Issue 223
December 20 - 26, 2004
Volume 4
page 1

This Issue

Gaming News

Harrah's Rincon Casino & Resort now the 'Ultimate Getaway'

Illinois Citizens Highlight Worst Holiday Gifts in Lottery Survey

Who Says Playing Video Games Doesn't Pay?

Online Casino Wants to Buy NBA Team

Chippendales Complex Nearing Completion

Show Time Velvet Revolver Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas.

Column Best Casino Promotions of 2004 by John G. Brokopp

Check out our entertainment highlights & upcoming tournaments

See the lucky winners


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Harrah's Rincon Casino & Resort
now the
'Ultimate Getaway'

After 13 months of construction and anticipation, Harrahs Rincon Casino & Resort opens the doors of its new $168 million expansion at a special ribbon-cutting ceremony in the new hotel lobby on December 20 at 10 a.m. just in time for the holiday season.

"This is an important day for us here at Harrahs Rincon, " stated Janet Beronio, senior vice president and general manager. "After a little over a year of planning and hard work we are ready to open the doors on what we feel is truly the ultimate getaway here in Southern California. You can't imagine how excited we are to unveil all of the great additions to Harrahs Rincon and share them with our guests."

The additions to the popular casino resort include a 21-story hotel tower, bringing the total number of hotel rooms to 651. All of the rooms feature one king or two queen beds, large luxury bathrooms with separate Roman tubs and glass-enclosed showers, and other fine amenities. The entire 21st floor consists of nothing but suites and there are other suites throughout the hotel a total of 104 including 36 end suites with private patios and a spectacular mountain view, 47 two-bay suites, three 3-bay suites, and a super-luxurious Presidential suite.

Another added feature is the highly anticipated 7,500 sq. ft. spa. The spa contains 10 treatment rooms and a separate area dedicated to manicures and pedicures. Spa guests will be pampered from head-to-toe with latest in massage therapy, hydrotherapy, manicures, pedicures, and facials. There are several spa packages available for women and men who want the opportunity to enjoy a variety of treatments. And for those who prefer to get a little more physical, there is also a state-of-the-art fitness center complete with the latest equipment.

Harrahs Rincon has also transformed their pool area into a true oasis of relaxation. The two-tiered pool with its crystal clear fountain features both a hot and cold pool and is surrounded by a lush tropical garden complete with private Jacuzzis. There are 8 private cabanas filled with all of the modern conveniences of home. The area is large enough to accommodate additional entertainment, such as weddings, spa treatments and concerts. The pool area is also the site of the newest Harrahs Rincon restaurant, Cabana Cove. This eatery has a laid-back, California beachfront ambiance. Food and beverage offerings are on the casual side and include items originating from Mexico, Asia, Hawaii, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, and California.

While Harrahs Rincon plans to open these new additions for business on December 20th the month of December will be a soft opening. "Harrahs Rincon is planning a retro-Vegas celebration the entire month of January," explains Kathy Swank, public relations and strategic alliances manager. "Throughout January we will have old-school Vegas entertainment including showgirls and celebrity impersonators, special complimentary spa days for charitable and civic organizations, weekly trip giveaways to other Harrahs properties, and terrific headliner entertainers Gladys Knight, The Doobie Brothers and Legends in Concert in The Pavilion. We are also offering various classic food and beverage specials throughout January to help us celebrate our expansion grand opening with a lot of Las Vegas action and San Diego style."

Owned by the Rincon San Luiseno Band of Mission Indians and managed by HCAL, a subsidiary of Harrahs Operating Company, Harrahs Rincon Casino & Resort is located at 777 Harrahs Rincon Way (33750 Valley Center Road) in Valley Center, CA, 20 minutes northeast of Escondido. With approximately 1,300 employees and an identity as a top resort-gaming destination, the casino has generated an estimated $46 million in annual payroll including benefits. Harrahs Rincon has earned 25 awards in Casino Player Magazines Best of Gaming Readers Poll and 41 awards in Strictly Slots Magazines Best of Slots Readers Poll for 2004.

Illinois Citizens Highlight Worst Holiday Gifts in Lottery Survey

The Illinois Lottery recently surveyed more than 1,000 Illinois residents to learn about their holiday gift giving habits and asked them what was the worst holiday gift they had ever received. Surprisingly, the most reviled holiday gift was not a physical gift of any kind, it was the act of not giving a gift at all.
In the online survey, the Lottery asked respondents to enter the best and worst holiday gifts they had ever received and answer a number of multiple choice questions about bad gift givers and re-gifting. Many of the responses were quite shocking, but according to survey participants, the people of Illinois hated not receiving any gifts at all the most.

Worst of the Worst Holiday Gifts

1. Not receiving a gift
2. Fruitcake with worms in it
3. Divorce papers
4. Pack of used cigarettes
5. Raw cow's heart
6. Used address book
7. Sack of potatoes
8. Box of cereal
9. Lava lamp radio
10. Garage sale clothes
11. Toilet plunger
12. Gallon of anti-freeze

The Lottery's survey was inspired by the character "Larry" who is prominently featured in its holiday ad campaign. Larry is a notoriously bad holiday gift giver, but in the commercials, he is able to reform his ways after discovering the gift he hopes everyone will return for millions, Illinois Lottery instant tickets.

"People have really been connecting with this character, so we thought it would be fun to find out how many people across the state had received a bad gift from someone like him and what that bad gift was," said Lottery Superintendent Carolyn Adams. "It as amazing to see how bad some of the bad gift responses were, but I guess when you think about it, I can see how people would be more upset about not receiving a gift than if they received a bad one. No one likes to feel left out or forgotten; especially around the holidays."

The survey respondents were also very emphatic in their listing of the best holiday gifts they had ever received. Jewelry was the overwhelming winner in this category, placing first in the rankings. Money, cash and gift certificates ranked second; followed closely by electronic items at third. Getting to see, or spending time with family, friends and loved ones ranked fourth. Also included in this category was the excitement of getting married or engaged over the holidays.

Top 10 Best Holiday Gifts

1. Jewelry
2. Money, Cash, Gift Certificates
3. Electronic Items
4. Family/Friends, love of those close to you
5. Clothes and accessories
6. Car
7. Lottery Tickets
8. Trip/Vacation
9. Gifts from children and grandchildren
10. Tickets: sporting events, theater and arts

Here are some other interesting findings from the survey:

Who typically gives the worst holiday gifts?

-- 29.0% Co-workers -- 16.2% Other
-- 20.5% In-Laws -- 9.8% Significant Other
-- 17.6% Friends -- 7.0% Parents

Of the 16.2 percent who responded other, kids ranked the highest. And for women who pride themselves on being better gift givers than their husbands or brothers, watch out, sisters and aunts received a greater portion of criticism than their male counterparts with 2.4 percent of the total vote.

What was your reaction when you received a bad holiday gift?

-- 38.0% Confused -- 16.1% Embarrassed
-- 34.2% Other -- 14.3% Angry

Nearly one-third of the respondents who wrote in their reaction under the other entry preferred to act pleased no matter how much they hated the gift. One respondent said they "could have won an Oscar" upon receiving a horrible gift. However, not all respondents were so gracious; one vowed retribution. And surprisingly, only one person claims to have been honest about receiving a bad gift and told the person immediately.

How often do you return holiday gifts?

-- 49.6% Sometimes -- 6.2% All the Time
-- 44.2% Never

Have you ever given a bad holiday gift?

-- 63.1% No -- 36.9% Yes

Have you ever re-gifted a bad holiday gift?

-- 66.8% No -- 33.2% Yes

Have you ever been caught returning a holiday gift you didn't like?

-- 93.0% No -- 7.0% Yes

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