Casino Plugs New Facility With Webcast

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Sam's Town Hotel and Casino looked to the Internet during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend to show off its new concert hall.


Using helloNetwork.com's Webcasting technology, the casino presented a live Webcast of a Kenny Loggins concert on Nov. 24 from the new 1,100-seat venue at Sam's Town Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas. The venue was part of an $86 million expansion by Boyd Gaming Corp., the hotel's owners.


The event drew 846 viewers, 461 of whom had broadband connections.


The concert was promoted via video opt-in e-mails sent to members of LiveClubs.net and the Kenny Loggins fan club. Two mailings of 2,800 e-mails apiece were sent. The messages contained links to Columbiarecords.com, Samstownlv.com, KennyLoggins.com and helloNetwork.com, all of which aired the show.


Banners were placed at these sites a week prior to the event. More than 2,100 consumers viewed the ads, which were clicked 13,000 times.


All parties seemed pleased with the turnout, said Brian Panella, a representative for Loggins and vice president of talent at Sterling/Winters Co., Los Angeles.


"It was fabulous," he said. "Kenny has a growing Internet visibility. We wanted to give something to his fans for people to see. The holiday weekend was a good opportunity because people were at home with their families. It was a chance for them to tune in and get a glimpse of what Kenny was doing."


The Boyd Gaming Corp. saw this as a opportunity to show that they were no longer just a country and western venue, said Panella. "They decided to expand from that to include pop, rock and rhythm and blues. They wanted Kenny to be the inaugural artist."


The test run was a success despite some minor glitches, said Amy Ellins, spokeswoman for helloNetwork, Las Vegas. "There were fans watching in Malta, Saudi Arabia and Israel. Boyd Gaming was testing it [and] said it was the best thing they ever did."


However, a half hour before showtime, the Sprint lines went down in Nevada. "It did get a little hairy there at one point with the Internet connectivity being lost," said Ellins.


As a result, both the concert and the Webcast started 10 minutes late. Loggins played a 90-minute set and held a live chat after the show.


HelloNetwork is a video application service provider that offers live online broadcasting without the use of plug-ins, media players and other downloads.


"There was a big technology gap preventing people from joining events online," Ellins said. "That has been removed."
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