Casino Selections - Part 3

There are some prime casino selections in the US and Canada not covered in previous articles, so let's forge ahead.

These casino selections are based on the highest reported payouts including the preferred 'certified' slots, newest BVS versions placed, lots of slots offered, club card-comp benefits, superior customer service and top-level amenities to include dining, shopping and activities.

Although casino gambling is available in 33 states and 7 provinces in Canada, there are few that monitor and report their slot payouts and it borders on a scam, in my mind. See Editors Rant in the first issue of the Slots Report:

I strongly urge American and Canadian casino players to write, telephone and/or e-mail their local gaming commissions and request a slots payout percentage report monthly. More on this in a future article.

In order to subjectively select the better casinos; only those areas that report payout %'s are listed below:

Colorado: three major gaming areas: Cripple Creek, Black Hawk and Central City. With payouts usually 94%+, it's a horse race among them every month. Black Hawk-Central City casinos are near Denver and offer a shuttle service. Bullwhackers Black Hawk Casino is the largest with cash back slots club and ongoing promotions. In Central City, Harvey's offers Senior discounts, cash back club, live shows and is a top pick. Cripple Creek near Colorado Springs boasts the largest state casino: Double Eagle Hotel/Casino. Optional choice is Bronco Billy's Sport Bar/Casino with a huge sports theater.

Illinois: Chicago area--Grand Victoria, Harrah's Joliet, Empress Casino and Hollywood--all compete on the river. Victoria usually wins the top payback and best slots selection spot. The Casino Queen near E. St. Louis is a consistent state winner for pays and promotions. Honorable mention to Par-A-Dice in Peoria for placing newer versions, fun book and senior discounts.

Indiana: Chicago players can easily hop over to the Gary area for Blue Chip, Trump, Harrah's East and Empress in that order. The best in the state is Argosy-Lawrenceburg. Count 4 restaurants, over 74,000 sq ft and 4000 passenger boat among the Argosy benefits.

Iowa: Rarely do horseracing/pari-mutuels combined with slots produce high pays, however Bluffs Run and Prairie Meadows are the exception to the rule.

A consistent top pick, Bluffs Run, open 24 hrs with the generous Players Club

is a must-see, if only for the horsies and doggies.

Lakeside, Harveys and Diamond Jo casinos will keep you dancing around the state looking for loose slots.

Louisiana: Slim pickings in this state, not for the sheer number of casinos and/or racetracks, bars and restaurants where you can play but the lowly paybacks. North: Shreveport/Bossier area where Texans flock--choose

Casino Magic or Isle of Capri (good promotions). No luck? The two H's--Harrah's and Horseshoe perhaps? Hop in the car to Baton Rouge and the Belle or Casino Rouge. Head west, young man to Players with two boats or Isle of Capri, Lake Charles. Save New Orleans for a vacation only--great food and jazz. I have to pose this question to LA players--Wouldn't the extra time and travel to Mississippi be more beneficial to your wallet?...hmmmm.

Missouri: Show Me Argosy Riverside, Harrahs KC & St. Louis where I can play some loose slots, get comped and dine in style. What a great selection of riverboats here and most offer at least 94% paybacks. I haven't forgotten Hilton, Players, Stations and President casinos, however Aztar with their forever lowly paybacks better re-think their gambling plan.

Canada: is also very stingy about reporting payouts; only two provinces comply. Alberta claims a 92% average that would be in line with the other reporters as follows:

Quebec: Charlevoix--92.7, Hull--92.6 and Montreal--92.5.

Larger, as with Montreal, is not always better for payout %'s.

Nova Scotia: Sydney--92.5, Halifax--92.2, Sheraton Casinos are located in each city. There are machines available in bars and restaurants but savvy players know better; have a good meal and drinks only-Cheers!

Have I left out some of your best casino selections? Let me know and why. I will be glad to share in a future Slots Report:

CALLING ALL INTERNATIONAL SLOTS PLAYERS: I need your help. This column and the Slots Report are welcomed globally, therefore we want to include all slot playing opinions. If you play slots and/or know players who live outside US or Canada, I would like to e-mail them a short question page.

Looking forward to your replies at: