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Columnist
Mark Gruetze has been a recreational gambler for more than 30 years, focusing on blackjack, video poker and poker. He is administrative editor of the Tribune-Review. Mark Gruetze can be reached via e-mail or at 412-320-7838

Casinos hurt themselves with tight slots, consultants say

By Mark Gruetze
Casinos chase away customers with a combination of tight slot machines and too much free play for the wrong bettors, two gambling consultants say. “The fundamental gaming experience is starting to change,” says Andrew Klebanow, a partner with Gaming Market …

Drive for smoke-free casinos picks up steam

By Mark Gruetze
Gamblers who want to play without the smell and health threat of secondhand smoke have plenty to cheer about lately. Two Pennsylvania legislators are pushing a bill that would prohibit smoking throughout the casino floor as well as at several …

Multistate slot network to offer lottery-size jackpot

By Mark Gruetze
A top slot-machine maker is putting together a progressive network designed to build monster jackpots from play online and at casinos in multiple states. IGT’s …

Casino data hacking rare, but players should be wary

By Mark Gruetze
Last month’s hacking of the Las Vegas Sands Corp. website serves as a warning that casino databases can fall victim to a determined cyber criminal, …

Wheeling loosens point system to lure table game players

By Mark Gruetze
Wheeling Island Casino is betting that it will attract more gamblers by being more generous with players club points. The West Virginia casino, where table-game revenues have dropped precipitously every year since 2009, this month accelerated point accumulation for table-game …

Remember that big slot jackpot? You can bet the IRS does

By Tribune-Review
Sometimes you have to pay for being lucky. But not always. As taxpayers shuffle through paperwork for the annual torture of tax returns, many come …

What to expect when you hit a hand-pay slot jackpot

By Mark Gruetze
Adrian Ashmore is the type of guy slot-machine players love to see heading their way. That’s because he’s one of the people entrusted with handing …

Players clubs ready to branch out with non-casino partners

By Mark Gruetze
Those player’s club cards that earn points toward free play and casino comps are evolving into ways to generate discounts at nongambling attractions. “They’re gearing …

Book gives by-the-numbers account of kicking Mob out of Vegas

By Mark Gruetze
Anyone who enjoys visiting modern casinos might offer a “thanks” to a straight-arrow numbers-cruncher named Dennis Gomes. Gomes, who died in February 2012, was a …

Casino hosts turn to stats in rating players, giving comps

By Mark Gruetze
That nice casino host who hands out free meals, concert tickets and fancy suites isn’t paid to be a player’s friend. The host’s primary job …

Royal quest never ends for video-poker players

By Mark Gruetze
For video-poker fans, nothing matches the thrill of a royal flush. Seeing the 10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace of the same suit on the …

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