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Best of Star Brooks

Gaming Guru

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Summer Gambling Sizzles in Reno-Tahoe

20 July 2001

Summer at the lake is still cooler than anywhere else... not only the pristine blue waters of a humongous lake... but matching skies with puffy cotton ball clouds and cool breezes... the scent of pine trees... and fresh air... guaranteed to cleanse the pollution from any city-dweller's system.

Gaming is still hot at the lake, all the casinos have promotions ongoing, many the same, and many new... and too numerous to get into... So I am going to move right along to Reno, and start including some more Reno items every week.... because Reno is an equally nice place to visit....and offers additional amenities, like bowling... even a bowling alley under the Reno Hilton!

Speaking of the Reno Hilton.... wow.... now they have a lottery type game... actually at several properties... more info on the www.RenoGamingGuide.com just by clicking on the Reno Hilton banner.... you can win millions... for $2... similar to keno, reminder of a lottery... you have just got to check out NEVADA NUMBERS!!!! They also have the funniest TV commercial going about their "CRABATHON"... the crab on top of the Reno Hilton was the greatest idea... and a giant pair of tongs comes and grabs it and it screams..... Good going folks!

Also speaking of Reno.... HOT AUGUST NIGHTS IS COMING UP!... END OF JULY...CAR CRUISES>>> BOBBY SOX>>>>POODLE SKIRTS>>>>

Also... you have to visit the Flamingo in Reno too.... wow.... just go check out their info under the banner on the Reno site.... for the Flamingo... and click on the who's winning page.... I have got to get a bankroll from the thin air bank and go check it out myself... before I get arrested for being "GREEN IN PUBLIC".... all that envy don't you know?!

I've come to the conclusion that I live in an eggshell... or at least the world of my existence is as thin as any eggshell. For 530 days I have defied the odds and kept the TahoeGamingGuide.com going... with virtually no financial funding by the local casinos...actually, if broken down by the hours consumed and the money out, if I were an employee, they would arrest my boss... something about slave labor, I think... along with cruel and unusual punishment. My dad pointed out one thing last week... he said my problem is that I am like him... neither of us knows how to quit...

I know I had a great idea, and I still am sticking by it like glue. There are many people who will never understand the true nature of the web market... a study of mine for years... there are so many differences between brick and mortar marketing and web marketing... I don't count on large companies to ever have real clear vision about that... after 18 months of push and shove... myopia still prevails... they don't seem to understand that just because they put it on their own web sites, that not everybody is going to visit them one by one.... and if they don't answer questions and interact... a certain percent will never return. Until they quit diversifying and growing long enough to really check out the "toes" of their giant... they won't ever get it.

Now the headlines are screaming that the figures in Northern Nevada are down. Not the first time, but something like the past year has gone down. But the last quarter saw Reno drop three percent, and Tahoe drop four percent. Yes... Vegas was up... but Tahoe and Reno can't afford to take losses. Something caught my eye in one of the reports that I read... saying that Carson City and Carson Valley (bottom of my mountain on the Nevada side) had reported a modest gain... only 1.3%... but a gain. What might cause that, I wondered....and suddenly a whole lot of factors kicked in...

Comparing notes with others.... The casinos are smaller. The casinos are not owned by corporate giants. They rely on bus traffic...even more than the Lake, and they rely on locals. Cheap food... more benefits for the gamblers... rural, but tourist driven also. They don't mind giving their gamblers "more" back... they don't have to spread the perks out to 20+ million people. They remember names, and offer more personalized services...and for those who would like to breathe without that breath being tracked by somebody's database and computer... many don't have card readers, but rely on giving back all that much more to the players... interesting thought.... smallness can be of great benefit..... the Indian casinos in California know that too... and who knows... maybe I can scare up Tribal progressive jackpots too! In other words... I am spreading out and not solely focusing on Lake Tahoe...

Mid-week brought new thoughts, when an e-mail arrived from one of the Tahoe marketing offices, but the message was suspicious. First of all, I haven't done business with that casino since January... and then there was the matter of the wording... along with the subject line...

The e-mail's subject was "Brett" and the message read: "Hi. How are you? I send you this file for your advice..." Not, "Hi Star" and no signature... and it was carrying an attachment that had an odd extension.... Brett.doc.lnk so I called. Yep... it was a virus... if opened it presumably would have gone through my entire address book... added my name as the sender, and sent itself out to everyone in the address book. I copied my address book files, and hastily deleted the entire address book, ran a scan on the system files, inoculated a few with my Norton Anti-Virus, and escaped harm's way.

One more little item about most corporations and the web... Most people with degrees did not go to college and become professionals in the web industry to be treated like peons... no wonder everybody that writes or does something web is seeking online casino sponsorship... In Europe, Asia, and Africa... and even little islands in the ocean... they recognize the true worth of what computer people do... and pay very well for it... too bad that some corporations pay way too much to themselves for a minimally effective web page... and fail to utilize the power of the web in all its strength to advertise, promote, and get in touch with their market. What happens if the whales become extinct? Who you gonna call?I have been telling them for 18 months that the numbers are falling... and I know many of the reasons... But I'm not telling... not telling any more... free ride is over.