Brian Christopher makes a living playing slot machines, but not the way you might think. He has a YouTube channel that features him playing poker machines and winning jackpots. He spends about eight to twelve hours a day on his channel and employs three people.
And he’s not the only one. Scott “The Raja” Richter also has a similar channel.
Brian and Scot have used YouTube to turn playing poker machines into what is known as a side hustle – a way to make extra cash that allows you to pursue what you’re most interested in. It even affords them a level of celebrity.
Richter’s videos have clocked more than 2 million unique monthly views, and his channel has more than 115,000 subscribers. He even has a dedicated fan club, known as the Bomb Squad (after Richter’s trademark “#BOOM” graphic that accompanies each big win). Christopher has about 50 million total views and 82,000 subscribers, with his videos drawing thousands of views a day, and his own fan club, the Rudies.
Bomb Squad and Rudies alike, in addition to commenting on videos and offering advice during live feeds of Brian or Scott playing the pokies, follow their mentors to casinos around the country and even go on cruises with them. One highlight of these events is the “group pull,” where players pool their cash and take turns pressing play on a high limit slot.
That’s right – people actually tune into YouTube in their tens of thousands to watch someone playing a poker machine trying to win a jackpot.
Revenue is generated directly from YouTube (which Richetr says, for a popular channel, can reach as high as $20,000 a month). Both also earn money from merchandise sales like bobbleheads, coffee mugs, shot glasses and the like.
Sources: Forbes & CDC Gaming
GUITAR SHAPED CASINO NEARS COMPLETION
The Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood Hotel is close to topping off its new 450-foot guitar-shaped hotel tower — a gleaming architectural homage to the Gibson Les Paul in blue glass that can be seen from miles around the Fort Lauderdale and South Florida metro area.
The tower is part of a $1.5 billion expansion plan for the Seminole’s flagship property that began in 2016 and will add 806 additional guestrooms and suites to the facility, with 638 of them in the tower itself. At the base of the tower will be a 13.5-acre pool resort complex dubbed the “Bora Bora Experience,” with private villas surrounded by pools and waterfalls.
Hard Rock International, the Seminoles’ commercial arm, announced on Thursday that the tower was due to lay its final beam in the next three weeks, finishing ahead of schedule.
While giant electric guitars are very much part of the Hard Rock’s brand, the Hollywood hotel tower is truly unique. In fact, it’s such an architectural marvel that it took them close to a decade to figure out how they would be able to develop the musical structure.
CEO of Seminole Gaming and chairman of Hard Rock International Jim Allen explained during a guitar-smashing ceremony on the construction site, back in October that he had the idea for a guitar-shaped hotel way back in 2007.
However, the concept initially had architects stumped and the first design attempt was simply a regular hotel tower with a glass front in the shape of a guitar.
I said, ‘We are talking about a building that is actually shaped like a guitar,’” Allen explained. “This is another time in my life when people thought I was certifiably crazy.”
Hard Rock announced a ceremony will take place on July 9 for the placement of the final beam — and presumably after that they will just need someone to tune the thing.
The new complex will be fully completed in mid-2019 in Hollywood, Florida.
Sources: Casino.org / Sun Sentinel