Guest columnist Edward Francis enjoys many Internet “podcasts” and in the next three weeks he will alert you to which ones you also might want to check out. ******
It was not too long ago that gambling enthusiasts had to wait for the appearance of an annual vacation travel guide or the occasional publishing of gaming related books to get information about their favorite casino games or destinations. That began to change with the advent of the Internet. The Internet now provides access to all forms of gambling information. One of the most entertaining information sources is the “Podcast.”
A podcast is an audio broadcast which is stored on the Internet and available for access by people around the world. The name is a combination “pod” which is derived from the ubiquitous iPod and broadcast.
A podcast can be a onetime event or regularly occurring, be it weekly, monthly or whenever the podcaster wishes to produce another episode. The content can include any subject the person making the podcast is interested in. The podcaster needs little more than a computer and a microphone to get started. This ease of entry into the field has led to an explosive growth in the number of available podcasts.
The web site known as “Stitcher,” provides easy access to a wide variety of podcasts for many different topics. A visitor to the site only has to conduct a search for their area of interest and they will discover a huge selection of podcasts to choose from.
Podcasts often have very loyal audiences. The listeners interact on various social media such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. They also organize “listener meet-ups” and special events. Because the information discussed is esoteric advertisers find that podcasts are an excellent way to spend marketing dollars to target a specific audience. The more popular podcasts can have several sponsors in a one hour episode.
For those interested in casino gambling information and casino travel destinations, below I have included some of the popular sites, and a description of what you will find at each.
Five Hundy By Midnight
This podcast began in January 2005. It now has approximately 440 episodes available on line for free.
Originating weekly from the Minneapolis area, this podcast is billed as “The Original Las Vegas Podcast.”
It is hosted by a husband and wife, Tim and Michele Dressan. The length of each show varies from less than an hour to over two hours. The hosts comment on Las Vegas news, current trends entertainment and basically whatever is on their mind. Both hosts enjoy visiting Vegas, gambling, restaurants and imbibing on what they refer to as “tasty cocktails.”
Tim Dressan is known for going off the occasional rant about something that annoys him. It does not have to have anything to do with the topic of Las Vegas. He recently was upset about workers in non-traditional work schedules that refer to the last day of their work week as “My Friday” regardless of what day it is
Tim’s wife, the lovely and witty, Michele uses the alias "Anita Martini" (I-need-a- Martini) on twitter. She is extremely knowledgeable about the Las Vegas scene. Sometimes she will start a show by warning the audience that she will be imbibing during the podcast. The alcohol makes for some entertaining banter between the husband and wife. Michele can also concoct her own, comical, curse words by combining two semi-profanities that usually do not go together
In the “Dear Tim and Michele” segments of the show, questions e-mailed to the host are answered. They occasionally have a segment called “Gambling with Tim and Michele” in which they narrate and record themselves playing slots. I find this as one of the weaker aspects of the show. The show usually ends with listener trip reports gleaned from their dedicated caller line. As some of the callers are “drunk dialing” from their favorite watering hole the calls can be quite funny.
“Five Hundy by Midnight” has a large following of loyal listeners. They are welcome to meet other listeners at an annual get-together known as “The Vegas Internet Mafia Family Picnic” (V.I.M.F.P.) This event has grown over the years from an informal meeting. The get-together was originally known as “Podcast-a-Palooza” the name was changed to V.I.M.F.P three years ago. It is now a casino hosted event. The 2013 event was held at the recently refurbished “The D Las Vegas” Casino Hotel on Fremont Street. It featured an appearance by Derrick Stephens the casino’s owner and fan of the podcast.
A big supporter and cheerleader for the downtown Las Vegas area Tim Dressan also operates the www.FreemontStreetBars.com website
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