Gaming News

Gaming & Destinations Readers’ Choice Awards Revealed!


Gaming and Destinations Magazine is your number one resource for all that is gaming. Each year, we receive feedback from thousands of gaming enthusiasts letting us know their top picks for everything from rooms and suites to pools and golf courses.

We are excited to publish the results as part of our annual Readers’ Choice Awards and are excited to officially reveal the winners for all to see!

Congratulations to all of the winning properties on a job well done! These awards show that your hard work to satisfy your customers is unprecedented and noticed by all!


This year, we received over 20,000 votes from gamers throughout the country casting their votes in various categories divided into a Southern and a Midwest region.

We hope the results will help our readers and audience plan their next gambling adventure with confidence knowing that these premium properties are the best in the business!

Special thanks to everyone who took the time to vote…enjoy the awards!


CLICK HERE for the Southern Award Winners


CLICK HERE for the Midwest Award Winners


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Blackjack Strategy: Numbers Don’t Lie

BlackjackPicI’m a firm believer that if know some of the more important statistics about the game of blackjack, it can help you better understand the fundamentals of winning blackjack strategies.
However, I also understand that most folks find statistics boring; therefore, I prepared the following fun quiz, which I hope you will find entertaining as well as informative.


Triple Crown Track Comparisons: Finding the Bias

P22_ChurchillOver the last 15 years, the post-time favorite has won the Preakness nine times. That’s a winning percentage of 60 percent.

When it comes to Triple Crowns, I have been trackside for every near-miss over the last two decades. From Silver Charm in 1997 to California Chrome in 2014, and the seven others that fell between. Like many who follow the Sport of Kings closely, there was a piece of me that thought it would never happen again. Then, on June 6, 2015, an equine named American Pharoah blazed across Belmont Park’s sandy straightaway, straight into history. At long last, the wait was finally over. After a 37 year drought, Thoroughbred racing finally had its twelfth Triple Crown Champion.


Destination Spotlight: Hot Action in Arkansas


Racing and Gaming are on the fast track in The Land of Opportunity

The first national river, the first European settlement on the Lower Mississippi, the biggest oxbow lake in America, the only public mine where you can dig for diamonds and keep what you find … Arkansas is known for a lot of things, and increasingly, it’s known for year-round racing and gaming action.

Arkansas has two great racing and gaming venues – Southland Park Gaming and Racing in West Memphis and Oaklawn Racing and Gaming in Hot Springs. Both facilities have recently undergone multi-million dollar renovations that are thrilling high rollers and everyday folks looking to have some serious Natural State fun.


$1 Million TournEvent of Champions is Ready to Roll

Everi TOC 1On its own, a slot tournament is an incomparable experience, wonderfully capturing the excitement and anticipation that the casino environment can create for people. But when you take that slot tournament, structure it as a national competition, invite participation among properties and players across the nation, and hang up a $1 million championship prize, you have the ingredients for a “can’t miss” thrill of a lifetime. That’s what makes the TournEvent of Champions® 2016, coming soon to a casino near you, so special.


Banking on Side Bets in Blackjack

To encourage more players to visit the blackjack tables and also to improve their margins, many casinos have added side bets.

These innocent-sounding gambles usually require a rather small wager (typically a dollar) and generally return better than the customary even-money blackjack payoffs.

It’s a competitive market for side bets. Each year at Global Gaming Expo, the casino industry’s premier trade show (Global Gaming Expo), you will find a countless number of enthusiastic vendors pitching their side bets to casino officials.The reality, however, is many of them never make it to the casino floor, and the few that do die quickly because of lack of player interest.



Midwest Gaming’s Readers’ Choice Awards – Winner’s Revealed!


The Midwest Region has an abundance of great casinos and resorts each featuring their own unique characteristics you won’t find anywhere else. Whether you are looking for grand golf courses, magnificent mountain views or outstanding indoor and outdoor oasis’, you can’t wrong wherever your casino adventures take you.

The area includes Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri, so there are plenty of options when it comes to planning your trip.1

We are excited to unveil the results for our annual Readers’ Choice Awards from each state and hope you can take advantage of visiting some of these pristine properties!

Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote for this year’s Readers’ Choice Awards and until next time…stay lucky!


CLICK a state below to see the Awards for each.

Michigan    Wisconsin    Minnesota    Illinois

Indiana    Iowa    Missouri    South Dakota


Southern Gaming’s Readers’ Choice Awards – Winners Revealed!

58698_SOGD_AwardWinner_LogoThe South is known for its abundance of unique characteristics you won’t find anywhere else. Southern hospitality, sweet tea, shrimp and grits and many other staples come to mind when reminiscing about past visits to some of the eclectic towns throughout the region.

In addition to the traditional heritage you will find at just about any stop, there are also some of the best casino resorts in the world stretching from Indiana to the Gulf Coast showcasing everything from pools and spas to good eats and great gambling. Boasting nearly one hundred properties in seven states, we like to turn to our readers for them to decide who’s got the best, and who is simply among the rest.

The results of this year’s Readers’ Choice Awards consists of four regions, the Gulf Coast, Tunica/N. Mississippi, Mid-South (basically everything between Tunica and the Gulf Coast) and Indiana.



DerbyFirstTurn_CourtesyofChurchillDowns, Inc.LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 25, 2016) – The Breeders’ Cup, one of Thoroughbred horseracing’s most prestigious international events, has today announced that it will return to Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky in 2018. As part of the company’s ongoing strategy to maintain a three- year out host site plan, Breeders’ Cup will work closely with Churchill Downs and the local Louisville community to drive excitement and anticipation for the event over the next few years.

One of the world’s most iconic and recognized tracks, Churchill Downs last hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships in 2011. The return to Louisville reflects the Breeders’ Cup commitment to bring the event to the country’s best racetracks and to combine the sport’s best racing with best-in-class dining, hospitality and entertainment.


Golf Packages Unveiled at Island Resort & Casino

(HARRIS, Michigan) – The award-winning Sweetgrass Golf Club at Island Resort & Casino has announced they are offering their popular “Perfect Foursome” Package again for the 2016 golf season. The premium golf escape, located in the scenic Upper Peninsula of Michigan, is 75 minutes north of Green Bay, Wisconsin. Sweetgrass continues to impress both golfers and gamers alike with a challenging, well-manicured course, paired with a premium resort-style gaming experience.


Playing the Ponies: Much-About Post Position

Any time a turf player opens up the Daily Racing Form to handicap a Thoroughbred horserace, they are bombarded with well, an infinite amount of pertinent tidbits. From Beyer Speed Figures to pedigrees, the list goes on and on, yet that portion of data known as “post position(s)” (or which numeric gate said racers will break from) more often than not also factors into the decision making process. There are many things to consider when playing the ponies.


Big Changes at the Beau Rivage & Gold Strike

BeauPic1_HighLimitAreaThere are a lot of great gambling options in Mississippi ranging from the Delta Region in Tunica to the comforts of the Gulf Coast and the beaches of Biloxi. Since Hurricane Katrina rocked the Coast in 2005, the area continues to recover bigger and better than ever with record casino revenues. In Tunica, they have seen better days when it comes to revenues, but the area continues to offer great gambling experiences. Two sure bet properties in Mississippi that are receiving many accolades are the Beau Rivage in Biloxi, and the Gold Strike in Tunica, both are owned by MGM Resorts and both are leaders in their respective markets. While each offers its own unique style and character, they both deliver great customer service, premium dining options, the ongoing quest to appeal to customer desires, and of course, great gambling.


Caddyshack : Big Screen Slot Sensation

Slot players have long been able to count on games from WMS Gaming and Bally Technologies for fun, innovative ways to play.

From WMS, we’ve seen great iconic brands like Monopoly, Jackpot Party, Reel ’Em In and the Wizard of Oz. Bally has given us Blazing 7s, Hot Shot Progressives, Michael Jackson and the recent Wonder Woman.


Blackjack : The Martingale Misconception

Blackjack coverMany players try to use the famous Martingale betting system to beat the game of blackjack. Recently, with the help of Blackjack Hall of Famer Don Schlesinger (author of “Blackjack Attack: Playing the Pros’ Way”), we analyzed the Martingale betting system and this is what we came up with.

The way the Martingale works is you double your bet after every loss until you finally win, at which point you will be ahead by one betting unit. For example, suppose you wager $10 and the results of the next three hands are loss, loss, and win (L-L-W). Using the Martingale system, you lost $10 on the first hand, $20 on the second hand, and won $40 on the third hand. You wind up with a net win of $10, which is the goal of the progression, to win an amount equal to your starting wager.


Heartland Poker Tour Champ Wins $83,732 at Belterra Casino Resort

HPT_BelterraWinnerSameer Al-Dbhani defeated a field of 383 entrants at Belterra Casino Resort this weekend to win his first Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) Title and $83,732. The lab technician from Frankfort, Kentucky was overcome with emotion during his on-camera interview after the victory. His wife was quick to lighten the mood when asked how she felt about her husband’s accomplishment.

“I’m happy,” she said. “I’m ready to shop!”

Al-Dbhani came into the Final Table Monday holding nearly twice as many chips as his closest competitor and never looked back. The last player standing in his way was Robert Geith from Indianapolis. Geith, a business owner, went all-in with a bluff on the last hand of the tournament. Unfortunately for him, Al-Dbhani had top pair and quickly called. Geith took home $51,699 for second place.

Loss Prevention Manager Frank Covich became the third-place finisher when his king-seven fell to Geith’s ace-king. The Murfreesboro, Tennessee native earned $34,406 for his weekend’s worth of work.

Jacob Moore was able to satellite into the HPT Main Event at Belterra for just $260. Though he’s a poker dealer by trade, Moore’s career earnings at the start of the day were $0. He added $23,847 to that total by finishing in fourth place. “It’s a life-changing amount of money for me,” said the Ft. Mitchell, Kentucky man.

One player familiar with playing under the bright lights of an HPT televised event was Mike Comisso. Comisso finished eighth at an HPT event last month in Colorado. The poker player from Dublin, Ohio was able to improve on that finish this time around, making it to fifth place before he was sent to the rail. That was good for a score of $18,022.

Carmel, Indiana’s Gary Breslauer had one of the smaller stacks at the table when play began. The retired dentist was able to stave off elimination long enough to climb the pay ladder a few spots. In the end, Covich knocked him out of the tournament in sixth place. Breslauer collected $14,017.

Mike “K-9” Sites was active early and often at the televised Final Table. Eventually, the wholesaler from Broadway, Virginia was forced to make a move on a dry flop with ace-queen. His all-in was quickly called by Al-Dbhani’s pocket jacks. Neither an ace nor a queen came on the turn or river and Sites was sent home in seventh place with $11,651.

The first two players knocked out Monday were Robert Kuhn and Keven Stammen. Stammen, a pro poker player from Ohio, earned $9,648 when he exited in eighth place. Kuhn was the first to be knocked out when his king-ten failed to beat Geith’s pocket jacks. He finished in ninth place for $8,155.

Next up for HPT is a return trip to Ameristar Kansas City. The series is scheduled for April 8-18. Full details for all upcoming HPT tour stops are available at