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Best of Star Brooks

Gaming Guru

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Slot Fill Times Irritating?

14 July 2003

One of the things sometimes left behind in the rush to add slots to a casino appears to be the technology to make life easier for us, the gamblers. The advent of tons of penny slots, and games converted to multi-denomination slots, has taken away the levels of service given the players. It is required that two people make the hand pays in the casino, and if you have tens or hundreds of penny and multi-coin slots, then you can just as well expect that you are going to have to wait.

I made such a wait last week... in a casino that already was slow prior to the new additions. It wasn't the first time I waited patiently for a little bit of money... something like $7 or less... but the point is, I sat and sat and sat and waited and waited and waited. I couldn't play anything else, it was a situation where I had to wait right there, and about 22 minutes after I first pushed the cash out button, they rushed by, threw the $7 at me, and went on to pay six other people the same way... six people who had waited as long as I had. I know. I met them all going out the door at the same time with me, and every one of them was not inclined to return...ever.

So what's that tell you? If you are a casino, I'd think you would be looking at improving the technology... letting the people flow through, and the only way the casinos can do that in 2003 is to put in the ticket-in ticket-out technology. I know it involves cost and I also know that some of the smaller casinos, like Tamarack Junction and even Duke's Casino in Sparks, have chosen to make the technology available no matter the cost. And you know what? They don't lose their players because of slow pay-off times. Their restaurants do good business, their slots do good business... overall they get the fall-out from places like I mentioned at the start. It isn't something personal against the casino staff, they are great people... but they are running their legs off, as well as running off their potential return visits, because people don't go to a casino just to sit around and wait. The idea is that we as gamblers are supposed to gamble. Give us the comfort and ease of being able to move around your casino, and heck... we just might decide to stay and play awhile!

I think my computer has been trying to get a worm. I don't know what kind of worm, but I do know it came in through my IWON e-mail account attached to something entitled "sexy virgin" and I know it is stubborn and keeps re-appearing. My Norton picked it up the first time, quarrantined the file, and I was able to delete it. But yesterday, even as I watched, here came the freaking e-mail, which I deleted immediately... but a bit later, a file kept trying to download, and when I would try to cancel the download it would not cancel, but puts up messages in German... and I can't find hide nor hair of the file... so beware everyone... if it has that sexy crap in the subject line, get rid of it... and maybe call someone in the "tekkie" deptartment of your favorite computer repair place. This is the second time this crap has come to my computer, and I think that IWON will not be my e-mail anymore... this is two times. I can't afford it, and I know most of you could not either. Hell, I'm already at that critical point between life and death out here with the web site... last thing I need is some stupid worm running around in my computer. I haven't recovered from the last crash.

The Reno Gaming Guide had its day in the sun last Monday, it made the business section of the Reno Gazette-Journal in a web review by Donica Mensing, and I was pleased to see that it appeared in a large different colored column with a nice screen shot of the front page. It brought a lot of new subscribers to the Reno-Tahoe Gambling Weekly so the whole thing is growing again. Some nice comments have been popping up on the Guest Map and in the Message board. I'm encouraging everyone to write their trip reports and Reno comments on the message board. By doing so, you are helping other gamblers, as well as helping the casinos make any adjustments that might need to be made to keep our business! Someone thought that business was down 30% in Reno because of Thunder Valley, and I have to say no to that. Maybe a 10% mid-week slowdown, but weekends in Reno have been as busy as ever... after all, we have things to do in Reno, as well as places to stay.

Reno has been full of people the past couple of days, as the ESPN GREAT OUTDOOR GAMES are in progress... there is a really nice set-up at Rancho San Rafael Park, with log rolling, boom running, pole topping, rifles, archery, and you name it... the bass fishing is taking place at Folsom Lake in California, and the fly fishing is going on in the Truckee River... and the best part is that admission is free to watch all events. You can't argue the price!

Next major event up is Hot August Nights, August 3-10... if you haven't already reserved, you may not be able to, as thousands and thousands of people and classic cars are going to fill the streets... I am going to try to have the events line-up online in the next week if I survive.

Things are very difficult... my doctors are chasing me, the blood pressure was well over 200 and I had developed a heart murmur from the stress and the right side of my face is swollen from two bad teeth my insurance wouldn't fix before it expired. Other than that, the brain is still going, so maybe a well-wished-for miracle will occur and I will get bailed. The newspaper article put me in touch with another Reno web site devoted to the rest of the information. We are looking at ways to team up to make a bigger splash, one that will result in paid sponsors instead of offers of rooms, food and shows on a trade-out basis... which casinos are guilty of... that doesn't pay our bills, and between the two of us, we are bigger than the darned newspaper's circulation... and casinos do pay the newspaper for ads... so we gotta do what we gotta do to get the recognition. Time to wake up Reno.... you'll be hearing more about this as we get things worked out!

Boomtown twists the night away at Sizzlin' Summer Nights Sock Hop... Boomtown Hotel and Casino will twist the night away with a Sizzlin' Summer Nights Sock Hop Saturday, August 9. The dance will fill Boomtown's 7,200 square foot Sierra Ballroom with cool '50s and '60s decorations. Sock hop fun heats up when the Steppin' Stonz take the stage at 8 p.m. The popular group will transport dancers back in time with favorite '50s and '60s hits as the dance floor fills with poodle skirts and bobby socks. Tickets are just $5 per person and can be purchased at Boomtown's General Store Gift Shop or by calling (775) 345-6000, ext. 6993. The sock hop is for those 21 and over. A classic car show area will also fill part of Boomtown's west parking area with classic Chevys, Corvettes, Mustangs and more. Guests can even get their fill of nostalgic menu items with the Sundance Cantina's half-pound Bonanza burger and delicious milkshakes, served 24 hours. The Silver Screen Buffet will also offer special International Buffet dinners Monday, August 4 through Thursday, August 7, including classic American chicken and rib favorites Tuesday evening.

It hasn't been as hot in Reno as it has been in California... maybe that is why the road is still full of people heading this way... it's been in the 100-107 range in Sacramento, and it hasn't broken 100 yet in Reno... yesterday was 99 degrees and it is supposed to be the same today... I love it. There has been just enough breeze to make it bearable, and you have to understand that after 17 years at Lake Tahoe, well.... it is pretty darned different in hot weather... but I don't mind it... and that is a good thing. I'm a night person at heart, so mild nights are right up my alley!

Think about it.... coming to Reno... it is so full of things to do and history is ever present... I can't get enough of the history of this area... so maybe if I ever get that car fixed and cash rolling in, I will go up to Virginia City and soak in the history of the Comstock and wander around the shops and museums and be a day tripper... it is so much fun! I can't tell you enough about the fun factor here... so come see for yourself!