It makes sense in hockey-mad Canada to put a former NHL goalie into the casino mix, but Casino Niagara got more than that when they named Peter Ing as director of slot marketing and analysis.
Ing may have cut his teeth on hockey (and probably broke a few as a goaltender for the Toronto Maple Leafs from 1989-91), but it was his Las Vegas experience that drew Casino Niagaras attention. Ing had eight years of tending goal between the National Hockey League and International Hockey League. He ended his career in Las Vegas and went to work for the Golden Nugget.
In a five years there, he progressed from a management trainee to assistant slot manager. A native of Ontario, Ings hockey career took him to such places as Detroit, Edmonton and Las Vegas before coming full circle to the Canadian casino.
"With the growing competition in the gaming industry, the importance of having qualified and experienced professionals on staff is fundamental to insuring that Casino Niagara remains a pre-eminent gaming and entertainment facility," said Casino Niagara General Manager Jay Meilstrup.
While the Buffalo-Niagara Falls area continues to be inundated with snow (a record of over 100 inches as of deadline) Casino Niagara had its most successful New Years Eve yet. Numbers were not available, but Meilstrup was smiling despite the frigid weather.
Windsor Raceway renovates slot casino
Ron D. Barbaro, chairman and CEO of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp., picked up the new year on the usual upbeat note, playing ringmaster at the opening of the newly renovated Windsor Raceway Slots.
Barbaro opened four racetrack slot casinos last year to bring his total to 11 (six in 1999). He first opened the Windsor facility in 1998. It was the first slot casino put into operation by the then Ontario Lottery Corp., but was not up to the standards of slot casinos that followed. In the ensuing year, the OLGC improved the slot casinos with almost every opening, making them into mini-Las Vegas casinos.
The new casino has 24,000 square feet. The number of slot machines was increased from 712 to 750. Renovations were done without closing for more than a few hours.
Check your breath at the bridge
For those gamblers who might have dinner and more than a few drinks before deciding to go to Casino Niagara (or Windsor) for a little gambling, be aware that the immigration agents (border guards) have new authority in Canada: they can arrest drunk drivers on the spot.
You could be asked "Where were you born?" or, "What is your citizenship?" or, "Why are you burping on the steering wheel?" The wrong answer to the latter could get you a nice cozy Canadian jail cell for the night.