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2023 Readers’ Choice Awards – The Results Are In!

We are excited to once again reveal the winners of this year’s Readers’ Choice Awards showcasing the top casino properties that have excelled and garnered accolades from gaming enthusiasts throughout the region. Casino resorts are the best in the world showing their guests the best of the best, and these awards are a small token of appreciation from you, the gamers, and from us at Gaming and Destinations.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to share their opinions. We hope you enjoy this year’s awards and find a few new casinos to add to your ‘favorites’ list.

 

(Check out the awards from each region below.)

Gulf Coast       Tunica       Mid-South       Louisiana

Missouri       S. Indiana       N. Indiana       Iowa

Michigan       Minnesota      Wisconsin

2023 Breeders’ Cup Preview: Our Top Picks

In the world of thoroughbred horse racing, the Triple Crown Series (and its protracted string of “qualifying races”) takes center stage from late February to early June.  However, when the scorching heat finally gives way to Autumn’s wintery preamble, every horse player worth their salt starts to pine over an impending occasion known as the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.  Scheduled to unfold on November 3rd & 4th at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, CA, this year’s 14 race Breeders’ Cup card will ultimately confer a whopping $31 million dollars in combined purse money!

Chef Spotlight: Jackson Reichel – Executive Chef – Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort – D’Iberville, Mississippi

Some of the most treasured beaches in the country are those stretched along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and just a few minutes from those beaches lies gem of its own at Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort. The property offers stunning views, awesome accommodations and, of course, an array of dining options to appease any guest.

Whether you are looking for a fine dining experience at Scarlet’s Steaks & Seafood, a little more international flair with ChopSTX Noodle Bar or Ami Pizza for Italian favorites, or Southern charm at Under the Oak, you will find plenty of options to explore on every visit.

 

We recently caught up with chef Jackson Reichel, the room chef at Scarlet’s Steaks & Seafood at Scarlet Pearl to hear more about his culinary influences and background, what makes Scarlet’s so special and why you should visit on your next gambling getaway to the coast.

Listen to the full interview:

Chef Spotlight: Josh Marling – Executive Chef – Southland Casino Hotel (West Memphis, Arkansas)

Located less than an hour from Tunica, Mississippi is one of the South’s hottest casino properties, Southland Casino Hotel. From what was once a greyhound track, the property has been completely transformed into what is today a luxurious casino resort with a 300-room hotel and plenty of dining options to enjoy.

We had the opportunity to catch up with executive chef, Josh Marling, to hear more about what he and his team do to deliver great dining experiences time and time again.

Listen to the full interview:

Triple Crown Trivia: Fun Facts About Horse Racing’s Elite

Inside the world of thoroughbred horse racing, there is a title that transcends all other turf trophies combined.  Conferred only on those extraordinary occasions when an equine manages to maneuver their way through a next to impossible gauntlet known as the “Triple Crown Series”, the moniker of “Triple Crown Champion” is accordingly rarer than 18kt gold “hen’s teeth”.  Correspondingly, it’s worth mentioning that over the last 150 years; only 13 thoroughbreds have managed to successfully scale the “Sport of Kings’” most challenging mountain.

Bourbon & Beyond Returns to Louisville, KY Sept. 14-17 with All-Star Line-up

Danny Wimmer Presents is excited to announce the biggest Bourbon & Beyond lineup yet after a record-breaking attendance of over 140,000 in 2022. The unique festival, celebrating the perfect blend of bourbon, food and music, celebrates what makes Louisville such a beloved festival destination.
Bourbon & Beyond is our love letter to the city of Louisville and the great state of Kentucky,” says Danny Wimmer, Founder of Danny Wimmer Presents. “We can’t wait to showcase why Louisville has become our home away from home, so having the opportunity to curate an unbelievable festival experience rooted in amazing musical performances combined with our passion for bourbon and culinary arts is our dream come true.”

Cherokee Nation Businesses Completes Acquisition of Gold Strike Casino Resort

TUNICA, Miss. – CNE Gaming Holdings LLC, an indirect subsidiary of Cherokee Nation Businesses, officially assumed operations of Gold Strike Casino Resort after receiving approval from the Mississippi Gaming Commission.

“This is a historic day of growth for our hospitality portfolio as we enter the commercial gaming industry, and we welcome the wonderful team at Gold Strike to the family,” said Mark Fulton, president and chief operating officer of Cherokee Nation Entertainment. “For years, we’ve set the standard of excellence in gaming. We are excited to invest in this beautiful property and bring our three decades of industry experience to guests in the Mid-South market.”

CNE Gaming Holdings LLC purchased the operating company from Mandalay Resort Group LLC, a subsidiary of MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM), for approximately $450 million in cash. The Mississippi Gaming Commission issued its determination of suitability and approval of the acquisition in January. Concurrent with the purchase, the operating entity entered into a long-term lease agreement with GSCR Propco LLC, a subsidiary of VICI Properties Inc. (NYSE: VICI), which owns the real property associated with Gold Strike Casino Resort.

Slot Spotlight: Bull Blitz by Konami Gaming

Konami Gaming has a new All Aboard-style game that’s hitting casinos with an even more potentially lucrative prize feature. This amped-up version of All Aboard—voted “Best Video Slot” and “Best Progressive Slot”—takes credit collection bonuses to ultra-high heights of reward potential through a new Xtra Hit feature.

 

Similar to All Aboard, this linked progressive slot series awards the credit prize feature with any 6 or more golden Bull Blitz symbols, where there’s a chance at random credit prizes, bonus awards, and progressive jackpots. If all 15 positions are filled, the big progressive Grand Jackpot is awarded.

Table Game Tutorial: Back to the Basics

While most casino aficionados know the in’s and out’s of most games on the floor, sometimes it is good to go back to the basics and polish up on fundamentals to sharpen your game.

In this article we are excited to take a look at the basics of blackjack, craps, baccarat, roulette and Let it Ride.

We hope these basic tips will get you to a profitable session on your next casino getaway!

 

Chef Spotlight: Jesus Arguelles?L’Auberge Casino Hotel (Baton Rouge, Louisiana) 

L’Auberge Casino Hotel in Baton Rouge, Louisiana is a great getaway for all the amenities you could ask for and plenty of Southern hospitality to make you feel welcome. The casino floor offers over 1,400 slots, 50 table games, a live poker room and a full sportsbook, so are sure to find your favorite games to work up an appetite for a great meal.

The property offers several dining options including Red Lotus Asian Kitchen where Chef Jesus Arguelles explores the exotic flavors of the far east that will take you on a journey of exceptional and authentic Vietnamese and Pan-Asian cuisine.

We caught us with Chef Jesus to talk about his culinary background, the dining at L’Auberge and how the food and beverage team at the property strive for success and customer satisfaction with every guest.

Check out the interview below. Listen to the interview below: