Since GamingToday was founded in 1976, it has evolved into the Bible of the commercial gaming industry. Next week, GamingToday christens a new publication, SlotsToday, dedicated to providing cutting-edge news and information for the avid slot, video poker, keno and casino player.
"What better time to launch a new publication than our nation’s birthday," says GT Publisher Eileen Di Rocco. "I’d like to thinkall of those fireworks displays are for us."
Di Rocco adds that the best part of the new publication is that it won’t be too far removed from GamingToday. In fact, the two publications will be packaged together in a "reversible" edition that features two complete issues printed in a single publication.
"We considered all the options and determined this was the best solution to providing the greatest amount of information in a single, easy to read edition," Di Rocco says. "It’s actually very simple and handy to read — if you’re looking at GamingToday and want the other publication, simply flip the copy over and begin reading GT’s alter ego, SlotsToday."
Di Rocco emphasizes that GamingToday will remain the "same, comfortable friend" to which readers have become accustomed for more than 28 years. "We’re not giving anything up," she says.
Specifically, the GamingToday "side" of the newspaper will continue to provide the latest and most pertinent news of the commercial gaming industry, along with all the cutting edge race and sports betting information. Its weekly features will include:
”¡ Gaming industry news and reports
”¡ Movers & Shakers in the gaming industry
”¡ Money Talk and the Industry Insider
”¡ Stan Bergstein’s Burnt Offerings
”¡ Sport handicapper Andy Iskoe
”¡ Feist’s Facts by Jim Feist
”¡ Boxing columnist Michael Katz
”¡ Turf writer Ed Golden
”¡ Sports betting analyst Richard Saber
”¡ Parry’s Power Guide
”¡ Micah Roberts’ Finish Line (NASCAR and more)
”¡ The Bookies Battle (football)
”¡ Denny the Dog (football)
”¡ Mark Mayer’s On the Mark and sports notebook
”¡ And much more!
The SlotsToday copy of the newspaper will include all the popular casino columnists and features now contained in GamingToday, as well as a few more offerings designed specifically for the slot and video game player. Its weekly features will include:
”¡ Slot club news and promotions
”¡ Video poker strategy by Rob Singer
”¡ Video poker analysis by Elliott Frome (son of pioneering poker writer Lenny Frome)
”¡ Video keno strategy by L.J. Zahm
”¡ The Crapshooter
”¡ The Gentleman Gambler
”¡ Keno Lil
”¡ Hot Slots!
”¡ Las Vegas On the Cheap
”¡ The Bingo Buzz
”¡ Monti Rock’s Entertainment Scene
As noted, each publication will have its own front page and consecutive pages beginning from the outside working in toward the center.
So, with two front pages, where does that leave GT’s back page girl?
"It was a tough call, but we decided to move her to Page 3 of the GamingToday side," Di Rocco says. "Even though she has for decades basked in the glow of the ”˜outside’ light, we felt she could be a little more flexible in a cozy corner on Page 3."
While regular readers of GamingToday may have to do a little navigating to find the back page girl or their favorite features, the compartmentalization of the newspaper should actually make information more easily accessed, Di Rocco says.
"We think the re-packaging makes sense and we hope our loyal readers will give it a chance," she says. "We know what the focus groups reported, but the bottom line is whether people will find the change agreeable. We think they will."
In an effort to reach and better serve casino patrons, the weekly newspaper’s distribution will be expanded to key locations in the casinos, such as slot areas, redemption and promotion booths and the like.
"Based on surveys, our paper enjoys an extremely high approval and satisfaction rating among readers, but because we have been traditionally distributed through sports books, a large segment of the casino never had a chance to discover our publication," Di Rocco says. "That will change as we extend our distribution."