Gaming News

Round 2 – Who’s the Casino Culinary King? Vote for your favorite chef!

chef pics

Round two of Gaming & Destinations’ Casino Chef Showdown is set and ready to go! 

Congrats to the Final Four Chefs and good luck in Round Two of voting!

By voting in Round two, you will earn entered to win the Ultimate Casino Culinary Getaway! CLICK HERE to Vote!


First Mobile Tablet Slot Gaming Introduced at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots


Fair Ground Race Course & Slots – New Orleans, LA


It’s official! The first Take ‘N Play mobile slot tablets have been unveiled at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in New Orleans. The racetrack is the first slots facility in the world to take advantage of the technology to enable casino patrons to transfer their live slot play to a tablet provided by the property for seamless play in designated spaces, such as outdoor patios in smoke-free gaming markets. Developed by slot leader, Scientific Games, the convenience of the system is a big draw for customers.


Take 'n Play Smoking Patio - web

Take ‘n Play Players area at Fair Grounds


“Fair Grounds is well-known for its continual effort in bringing new and exciting slot products to our guests,” said Tim Bryant, president of Fair Grounds Race Course and Slots. “In partnering with Scientific Games to bring the all new industry-changing Bally – Take ‘n Play video slots to New Orleans, we are proud to be the first in the world to bring the flexibility of remote tablet live slot gaming to our guests. We also want to thank the Louisiana State Police – Gaming Division for being extremely responsive, as we worked through the approval process for this new technology.”


Fair Grounds Race Course and Slots - TnP Area 071116 - web

Fair Grounds Race Course Slot Floor


Offering Take ‘n Play on a slot floor is simple from a casino operator’s point of view. It easily integrates with existing video slot devices, requires no modification to accounting or player-tracking systems, and can run on any supplier’s casino or slot management system.


Player security measures activate during remote play. When Take ‘n Play is triggered and the player walks away from the casino floor with their game on the tablet, the engaged slot machine screen changes to a monochrome display, showing a message alerting other players that the game is being played remotely and buttons are disabled. Credit and win meters are blurred so patrons cannot see how much money is being wagered by the player using Take ‘n Play.


“Take ‘n Play enhances a player’s experience and enables them to enjoy the game the way they want, where they want, on the convenience of a mobile device,” said Greg Colella, Scientific Games Vice President of Product Marketing. “This slot experience is completely new to players, and we are proud to offer it at Fair Grounds first.”


About Scientific Games
Scientific Games Corporation (NASDAQ: SGMS) is a leading developer of technology-based products and services and associated content for worldwide gaming, lottery and interactive markets. The Company’s portfolio includes gaming machines, game content and systems; table games products and utilities; instant and draw-based lottery games; server-based lottery and gaming systems; sports betting technology; loyalty and rewards programs; and interactive content and services. For more information, please visit

A Day in the Life of … a Casino Bartender

A good bartender is a lot of things to different people- a joke teller, a shrink, an advisor, a best friend, and of course, a dispenser of adult beverages. Of course, in the case of a casino bartender, there are usually a few additional roles they’re required to play. Recently, I spent some time chatting with Lamista Hackworth, a bartender at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tampa, Florida. Over the course a few delicious mimosas, and a few (dozen) hands of video poker, I asked Lamista to share her insights into what it’s like being a casino bartender.


Whiskey Rose Lights the Night at IP Casino Resort & Spa

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Biloxi’s night life just got jump started with IP Casino Resort & Spa’s newest weekend destination hotspot, Whiskey Rose.

After a successful trial run earlier this year, Whiskey Rose is back to offer a modern country entertainment experience featuring nightly live country music, and DJs, for those in search for what they like to call “Legendary Country.”

“We want every guest at IP to have the best experience possible,” said General Manager and Vice President of IP Casino Resort Spa Duncan McKenzie. “We currently have a concert venue, Studio A, and a nightclub, Chill Ultra Lounge. Now, we are excited to welcome back our country dancehall, Whiskey Rose.”


Harrah’s Cherokee Hosts WSOP with a $1,000,000+ Prize Pool – Aug. 9-11

HCCR ResortEXT - WebThe 12th season of the WSOP Circuit wraps up under TV’s bright lights with the 2016 WSOP Global Casino Championship—an official WSOP gold bracelet event—with a share of $1,000,000+ in prize money on the line from August 9–11 once again at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in North Carolina.


Top Rock Tours of 2016 – The Summer of Sound

Are you ready to rock? Well this is the summer to do it. Over the past few years, we have seen a surge of bands from the 70’s and 80’s reunite to give their fans one last chance to hear their favorite songs from years gone by. The Eagles rocked it out in 2014 with their 40th anniversary tour. Motley Crue had their Farewell Tour last year, and other rock legends including The Rolling Stones, The Who, KISS and others have been filling stadiums and concert venues alike, and the fans love it! It gives them the chance to break out their old concert tee-shirts, or buy vintage ones on Ebay, and go hang out with thousands of other like they did years ago, now a few years older, grayer, and perhaps slower, but still ready to let the good times roll.

Here are a few of our top Summer Tours you will definitely want to catch!


Tips: Poker and All That Razz


The object of Seven-Card Stud Low, or Razz, is to make the worst hand possible! Razz is dealt just like basic Seven-Card Stud, but the object, oddly enough, is to make the lowest hand. In Razz, flushes and straights don’t count against you (that is, they have no value). But pairs and trips are bad (because it is harder to make a five-card low hand with them). Aces are considered low. In Razz, the best possible low hand is 5-4-3-2-A, which is called a wheel. The second-best possible low hand is a six perfect, or 6-4-3-2-A. The chart below shows a list of the best possible low hands in order.

You will eventually figure out that it isn’t that hard to discern which low hand is best in close cases. A seven-five low (7-5-x-x-x) is lower than a seven-six low (7-6-x-x-x). A seven-six-five-three low (7-6-5-3-x) is lower than a seven-six-five-four low (7-6-5-4-x). Figuring out the best low hand is just a matter of reading the low hand from the highest card to the lowest card and seeing which hand goes lower first. I once lost a $15,000 pot to the legendary Seymour Liebowitz in a low-ball event at the World Series of Poker when his 9-7-5-4-2 beat my 9-7-5-4-3 low. It came down to the fifth and final card in this case! We both had a 9-7-5-4 in our hands, but his deuce “pipped” my three (edged it out by one point in value).

Right now Razz is something of a fringe game in the poker world. If fact, most poker rooms don’t even spread a Razz game these days. Although we have a Razz World Championship each year, it is among the lowest-attended events at the WSOP. Still, Razz is an important game that is played for high stakes on a daily basis in Los Angeles at the Commerce Casino. Razz is also often included in high-stakes games at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, sometimes dealt as a part of a rotation of games like HORSE (Hold’em, Omaha, Razz, Stud and Stud Eight or Better). By the way, sometimes while playing HORSE, the players will not notice that the game has changed – for instance, when the game goes from one variation of Stud to the next – and they lose a large pot because of this! It happens to everyone, including me, more than once.

Even though many top professional players feel that Razz involves more luck and requires less skill than most other poker games, I feel that Razz demands a lot of skill. In Razz, reading your opponents well is crucial to begin a great player. If you’re reading your opponents well, you can make some calls or folds that other players cannot make. The reading part comes when your opponent hits what appears to be a perfect low card for him. If you read that it was, indeed, perfect for him, then you’ll need to fold your hand (depending on what you caught). If you read that the card in fact paired him, then you’ll be able to continue playing your hand. For example he might hit a three, for a board of (x-x) 2-3, but there is a decent chance that the card paired him, because, presumably, he is starting with all low in his hand.

Winning at Razz Poker

Phil Hellmuth Jr. is an 11-time World Series of Poker Champion leading all poker players in the world. He has two New York Times best-seller books, “Play Poker Like the Pros” and “Bad Beats and Lucky Draws.” Both books can be found at Phil’s books, blog, tips and more can also be found at Learn about his new cell phone game at

Summer Sounds and Scenes: Our top Picks

Summer is here and along with the sun, comes the fun. We love summer festivals and always look forward to checking out all that we can. It is a great opportunity to enjoy music and entertainment with your friends in the great outdoors. If you do a Google search for summer music festivals, you will quickly learn that the abundance of options throughout the region is overwhelming! To help you get the most out of your summer, we’ve compiled this list of some of our favorite festivals taking place this summer in the Midwest and South. So take some notes, get your tickets and hit the road!


Best Bets in the Casino

Not all casino games are created equal. Some give you a better shot to win than others. Some part you from your money faster than the rest.

Your guide to the best opportunities vs. the bankroll eaters is the house edge. You have a chance to win in a short session on any game, but you get more bang for your buck when the average percentage that the house keeps is smaller.


Oaklawn Park Heats Up with the 25th Annual Spa Blast July 1

Oaklawn(Hot Springs, Ark.) – The 25th annual Spa Blast, presented by Budweiser, kicks off the blazing month of July at Oaklawn. The event will be held in Oaklawn’s infield July 1 with gates opening at 4 p.m.

Country music star Joe Diffie headlines this year’s Spa Blast and he will be joined on the main stage by up and coming bands Hillbilly Vegas and Blackwater Trio. Additional acts performing in the Gazebo include Jeff Hartzell, Jacob Flores, R&R, and Hot Springs Dance Group. This free, family-friendly event will also feature a petting zoo, gigantic Kids Zone and Middleton Misting Tent. Immediately following Diffie’s performance at approximately 9:30 p.m., guests will be treated to one of the region’s most exciting fireworks displays.


Do You Play Slots? Aficionado’s Need to Apply

P40_SlotPic - CopyAre you a slot aficionado? If so, you need to continue reading this column…it could be worth $500 to you!

Let’s start by understanding what the word ‘aficionado’ actually means. The definition per the highly acclaimed Merriam-Webster Dictionary is ‘a person who likes, knows about, and appreciates a usually fervently pursued interest or activity.” A person can be a movie aficionado, a food aficionado or even a wine aficionado. One of my favorite magazines is called Cigar Aficionado published for cigar enthusiasts. And, if you are reading this magazine, you are probably a casino aficionado.

According to reliable sources, approximately seventy percent of casino gamers enjoy playing slot machines and slot revenue for casinos accounts for nearly the same percentage. Just take a look around the next casino you visit and notice the amount of floor space dedicated to the machines. You will find machines with the basic three reels, machines with amazing graphics and touch screens and even machines dedicated to popular movies, television shows, game shows and board games. Two of the most popular slot machines in history are Monopoly and Wheel of Fortune.

When it comes to designing and manufacturing these machines, slot developers turn to aficionado’s like you to give them feedback on what you like, and don’t like, before they go into full scale production.

So, are you a slot aficionado? If so, your time has come to voice your opinion, and get rewarded for it too! One of the largest slot manufacturers in the world, IGT, is looking for your input about everything from colors and sounds to design and reward levels, and is giving away great prizes to join their Player Advisory Team. Plus, you will get the first look at some of their games that are currently in production!




What’s in it for you? A lot! Go to today to join the conversation and you will be eligible for 1 of 75 $200 cash prizes as well as the grand prize of the Ultimate Casino Getaway that includes three nights at the casino of your choice, food and $500 of spending money!

Good luck and be sure to join the Player Advisory Team today!



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


Want Casino Coupons? Join The Comps Club and start winning today! Click here for more info! 



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.