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Lucky Casinos, and Elephants

The luckiest elephant in Montana

Lucky Casinos, and Elephants

It says here that Delta Downs Racetrack & Casino is the “luckiest casino in Louisiana.” That’s out of 43 state-licensed and four Native American casinos.

Imagine that. Evidently, casinos can be lucky. But, a sort of clearinghouse of information on all things casino, found a way to measure luck—by looking at TripAdvisor.

“We decided to send our team of experts on a mission to analyze all of the TripAdvisor reviews of the Louisiana casinos and see which ones give you the best chance of a win,” reads the article revealing the places in the state where TripAdvisor reviews indicate, I guess, lucky people.

“Our team looked for mentions of words like ‘jackpot,’ ‘luck,’ and ‘winning,’ and we concluded that the reviews that have the most mentions of our keywords are the luckiest places for you to play,” said the article.

Presumably, someone weeded out reviews that said, “I couldn’t buy a jackpot at that lousy casino,” or, “My luck disappeared as soon as I walked in the door,” or, “The bloodsucking leeches who own that rotten, thieving casino don’t know what winning is.”

Now, gosh knows I’m no scientist, and I’m not well-versed in social media, or other recent technological innovations. (I only recently began using a toaster.) But does having more bubbly “I’m lucky!” reviews mean the casino’s a “luckier” place to be?

I’d like to see a breakdown of the methodology employed, so I can run a few algorithms to confirm or deny the veracity of the team’s research.

Yeah, right. I wouldn’t know an algorithm from a barn door. But I would like to join the team for the next big research project, as long as it includes free travel to several casino resorts.

At Casino Player, the gaming consumer magazine, they have an annual survey of readers, all casino enthusiasts, to determine the “Best of Gaming” awards. One of the categories is “Luckiest Casino.” Is that a better way to find the luckiest casino? Just ask people? I suppose looking at their TripAdvisor reviews is just as good.

It occurs to me that a casino where everybody won would be a decidedly unlucky casino, and it’s the players who were lucky, but maybe I’m splitting hairs.

All I know is I’m not in the habit of sharing my experiences, win or lose, with strangers around the world. Oh, I’ll snap a cellphone picture of my video poker royal flush and send it to my wife and maybe a couple of pals for its gloat value, but that’s as far as it goes. I’ll go to TripAdvisor to see how nice a hotel is, but I can’t judge a casino by whether I win or lose.

Because it’s, you know, gambling.

Moving on, a casino in Butte, Montana, had a rather unusual guest last month: Viola the circus elephant. Viola, an Asian elephant with a local circus, reportedly was spooked by a car while she was being hosed down, and simply walked away. The elephant casually walked down the middle of a four-lane road, and, interestingly, made a beeline toward Montana Lil’s Casino, where she stopped.

I understand Viola is a sucker for Buffalo Keno.

Luckily, the elephant never entered the casino. She opted for the buffet, grazing in a lot next to the casino, where her handlers caught up with her.

You know, when I wash my elephant, I make a point to do it away from the street. You lose more elephants that way.

Someone took a cellphone video of the elephant strolling toward the casino, looking like Godzilla stomping through Tokyo. The local news station ran a picture of Viola next to a casino marquee, and its next-door neighbor, whose marquee read “Hardwood • Window Coverings • Tile • Carpet.”

As I always say, it’s nice to take a break between playing slots and video poker to remodel your kitchen. But Viola…

Oh, yes, I do always say that. Why, I was at Caesars just the other day, and I said to my wife, “Gee, I wish there was a hardwood and tile outlet around here.” Go ahead, ask her.

Anyway, this isn’t Viola’s first escape. Apparently, she’s the Steve McQueen of caged circus animals. (If you don’t get that reference to The Great Escape, kids, ask your father. Better yet, your grandfather.) She’s strolled away and had to be tracked down at least two other times. And who knows how many times she walked away, played Buffalo Keno, and came back before her handlers noticed?

She has a special affinity for Montana Lil’s. She heard it was the luckiest casino in Montana.

Frank Legato is editor of Global Gaming Business magazine. He has been writing on gaming topics since 1984, when he launched and served as editor of Casino Gaming magazine. Legato, a nationally recognized expert on slot machines, has served as editor and reporter for a variety of gaming publications, including Public Gaming, IGWB, Casino Journal, Casino Player, Strictly Slots and Atlantic City Insider. He has an B.A. in journalism and an M.A. in communications from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. He is the author of the books, How To Win Millions Playing Slot Machines... Or Lose Trying, and Atlantic City: In Living Color.  

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