The Casino Marketing & Technology Conference, held in July, has found its place in the gaming industry.

The successor to Casino Marketing Conference, now in its 13th year, the event offers a dedicated technology track customized for casino marketers, in addition to the conference’s core casino marketing content. The combination proved a hit with attendees and exhibitors alike, with more than 475 people attending the event and 55 companies exhibiting.

A centerpiece of the gathering since 2005, the Romero Awards, again anchored the event’s second day. The awards were the brainchild of conference co-founder Dennis Conrad, president and chief strategist, Raving Consulting, who suggested them to the late John Romero after the first edition of the conference, where  Romero was awarded the first ever Casino Marketing Lifetime Achievement Award. (For more on the Romeros, see The Back Page column on page 74.)

Other highlights included keynote addresses by Michael Perhaes, corporate vice president of marketing, Wind Creek Hospitality, and Kahlil Ashanti, co-founder, SpendSight Technologies; and the presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award to Jim Allen, CEO, Seminole Gaming, and chairman, Hard Rock International.

As for the Romeros, over 120 entry submissions were made in the following award categories: Online Marketing (Website and Social Media); Electronic Marketing (e-Mail and Mobile); Community Relations (Charity, Cooperative Business Programs); VIP Promotion (for Top-Rated Players); Direct Mail Marketing (Single or Campaign); and Casino Floor Promotion.

The judges, who bring more than 125 years of casino marketing professional experience to the contest, and each of whom was a disciple of John Romero and his 48-year crusade for measurable, accountable casino marketing expenditures, were: Jackie Brett, principal, Brett’s Vegas View; Don Kennedy, player development manager, Primm Valley Casinos & Resorts; Amy J. Price-Fanter, marketing writer, Odds On Promotions; and Jack Breslin, president, Breslin Strategic Marketing. The awards presentation was again ably hosted by Toby O’Brien, president, Toby Talks Marketing.

“We are proud to be able to continue to honor the life and the professional example set by John Romero with the Romero Awards, which have come to symbolize excellence in marketing for our industry,” said Randy Green, group publisher, BNP Media Gaming Group. “Our judges were very impressed with the ingenuity showed by many of this year’s entries. The awards presentation, which details the ins-and-outs of each winning entry, has become an indispensable learning event for our attendees.”

The list of winners follows:

Casino Floor Promotion

Large Casino

DIAMOND ROMERO AWARD

SOBOBA’S WORLD RECORD GOLD RUSH, Soboba Casino, San Jacinto, Calif.

SKYCITY, SKYCITY, Auckland Limited, Auckland, New Zealand

WAVES TO RICHES, Wind Creek Hospitality Home Office, Alabama

 

GOLD ROMERO AWARD

$200,000 BIRTHDAY BLOWOUT, Wind Creek Casino, Wetumpka, Ala.

$200,000 TREASURES OF THE TITANIC, Soboba Casino, San Jacinto, Calif.

BUZZING BLACKJACK, SKYCITY Auckland Limited., Auckland, New Zealand

PENS PROGRESSIVE & LUCKY 7’S FREE SLOT PLAY, Rivers Casino, Pittsburgh, Pa.

 

SILVER ROMERO AWARD

BIG MONEY BLUES , Wind Creek Casino & Hotel, Montgomery, Ala.

CANNERY PIN-UP GIRL CAMPAIGN, Cannery Casino, Las Vegas, Nev.

LEAPIN LEXUS PROMOTION - THEMED LEAP YEAR, Wind Creek Casino, Wetumpka, Ala.

CAMP HAPPY , Isle Casino Cape Girardeau, Cape Girardeau, Mo.

LIVING LARGE IN A TINY HOME GIVEAWAY, Soboba Casino, San Jacinto, Calif.

SHOW ME THE MUMMY, Oneida Casino, Green Bay, Wis.


Casino Floor Promotion

Small/Mid-size Casino

DIAMOND ROMERO AWARD

FEBRUARY SUITESTAKES, Batavia Downs Gaming, Batavia, N.Y.

 

GOLD ROMERO AWARD

WHAT’S NEW AT GOLD EAGLE CASINO GRAND OPENING CELEBRATIONS, Gold Eagle Casino, North Battleford, Saskatchewan

 

SILVER ROMERO AWARD

$10K OH MAMA! Shopping Spree, Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino,
Hallandale Beach, Fla.

BACKYARD BASH, Batavia Downs Gaming, Batavia, N.Y.

BOBBING FOR APPLES, Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino, Hallandale Beach, Fla.

CASH CUBE CRAZE, Wildwood Casino, Cripple Creek, Colo.

Community Relations

Large Casino

DIAMOND ROMERO AWARD

11TH ANNUAL TAMAL FESTIVAL, Casino Del Sol, Tucson, Ariz.

BET AGAINST HUNGER, Odawa Casino Resort, Petosky, Mich.

 

GOLD ROMERO AWARD

MAKE A CHANGE, Wind Creek Casino & Hotel Montgomery, Montgomery, Ala.

NEW YEAR’S EVE, Spa Casino Resort, Palm Springs, Calif.

 

Community Relations

Small/Mid-size Casino

GOLD ROMERO AWARD

CULINARY CHALLENGE, Wildwood Casino, Cripple Creek, Colo.

 

Direct Mail Marketing

Large Casino

DIAMOND ROMERO AWARD

STAY & PLAY VIP DIRECT MARKETING CAMPAIGN, Sun International Head Office, South Africa

 

GOLD ROMERO AWARD

WIND CREEK REWARDS: THE MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2016, Wind Creek Hospitality Home Office, Alabama

 

SILVER ROMERO AWARD

HOTEL OFFER DIRECT MAIL CAMPAIGN CHANGE, Casino Del Sol, Tucson, Ariz.

 

Direct Mail Marketing

Small/Mid-size Casino

GOLD ROMERO AWARD

2ND ANNUAL MILLION PENNY GIVEAWAY, Victory Casino Cruises, Cape Canaveral, Fla.

JULY/NOVEMBER MYSTERY VOUCHER, Batavia Downs Gaming, Batavia, N.Y.

 

SILVER ROMERO AWARD

ULTIMATE JACKPOT PARTY, Lake of the Torches Resort Casino, Lac du Flambeau, Wisc.

 

Electronic Marketing

(e-Mail and Mobile)

Large Casino

 

GOLD ROMERO AWARD

2ND ANNUAL MILLION PENNY GIVEAWAY, Victory Casino Cruises, Cape Canaveral, Fla.

 

Online Marketing

(Website and Social Media)

Large Casino

 

DIAMOND ROMERO AWARD

SOBOBA IS OUT OF THIS WORLD FIRST SLOT MACHINE IN SPACE VIDEO, Soboba Casino, San Jacinto, Calif.

WIND CREEK HOSPITALITY PLAYERS OF WIND CREEK CALENDAR, Wind Creek Hospitality Home Office, Alabama

WINNING NUMBERS WATCH PARTY, Oaklawn Racing & Gaming, Hot Springs, Ark.

 

GOLD ROMERO AWARD

“ALL SHOOK UP” SOCIAL PROMOTION, FireKeepers Casino Hotel, Battle Creek, Mich.

BRAINS VS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, Rivers Casino, Pittsburgh, Pa.

 

SILVER ROMERO AWARD

SCARY-OKE , Oaklawn Racing & Gaming, Hot Springs, Ark.

 

VIP Promotion Large Casino

GOLD ROMERO AWARD

VIP CRUISE PROMOTION, FireKeepers Casino Hotel, Battle Creek, Mich.

 

SILVER ROMERO AWARD

GRANDWEST GRAND MILLION POINTS CHALLENGE, Sun International Head Office, South Africa

PUT ME IN COACH - VIP SLOT TOURNAMENT, Casino Del Sol, Tucson, Ariz.

VIP 20TH ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATIVE SLOT CLUB CARDS, Soboba Casino, San Jacinto, Calif.

 

VIP Promotion

Small/Mid-size Casino

DIAMOND ROMERO AWARD

DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE, Isle of Capri Casino, Westlake, La.

SINATRA 100TH BIRTHDAY AND PIN PROGRAM, Spa Resort Casino, Palm Springs, Calif.

 

GOLD ROMERO AWARD

DECEMBER DIAMOND/PLATINUM GIFT CALENDAR, Batavia Downs Gaming, Batavia, N.Y.

LIGHT UP YOUR NIGHT , Gold Eagle Casino, North Battleford, Saskatchewan