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Best of Star Brooks

Gaming Guru

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Summer, Lake Tahoe Style

22 June 2000

The sight of money pouring out at the Lake continues...maybe not the millions, but $40-50 grand here and there isn't exactly chump change, either! Plus it is summer, and the lake is fully alive and rockin'!

The Tahoe casinos all are offering new games to play, and there are many new "Aussie"-style nickel games with all the bells and whistles that go with the multiple bonus features. Catching on after a two month warm-up is the WMS game "Casting for Cash". People were slow to leave their old faithful "Reel Em' In" games to try the new version. But after some sizeable wins were spotted, that changed pretty rapidly. Even as the new slots come in, there still is a growing movement of local players as they gravitate back to the progressive pokers, and the video keno machines, particularly the quarter keno. It would be interesting to hear comments as to whether other areas are seeing this shift, or if it has already shifted.

The leg-stretching opportunities in between gaming sessions just keeps growing and growing. Everyone is out to make summer as fun as they can this year. Tahoe has the cool Alpine weather, and that big blue lake, and the mountains, and it also has an extreme range of other activities, and like I mentioned before...THE GAMING IS GREAT!

Last weekend, the HARLEY'S AT THE HORIZON rode into town, 500 motorcycles strong...and the TahoeGamingGuide.com was there with the digital camera. If you want to see the photos, they can be found under the animated motorcycle wheel on the home page. Not a quick loader, but hey, I just couldn't cut the resolution on such blinding beauties! Great job again, HORIZON CASINO!

Friday is the "soft" opening of the Tavern at the LAKESIDE INN...there will be a tavern and a Mexican restaurant with unique offerings on the menu. Plus the Sportsbook is moving downstairs to the area, and there are multi-denomination slots being installed. The lobby is sporting a total makeover, and there is now a massive stone fireplace meant to impress. Wednesday, they put in a couple of massive wrought iron chandeliers above the escalators. THE REAL OPENING PARTY IS GOING TO BE HELD ON JULY 3rd, AND IS SURE TO BE A REAL BANG-UP PARTY...So if you always wanted to see fireworks over a pretty lake where you can really CHILL out, and you want to see something new, keep the LAKESIDE INN in mind! Always friendly and fun, and are we ever looking forward to July 3rd. I know they know how to party hearty!

HARRAH'S TAHOE is buzzing about the opening of their new top floor restaurants. They have just redone the top floor of Harrah's so that there is a gorgeous view of Lake Tahoe...plus they are re-decorating the hotel lobby with some great looking furnishings. The sound of dollar tokens has been pretty loud in Harrah's lately! I am starting to really like that sound.

CAESARS TAHOE still has that Lamborghini Diablo, and their Break the Bank promotion will continue indefinitely. They are remodeling different areas too...what a facelift this town is giving itself.

HARVEYS just gave away $100,000 worth of REEL REWARDS play to some lucky player on June 16th...what a nice-looking tournament setup they had for the lucky contenders. There was a lot of effort put into this, and it showed. Good job!

I have noticed a lack of thought going into the design concepts of slot machines, little things, but important things, lack of ergonomics in seating, coin drop trays that are real pains to get your winnings out of. Now I know they might want to keep the coins in house, but when you have to help a man with large hands get his nickels out, or hear an irate gambler grumbling about the design, then that says something is wrong with this picture. This is becoming more and more of a problem to people. You used to be able to put a cup under the drop to catch the coins, but now you have to dig in deep and slippery holes. Keep it up manufacturers, and you will bring the era of coinless slots in much faster. Take pity on people, okay? They want to play, but if they are uncomfortable, squirming, and then have to battle the dirty old coins, they might not come back and play yours! I am open to all comments on this. This is not a Tahoe problem, this is an everywhere problem.

It's another knock-out of a pretty day at the Lake. I don't know about you, but I am going to drive through the mountains and the pine trees down to the lake and enjoy the perfect weather. Think of Tahoe if you are roasting in a heat wave. No place on earth like it with casinos! Eat your heart out, Vegas! Where else can you hang out a "GONE FISHING" sign and get away with it? And that is precisely what I plan to do.

Meanwhile, while I'm fishing, you can go to the TahoeGamingGuide.com and check out a preview of the progressive jackpots at the lake, or the Harley pictures. Gotta comment you want to make about gambling? Then maybe you should visit the UnitedGamblersAssoc.com because there is a nice little threaded message board where you can talk, share, vent, or rage on. Your call, your site.