Casino Queen

Grand Opening Publicity


In 2007, the Casino Queen in East St. Louis hired The Hauser Group to develop a media relations campaign to augment its advertising, help generate excitement and awareness for the grand opening of its new $92 million facility and drive opening week attendance.


The Hauser Group developed and executed a two-phased media relations plan. Phase one targeted local print and regional construction trade publications to do advance “Dusty Boots” tours while the facility was still under construction. During phase two, we collaborated with local broadcast and print media, pitching a range of sneak preview opportunities and stories related to the casino’s transition from a riverboat to a land-based casino, followed by a strong push to generate on-site coverage of the grand opening ceremony and the official debut of the new facility.


The dusty boots tours generated several advance print stories across a range of local and trade publications, helping to jump-start the process of building interest and excitement several weeks before the opening. KSDK’s Heidi Glaus reported live from the casino during the days leading up to the opening, doing several segments that highlighted the work underway to finalize everything for the opening and showcasing the beautiful new facility. Similar advance coverage was secured with KMOV, KTVI andKPLR, while the business angle highlighting the investment being made in East St. Louis secured a feature story in the St. Louis Business Journal the week of the opening. The transition from the old boat to the new facility generated significant additional coverage that ran the day of the opening, including details about the upcoming grand opening festivities. Several of the articles in the week leading up to the opening were front page stories. The official ribbon cutting was attended by all local major print and broadcast media and the AP, and various members of the gaming trade press also attended the grand opening festivities.

 In all, The Hauser Group secured local media placements with a publicity value total in excess of $1.2 million Dozens of daily newspapers across the nation picked up the AP article, pushing the total audience reached to more than seven million people, and daily attendance during the opening weekend broke records with 16,000 visitors. The Hauser Group continues to serve as the casino’s agency of record.