Want to win an award? Bring your checkbook!

Jun 4, 2002 2:28 PM

THE BEST AWARD THAT MONEY CAN BUY! An insider reports that one of the biggest casino operators in Nevada will be prominently featured in a gaming magazine next month, when it publishes its annual casino awards’ issue. It seems the casino operator will receive much recognition because of ballots it submitted on behalf of itself!

        “The magazine struck a deal with the casino company that included providing it blank ballots that could be filled out as the casino saw fit,” the source said.

        While the award by checkbook scheme sounds appalling, it’s apparently not so uncommon, the source added.

        “Unfortunately we’ve seen this kind of quid pro quo before. There have been cases where advertising directors sign contracts with visitor pubs in exchange for ”˜winning’ Show of the Year honors,” the source continued. “Usually, the tip-off is when you see ads hyping ”˜Show of the Century’ or ”˜Voted Show of the Year 15 times!’ The chances are that those ”˜awards’ were purchased.”

            I’m shocked. Tell me more! “I’ve even seen an instance first-hand where a major Strip hotel purchased hundreds of copies of a newspaper, in order to get extra ballots for the paper’s Best of Las Vegas survey. Apparently, filling out the ballots gave hotel middle managers something to do between staff meetings.”


            DOTS & DASHES: “C’mon to my party . . . Big money gifts to attendees!” Leave it to the French. They know how to toss a party. Word is they handed out up to $10,000 a pop for attending their Cannes Film Festival bash. There was a catch! You couldn’t go to any of the other parties. Ivana Trump showed up with a number of other personalities. Still trying to figure out if she put on “weight” or passed up the 10K . . . Happy Harrah’s! Harrah’s Entertainment (HET) was pleased with a recent court ruling that will enable HET to nominate two directors for election to the board of JCC Holding Co. (JCHC). JCC is the owner of Harrah’s casino in New Orleans and is expected to appeal the ruling . . . They’re at the gate! Arizona Charlie’s East has added a race book to its existing sports operation. The company said that the property is a satellite operation of Stratosphere’s race book. It is located in a portion of the new 25,000 square foot addition to the property. Up to 50 happy horseplayers can bed down and play the ponies . . . Oh, ye pioneer! Ameristar Casino (ASCA) became the first casino in Missouri to install coinless gaming machines. ASCA used Aristocrat Technologies’ Quickets software. It allows bill validators on about 240 slots to accept tickets as well as bills. Plans are to introduce the product at its Kansas City casino this summer.


            LET’S MAKE A DEAL, AC STYLE! Our friends at AC Coin and Slot Service has struck a deal with LaserLock Technologies to market secure slot tickets to Atlantic City casinos.


            A GOLDEN MEMORY: He’s eight years old and he’s just completed a six-month vacation but if anyone had any doubts about Kona Gold’s ability those negative feelings were dashed Saturday when the gelding, owned by the Las Vegas father-son combination of Irwin and Andrew Molasky, and trainer Bruce Headley, demolished his opponents in the $100,000 Los Angeles Handicap at Hollywood Park on Sunday.

            Certainly his fans maintained their confidence in his ability, sending him off as a strong odd-on favorite. Once the race got underway, it amounted to a rockin’ chair ride for Jockey Alex Solis.

            And, the courage of his connections should not be ignored. Despite the age factor and the inactivity, Hollywood’s racing office forced Kona Gold to carry 125 pounds in the Handicap, spotting his opposition from 10 to 13 pounds.

            But, the son of Java Gold, who now has won 13 of his 24 starts, including the 2000 Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Churchill Downs, pushed away all adversity and won like the champion he is.


            MAKING FRIENDS WITH THE PRESS: Atlantic City, N.J. Mayor Lorenzo Langford didn’t help his relationship with the press last week when he announced that he was evicting the newsmen who for years have occupied the City Hall press office.

            Langford said it had nothing to do with strained relationship but he needed the office space for bilingual and multicultural affairs. Neither, did it have anything to do with papers who backed his opponent.