Introduction to American Casino Guide 2019
The American Casino Guide 2019 by Steve Bourie began in 1992 as a simple newsletter but has since grown into a powerful gambling resource. This latest edition has gambling articles, descriptions for U.S. states having gambling, and many, many coupons.
Full Disclosure: The above book link earns a commission at no cost to you.
Here, I am offering the first of my reviews on slots-related books and other resources. I am starting my series of reviews with this book because of the respect I hold for it. I’ve purchased the next edition of this annual book each year for several years now.
In fact, this annual publication is one of my Top 7 Online Resources for slots enthusiasts. But, why? Let’s find out!
This article has the following sections:
- Introduction to American Casino Guide 2019
- Part One: 17 Articles on Gambling
- Part Two: Gambling in 41 States
- Part Three: 182 Coupons Mostly for Las Vegas
- It’s More than Just a Book
- Summary of American Casino Guide 2019
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Part One: 17 Articles on Gambling
Steve Bourie both writes and edits the American Casino Guide 2019. In this latest edition, his second editor is his son, Matt Bourie. Contributing writers continue to be the usual crew for more, or less, than 10 years.
The first part of this edition includes 17 articles on various gambling topics written by Steve Bourie and the contributing writers. Unfortunately, they haven’t changed much, if at all, over the years.
This lack of updates must hurt year-to-year sales. Many authors offer “sneak peaks” via Amazon’s Look Inside feature. I couldn’t help noticing this feature was turned off for this book. Perhaps it’s to protect the coupons. But, it also hides how much this part of the book remains unchanged.
Not all articles are the same. Many of these are the same from the 2008 edition, which I happen to own for research purposes. The first 5 articles and last 4 articles are relatively unchanged since the 2015 edition. Of the remaining 8 articles, about 5 are roughly the same.
The articles in the 2018 edition are the most different from the last 4 editions, as best I can tell. I have the 2008, 2015, 2017, 2018, and 2019 editions only. The 2018 edition has articles on sports betting, video poker progressives, and how casinos operate.
The 2019 edition drops each of those articles in favor of bringing back updated articles on resort fees in Las Vegas and a second article on blackjack.
There is one completely new article on the unrealistic expectations of players of various casino games, It claims to discuss types of faulty logic when playing these games. It is an interesting read but, in my opinion, too many times it portrays opinion as fact.
Still, this article on gambling fallacies is correct in many ways. In academics, it is well known that statistics of past events have no actual meaning on any future events. That we try to do so, called extrapolating, is our human attempt to apply past results to the future.
Yes, certainly, misconceptions and incorrect beliefs exist with regards to gambling. For example, (sorry folks) saying the word “seven” before rolling dice at a craps table doesn’t affect the outcome of the roll. It’ll often change the mood at a table, though.
Given my focus on slot machine casino gambling, perhaps I’m being too harsh when I say the slots information in this article is less than clear.
For example, “…there are exceptions that smart players should know about.” What exceptions are those? Why and how do they exist? It also mentions randomness from chips within slot machines. The oldest casinos will still be doing that for a while longer, I suppose.
Part Two: Gambling in 41 States
American Casino Guide 2019 has a middle section on 41 U.S. states. At 241 pages, it constitutes just slightly half of the entire 500-page book. Included are all states with some form of gambling.
Each state article has:
- Map of the state with:
- State highways
- Major towns and other landmarks like rivers and lakes
- Numbered casinos
- Brief paragraphs on:
- Types of gambling offered
- Legal gambling age
- Payout return percentages, theoretical or actual, if available
- Alphabetical listing of all casinos by
- Pari-mutuel facilities
Each casino entry includes the type of gambling offered as well as address and phone number along with the website. Amenities at the casino such as the number and cost of rooms, restaurant, and buffets are typical.
I was recently listening to episode #99 from Cousin Vito’s Casino Podcast, where Vito was interviewing Steve Bourie. There, in part, Mr. Bourie mentioned that most of the information found in this section of his book was easy to find using Google Search.
I hadn’t really looked at his book that way before, but it’s true. Well, it’s certainly true for this half of the book.
It is important to remember, however, how valuable this resource was when it first came out 26 years ago. What internet search tools did we have back then, Netscape? Oh, excuse me! The Internet was the world-wide-web back then, too. Fun times, fun times.
But, I think Mr. Bourie just might be wrong. I think it is valuable or, rather, can go back to being as valuable as it ever was. More on this idea later.
Part Three: 182 Coupons Mostly for Las Vegas
Wow, the coupons! This is the value of the book. It is where you can get your money back from purchasing the book. That is if you visit Las Vegas. Back in 1992, Nevada was the center of gambling in the U.S. Now, not so much.
American Casino Guide 2019 has 182 coupons. Of these, 150 coupons are for Las Vegas, Nevada. Another 8 coupons are for other Nevada cities.
Nine other coupons are for car rentals and upgrades as well as other services applicable, according to the fine print on the back of each, anywhere in the U.S.
The remaining 15 coupons are specific to a few casinos in Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
As I’ve never used a coupon from any edition of the American Casino Guide, so I hadn’t noticed this before. To use any of these coupons you’ll need to cut out a Discount Card from the center of the coupon pages.
This American Casino Guide 2019 Edition Discount Card is around page 385. It’s quite easy to find, as it is on extra thick and glossy card stock. Simply sign the back, it says, and you’re good to use any of the coupons in the book.
It’s another reason, I guess, why Mr. Bourie doesn’t offer Amazon’s Look Inside feature I’d mentioned earlier.
It’s More than Just a Book
But the American Casino Guide 2019 is more than just a book. It’s also
- YouTube Channel
- Smart Device App for iOS and Android
Since 1992, Mr. Bourie really has grown his American Casino Guide business. His website is
Then there is the smartphone App. I’d downloaded the app some time ago and have poked around in it for a while. It appears to have much the same information as the website with one exception. Everywhere on the App, it provides links to their YouTube videos.
Last but not least, there is the American Casino Guide YouTube Channel. It has just under 75,000 subscribers and 136 videos. It looks like Steve and his son Matt put out a new video on YouTube every month or so.
Some of their videos are very interesting. I did notice something odd about last month, however. Last month they did something unusual for them: Steve and his son Matt interviewed someone else.
This video was called How to Win at Slots – Interview With a Professional Slot Machine Player. What I found interesting, besides what their guest was saying about winning at slots, was two-fold.
First, Steve and Matt Bourie looked REALLY uncomfortable during the interview. From the look on their faces, and the way they asked questions, it was obvious they didn’t believe much of anything their guest was saying.
That was the first thing I found interesting. The second thing I found interesting was the statistics on the video. After just over a month, it currently has 51,228 views, 595 Likes, 103 Unlikes, and 210 comments.
Understand that, normally, they might get 8k to 20k views after 2 months. One random video uploaded over 4 years ago had 53k views, 168 Likes, 10 Unlikes, and 37 comments. That’s fascinating!
Summary of American Casino Guide 2019
American Casino Guide 2019 is one of my favorite resources for slot machine casino gambling. In this review, I went over each of the three sections of the book including brief articles, Google-like results for each state having gambling, and lots and lots of coupons.
Frankly, this gambling resource is one of the best available. However, it’s quite apparent it isn’t necessary if you have an edition from another year. To confirm this, just check out its Amazon reviews. The exception is if you want the coupons for Las Vegas. With those, you’d get back more than you spent on the book.
With all that, I could wish it were better. We could all wish it were better, I think. For example, why aren’t some of the best articles from the website used in the book? It’s already been around since 1992. Hopefully, it’ll keep growing like it always has.
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