After nearly six months in the creating, GamingToday is poised to launch its all-new, expanded web site, gamingtoday.com.
"This new website catapults our 32-year old newspaper solidly into the 21st century," said GamingToday publisher Eileen Di Rocco. "Okay, so it’s 2008 ”¦ we didn’t want to rush into anything."
Indeed, creating the website was an arduous task, and the culmination of more than six months of research and planning, based on reader surveys, interviews and focus groups.
"We needed to know specifically what motivates our readers, what they seek in a gaming newspaper and how they want it delivered to them," Di Rocco said. "The new website, in my estimation, fits that bill."
In the past, the gamingtoday.com website was merely an extension of the weekly newspaper, whose creed since 1976 has been "News You Can Bet On."
"It was a convenience for out-of-town subscribers, who received their copies via first-class mail," Di Rocco said. "The new site still contains all the newspaper features, but much more information, both on a timely and expanded basis."
The website’s capability to offer much more information — playing strategy, race and sports analysis, casino news, poker tournament updates and the like — should appeal to a broad spectrum of players as well as industry insiders.
"We don’t expect to be all things to all readers," said managing editor David Stratton. "But, based on our readers’ responses, we think we can come pretty close."
Stratton said that the majority of readers simply want to know how to play the games with the proper strategy, and which team or horse to bet on.
"Those two areas of interest — sports betting and horse racing — are at the top of reader preferences, along with video poker, slot machines, live poker and table games such as blackjack and craps," Stratton said. "So on our new website, you’ll find an emphasis on those gaming interests and, specifically, how to play with a positive expectation of winning.
"That doesn’t mean that games of lesser interest, such as bingo, keno and electronic keno will be ignored," Stratton continued. "We will continue to cover the vast variety of games the casinos have to offer."
In addition to offering a broader spectrum of "News You Can Bet On," the new site will offer daily news updates as well as daily race and sports betting selections.
"Being able to access daily selections from our columnists and handicappers was a priority among the readers we interviewed," Stratton said. "It was actually surprising how so many readers in various parts of the country look for betting information, both for sports and horses."
For the first month of its operation — scheduled for debut later this month — the new gamingtoday.com website will be free to anyone who registers.
After the introductory period, most of the site will remain free by registration, but with the addition of a subscription fee of $14.95 a month for a special "GT Plus" section.
GT Plus, which will be free during the introductory period, is an "inner circle" of sorts, containing all the latest wagering information and tips for race and sports, as well as other timely betting information for casino players.
"We think enough of the new site — including the GT Plus subscriber section — to offer it free for a month," publisher Di Rocco said. "And, as we have with the newspaper for 32 years, we expect to evolve as the gaming industry evolves.
"We won’t wait until the 22nd century to make updates and improvements."