Boomtown UFAExplodes

Celebrating their remodeling and Grand Re-opening, the Boomtown Casino in Bossier City, Louisiana treated their patrons to the grandest fireworks display in the history of that state. This was a thoroughly enjoyable three-day festival that pleased the multitudes that attended. Gambling Times was delighted to attend this function.

The world-famous Grucci family of New York, whose history as pyrotechnical experts dates back to 1850, engineered the fireworks/laser show. “America’s First Family of Fireworks” has created displays for the 1976 bicentennial celebrations in New York and Boston, Olympic competitions in Lake Placid, NY and Los Angeles, consecutive World’s Fairs in New Orleans, Knoxville, TN and Korea, centennial celebrations of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty, and for six consecutive presidential inaugurations from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush.

The fireworks and laser-light shows were the highlight of the outdoor festival held on the grounds of Bossier City’s newest and most exciting casino property. The entertainment headliners for the event included Joe Stampley & The Uniques, country entertainer Ronnie Milsap, and the classic sounds of The Drifters and The Coasters. Other entertainers taking the stage during the three-day gala include Ricky Lynn Gregg, 8-Track, B.B. Secrist, and award-winning Elvis impersonator Brandon Bennett.

Boomtown Casino and Hotel officially opened July 1, after operating nearly six years as UFA Casino Magic. The property has undergone extensive renovations and has been re-themed to evoke the feel of the old Southwest. A landmark, 165-foot tall entrance sign greets guests with a massive video screen and changeable reader board that provides information on the goings on inside.

Boomtown boasts the new restaurants Sundance Cantina and Boomer’s Café, which opened in May 2002, and Cattleman’s Buffet that opened with the new Boomtown property July 1. Circle B Ranch Steak House opened in September. Boomtown’s hot air balloon was on display at selected times, offering free tethered balloon rides.

Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. is the parent company of Boomtown Bossier City, a dockside gaming facility in Bossier City, Louisiana. The Company owns and operates seven casinos (four with hotels) in Nevada, Mississippi, Louisiana, Indiana and Argentina, under the Casino Magic and Boomtown brands. In addition, Pinnacle Entertainment receives lease income from two card club casinos, Hollywood Park and Crystal Park, both in the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

The Basics of Keno

The ancient game of Keno was developed in the orient and introduced to America by Chinese railroad workers in the 1800’s. It is currently played in almost every casino of size the world over. While having a huge 25% house edge it is still extremely popular as a $1.00 “ticket” has the potential for winning as much as $50,000.

The “ticket,” or “blank,” contains eighty numbers, printed consecutively in eight rows of ten each. The player marks, typically with an X, from one to fifteen numbers on the blank with a Keno crayon. He then turns it in to the Keno booth together with his bet and receives an authenticated duplicate. Should he win, the duplicate must be turned in before the start of the next game in order to collect.

Traditionally Keno numbers are printed on eighty individual ping-pong balls. These balls are then spun around in a wire cage, or blown into a large clear plastic sphere, much like as in Bingo. As each ball is selected, the winning number is electronically highlighted on the Keno boards throughout the casino. Currently, however, many casinos use computer chips to generate random numbers.

The house draws twenty numbers out of the field of eighty. Payouts are based on the amount of winning numbers “caught” by the player out of the twenty drawn. These are known as “straight” tickets. The tables included are based on wagering on a straight ticket.

There are other variations in Keno which involve marking groups of numbers and combinations, commonly known as way, combination, and king tickets. These more complex variations to the game will be covered in a subsequent issue of Gambling Times.