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Many years ago when our friend Johnny Battaglia came to town, there was only one thing he wanted to do – bet horses. Johnny had racing in his blood. He ran several racetracks in the Cincinnati area and was one of the sharpest handicappers we’ve ever known.

His hang out was the racebook at the Stardust. He was there for the first race of the day and stayed until the last race at night. Then, after a quick bite to eat, he stationed himself at the mechanical horse racing machine and pumped in quarters until the wee hours, rooting for his selection with as much enthusiasm as he gave to a live race.

We had a flashback to Johnny this week when we learned Konami Gaming is debuting their new Fortune Cup mechanical horse racing game at the D Las Vegas tomorrow (Feb. 28). You can find it on the property’s second-level Vintage Vegas casino floor.

Konami has modernized the game and made it multi-player. Fortune Cup features a 9-foot wide mechanical track with eight horses synchronized to real-time digital animation of the game’s action through connected LCD displays. Powered by Konami’s cutting-edge, cross-platform game engine, it includes 10 individualized betting stations with an intuitive touchscreen interface.

“We are thrilled to introduce Fortune Cup to downtown Las Vegas,” said Derek Stevens, CEO and owner of The D. “Not only is the technology outstanding, but people are really going to love the energy it brings to the casino floor.”

And when you go to The D to check out Fortune Cup, take a look at the machine sitting next to it. It’s a Sigma Derby horse racing machine, one of the last two in the city, and it’s just the like the one our friend Johnny used to play. Maybe it’s even the very machine.

ON THE MOVE: Eldorado Resorts Inc. has brought Caroline Coyle on board as vice president of advertising and brand marketing. She will oversee brand planning and creative messaging execution for both corporate and individual properties. Coyle brings more than 30 years of experience to the position and most recently was VP of brand strategy at the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. The Reno-based Eldorado Resorts owns and operates 19 properties in 10 states.

Live! Casino & Hotel in Hanover, Maryland has appointed Dedren Bailey as vice president of marketing. Bailey brings more than 15 years of hospitality and gaming industry experience to the job. In his new role he will oversee player development, all aspects of marketing, and maximize the casino’s profitability. He will also focus on aligning all casino marketing strategies with the new flagship luxury Live! Hotel, set to open this spring.

See you around town.

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