacks (Quick Bites), The Roasted Bean (Sandwiches, Salads), Häagen-Dazs (Ice Cream), Pool Bar & Café (Sandwiches, Appetizers), The Buffet Whether you’re looking for fine dining or a quick bite, Beau Rivage has something for every palate. For fine dining, Beau Rivage boasts two AAA Four Diamond Restaurants in BR Prime and Jia and three consistent Wine Spectator Award of Excellence winners, BR Prime, Jia and Stalla. BR Prime serves the finest steaks and seafood on the Gulf Coast in an intimate setting, while Stalla specializes in classic, Old World Italian cuisine. New at Jia, Latin-Asian fusion takes center stage, combining Japanese techniques and exotic flavors of Latin America. Guests will discover innovative food, much of which is sourced from local purveyors, matched with dramatic design to create an experience like no other. Cocktails & Nightlife: EIGHT75 is located just off the casino floor and offers a stirring mix of classic cocktails and signature martinis in a contemporary, plush environment featuring live music nightly. Breeze Bar is located in the east side of the gaming area and lets guests mix and mingle in style as they enjoy signature cocktails while taking in the casino action and when the weather is right, don't miss the Pool Bar & Cafe where you can enjoy tropical cocktails on the pool deck while you enjoy some time in the sun, or taking in stunning views of the Gulf.

Silver Slipper Casino Hotel BAY ST. LOUIS, MISSISSIPPI (GULF COAST) 1-228-469-2777 - SilverSlipper-MS.com Food Finds: Jubilee Buffet, Blue Bayou Bar & Grill (Seafood & Prime Steaks), Bayou Caddy Oyster Bar (Seafood), Palm Court Café (Casual fare), Smokehouse Café (Smoked Barbeque) There are five award winning restaurants at Silver Slipper to ensure you'll never leave hungry. At the Jubilee Buffet patrons enjoy casual dining from one of the most extensive buffets on the Gulf Coast. Featured items include Seafood, Southern, Asian, Italian, and Creole dishes plus a full Salad Bar and Dessert Bar, all prepared from the freshest and finest ingredients available. The Palm Court Café is open 24 hours offering breakfast all day as well as sandwiches, pizzas, specialty coffees, and more. The Blue Bayou Bar & Grill is a destination for fine dining, featuring the best seafood and succulent steaks on the Coast. The seasonal Beach Bar & Smokehouse Café is located under the hotel adjacent to the beach and serves some of the best smoked barbeque you’ve ever tasted! The newest dining option at the Silver Slipper is the Bayou Caddy Oyster Bar that serves your fresh seafood favorites including a variety of dishes with oysters, lobster, and shrimp. Don’t miss out! Casual Cocktails: Blue Bayou Bar (Restaurant Bar), Stage Bar (Casino Bar), Island Bar (Casino Bar), Beach Club Bar (Pool Bar), Slipper Beach Bar (Beach Bar)

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Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort D’IBERVILLE, MISSISSIPPI (NEAR BILOXI) 1-888-266-5772 - ScarletPearlCasino.com Food Finds: The Waterfront Buffet, Under the Oak Café (All American casual dining), Chopstx Noodle Bar (Vietnamese), and Scarlet's Steaks and Seafood (fine dining) The Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort's dining outlets and restaurants provide some of the best quality food and service on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Whether you're craving a classic Pearl Burger from Under the Oak Cafe or Vietnamese Pho at Chopstx, the Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort offers a unique selection to please all taste buds. Skip the dishes and enjoy four dining venues and discover your new home away from home, you won’t be disappointed!   Casual Cocktails: Butler's Bar & Lounge has exclusive whiskey, wine, and cocktails for a classic outing full of those “hard to find” favorites. There is also PRL Bar, where you can enjoy a few drinks while you watch the game.   Other outlets: The Strand is event center to host concerts, banquets, conventions and fundraising events.

Boomtown Casino BILOXI, MISSISSIPPI 1-800-627-0777 - BoomtownBiloxi.com Food Finds: The Grill (American and Asian), The Buffet, The Noodle Bar (Vietnamese), The Bakery (freshly baked cakes, pies, and pastries daily) The Grill is a great start to the cuisine at Boomtown Casino in Biloxi where you can enjoy daily Asian Blue plate specials featuring favorites such as General TSO’s Chicken, Succulent Shrimp Stir Fry, Sweet & Sour Pork and Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry. Served with your choice of fried rice or lo-mein noodles, you will love the variety. Sticking with the Asian theme, treat yourself to a bowl of Authentic PHO at The Noodle Bar, consisting of Vietnamese noodles, herbs beef and the Chef’s authentic broth where we are sure you’ll be back for more! The Buffet has an expansive selection with all-you-can-eat Seafood on the weekends. It’s the only place on the coast to get all-you-can-eat Lobster and Steak on Thursday and Sunday, and come back on Friday and Saturday for fresh hot servings of all you can enjoy Crab legs, plus a wide variety of other tasty seafood, southern favorites and desserts will have you full and happy. Casual Cocktails: Boomtown’s Fat Tuesday Daiquiri Bar, which is located in Biloxi’s Entertainment District, offers Daiquiri’s TO-GO. What more could you want when you’re on the go? There is also The Spurs Bar on the 1st Floor of the Casino where you can enjoy some quick bites, cocktails and brews to kick off your gaming adventures. Other outlets: The BT Stage also has FREE Live music every Friday and Saturday night, so add some tunes and grooves to your fulfilled getaway!

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Gold Strike Casino Resort TUNICA, MISSISSIPPI 1-888-245-7829 - GoldStrike.com Food Finds: Chicago Steakhouse (Fine dining), Buffet Americana, Atrium (American Southern Comfort), Pickle & Jam (casual fare and craft beer) If you are looking for a secluded, quiet evening where you can be wined and dined, Chicago Steakhouse at Gold Strike is the right choice. A guest favorite is the horseradish encrusted grouper with Yukon mash potatoes and prosciutto wrapped asparagus (pictured). There is also an expansive wine list and specialty cocktails to accent a premium steakhouse experience. If you are looking for more of a casual atmosphere, Buffet Americana is sure to satisfy. From Southern comfort foods to freshly Asian cooked cuisine right in front of you, Buffet Americana has it all. Guests also rave about the prime rib and crab legs available on weekends, so be sure to check it out. Casual Cocktails: TEN10 Wine & Whiskey is full of distinct art, modern furniture, flawless design, and an innovative beverage menu. Located just off the casino floor, TEN10 takes its name from Gold Strike’s address and its extensive collection of small batch whiskeys and numerous wines served by the glass. Stage2 is also right in the heart of the Gold Strike casino action where you will find plenty of seating, live music on stage, and all your favorite concoctions. Other outlets: Millennium Bar is open on concert nights for pre and post concert service. Gold Strike’s new sportsbook is also located inside Pickle & Jam. Here you can root on your favorite college or pro team throughout the season. Visit us during your favorite sporting event and enjoy a snack or bucket of beer.                 

Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall TUNICA, MISSISSIPPI 1-662-363-0711 –SamsTownTunica.com Food Finds: The Great Buffet, Smokey Joe’s (Casual Dining-24 hour café), Flights (Casual Dining-Bar with Craft Beer), Twain’s Steakhouse (Fine Dining) Sam’s Town Tunica offers a variety of dining choices for all guests, from those wanting a casual experience, a cozy date night or a full-on night on the town. The Great Buffet never disappoints with its assortment of cuisine including Prime Rib & Shrimp dinner on Fridays and Seafood on Saturdays. Looking for a more intimate atmosphere? Twain’s Steakhouse is sure to deliver savory dishes and great service. The options don’t stop there. Flights Bar offers generous-sized appetizers and large selections of beer or cocktails. Dance the night away at Roxy’s Live and stop into Smokey Joe’s 24/7. Also, make sure to stop in at Sam’s Town’s new Sports Book! Casual Cocktails: Flights offers a 12-tap craft beer selection as well as their own hand-crafted cocktails and a nice variety of liquors including the biggest selection of different bourbons in Tunica. Other outlets: Roxy’s live is a bar located on the casino floor that offers live music every weekend as well as some special events.

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Hollywood Casino Tunica TUNICA, MISSISSIPPI 1-800-871-0711 - HollywoodCasinoTunica.com Food Finds: Fairbanks Steak House, Epic Buffet, Celebrity Grill (Casual Fare) A visit to Hollywood Casino in Tunica is always a star-studded affair. Fairbanks is an award-winning steakhouse, winning Best Steakhouse in Tunica 7 years running among Southern Gaming readers, so you know you are in for treat! With a Cajun-style cuisine, the menu has been recently updated with a Delta Dip, Baked Brie, Jambalaya Stuffed Pork Chop (pictured), and Grilled Tomahawk Lamb Medallions. For a casual dining experience, the Epic Buffet features breakfast favorites such as omelets, pancakes, and eggs cooked to order. Desserts are made in house daily to satisfy the sweetest taste buds, and don’t miss the all-you-can-eat crab legs and prime rib every Friday and Saturday. Another Hollywood jewel is the Celebrity Grill where you can enjoy quick meals such as burgers, pizza, philly cheesesteaks, and more. Casual Cocktails: The Box Office Bar and The Stage Bar both offer a variety of cocktails and brews with a live band every Friday  and Saturday from 8PM-Midnight.

How do you like your steak? If you crave a premium steak, there is a good chance you have a preferred preference on how you like it prepared. Blue to well done is the scale to which we use to describe how thoroughly cooked a cut of meat is. It is based on the color, juiciness and internal temperature when cooked. The picture to the right is a reference guide to show you the variance between each. So, how do you like your steak?

How to cook a perfect steak in a pan. 1. Take steaks out of the fridge about twenty minutes prior to cooking. Season the steaks on both sides with coarsely grained salt and pepper. Try to rub/push the grains into the meat for added flavor. 2. Heat pan/skillet to a temperature that will let you sear the steak. 3. Add a touch of olive oil to coat the pan and gently lay the steaks in the pan and cook on each side for about 30 seconds. Flipping regularly about every minute to allow them to cook evenly. 4. Add garlic, thyme or other flavors if desired. Also add more oil if necessary. 5. Once steak starts to get the brown, finished look, add some butter, spooning the meted butter over the steaks. 6. Once steaks are cooked to desired temperature, set them aside to let them rest for G A M I N G A N D D E S T I N AT I O N S . C O M | 11 about five minutes per inch of thickness. Serve and enjoy!


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Rising Star Casino Resort RISING SUN, INDIANA 1-800-472-6311 - RisingStarCasino.com Food Finds: Wellington’s Steakhouse (fine dining), River View Buffet, Queen City Market (Casual fare with Cincinnati's best: Graeter's Ice Cream, Skyline Chili & Starbucks®), Big Vic’s Pub (Sports bar) There are options for every taste at Rising Star Casino Resort. Their famous Riverview Buffet features Midwestern comfort food favorites such as the chef’s secret recipe fried chicken, homemade meatloaf & pot roast. Or come on a Friday night and enjoy the big seafood extravaganza! If the Buffet is not your cup of tea, visit Big Vic’s Pub Thursday - Sunday for an ice-cold beverage and the amazing Philly Steak Nachos or a Fried Seafood Platter to the sounds of live local bands on Friday and Saturday nights. If you’re just looking for a quick bite, Queen City Market can set you up with a delicious Chicago dog or your favorite pizza seven days a week. For fine dining, visit Wellington’s Steakhouse for a great steak and complement it with a choice from one of the best wine selection on the Ohio River.   Casual Cocktails: Enjoy a great cocktail on the Casino floor at one of three bars featuring customer favorites like the Amaretto Kiss, House made Bloody Mary or a Classic Margarita. Other outlets: In addition to the casino and dining, also enjoy big name entertainment, the Links Golf Course, two comfortable hotel options and the all-new state-of-the-art RV Park! This Fall, don't miss the awesome Hay Maze & live Turkey display for the family to enjoy. And, in November and December, they transform their property into the region’s only Christmas Casino where families can see Santa and his live reindeer, and pick up some gifts in the Christmas Village. Also, new this year are live performances of the musical 'A Christmas Story' including the pole where Little Ralphie got his tongue stuck.

Indiana Grand Racing & Casino SHELBYVILLE, INDIANA 1-877-386-4463 |  IndianaGrand.com Food Finds: Center Cut Steaks • Seafood • Martinis, Winner’s Circle Brewpub, The Grand Buffet, Sidewalk Café Indiana Grand is the closest casino to Indianapolis, Indiana and offers a premium gaming, and dining, experience. Check out Center Cut Steaks • Seafood • Martinis for fine dining in a sophisticated room accented by a glowing amber bar, piano lounge and an extensive wine library that was just recognized with a 2017 Wine Spectator Award. The main dining menu features specialties such as Hawaiian Ahi Tuna Tartare, a Chilled Ocean Tower loaded with lobster, crab legs and other seafood favorites including sea bass and premium steaks. For more casual options, Winner’s Circle Brewpub & OTB is the perfect match where your favorite sports bar meets horse racing. Stop in to bet on the ponies and enjoy Baja Fish Tacos, Breaded Pork Picatta or classic burgers, sandwiches and wings.

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TO PLAYCATION. STAY TWO NIGHTS AND ENJOY TWO SEAFOOD BUFFETS FOR ONE SPECIAL PRICE!

STAYCATION SPECIAL FRIDAY ­− SUNDAY Taste the good life two nights in a row! Mention promo code GETAWAY when making a reservation before October 31 and receive our Staycation Special! Get two exciting nights and two excellent seafood buffets at Resorts Casino Tunica for only $149 or the same great special at Hollywood Casino Tunica for only $199!

FOR RESORTS CASINO RESERVATIONS, CALL 1-866-706-7070 FOR HOLLYWOOD CASINO RESERVATIONS, CALL 1-800-871-0711 MENTION PROMO CODE: GETAWAY Must be 21 or older. Valid only at Hollywood Casino Tunica and Resorts Casino Tunica. Gambling problem? G A M I N G A N D D E S T I N AT I O N S . C O M | Call 1-888-777-9696. Promo code: GETAWAY.

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Adam Lambert and Queen original guitar player Brian May perform.

Photo courtesy of BojanHohnjec, Miracle Productions LLP.

QUEEN + ADAM LAMBERT SIN CITY'S HOTTEST RESIDENCY by

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n the world of rock music, there are some frontmen who are so strongly associated with the band, it’s impossible to envision the band existing without them. You couldn’t have the Rolling Stones without Mick Jagger; Steven Tyler is the face of Aerosmith; and for years, Freddie Mercury was the performing heart, soul, and voice of Queen. When Mercury met his untimely demise in 1991, it was a foregone conclusion that Queen was over. Through the years, there have been occasional attempts at reviving the band. George Michael’s 1992 performance at the Freddie Mercury tribute concert led many to think that he might step in; then the 2005-2006 tour of Queen + Paul Rodgers seemed like it might pave the way for future studio albums, but that ultimately fizzled out. It wasn’t until Adam Lambert captivated America in Season 8 of “American Idol” that

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TE R RY PA R R E T T

Queen found what they were looking for, not as a replacement for their irreplaceable frontman, but a new voice to bring 30 years of Queen music to new audiences. Queen + Adam Lambert, as they’re being formally billed, began a ten date limited residency in Las Vegas on September 1st at the Park Theater at Park MGM. The 5,200-seat venue features state-of-the-art audio and visual technology and has hosted some of the biggest bands and sporting events in the world. The Park Theater is a perfect f it for Queen, a band long known for their groundbreaking theatrics, and the residency will give long-time fans and relative newcomers a not-to-be-missed opportunity to experience one of rock’s legendary acts. Queen got started when the bands guitarist, Brian May, advertised for a drummer. Roger Taylor was one of

those who answered the ad, and after auditioning, was made a member of the band, originally known as “Smile”. Staffell at the time was attending art school, and was friends with another student known then as Farroukh Bulsara. Bulsara joined the band, and Staffell left to join a different band. Bulsara, who preferred to be known as Freddie, convinced Taylor and May to change the name of the band to “Queen”; at the same time, Bulsara changed his last name to Mercury, and they began looking for another bass player. Eventually, they settled on John Deacon, and they began performing and rehearsing. By 1973, Queen had a record deal, and released their first album, simply titled “Queen”. Although it was a critical success, it performed poorly in terms of sales. Their follow-up albums, “Queen II” and “Sheer Heart Attack”, fared


somewhat better, but the band was still relatively unknown in the United States, and an unfavorable record deal with Trident/EMI was wearing the band’s spirits down. They were able to secure a new manager, who signed them to a deal with Elektra Records in the US. Buoyed by their new situation, the band returned to the studio and emerged with a monster, “A Night At the Opera”. While the album is most notable for the legendary “Bohemian Rhapsody”, it also boasts concert staples such as “Love of My Life”, “You’re My Best Friend”, “’39”, and “I’m in Love with My Car”. At the time, it was the most expensive album ever recorded, owing to the enormous amount of multi-tracking and mixing required for songs such as “The Prophet’s Song” and “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Regardless of the cost, it became their breakthrough album, and both the album and “Bohemian Rhapsody” were regarded as instant classics. To this day, the song remains the third highest selling single of all time in the UK. Queen released a video of the song “Bohemian Rhapsody”, which showcased the iconic four band member near-dark image that was used on the cover of “Queen II”. While their reasons for taping the video were actual rather prosaic- they didn’t want to lipsynch the song on the TV show “Tops of the Pops”- the video was nonetheless groundbreaking, and was hailed in “The Guardian” as nearly single-handedly ushering in the age of MTV. Not a group to rest on their laurels, Queen quickly got back in the studio to record their next album; viewed as a sort of companion piece to “A Night At The Opera”, this one was called “A Day At The Races”, and boasted such hits as “Somebody To Love” and “Tie Your Mother Down”. Their streak of hit-making albums continued with “News of the World”, which gave the sports world it’s favorite anthem, “We Are The Champions”, along with the unforgettable “stomp-stomp-clap” of “We Will Rock You”. By this time, the band was selling out arenas around the

world, and more albums soon followed, along with hits such as “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” and “Another One Bites The Dust”. After the release of the poorly-received “Hot Space”, however, it seemed that the band’s fortunes waned somewhat. While still popular in Europe, they cooled down considerably in the U.S., due in part to the vast change of musical tastes and the rise of “New Wave” music. The bands 1984 album release, “The Works”, again contained songs that are concert favorites including “Hammer to Fall”, “Radio Ga Ga”, and “I Want to Break Free”, but nonetheless, the album fared poorly in the US, and it seemed that Queen’s reign might be at an end. A controversial series of concerts in Sun City, South Africa, added to the band’s woes, and the band might have even broken up, had it not been for the events of July 13, 1985. Bob Geldof, lead singer of the band “The Boomtown Rats”, decided that the world of rock had an obligation to do something to raise awareness and money for famine victims in Ethiopia. Geldof and coorganizer Scottish musician Midge Ure put together “Live Aid”, an ambitious dual concert held at Wembley Stadium in England, and John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia. Between the two venues, nearly every major rock act of the previous 20 years was present in one form or another, and almost to a person, every one of them will agree

that Queen- and particularly Freddie Mercury- put on not only the best show of the day, not only the best show of their career, but quite possibly the best live performance in the history of rock music. This opinion is shared by many music publications, critics, and of course, any of the 1.9 billion people who witnessed the performance on live TV. The 20 minute set catapulted Queen back to the top of the rock world, but unbeknownst to them, their touring days were rapidly drawing to a close. Following their triumph at Live Aid, the band released a new studio album, “A Kind of Magic”, with several of the songs being used in the soundtrack of the sci-fi film “Highlander”. The album was a success, and they set out

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world including a nineteen date North American tour in 2014, a European/ Asian tour in 2016, and a 2017 North American tour, which reached twenty six cities in the US and Canada.

to tour in support of the album. Their performance at Knebworth Park in England would be Queen’s final live performance with Freddie, as he was diagnosed with HIV in 1987. While the rigors of touring proved to be too much for Freddie, he and the rest of the band continued to record, with their final 3 albums of original material being released between 1987 and Mercury’s death in 1991. After Freddie’s passing, the rest of the band decided a fitting tribute to their legendary frontman would be a concert, and “The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert” was held on April 20, 1992. Artists and friends such as Elton John, David Bowie and many others performed alongside Brian, Roger and John. The unmistakable chemistr y bet ween the band and George Michael, and his exceptional performance on “Somebody To Love” led to a great deal of speculation about Michael eventually stepping into Freddie’s role in the band, but it remained speculation, and the members of Queen began to go their separate ways. In 2004, it was announced that Brian and Roger would be touring with Bad Company frontman Paul Rodgers. The tour was promoted as “Queen + Paul Rodgers”- a billing strategy that would be repeated a few years later with Adam Lambert- to allay any thoughts that Rodgers was “replacing” Freddie in the band. The tour was financially successful, but both parties later agreed that it was not a terribly good match musically. By this time, Bassist John Deacon had retired from the band 16

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and was living a very quiet life in Southwest London; Taylor was playing with his band, “The Cross”, and May earned his PhD in Astrophysics- an accomplishment he had put on hold for 33 years due to the success of Queen. May also became active in animal activism, being particularly vocal in his opposition to the hunting of foxes and culling of badgers. Following the less-than-stellar reception to the Queen + Paul Rodgers album “The Cosmos Rocks”, it seemed like Queen, as a band, had finally reached the end. Enter Adam Lambert, again. Like many aspiring singers, Lambert set his sights on winning “American Idol”, a path that didn’t guarantee success in the music business, but had certainly done well for the careers of many before him. In an ironic bit of foreshadowing, one of the songs Lambert auditioned with was “Bohemian Rhapsody”. At the end of the season, Lambert and Kris Allen were the last 2 standing, but Lambert was the runner-up. Nonetheless, Lambert’s voice and undeniable charisma made many sit up and take notice, including Brian May. May had seen Lambert’s audition tape of “Rhapsody”, and then actually had the opportunity to perform with him during the course of the 8th season of “Idol”, and realized there was a great deal of synergy between the two parties. In June of 2012, Queen + Adam Lambert played their first official concert in Kiev, and began making plans to tour. To date, they have done dozens of concerts around the

Their September visit to Las Vegas marks their first residency, a relatively new performing format that was popularized by singers such as Celine Dion, Bette Midler, Barry Manilow and Elton John. The residency format allows performers to reduce the rigors of touring by setting up a residency in one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations and allowing fans from all over the U.S. to see the show AND spend some time exploring all that Las Vegas has to offer. Lambert, as well as May and Taylor, are very clear that Adam is not a replacement for Freddie. During the concert, they make this point explicitly, and there are even several poignant tributes to Freddie during the show, along with some special performances made possible by modern technological wizardry. Freddie may be gone, but he’s not forgotten, and his presence is felt during the course of the show in many ways. Prior to the September dates, the band was being a little coy about exactly what to expect from the Vegas shows. The 2017 tour was one of the most extravagant events the band ever offered and integrated lasers, pyrotechnics, and special effects featuring a giant interactive version of “Frank ”, the robot from the “News of the World” cover. The series is being officially billed as “The Crown Jewels”, and will feature long-time Queen hired gun Spike Edney on keyboards, along with Neil Fairclough doing duties on bass, and Tyler Warren on percussion. The shows began on September 1st and end September 22. If you have the opportunity to check out the performance, be sure to do it. It is a sure bet!

For tickets and more information, visit MGMResorts.com.


10.10.18 | LAS VEGAS The Million Dollar Event®

www.TOURNEVENT.com

*Payable in periodic payments over 20 years or in a lump sum, present-day cash value payment.

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2018

Each year, Gaming and Destinations holds the Casino Chef Showdown Online recipe contest to showcase some of the top casino chefs in the country, and to determine our Culinary King of the Casino. This year, we had thirteen chefs from throughout the region compete for the top spot. After the three-rounds of voting, Chef Shawn Mac from Greektown Casino in Detroit, Michigan claimed the honor and is this year’s champion. Chef Mac's recipe for Seared Mangalitsa Pork Rack Chop collected the most votes and ultimately put him in the winner's circle. This winning recipe is featured on the menu at Prism, the steakhouse at Greektown Casino, and brings with it unique ingredients and flavors. "This dish utilizes fresh, locally-sourced produce including bing cherries, morel mushrooms and wild ramps.” Commented Chef Mac. “The main feature of this dish is Mangalitsa pork, paying homage to the hard-working Michigan and Midwest farms that brought back this breed from the brink of extinction. Mangalitsa has one of the best flavor profiles and is often considered the ‘the Kobe beef of pork’.” We caught up with the winning chef to learn more about some of his culinary motivations and other tips and tricks of the trade. Gaming and Destinations: What initially drove you to the culinary world and how long have you been in it? Chef Mac: My love for food started at a very young age. I would help my grandfather in the garden picking ripe fruits and vegetables and watch him make jams, jellies, stewed tomatoes and pickled beets. The passion my grandfather had in making something so simple and yet very satisfying to the soul was what drove my passion for the culinary business for the past 31 years. G&D: What do you like about being a chef? Chef Mac: I enjoy watching a dish really come to life on the plate. I also enjoy mentoring and teaching new cooks who are passionate about the industry G&D: Where do you get your ideas for dishes and how do you know if it’s will be well received by your guests? Chef Mac: My inspiration comes from smells in the air, thoughts from my childhood, the four Michigan seasons, produce at the markets, reading a lot of cook books and going to eat at other restaurants. I believe if a dish is well thought out, is balanced, and has contrasting flavors then it should be a home run. G&D: Do you have any tips for home chefs and how they can have fun in the kitchen? Chef Mac: I would tell any home chef to try to include other people or guests to help in the cooking. They usually want to help anyway, but are afraid to ask. So whether it’s picking basil for pasta, zesting some oranges or caramelizing some bananas for dessert, include your guests. It’s a team effort and makes for a fun event with less stress on you.

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CHEF SHAWN MAC

THE 2018 CULINARY KING OF THE CASINO GREEKTOWN CASINO - DETROIT MICHIGAN 1-313-223-2999 - GREEKTOWNCASINO.COM Age: 46 Hometown: Canton, Michigan Favorite Sports to watch: Soccer, hockey, baseball, and college football Favorite Teams: Tigers, Red Wings and Michigan State Football (Go Spartans!) Favorite Bands: U2, Pink Floyd, Prince, deadmau5 and jazz Favorite Activities/hobbies: Golfing, going to see new movies, spending time with my wonderful family and just throwing the football around with my son in the back yard.

THE WINNING ENTRY: SEARED MANGALITSA PORK RACK CHOP

HOW TO MAKE IT: This recipe is not only delicious, but also relatively easy to make at home. Start out by preheating the oven to 375 degrees, and heat olive oil in a saute pan big enough to hold the pork chops. Season the chops with salt and pepper, and then sear on high heat in the saute pan. (Tip: Press down on the chops when you put them in the pan to ensure an even, golden sear.) Sear both sides to a golden brown color and then place in the oven until they are 130 degrees, then let the chops rest while you plate the rest of the ingredients. This is important. To plate the final dish, scoop farro salad with morel mushrooms, ramps, corn, asparagus, and bacon on the plate, then nestle the pork chop on the warm salad. Spread some of the red pepper glaze on the pork chop, garnish with pickled cherries and micro purple radish greens and serve immediately. (For the full recipe with sides, visit GamingandDestinations.com)


THE RUNNER UP CHEFS

CHEF MARK KIMBALL

CHEF DEBBIE DEAR

CHEF DEANDRE FROST

HOLLYWOOD CASINO

SAM'S TOWN HOTEL

BOOMTOWN CASINO

TUNICA, MISSISSIPPI 1-800-871-0711 HOLLYWOODCASINOTUNICA.COM THE RECIPE: Jambalaya Stuffed Pork Chops HOW TO MAKE IT: This is a favorite recipe of mine that is always a hit whenever I feature it on the menu at Fairbanks. The Jambalaya keeps the pork succulent, while the spice is a pleasant surprise that adds an extra layer of depth to it. To get started, Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, saute the sausage in a medium sized sauce pan and then add the onions, peppers, and garlic until the onions are translucent. Add the bay leaf, Cajun seasoning, hot sauce, Worcestershire, and craw-fish tails, and continue cooking until seasoning is fragrant. Deglaze the pan with white wine, add the Chicken Stock and bring to a boil. Add the rice, reduce heat, cover, and let it simmer. Season the pork chop with olive oil, salt and pepper and sear the chop in a skillet or castiron pan for 2-3 minutes on each side until a nice brown crust forms. Take the chop out of the pan and make an incision into the side of the chop big enough to stuff. Put the jambalaya into the pork and place into the oven on a tray or ovenproof skillet. Cook in the oven until done, about 8-10 minutes. Take the chop out of the oven, let rest and serve with your favorite sides. Enjoy!

& GAMBLING HALL TUNICA, MISSISSIPPI

BILOXI, MISSISSIPPI 1-800-627-0777 BOOMTOWNBILOXI.COM

1-800-456-0711 SAMSTOWNTUNICA.COM THE RECIPE: Crab Stuffed Lobster Tail HOW TO MAKE IT: I wanted to highlight a dish that would appeal to all seafood lovers, and this is a fan favorite at Twain's Steakhouse. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the whipped potatoes to your preference, and set aside to keep hot. Cut lobster tail from the bottom to the top, halfway through the tail and pull the lobster out of the shell, leaving the bottom in place. Prepare the crab stuffing by mixing Jumbo lump crab, red & green bell peppers, red onions, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Old Bay seasoning, Lemon juice, egg and bread crumbs. After cooking lobster for 8-10 minutes, remove them from the oven, add the crab stuffing, and place back in the oven for five more minutes or until brown.

THE RECIPE: Lobster Truffle Mac-N-Cheese HOW TO MAKE IT: This dish offers a unique twist on an American favorite, mac-n-cheese. The touch of the truffle oil and the addition of the scrumptious lobster makes this dish a sure hit at any occasion. To prepare, first take the lobsters and butterfly cut them from the tail to top of body, but don't cut completely through the lobster. Next, pull the meat from shells and open the shells as wide as it will allow. Cook in boiling salted water in a medium size pot for 8-12 minutes. Once done pull remaining meat from shells and set aside to cool, then cut into large chunks for use later. Next make a light roux in a sauce pan, add milk and bring to a slight boil. Grate the Velveeta cheese and fold it into the milk mixture. Keep a steady stir so the cheese doesn't scorch the bottom of the pan. Crumble in the Boursin cheese add the oil and the lobster base. Fold it into the cooked pasta and lobster meat. Place in your baking pan, sprinkle cheddar cheese on top and bake at 350 for 15- 20 minutes until golden brown. Enjoy!

FIND THE FULL RECIPES FOR ALL OF THE CONTESTANTS at, GamingandDestinations.com/chefshowdown2018. G A M I N G A N D D E S T I N AT I O N S . C O M |

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Pat Day and Awesome Again claimed the 1998 Classic at Churchill Downs.

BREEDERS’ CUP: ELITE RACING RETURNS TO CHURCHILL by

C

hurchill Downs Racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky, has been the home of countless historical moments for over a century, primarily centered around the Kentucky Derby. From the elite champions such as War Admiral (1937), Omaha (1935) and Secretariat (1973) to the major upsets like Giacomo (2005), Charismatic (1999) and Mine That Bird (2009), every Derby leaves a lasting impression on those who attend or watch. Up until 1988, the Fall Meet at Churchill Downs primarily gave horse racing fans a preview of the next year’s Kentucky Derby and Oaks contenders, but not very many other notable horses. That changed in 1988 when the Breeders’ Cup, then a

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TE R RY PA R R E T T

relatively new day of championship racing, made its debut under the famous Twin Spires. The inaugural Breeders’ Cup was 1984 when it was hosted at Hollywood Park. The day was created to serve as a way to determine what horses were the best in a variety of divisions. The first year consisted of $10 million of purse money spread over seven racing divisions including the Classic, Juvenile, Distaff, Turf, Mile, Fillies and the Sprint offering opportunity for virtually every style of racing pedigree around. Just four years later, when the Cup came to Churchill, the concept was a staple among horse racing's elite and was being embraced by the betting public as well. That fall day

in Louisville was a rainy and cool fifty degrees and everyone was excited about the return of Alysheba, the 1987 Derby winner, who was slated to run in the Classic, the last race of the day. He did not disappoint the fans as he was able to win the Classic in the dark by a half-length over the fast closing Seeking the Gold, trained by Shug McGaughey. While the stretch run by Alysheba was magnificent, the “Midnight Classic”, as it has been nicknamed, was just one of the memorable races that day. Just two races before Alysheba’s triumph, the undefeated filly, Personal Ensign, was set to take on the 1988 Kentucky Derby winner, Winning Colors, in the Distaff, the female


equivalent of the Classic. It promised to be a great matchup on paper, but no one could have predicted what unfolded. As expected, Winning Colors, the unmistakable big gray filly, broke right out of the gate and took the lead just like in the Kentucky Derby. Meanwhile, Personal Ensign. retreated towards the back for around three-quarters of a mile before she started to make her move. As they approached the top of the stretch, Winning Colors looked like she may actually run away with the race, but Personal Ensign was bearing down on her with every step. Inch by inch, the lead the Derby winner had built up was shrinking ever so slowly. The Churchill Downs crowd roared as both jockeys implored their horses to give them everything they had as they raced down the final furlong. However, for Winning Colors, it was simply not enough in the closing yards. When the two champions crossed the finish line, Personal Ensign stuck her nose in front and captured the Distaff for one of the most epic races in Breeders’ Cup history. No written word could do the race justice but for those who witnessed it as it was a moment they would not soon forget. Personal Ensign ended her career with a perfect record, the only major horse to accomplish that feat at the time. On that rainy November day, the Breeders’ Cup delivered fans the ultimate race bet ween the t wo previous Kentucky Derby winners in front of a record crowd of over 70,000. This would be the impetus to bring the Breeders’ Cup back to Churchill another four times in the next twelve years and stamp the Breeders’ Cup as the most important day of the year for championship horse racing. Churchill has always hosted the biggest Breeders’ Cups filled with

Arcangues silenced the stands in the 1993 Classic when he won at 133-1.

magica l moments. In the 1991 and 1994 renewals, there may not have been the major heart stopping moments as in 1988, but crowds of 66,204 and 71,671 filed through the turnstiles to watch some of the best horses in the world including Black Tie Affair, Arazi, Flanders and Timber Country. In this 1991 Classic race, Arazi, the flashy winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, gave fans visions of a Derby winner but his 3-year-old career fizzled out the following the year. Another magical moment under the Twin Spires was in 1998 at Churchill in front of a record crowd of 80,452, and one of the deepest fields in Classic history. Top contenders were previous Classic Winners Silver Charm, Skip Away and Touch Gold who were all betting favorites. However, in the end, it was Awesome Again, with legendary jockey Pat Day aboard, who crashed the party and beat out the popular 1997 Derby winner, Silver Charm, in the final strides. Silver Charm may have been the horse people wanted, but Awesome Again had something to prove as he wrapped up a perfect year, going 6-for-6. Silver Charm trainer, Bob Baffert, had several big Breeders’ Cup moments

including in the 1998 Fillies race when his female star, Silverbulletday, would take f irst place by a halflength over her stablemate Excellent Meeting. She returned to Churchill Downs six months later and won the Kentucky Oaks and a concluding a stellar career in which she won 15 of 23 races with earnings of just over $3 million. In 2000, the Classic delivered another great f ield when big names such as Captain Steve, Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus, Giant’s Causeway and Belmont winner Lemon Drop Kid. Tiznow battled for the early lead with Albert the Great and in a thrilling stretch duel, held off Giant’s Causeway by a neck under Hall of Fame rider Chris McCarron. Meanwhile Fusaichi Pegasus could not rekindle the Derby magic and finished a disappointing sixth as the 6-5 favorite. Tiznow would go on to capture the Classic the following year at Belmont Park, the only horse in thirty five years to accomplish that task. With the past success of the Churchill Downs hosting what is today the biggest day in horse racing, the event would come back another three times (2006, 2010 and 2011) and is slated G A M I N G A N D D E S T I N AT I O N S . C O M |

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Churchill Downs will host the Breeders' Cup for the eighth time in November.

to return again this year in November for the eighth time (only Santa Anita has hosted it more). Racing fans will once again enjoy t wo-d ay s of races w it h pu r se money totalling nearly $30 million, highlighted by Classic with a $6 million purse alone. These purses bring the greatest horses, and optimal wagering opportunities. With horses that ship in from around the world, inevitably the favorites have a hard time winning, making for some great pay days. Among the Breeders’ Cup races at Churchill Downs, the race with the highest winning odds is the Breeders’ Cup Mile. The average odds for the winner have been 18-1 making it a golden opportunity to cash in. This high number is made partly by from the massive upset in 2011 when Court Vision paid $131.60 for the top spot. (The exacta in that race paid nearly $2,000!) The second highest winning odds is 22

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a race that might surprise you – The Distaff. The average odds to win under the Twin Spires are 16.33-1, led by Spain’s surprise victory in 2000 that paid her backers $113.80 to win. Both Court Vision and Spain’s upsets still stand as the third and fourth largest surprises in history, behind only Arcangues 133-1 shocker in 1993 Classic. (The Churchill Downs stands were nearly silent when those upsets were pulled.) At Churchill, the Classic has been more predictable than anyplace else. Overall, the Classic average winning odds are 12-1 but under the Twin Spires, it shrinks to 6.7-1. Wagering on the Breeders’ Cup is very much like the NCAA Tournament. You know there are going to be huge upsets and the bettor just need to figure out which race it could happen. In the history of the Breeders’ Cup, favorites have won 31 percent of the time, which is close to the average race day. On the flip side, 39 horses

Photos courtesy of Horsephotos.com

have stated with odds of 100-1 or greater with just the one victory by Arcangues. The stat that should make the value or longshot punter feel good about betting on the Breeders’ Cup is that just 44 percent of horses sent off at the Odds-On favorites (4-5 or less) have been victorious. In addition, the average field sizes for Breeders’ Cup races are traditionally large with nearly every race having ten or more betting interests, with the exception of the Distaff (9) and Juvenile Sprint (7). Unfortunately, race fans will not get the chance to see this year’s Triple Crown Champion, Justify, return to this year’s Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs, but you can rest assured that there will be plenty of other great horses on display. With fourteen races on the Cup program, you know there will be some fantastic competition, and amazing betting opportunities. Good luck!


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PLAYER STRATEGY

CRAPS: The Truth About Craps There is a singular truth about craps. It is a harsh truth and one that many craps players don’t know about, don’t care to know about, do know about but refuse to articulate or incorporate it into their strategies, or they just ignore it and pretend it has nothing to do with winning or losing or, strangely, with them. That harsh truth is this: The best chance a player has to win is for him to make the very best bets in the game (and, sadly, there are only a few of them) as these bets will preserve a player’s bankroll. The worst chance the player has to win is to make what my mentor, the late Captain of Craps, called the Crazy Crapper bets – and these awful bets seem legion in the game and, yes, legions of players make them. Since craps is dominated by rightside players – those betting with the shooter – the number of rightside bets are amazing and tantalizing and a waste of time and money. Players hate it when gambling writers start throwing around math numbers and percentages and probabilities – America is, after all, a country where most of our students perform poorly in math so why should players think in numbers? Sadly, most folks might subscribe to the common saying, “I didn’t use any of the geometry or algebra or other math I learned in school.” They have no idea that math allows them to get in and out of their cars, to hit baseballs, to make baskets in basketball, to judge how much water to use to cook their pasta and, of course, to play a solid game of craps. Some thickheaded craps players refer to other craps players who understand the true mathematical nature of the game as mathletes or math-ee-maniacs but such critics are – to put it plainly – ploppies. The casino makes most of its money on the errors players make in their betting strategies. Certainly, even the best bets have a house edge that players must overcome. To use a track and field analogy, it is easier to jump over a 1.41 inch edge on the pass line than to jump over a one-foot four-inch-plus edge on the Any Seven. Now, go to a craps table and watch a game and you will see players making bets with that 16.67 percent house edge as in the Any Seven; along with bets that have other double-digit edges. A given session might see such a player win but those sessions will be few and probably far between. The player leaping that 1.41 percent edge on the pass line or come bet, or the player betting the don’t pass or don’t come bet has a much, much better chance of being ahead at the 24

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by

FRANK SCOBLETE

conclusion of every given session than does our Crazy Crapper. That is, as I’ve said, the harsh truth. Let me put it in terms of money. If you bet the Any Seven your expectation is to lose $1.67 per $10 wagered. If you bet the pass line your expectation is to lose 14 cents. That is some big difference is it not? You can make these money adjustments on every bet but let me make this easy for you. Keep the house edge under two percent and that will give you a decent chance to come home a winner. (I’ve listed just about every craps bet in my book Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!) Craps players should also get rid of their superstitions, especially those silly ideas right bettors have against wrong bettors (known as darksiders) and the ideas that darksiders have about the nature of the bets they are making. Darksiders do not bring with them some evil magic that changes the math of the game. There is no way to bring magic to a craps table. A rightsider is playing against a stable house edge and that edge will not change because some darksider is rooting for the seven to appear to end the shooters turn. The darksider must also realize that he is not playing the house’s game as the house has a stable edge against him too. No magic can change that either. Short of learning how to control the dice, there is no way to get the edge over the house in the game of craps. I know this is a truly harsh truth but to steal a phrase, “The truth can set you free.” Listen to it. Don’t fall for the baloney put forth by many players. Think of all those craps ploppies moaning, groaning, yelling, whining and complaining about what is happening at the game when what is happening is just a small random sample of a far larger random sample which is also a small random sample of an incredibly larger random sample which is…you get the picture. Craps players making the best bets have the best chance to win. That is not a hard truth to learn. We should all learn it then.

Visit Frank’s web-site at FrankScoblete.com. Frank’s latest books I am a Dice Controller, I am a Card Counter and Confessions of a Wayward Catholic are available on Amazon.com, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, e-books and bookstores.

“THE CASINO MAKES MOST OF ITS MONEY ON THE ERRORS PLAYERS MAKE IN THEIR BETTING STRATEGIES.”

FOR MORE FREE TIPS, VISIT GAMINGANDDESTINATIONS.COM


PLAYER STRATEGY by

LI N DA B OY D

VIDEO POKER: Jumping the Haystack One of the media pundits, pointing to extreme overreactions while problem-solving, said “that’s like jumping in the haystack while the needle slips through”. Instantly I realized that casino management teams do the same thing and it’s bad for both the house and gamblers.

Linda Boyd, a long-time table game player before turning to video poker, writes for “Gaming and Destinations” and several other publications nationwide. You can see her videos on YouTube or view them on American Casino Guide’s website and her radio interviews are on iTunes. Boyd’s book, “The Video Poker Edge”, includes free removable pay schedules and her free strategy cards for the most popular games. The latest edition is available from amazon.com, Square One Publishers and bookstores. Kindle edition now available.

"SIMPLY REPLACING OLDER MACHINES WITH SHINY NEW ONE WON’T PLEASE PLAYERS."

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Sometimes I’m satisfied with all aspects of a casino and then suddenly there are major changes and they’re not for the better. It seems like every time management starts shouting about their fabulous new games or slot club policies my cash and comps get chopped. Needles: Casino management teams do have some legitimate complaints, including the fact that many devices, both video poker (VP) and traditional slots, are getting older and may need new parts. Simply replacing older machines with shiny new one won’t please players if the games, especially the VP pay tables, are downgraded. Likewise, many of the new slots have more whistles and bells than their predecessors but if the ER (expected return) is lower, their loyal patrons won’t be happy. Tech Levels: There are several levels of techs with the highest being a bench tech. I’ve known exactly one bench tech and he told me they won’t be found in any casino and, in fact, take the operational secrets of casino devices to their graves. So who does fix the mechanical glitches on the gaming floor? Mostly level one techs and that’s why we find the same problems on the same devices, especially electrical shortcomings, recurring. As an aside, you can ask a floor technician which machine to play all you want, but the truth is their guess is no better than yours. Temporary Solutions: To their credit, slot managers keep the rickety old devices chugging along for as long as they can in order to please their patrons. Alas, a time comes when these dinosaurs must be replaced and that’s where casino decision-makers could do a better job. They should strive to keep the same games with the same pay schedules on the replacement devices. Advantage Players: Another overstated problem from the perspective of casino brass is the so-called “advantage player”, especially for VP. Sure, a few gamblers are almost error-free thanks to tutorial software (Dean Zamzow’s WinPoker is my favorite), but nobody outruns the numbers. Guess who determines those numbers? The casino! It’s a doubleedged sword, though, if they eliminate all reasonable plays, say 9/6 Jacks or Better (9/6 JOB, ER 99.54% with computer-perfect play), many frequent players

will go elsewhere. If the casino is making money off a device there’s no reason to agonize over a few players holding their own. New Slots: The latest slots, including vibrating chairs when you hit something “good”, and wonderful graphics have a greater entertainment value than the older ones for sure. It’s finding the best balance between the draw of the game’s bonuses and special effects along with a reasonable return for players that has to be resolved. Golden Goose: It’s an incontrovertible fact that casinos make money off classic games like 9/6 JOB, Not-So-Ugly-Deuces (NSUD), 8/5 Bonus Poker (8/5BP), 10/7 Double Bonus (10/7DB) and other VP classics. (They’re all in my book, “The Video Poker Edge” along with game pay schedules and free strategy cards.) The overwhelming majority of players make many errors, while a miniscule minority play “according to Zamzow”. The casinos even make money off not-so-great games like 9/6 Double-Double Bonus (9/6DDB), and 9/6DB; however, there’s a point of no return from the perspective of frequent players. When gluttonous casinos devour all good options and replace them with games like 7/5 JOB or 8/5DB, frequent players will cry foul and gone will be the fowl that lays the golden eggs.

Evaluating Slots: Several years ago I attended a G2E (Global Gaming Expo) conference and a game developer described his product as one that can “get dead people to fork over their hard-earned cash”. That may be true, but eventually even the zombies get bored with constantly losing and you’ll find empty seats at the games with embarrassingly low ERs. Casino lobbyists in some states, like Maryland, continue to push their legislatures to lower minimum ERs, say from 85% to 70%. In the long run they’re likely to be hoisted by their own petard, since 30% of zero (theoretical profit given a 70% ER) is still zero. Final Thoughts: Everybody agrees that it’s reasonable for casinos to make a profit and there are issues that must be resolved, like replacing aging devices and discouraging Blackjack (BJ) card-counters (a simple junior high math skill) with continuous shuffling devices. However, jumping headlong into the haystack in order to find the needle isn’t the way to go. If casinos change the very reasons people have for coming, like dramatically lowering the ER on all devices and “offering” 6/5 BJ and increased poker rakes, gambling halls will eventually hear an echo within their glittering dens. G A M I N G A N D D E S T I N AT I O N S . C O M |

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PLAYER STRATEGY

BLACKJACK: Hot Hands Have you ever thought about how many different hands you get when you play blackjack, and how frequently you get them? What about the win rates for these hands, specifically, which hands generate a profit and which hands result in a loss? Allow me to explain. You can be dealt 34 different hands at the start of a round. They are hard hands of 5 through 19; soft hands of A-2 through A-10; and a pair of Aces through Tens.

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advantage) and, as you would expect, the worst hands are the stiff 12 through 16 (negative 3040% advantage). Many players are happy with a hard 17. However, a hard 17 has nearly a negative 30% advantage because you win only 29% of the time and push 13%. Reference the Two Card Hands – Player Advantage chart that summarizes the hands with the greatest player advantage, as well as the chart for hands where the player is at a disadvantage.

The percentage of times that you will be dealt these 34 hands varies dramatically. Fortunately, the most common hand for players is a pair of 10s because there are more tens than any other card rank (a pair of 10s include Jacks, Queens, and Kings). You’ll be dealt a pair of 10s about 9.2% of the time.

Two Card Hands – Player Advantage A-10 19 A-9 & 10-10 5-5 11 9-9 A-A A-7 11-11

The second most frequent hands, and you may be surprised at this, are 12 and 13 at 8.1% frequency, and then the hard 14, 15, and 16 with 7% for 14 and 15, and 6% for the 16. Do you know why these stiff hands (12 though 16) have high frequencies and are such common hands that we often must agonizing over? It is because there are so many combinations of cards that can result in a total of 12 through 16.

The last bit of information that you might find useful is which first two card hands have the greatest win rate (where win rate is the frequency of each hand multiplied by its advantage).

Happily, a blackjack hand is a common hand that occurs about 4.7% of the time due to the large number of tens in a deck of cards. On the other hand, pairs occur less frequently at less than 1% of the time (except for 10s) as well as soft hands at 1.1%. Most Frequent Hands 10’s Hard 12 – 16 A-10, 11. Hard 18 & 19 Hard 7-10 A-2 through A-9, Hard 5 & 6 Pair Aces & 9s Understand that knowing the frequency of each hand is only one part of the equation. The other is the advantage, or average gain or loss, we can expect for each hand. The hand with the greatest advantage is not too surprisingly a blackjack hand (that pays 3-2). Your advantage is almost 150%. The next best hand is a 20 comprised of either a 10-10 or Ace-9 (almost a 60% advantage) followed by hard 19 and 11 (roughly 23% advantage). Pairs from 2s through 9s and soft hands are not very good hands (negative 26

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H E N R Y TA M B U R I N

Two Card Hands – Player Disadvantage Hard 12-17 Hard 5-9 2-2, 3-3, 4-4, 6-6, 7-7, 8-8 A-2 through A-6

Win rate is how much money we win or lose for each hand. There are eleven hands that we make money and not too surprisingly the A-10, 10-10, 11, and 19 rank as the most profitable hands for players. The hands where we experienced the greatest losses were the stiff hands from 12 through 16, the 5, 6, and 7 hard hands, soft hands A-2 through A-6, and the following pairs: 2-2, 3-3, 4-4, 6-6, 7-7, and 8-8. The other hand which is a loser is a hard 17 and hard 18. Many players believe 17 and 18 are good hands; however, if you were dealt a hard 17 and 18 on every hand for the rest of your life, you would die a loser.

Henry Tamburin, Ph.D. is the author of the Ultimate Blackjack Strategy Guide (http://www.888casino. com/blog/blackjackstrategy-guide/), editor of the Blackjack Insider e-Newsletter (www.bjinsider. com), lead instructor for the Golden Touch Blackjack course, and host of smartgaming.com.

“YOU’LL BE DEALT A PAIR OF 10'S ABOUT 9.2% OF THE TIME.

If you are a blackjack player, at the minimum, you should know how to play the top 10 most profitable hands, the ones that generate the most profit when you play blackjack. If you screw up playing these hands, you will blow your chances of possibility walking away from the tables with a profit. Note: The above data is for a six-deck game. A single-deck game has much different stats. If you want to review the data for the single deck game, visit “What are the Good Blackjack Hands” page on www.blackjackincolor.com.

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PLAYER STRATEGY by

S H E R E E BY KO FS K Y

Sheree Bykofsky is a professional poker player who placed first in the World Series of Poker Ladies Circuit Event over 400 players and currently lives and plays poker in New Jersey. This column is an excerpt from her latest book The Kaizen of Poker found at Amazon. com, BarnesandNoble.com and bookstores around the country.

“MANIPULATE POTS AND CREATE POSITIVE EXPECTATIONS FOR YOURSELF.”

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POKER: Fold for an Hour The best thing you can do to create a tight image is what I call “fold for an hour.” That is powerful advice. Do not take it literally, but use it as a mantra when you first sit down at the poker table. The benefits of “folding” for an hour are manifold (pun intended). While creating your super-tight, I-never-bluff, I-never-play-bad-cards image, you have a chance to study the other players. Who in the game is genuinely tight? Who plays every hand? Who sees every flop? Who makes bad calls? Who calls re-raises with Q-T or A-9? Who is on tilt (making emotionally charged decisions)? Where are you in position to these players? How are their stack sizes? How are their chips stacked? Who is reading a book and not paying attention to anything but their own cards?

the flop comes A-K-3, you will make a big bet, and everyone will assume you have A-K and fold.

It takes a good 15 minutes or so to get the lay of the land. When you finally pick a hand to play, it must be a premium hand. Sure, if you’re dealt a big pocket pair, you can get involved in a pot. You’ll figure to come away with the money at the end of the hand. But stay away from speculative hands until you’ve got your opponents characterized and know their playing propensities. A good rule of thumb is to try to win the first hand you play to conclusion. If you do that, you will have established yourself as a good, tough player in the minds of your adversaries, and you’ll be off to a great start. And by trying to win the first hand you play, you are saying, in essence, that you will avoid all but the very best hands when you first sit down at the table.

Manipulate pots and create positive expectations for yourself by correctly reading other players’ styles. Here is a bluff that has worked for me more than once. After “folding for an hour,” perhaps playing just two hands, I then call a raise in the big blind. The board was 8-8-2, and the pre-flop raiser made the expected continuation bet of $35. I tanked (thought a long time) and made it $125. He showed 7-7 and folded. I had A-9 clubs. When the board is paired, and you know the pre-flop raiser is going to bet regardless of the flop, and you are confident that your image is solid and tight, you can easily represent trips by checkraising in a serious and convincing way. *Note that three of a kind is called a set when you have a pair in your hand and flop the third, but it’s called trips when you have one in your hand that matches the pair on the board.

If you don’t win the first hand you choose to play, perhaps make a hero fold (fold a big hand) and show the fold. For example, raise with jacks. Then when the flop has a queen and somebody bets, show your J-J and fold. That says you only play good cards, and that you will back down when you think you are beat. It says you can’t bluff. It says you are incapable of betting your J-J when there is a queen on the board. Of course, that is not true. Later, you will raise with 8-8, and when

Some people say it is never beneficial to show your cards unless you have to, but I find it is beneficial to show them in these reputation-building situations. What I have never done and will never condone is “showing the bluff.” When someone shows a bluff at the table, I almost always find a spot later to get their chips. It may feel good to the player at the time, but few players are good enough to overcome the fact that they just gave away their game big time. The sharks will hunt them down and swallow them whole. What’s your goal? Be the master of your own destiny. Create your own image. Understand which images are fake and which are real.

A good image to have is someone who only bets with something. I frequently cultivate that image by not making a continuation bet. In other words, in the first few hands I play, and then some later hands, when I raise pre-flop in late position and then miss the flop, I check. I fold willingly when someone bets on the turn if I have nothing. This sets me up later for some great bluffs.

G A M I N G A N D D E S T I N AT I O N S . C O M |

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PLAYER STRATEGY

SPORTS WAGERING 101: Advice from the Expert Jay Rood is MGM Resorts Vice President of Race & Sports Book Operations and provides strategic direction, management and oversight of daily operations for all Race & Sports Books across MGM Resorts properties that offer sports wagering. Jay began his career with MGM Resorts as a Sports Book Ticket Writer at MGM Grand Las Vegas on the resort’s opening day in 1993. We caught up with him to answer some of the basics of betting questions that are applicable to all skill levels. Matt Villano: For first-timers, what's the most important thing to know about a Race & Sports Book? Jay Rood: The Sports Book can be intimidating, but it’s critical to remember that the staff is there to help you get comfortable. Don’t be afraid to come to the counter and ask a ticket writer for directions. If you have questions about how to make a bet, they can help. MV: The odds board has a lot of numbers. How can novices make sense of it all? JR: It’s just like looking at a newspaper in that it’s laid out in columns. In each column, the matchups are on the left, odds are on the right. Lines scroll through depending on the number of games each day. You can find the odds on the video display boards in the Sports Book. We also print hard-copy sheets with all the lines clearly labeled with headers; these are organized by sport. If you don’t see the sheet you are looking for, ask one of our friendly staff. MV: What are some basic dos and don'ts at the betting window? JR: It’s very helpful when bettors use the Bet Numbers associated with each wager listed on the odds boards. That makes the transaction both faster and clearer. The ticket writer knows exactly what you want to bet and there’s less confusion. It’s also important to be aware of what’s going on around you. If you come to the window at a busy time – thirty minutes before kick-off on an NFL Sunday – there are going to 28

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be longer lines of people trying to get a bet down before the game. That’s probably not an ideal time to ask detailed questions. But if you come up at noon on a Tuesday, you can ask all the questions in the world. MV: What should bettors look for in placing bets? JR: We usually say that bettors should seek “value” in bets, but everybody places value on different things. Someone might think a line at -7 is great value over an overrated opponent; someone else might think that line isn’t big enough. Look for what you like and the teams and odds that make you comfortable.

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M AT T V I L L A N O

“YOU CAN LAY A SMALL AMOUNT OF MONEY TO WIN A LARGE AMOUNT OF MONEY IN RETURN.”

MV: What are the benefits of betting a parlay? JR: People like parlays because of the compounding factor. You can lay a small amount of money to win a large amount of money in return. Are the odds against you? Absolutely. It’s hard enough picking one game correctly, much less multiple games. But if you hit, the payout can be substantial. For example, 12-teamers pay 2,000:1. Two- and three-team parlays are much more common. Those usually pay 13:5 and 6:1 [respectively]. MV: When a game ends, how should bettors go about cashing out? JR: There aren’t any protocols for this; it all depends on your personal style. If you need to leave the book in a hurry, you want to be at the counter when the final score gets loaded into the computer – usually about three minutes after the game ends (though sometimes it’s a 10- or 15-minute wait, especially during big events). Otherwise, it’s fine to come back later in the day. There are a lot of people who enjoy the experience of waiting in line – everyone’s usually high-fiving and cheering a win. If you’re cashing a ticket, you’re happy. Why not soak that up? But be aware of the expiration date on your ticket. Make sure you collect your winnings before it expires.

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PLAYER STRATEGY

SPORTS BETTING: Learning the Lingo "THE MORE TEAMS BET IN A PARLAY, THE HIGHER THE PAYOUT ODDS.

Like many activities, sports wagering comes with its own specific language. Understanding a few of the terms being thrown around by the Sharps will help you better understand how the game is played. Below are a few words you might hear on your next sports book visit. This list was compiled by MGM Resort’s Gold Strike Casino in Tunica, Mississippi. More sports betting information can be found at GoldStrike.com or visit Gold Strike's all-new sportsbook! TYPES OF BETS

Straight Bets: An individual wager on a game (football, baseball, basketball, etc.) or event (auto race, boxing, MMA) will be determined by a point spread, a money line or a point total. Moneyline Bet: A wager where odds are expressed in terms of money. When a team is listed with a minus (-) the player lays that amount to win $100; when listed with a plus (+) the player wins that amount for every $100 wagered. Point Spread Bet: A wager where a team or participant must win by a certain number of points determined by the oddsmaker to create a wager that will attract betting action on both sides. The point margin is the number of points by which the favored team must win to “cover the spread.” Most point spread bets carry odds of -110. Total Bet (over/under): A wager based on the combined number of points scored by both teams at the end of the game or event, including any overtime. Most total bets carry odds of -110. Parlay Bets: A wager that combines more than one single bet, often across multiple games. All selections must win to collect. The more teams bet in a parlay, the higher the payout odds. Future Bets: A wager made on a game or event that is taking place in the future. For example, a bettor might place a future bet during pre-season for a team to win a championship event. FOR MORE FREE TIPS, VISIT GAMINGANDDESTINATIONS.COM

In-Game Wagers: Wagers placed on a game after the game has started. Odds will often be adjusted

to reflect play or conditions. Proposition Bet: Also referred to as a prop, novelty or side bet, a proposition bet may involve something that does not necessarily affect the outcome of the game or event. For example, a book might post a prop bet for which team will score the first touchdown in a football game. Another might be whether the first score will be a touchdown or a field goal. Handle: The total amount of money wagered by all customers on a game or event. Limit: The maximum amount accepted on a single wager. Line: The odds posted for a game or event. Odds may change from the opening line to account for the amount of wagers placed on an event. Cover: The betting result on a point-spread wager. For a favorite to cover, it must win by more than the spread; an underdog covers by winning outright or losing by less than the spread. Longshot: A team or individual generally thought to be unlikely to win. Underdog: The team least likely to win. Favorite: The expected straight-up winner in a game or event. Pick ‘em: A game or event with no favorite or underdog. The point spread does not come into play. Point Spread: The number of points oddsmakers will post on a game in order to attract betting action on both teams. Generally, the objective is to split the betting action. Push: When the result of a game or event ends exactly on the listed point spread or finishes in a draw. All wagers are then refunded. Sharp: A professional, sophisticated sports bettor. Square: A casual gambler who doesn’t use sophisticated reasoning or extensive knowledge to make a wager. G A M I N G A N D D E S T I N AT I O N S . C O M |

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The Sports Book & Bar at Beau Rivage offers a plush viewing area with excellent service.

SE ASON OF THE SPORTSBOOK: OFF AND RU NNING by

T

he landscape of gambling is always changing and this year is certainly no exception. In May, the Supreme Court overturned a law that made it illegal to bet on sports, giving individual states the opportunity to legalize the popular pass time and for them to govern regulation the way they see fit. As soon as the verdict was delivered, states began evaluating their next steps and Mississippi was one of the first to put a plan into action, and accept wagers. While many more will soon follow, for now, they seem to have a stronghold on the Southern sports market.

HOW SPORTS GAMBLING IN MISSISSIPPI CAME ABOUT The majority of the country might be surprised Mississippi is leading the charge 30

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P AT R I C K R YA N

for legalized sports gambling, but for residents of the Magnolia State, and for those who frequent the numerous casinos stretching from Tunica to the Gulf Coast, it seemed like a natural fit. In what was already the mecca of gambling for the region, the state has been primed for this moment. In 2017 the state legislature passed a fantasy sports bill allowing state legislators to eliminate language barring gambling on sports if the federal ban was ever struck down. So when the Supreme Court struck down the law this year, it only took a couple of days for the Mississippi Gaming Commission to issue regulations pertaining to the governance of in-state sports betting and the rest is history. On August 1st, the first legal sports wagers were accepted simultaneously at

the MGM Resorts-owned properties of Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi and the Gold Strike Casino Resort in Tunica. The bets were made by former NFL players Stanley Morgan and Willis McGahee, and other special guests, and with the wagers, a joyous celebration took place and wagers were rolling. The plans were already in place for many casinos, they were just waiting for the green light from the state. “A lot of people, for a lot of years, have felt that when the Supreme Court heard the case, the ruling would go in the favor of sports betting.” Commented Brandon Dardeau, Vice President of Marketing for Beau Rivage Resort & Casino. “Our leadership in Las Vegas had been making plans and thinking through the logistics for locations and the process for how quickly we could


go to market. We are avid football fans in the southeast so it was important to be open for the start of the season.” Soon, upwards of a dozen casinos in the state will offer sports betting making for a super competitive landscape and the need to earn customers and their loyalty. In addition, sports bettors who have grown accustomed to placing their wagers with bookies or off-shore web-sites, albeit illegal, will need reason and justification to drive to a casino to place their wagers. Casinos are banking on being able to offer an environment that will make a bettor want to come to the sportsbook instead of staying at home. “There is just something about being in a casino sportsbook that is exciting.” Added Dardeau. “It’s a sense of comradery much like you would find at a craps table. If you are playing craps at a table by yourself, versus playing on a full table, you will get a totally different experience. That is why we think people will come and stay at our property, visit the sportsbook and enjoy all of our other amenities at the property.” While a lot of properties are still in the midst of establishing their plans and sorting out compliance issues, they are all excited about the opportunity to offer something new to their players. “Adding the sportsbook component offers yet another form of entertainment we can offer.” Said Dardeau. “We are a fullservice resort and we now have everything that a Las Vegas resort can offer, and in some cases, even more with our location on the Gulf of Mexico. We have golf. We have a world-class spa. We have worldclass dining. We offer the full package.” Indications show that nearly a dozen sportsbooks will be up and ready to go by the NFL’s season kickoff on Thursday, September 6. In addition to Beau Rivage and Gold Strike, some of the other properties that are jumping on the new legislation are Boyd Gaming’s IP Casino in Biloxi and Sam’s Town in Tunica, Caesars Entertainment-owned Harrah’s Gulf Coast and Horseshoe Tunica, Scarlet Pearl Casino in D’Iberville (near Biloxi), Silver Slipper Casino in Bay St. Louis, as well as Golden Nugget and Hard Rock, both located in Biloxi.

Legendary oddsmaker Danny Sheridan, NFL’s Robert Royal and NFL's Willis McGahee were among first to place sports bets at Beau Rivage.

Part of the appeal of Mississippi ’s sportsbooks is the wide range of betting options. Unlike Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Mississippi has legalized wagering on in-state college athletics. Locals and tourists will be able to wager on Ole Miss and Mississippi State games as desired, and that is a big deal for locals considering the fact that Mississippians are obsessed with college athletics. As noted above, Beau Rivage is considered a sports gambling trailblazer in the Magnolia State and offers a seven-window sports wagering footprint positioned next to its popular poker room. The casino converted its piano bar and Coast nightclub into Sports Book & Bar allowing sports fans to place wagers, order meals and enjoy drinks while taking in the games. “We literally only had about two months to really prepare for our opening,” Said Dardeau. “We were fortunate that we had a space to get up and running rather quickly. The sportsbook will serve food and really have a sports bar kind of feel. The wagering will take place right outside the entrance just a few steps away from where you can order food and drinks and watch a game on over thirty televisions.” Just down the road in Bay St. Louis, the Silver Slipper Casino is also excited about the opportunity lining up its relationship with the world’s top sportsbook, William Hill, to set the lines and other logistic implementation for the property. Owned by Full House Resorts, Silver Slipper will dedicate a spacious portion of its casino f loor to sports wagering. This

portion of the casino floor attracts an abundance of guests as it provides optimal visibility. John Ferrucci, the casino’s general manager, states the sportsbook will have a sports betting counter open throughout the majority of the week in addition to wagering kiosks around the property. Gamblers will be able to watch games on twenty TVs strategically positioned across the casino floor as well as monitors that are on slot machines throughout the casino floor. Regulations pertaining to sports gambling, the payment of wagers and other nuances of the industry were published on the Mississippi Gaming Commission website this past June. The new regulations allows for land-based wagers, but not off-property online or mobile wagers. In addition, the state and local communities will benefit from a 12% tax with two-thirds going to state coffers while one-third represents a local tax. Though the South is not necessarily known for progressive stances, Mississippians cer tainly va lue persona l freedom. Wagering on professional and collegiate athletics is now recognized by state law as an individual’s right and it won’t be long before other states follow suit. The fact that Mississippi beat forty six other states to the punch bodes well for the local economy as the rise of Mississippi sportsbooks will create jobs, draw in free-spending tourists and ultimately encourage people to spend money in the Magnolia State. That is certainly something everyone is excited about. G A M I N G A N D D E S T I N AT I O N S . C O M |

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MISSISSIPPI SPORTSBOOK STATUS: PROPERTY

LOCATION STATUS

DESCRIPTION

Beau Rivage Biloxi Open Located just off the casino floor in the former Coast nightclub and sports bar. Hard Rock Biloxi Open Located in the casino, where the sports bar used to be, the sports bar offering the energy and excitement of the casino paired with your favorite games. IP Casino Resort Spa

Biloxi

Open

Gold Strike Tunica Open Located in the former Pickles and Jam restaurant just off the casino floor. Treasure Bay Biloxi Soon

Located in casino near the Den Restaurant the area will have seating for over 30 locations, over 60 TV’s across the Casino and within the restaurants and 24-hour food service.

Golden Nugget Biloxi September Open

Located in the renovated Michael Patrick’s Sports Bar guests enjoy 50+ high definition TVs, two high definition video walls over 120 seats as well as multiple betting kiosks, betting windows and an app that will be launching soon.

Silver Slipper Bay St. Louis Open Located on the casino floor between the Live Keno and Oyster Bar restaurant featuring dozens of televisions around the property as well as on every slot machine so you can follow the action right at your game! 1st Jackpot Tunica Open Located near the stage bar with the largest big screen to watch the big games on each week featuring 24 hour kiosks that allows for bets at any time. Hollywood Casino Tunica Open Located near the stage bar with the largest big screen to watch the big games on each week featuring 24 hour kiosks that allows for bets at any time.

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SOU THERN

CASINO DIRECTORY

Below is a list of our preferred properties of the South showcasing some of the great things that each property has.

WEBSITE

PHONE NUMBER

*CC PARTNER

TABLES

MACHINES

BELTERRA CASINO RESORT

belterracasino.com

812-427-7777

55

1,473

RISING STAR CASINO RESORT

risingstarcasino.com

800-472-6311

29

1,000

TROPICANA EVANSVILLE

tropevansville.com

812-433-4000

40

905

FITZ CASINO & HOTEL

fitzgeraldstunica.com

662-363-5825

24

1,268

GOLD STRIKE CASINO RESORT

goldstrike.com

662-357-1111

53

1,400

HOLLYWOOD CASINO TUNICA

hollywoodcasinotunica.com

662-357-7700

28

1,079

RESORT’S CASINO

ResortsTunica.com

866-706-7070

13

1,052

41

1,563

34

1,275

54

1,200

57

1,800

INDIANA

TUNICA

MID-SOUTH: INCLUDES LOUISIANA, MISSISSIPPI AND ALABAMA AMERISTAR CASINO VICKSBURG

ameristar.com/vicksburg

601-638-1000

CYPRESS BAYOU CASINO HOTEL

cypressbayou.com

337-923-7284

MARGARITAVILLE RESORT CASINO

margaritavillebossiercity.com

318-698-7177

PARAGON CASINO RESORT

paragoncasinoresort.com

318-253-1946

PEARL RIVER RESORT

pearlriverresort.com

866-447-3276

79

2,350

WIND CREEK ATMORE

WindCreekAtmore.com

866-946-3360

N/A

1,600+

WIND CREEK MONTGOMERY

WindCreekMontgomery.com

866-946-3360

N/A

2,200+

WIND CREEK WETUMPKA

WindCreekWetumpka.com

866-946-3360

N/A

2,500+

BEAU RIVAGE RESORT & CASINO

beaurivage.com

228-386-7111

96

2,100

IP CASINO RESORT & SPA

ipbiloxi.com

228-436-3000

60

1,900

SCARLET PEARL CASINO RESORT

scarletpearlcasino.com

888-266-5772

45

1,350

SILVER SLIPPER CASINO HOTEL

silverslipper-ms.com

228-469-2777

25

965

CALDER CASINO & RACE COURSE

caldercasino.com

305-625-1311

RACING

1,200

SEMINOLE HARD ROCK & CASINO TAMPA

seminolehardrocktampa.com

813-627-7625

171

5,000

SEMINOLE HARD ROCK & CASINO HOLLY

seminolehardrockhollywood.com

866-502-7529

130

2,200

LUMIERE.COM

314-881-777

73

2,000

Caesars.com/harrahs-cherokee

828-497-7777

100

3,280

• •

GULF COAST

FLORIDA

MISSOURI LUMIERE PLACE CASINO AND HOTELS NORTH CAROLINA HARRAH’S CHEROKEE CASINO RESORT

34

| G A M I N G A N D D E S T I N AT I O N S . C O M


* CC Partner means the property provides coupons and special offers to members of The Comps Club. For more information, visit Thecompsclub.com

# OF ROOMS

ENT. VENUE

GOLF

SPA

POOL

608

OUTDOOR

294

INDOOR

349

INDOOR

506

INDOOR

1,131

INDOOR

494

INDOOR

201

OUTDOOR INDOOR

150

102

395

531

1,071

236

OUTDOOR •

OUTDOOR

BOTH

BOTH

OUTDOOR

123

OUTDOOR

283

1,740

OUTDOOR

1,088

OUTDOOR

OUTDOOR

300

OUTDOOR

129

250

OUTDOOR

481

OUTDOOR

294

INDOOR

1,108

IN & OUT

G A M I N G A N D D E S T I N AT I O N S . C O M |

35


FUTURE ODDS FIND YOUR EDGE…PLACE YOUR BET!

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

BREEDERS’ CUP CLASSIC – NOVEMBER 3, 2018 CHURCHILL DOWNS - LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY

NFL SUPER BOWL LII – FEBRUARY 3, 2019 MERCEDES BENZ STADIUM – ATLANTA GEORGIA

Horse September Odds

Team

Catalina Cruiser 2/1 Accelerate 6/1 Good Magic 6/1 My Boy Jack 6/1 West Coast 6/1 Mckinzie 8/1 Diversify 10/1 Tenfold 10/1 Audible 12/1 Hofburg 12/1 King Zachary 12/1 Mendelssohn 12/1 Collected 15/1 Gronkowski 15/1 Pavel 15/1 Thunder Snow 15/1

Houston Astros 4/1 Boston Red Sox 7/1 New York Yankees 9/1 Chicago Cubs 7/1 Cleveland Indians 10/1 Los Angeles Dodgers 8/1 Philadelphia Phillies 15/1 Arizona Diamondbacks 20/1 Atlanta Braves 25/1 Oakland Athletics 25/1

5/1 6/1 6/1 10/1 12/1 14/1 20/1 N/A 16/1 N/A

Washington Nationals 25/1 N/A

*All other teams are higher than 20/1 odds.

6/1 10/1 10/1 12/1 10/1 12/1 20/1 20/1 14/1 16/1 20/1 20/1 N/A N/A N/A

Team September

May March Jan. 5/1 10/1 13/2 10/1 9/1 8/1 N/A N/A N/A N/A

6/1 8/1 10/1 12/1 12/1 14/1 16/1 22/1 20/1 20/1 20/1 20/1 N/A N/A N/A

NCAA FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP-JANUARY 7, 2019 LEVI’S STADIUM-SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA

MLB WORLD SERIES -NOVEMBER 1, 2018 Sept. July

7/1 10/1 10/1 10/1 12/1 14/1 16/1 16/1 20/1 20/1 20/1 20/1 25/1 25/1 25/1

*All other teams are higher than 25/1 odds.

*All others are higher than 15/1 odds.

Team

September July May

New England Patriots Philadelphia Eagles Minnesota Vikings Pittsburgh Steelers Los Angeles Rams Green Bay Packers New Orleans Saints Atlanta Falcons San Francisco 49ers Houston Texans Jacksonville Jaguars Los Angeles Chargers Dallas Cowboys Kansas City Chiefs New York Giants

6/1 12/1 5/1 10/1 8/1 6/1 N/A N/A N/A N/A

N/A N/A

13/2 14/1 9/2 8/1 7/1 5/1 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

Alabama 2/1 Clemson 9/2 Ohio State 8/1 Georgia 10/1 Washington 14/1 Michigan 16/1 Oklahoma 20/1 Penn State 25/1 Wisconsin 25/1 Auburn 33/1 Texas 33/1 Michigan State 40/1 Notre Dame 40/1 Florida St. 50/1 Miami, FL 50/1 *All other teams higher than 50/1 odds.

For the latest sports odds, updated every 5 minutes, visit GamingandDestinations.com


G A M I N G A N D D E S T I N AT I O N S . C O M |

37


10.10.18 | LAS VEGAS The Million Dollar EventÂŽ

www.TOURNEVENT.com

*Payable in periodic payments over 20 years or in a lump sum, present-day cash value payment.

Southern Gaming and Destinations - September 2018  

Don't miss our annual rundown of some of our favorite casino cuisine in our Casino Dining Guide. Also, we pay tribute to this year's Casino...

Southern Gaming and Destinations - September 2018  

Don't miss our annual rundown of some of our favorite casino cuisine in our Casino Dining Guide. Also, we pay tribute to this year's Casino...

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