Instructional playing cards a hit at casinos |

Instructional playing cards a hit at casinos

Susan Wood
Jim Grant / Tahoe Daily Tribune / Ted Gottlieb, right, and Pam Butler display some "Win Cards" that they have produced for numerous casinos.

They say all it takes is to fill a niche to be successful. Former card dealers Ted Gottlieb and Pam Butler have made a living out of helping people play.

Since the couple launched their 20-year-old mobile business, Gaming International, 10 million of the “win card” packets have been sold. The instructional cards may provide even the most intimidated or naive gambler with knowledge to hit the tables.

Thirty casino, hotel and cruiseline properties have been signed up, the latest being the Hyatt in Incline Village. Harrah’s/Harveys Lake Tahoe have used the service for seven years, Gottlieb said. The oldest client is Norwegian Cruiselines.

Gottlieb, who started his gaming career with Barney’s at Stateline, said he’s surprised that casinos all over haven’t done more to attract new players – especially with “craps dying out.” He claims his service helps.

He uses the common winning strategies among a consortium of gaming experts. The cards are printed overseas.

With a revenue base of $650,000 annually, Gaming International sells the sets of instructional cards – ranging from blackjack to roulette – to casinos at a wholesale level of $5. Each package is sold for $10, with $15 in casino chips to send the up-and-coming players on their way.

“It’s a win-win situation,” he said.

The concept has gained the respect and attention of other tourism-service company executives who have learned how difficult it is to make a simple, promising living in Stateline.

“Over the years, we’ve seen him expand the endorsement and distribution of the win card products into the international gaming industry market. (This is) not an easy task by any means, let alone, one for a relatively speaking mom-and-pop company,” said Brian Williams, who runs Media West, an Internet-based marketing company.

The products of Gaming International can be seen at the casinos from Stateline to Aruba. The Stateline-based company can be reached at (775) 588-4222.

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