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Tourneys and Pips

The Cornhole Classic, Zombie Dodgeball and Gladys goes solo.

Tourneys and Pips

If you turn to page 16 (not yet), you’ll see I wrote about tournaments this month—concentrating on slot tournaments, and how they’re no longer played on rusty three-reelers, or on those primitive three-reel video slots with the big animated cherries and 7s, with Atari-level graphics.

(I placed in one of those at Caesars Atlantic City back in the day. Won $250! Gambled away $600 over the three days!)

But there is more to casino promotions than slot tournaments, as shown in February by the Grand Falls Casino in Larchwood, Iowa, which held a three-day “Cornhole Classic” with a $10,000 prize pool. The three-day tournament welcomed “90 teams from as far away as Washington state,” according to one press report, and featured “some of the best players in the nation.”

Apparently, the impressive lineup of cornhole athletes includes winners of the national American Cornhole League championship, which was broadcast on ESPN 2 in January.

Wow, the ACL.

Seriously, is that really a thing? I mean, this game was one we called beanbags back when my kids were little and I actually, you know, did big barbecues, with the apron and the backyard and the chef hat and all.

As I recall, the radio was playing “The Macarena.” But I digress.

The kids grew up to refer to the game—basically, tossing beanbags at a target hole on a raised plywood board, and scoring like horseshoes—as “cornhole,” which, despite its rather unseemly original connotation, has become quite a common term—and now, evidently, the name of a national professional sports league.

I wonder if I can get on a team as a walk-on. I once identified bowling as my favorite sport, because it can be accompanied by beer-drinking, but here’s a sport that you can play with a brew and a hot dog. Held in one hand, while you throw with the other. Or, at least I’ve heard.

So, is there also an NCL to go with the ACL? I’m thinking Cornhole Super Bowl I. And now we have sports betting. Can’t wait.

Speaking of sports betting, there was one more weird story in February, concerning wagers on the Super Bowl. (The football one, not the cornhole one.) There was a brouhaha with the sports books concerning the Over/Under bet on the length of the National Anthem, as sung by Gladys Knight. When Knight finished singing “and the home of the brave,” officially ending the lyrics, the “Under” bets had won.

But then, Knight put a little flair to the ending, singing “bra-aave” a second time. The grand coda put the length to where the “Over” bets won.

You know, this never would have happened if Gladys would have had her Pips with her. They would have stopped on a dime.

But I didn’t see a single Pip. “Under” bettors should have taken her Pipless condition into account before they placed their bets. I know I would have, had I bet. And had I watched the beginning of the Super Bowl. I think I was watching hockey recorded the night before.

Come on, who wants to see the Patriots and the Rams?

Moving on, the Harrah’s Southern California casino resort has just added a Topgolf Swing Suite attraction, in which guests can play virtual golf, but also can pay to take hockey shots using an NHL-branded street hockey ball and stick, or they can play “Zombie Dodgeball.”

Zombie Dodgeball has you chucking a regulation dodgeball at “virtual undead,” gaining points for taking them down. You know, before they can eat your brains.

This is a great attraction. lf they had sports betting there, they could take prop bets on who will be the next to lop off a zombie’s head with a dodgeball.

Is that what you do? Is there some type of grisly animation that goes with taking down the undead with regulation dodgeballs? (I’m just assuming they’re regulation. The rules may be different when applied to the undead.)

Finally, the Springfield Republican reported last month that the new MGM Springfield casino has been serving cocktails on the casino floor since its August opening that are prepared completely by robots.

I do believe they still have humans who bring you the drinks. If not, I’m sure they at least use attractive robots. Not like that one on The Jetsons.

Actually, automated drink systems, like this one and the one in place at Caesars properties, called BOSS (for Beverage Ordering Service, and Something), have been great customer service improvements for the casinos.

The only possible drawback I can see? A double is always exactly two shots.

Next time, take Gladys minus 2 Pips.

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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