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His demise was greatly exaggerated!

Jun 24, 2003 9:06 AM

MAYBE HE HAD BETM IN MIND: One of Mark Twain’s most often quoted remarks has to do with his reference to a report of his demise being greatly exaggerated. That’s the position Heard on the Strip finds itself this week regarding American Wagering Inc. (BETM) and its founder and chairman, Vic Salerno.

Reporting on Salerno’s recent purchase of 59,715 shares of American Wagering, this column remarked that the company was in bankruptcy.


As Salerno quickly explained following the publication of the erroneous company reference, American Wagering is alive and well, and on July 29 will conduct its annual shareholders meeting at company headquarters at 675 Grier Drive here in Las Vegas.

As the item noted, Salerno’s major purchase of company shares showed that he is ready and willing to put his own money where his confidence is.


SOPRANO’S BEER CAME FROM VEGAS! Those stacks of beer cases at the fictional topless club, Ba Da Bing, that recent viewers saw on The Sopranos contained real "Italian Style" beer distributed by a Las Vegas company.

Producers of The Sopranos have been using cases of beer, brewed in Wilkes-Barre, Penn. for the Vegas-based Coffaro Family Products, as props in the last few installments of the show, company owner Anthony "Tony" Coffaro said.

"They asked us to supply them with props such as cases of beer, umbrellas, neon signs, etc., to be used in the background of the sets," Coffaro said. "You can catch a glimpse of these various items in the last three to four episodes."

The company’s Coffaro Beer Co., maker of what the owners call "Italian Style" beer based on the Coffaro family recipe, recently dropped off about 30 cases of beer for use by the cast and crew while filming continues on the fifth season of the popular show about the lives of a group of mobsters in New Jersey.


BOULDER MARKETING STIFFENS: "In case you haven’t noticed," advised a pipe, "the marketing war between Boulder Station and Sam’s Town on the Boulder Highway probably should be assigned as a case study to the marketing students at UNLV — it really is that interesting."

So, what’s going on?

"Well, aside from the major promotions involving mega jackpots that Station is running all over town, both Boulder Station and Sam’s Town occasionally attract their steady players with the $5 offers. The difference is that Boulder offers $5 in free play while Sam’s Town has been paying the $5 in cash.

Obviously, Boulder’s system pretty much guarantees that the customers will play their $5 giveaway. But, at Sam’s Town, some folks just take the money and run.

"Now, that will come to an end soon. According to letters sent to their players, the Sam’s Town cash will soon turn up in a player’s credits when he or she sits down to play.

"It looks like catch up time for Sam’s Town," the pipe added.


NOW THAT’S A GEORGE: Traditionally, good tippers in gaming establishments have been known as "George." But in Mississippi, the name will have to be modified to "Georgia."

Seems that a Texas woman recently won a $1 million jackpot at a Biloxi casino, and chose to be paid annually in $50,000 increments. But, upon receiving her first payment, she immediately gave half — $25,000 — to a cocktail waitress who in turn shared $6,000 with her co-workers.

When the lucky jackpot winner was asked about the $25,000 toke to the waitress, she replied, "Well, she made a point of talking to me while I was playing."

That’s a nice price to pay for the gift of gab!


END OF AN ERA! When the current meet at Churchill Downs ends on July 6, so will the era of its press box. Completed in 1966, the Churchill Downs press box will officially close on July 6, thus ending its colorful 37-year history.

It’s not likely many journalists will flock to Louisville for the event. But you can be assured that the working press who use the press box every day may feel a twinge in the pit of their stomach when the lights go out.

In case there are any sentimental turf writers who would like to attend, Churchill downs will welcome all members of the National Turf Writers Association to attend the closing at the end of the 129th Spring Meeting.

For those traveling from out of town, a special $50 a night rate has been made available at the Executive West Hotel.