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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

Slot payouts getting tighter across U.S., study confirms

By Mark Gruetze
Slot players who complain about the machines getting tighter have new evidence to go along with their gut feelings and losing sessions. An analysis of slot payouts in 15 states documents a steady increase since 1996 in the overall hold ...

Mountaineer smoking pavilion gives gamblers a choice

By Mark Gruetze
Signs of Mountaineer Casino’s big change are all around. Smokers perch on benches outside the main entrance, indulging their habit. A notice on the door declares the Chester, W.Va., casino a “smoke free facility.” Near the main floor, a sign ...

McCandless poker pro builds career from mom’s advice, life lessons

By Mark Gruetze
At 26, Chad Power is living his dream. The 2007 North Allegheny High School graduate is fresh off a $262,574 payday at the World Series ...

Card game invented locally makes Pennsylvania casino debut

By Mark Gruetze
Adam Stoller of McCandless made sure he had the best seat for the debut. A half-hour before the boxes of cards were opened or $34,000 ...

High tax could scuttle online gaming in Pa., CEO says

By Mark Gruetze
Pennsylvania could become a leader in online gambling, but a high tax rate could kill the idea before players can place a bet, say two ...

Overlooked IRS plan would help gamblers, tax pro says

By Mark Gruetze
While the casino world focuses on fighting an IRS idea to track slot jackpots starting at $600, a little-noticed companion proposal would benefit gamblers, a ...

Dealers handle more than cards at jammed WSOP

By Mark Gruetze
Bob Macurak of Forest Hills remembers his clammy palms as he dealt to poker luminaries such as Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu and Joe Hachem. Jonathan ...

Players need to challenge IRS targeting of slot jackpots

By Mark Gruetze
Jerry Faychak wonders whether he’s already seen the best days of casino gambling — and whether the IRS soon will make things worse for players and casinos alike. An Internal Revenue Service idea to require reporting of slot jackpots of ...

Advantage-play pinball aims to change casino gambling

By Mark Gruetze
Aaron Hightower envisions a new frontier for casino gambling. He aims to provide a dramatically different machine game that appeals not only to casual gamblers ...

Gamblers evenly split on allowing smoking in casinos

By Mark Gruetze
Leni Landsky and Jackie Minkel both enjoy video poker and frequent casino trips. Their common interests end with the question of whether smoking should be allowed in casinos. Landsky, 69, of suburban Cleveland, a smoker for more than 50 years, ...

Presque Isle Downs, Mountaineer adapt in battle over smoking rules

By Mark Gruetze
Two regional casinos are taking extra steps to welcome nonsmokers. Gamblers will notice changes at Presque Isle Downs in Erie and Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort in Chester, W.Va., both owned by Eldorado Resorts Inc. A $5.1 million renovation at ...

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