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Best of Star Brooks

Gaming Guru

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Addam's Family a Dud in Tahoe? Statewide?

4 August 2000

Well, it certainly doesn’t seem to be drawing the crowds that one would have expected from all the hype going on for months and months now! It has only graced a couple of casino floors in Tahoe so far...but is there a sign that gamblers are saying "NO" to a 45-coin nickel linked progressive that currently offers $156,000 + for lining up the proper symbols with the maximum coins bet?

Every day now for six months straight, I have put all the progressive jackpot amounts online from the South Shore casinos of Lake Tahoe on my website. This has given me ample opportunity to observe patterns and trends, particularly in the larger, statewide linked progressives. While the quarter version of the popular "Wheel of Fortune" progressive meter climbed over $70,000 in one 24-hour period (a 3-quarter bet), and offered a jackpot of over $900,000... and the dollar version of "Wheel of Fortune" climbed over $72,000 (a $2 bet) in the same period and offered over three-and-a-half million bucks on its meter, the Addam’s Family, with it’s $2.25 worth of nickels for a bet, only had its meter go up by a measly $1219 in the same period. Not only is it a costly bet for a smaller amount, it appears that gamblers trying it so far are finding it boring. One aptly summarized the situation by saying, "It’s just another 9-line nickel machine with different pictures..." Ho Hummm.... Maybe gamblers are tired of paying for amusement value, and would rather have something a little more challenging thrown at them than over-used television-themed games?

By challenging, I don’t mean confusing. During my morning rounds, I noticed another dud in the casinos around the lake, and that is "Slotopoly"... The meter rarely goes up much from week to week, let alone day to day. This is another statewide linked jackpot. But it is confusing to most people who are from this country, let alone our foreign visitors. Interest doesn’t last long. In need of retirement in general is the old "Nevada Nickels" game. We have one lonely machine in Tahoe, leftover from the days of jackpots in the million plus range. Now, the jackpot is just a little over $211,000 and it crawls ever so slowly. New thought...what if this is the only one left? Naaawwww.... It is just a dinosaur.

Back to what’s going on at the lake.... Wow! I keep seeing jackpots come and jackpots go, everywhere I go. It has been a truly amazing summer so far. There has to be an awful lot of happy people who have walked out of Tahoe casinos with fistfuls of cash! It is so hard to keep going every day without just stopping for a moment and seeing if I can catch even a glimpse of that fleeting nanosecond. But until I get adequate financial sponsorship out of the Tahoe casinos, such thoughts can exist only in my dreams. Ouch...! What a painful reality check!

Upcoming shindigs at Lake Tahoe are something to look forward to! Horizon Casino is hosting the 10th Annual "Best on the Mountain" Rib Cook-Off on August 25th. There will be judging of eight different rib cookers on their ribs and their mountains of other great foods, live country music, and the Williams/Horizon Craft Fair. I have looked forward to and enjoyed this great event every year. Yummy! Plus, August 25th and August 26th is also the weekend that Harveys has its super outdoor concert going...two days...everyone I missed seeing when I was growing up! On August 25th, gamblers can take an outdoor breather and listen to Peter Frampton, Credence Clearwater Revisited, and Edgar Winter. On August 26th, everyone can catch some more mountain air and listen to Joe Walsh, BTO, and Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad. Sounds like an opportunity to stuff myself with some of the best ribs on the planet at the Horizon, and then park it at Harveys and relive my younger and wilder days.

Harrah’s Tahoe still has the widely acclaimed Broadway show, "Smokey Joe’s Café" running through October 1st. This is one of the rare shows that you can take children to. What’s even better is the kids seem to like it! Lakeside Inn is freshly remodeled and features new slots in the new TAVERN, plus a brand new SportsBook that is easily accessible for placing quick bets while on the run! You can’t get in and out any quicker anywhere in Tahoe...but they hope you will stay awhile and enjoy all your favorite slots and table games. Caesars Tahoe is still offering that incredible Lamborghini Diablo for just 5 still grabs my attention on a daily basis... At this rate...that is going to have to stay a "fantasy" car for several lifetimes! (Unless the good fairy appears and bequeaths me with oh, say, about $302,000...or the car miraculously parks itself in my driveway in the dead of night, and I don’t wake up...)

Oh...and by the way, if anyone doesn’t already have plans for Labor Day weekend???? There is this really neat paddlewheeler race between the two paddlewheelers on the lake...The M.S. DIXIE II, and The TAHOE craft fairs all over the place, and fireworks, and, and, and...better check first, because reservations are sometimes needed, and highly advised on any Tahoe holiday weekend! Hope to see you all soon! While not so chilly anymore, at least Tahoe isn’t a frying pan in the desert, either. When all else fails...put both feet into Lake where the heck did you say it was hot? It’s a cure.