Spinwit.com is a Coaching and Entrepreneur Blog curated by Craig Ball aka Coach Ball. We all spin the Wheel of Chance each day... let's be smart about it. Craig Ball is a former casino owner/operator. Now he's a head HS football/track coach. Here you will find posts about coaching mixed with info about his new gaming ventures.
Spinwit = Chance Intelligence
Craig Ball helps athletes and companies move confidently towards the future by offering a positive vision of change while using his casino operations experiences to add an original spin on the mindset of success.
Coach and Business/Technology Teacher
Coach Ball currently serves as the head coach for the Gilpin varsity football and track programs. In recent years he has developed and maintained the strength training program for all Gilpin Athletes, as well as, designs running and football camps over the summer months.
As a developer and consultant for the local industry, Coach Ball has used his contacts to raise money for the athletic department. As a school, they are currently developing the funding to provide for a new football stadium and track. The community has been very generous with their support for Coach Ball and the program (Giving over $25,000 to the program over the last few years). Gilpin Football is building a football program where the whole community can be proud.
Read My Open Letter in Support of our New Football Field and Track
2017 Gilpin Football Season Recap
Link to our Gilpin Football Page
Link to our Gilpin Track Page
Coach Ball is currently the Business and Technology Teacher at the Gilpin County High School. He uses his casino ownership and operational experience to provide positive, real-world experiences for his Students. They concentrate on future technology progressions and business trends to produce student intelligence that can be used today and in the near future. The Coach Ball Classroom uses data analytics and data analysis to spot movements while learning to use the latest tools for data collection and manipulations.
Craig Ball moved to Black Hawk in 1989 to campaign for the legalization of gambling in Colorado(see the Legalization of Gambling - Colorado Amendment #4 Campaign Project below), and as it turned out, to build and operate casinos.
Once the successful campaign to legalize gambling was completed in November of 1990, Craig began working to develop the Wild Card Casino in Black Hawk as a partner and general manager and acquired my first Colorado gaming license in September of 1991. In 1992, he founded, financed and operated The Black Hawk Station Casino located on Gregory Street in Black Hawk. To review current and past gaming licenses and a full list of properties developed, please visit spinwit.com.
As a result of his commitment to personally invest in the nascent gaming community, he decided to make the Central-City/ Black Hawk area his home, and for the past 25 years, he has developed and operated casinos in the gaming district. Expanding the scope of his entrepreneurial ventures to include other gaming jurisdictions has become a focus of Spinwit. This expansion of operations includes gambler exchange programs, casino game design and new casino and jurisdictional development throughout North America and globally through his current projects.
Craig Ball's Legalization of Gambling in Colorado Story
The Colorado Historic Preservation Committee was formed in 1988 to gauge the feasibility of and cultivate the best strategy for, amending the Constitution of the State of Colorado to allow gambling in the three small historic mining towns of Central City, Black Hawk, and Cripple Creek.
In the beginning of this process to legalize gambling, Craig organized fact-finding missions to Deadwood, South Dakota to help plan a strategy for the Committee’s effort to ratify an Amendment. At one point in the process, a decision was made by the Committee to approach the Amendment as an Initiative, which required a petition drive totaling at least 51,000 signatures of registered Colorado voters.
Craig spearheaded the signature collection drive for the Initiative process, where he organized and trained groups and individuals in a statewide marketing program that produced over 100,000 signatures for the Secretary of State to verify and confirm. This successful signature drive ranked as the largest collected total in the state and produced the highest accuracy ratio in Colorado history.
The election campaign to legalize gambling began once the Colorado Initiative process was successful. Craig collaborated with Frieda Poundstone, a professional campaign manager, and State Lobbyist. Mrs. Poundstone hired Craig to assist her in all aspects of the campaign and assigned me the authority to develop and implement the campaign’s strategy for the Front Range District of the State. Craig garnered investors for the campaign through contacts of business professionals and landowners in the State. He expanded fundraising efforts to incorporate statewide contributors, resulting in over $250,000 for the campaign’s general fund.
The “Vote Yes on 4” campaign was a success and culminated with the largest statewide ‘yes’ vote (57%) for that time in the November 1990 election. The vote allowed for gambling to begin on October 1st, 1991 in Central City, Black Hawk, and Cripple Creek.
Data Analysis and Casino Fraud Program Design
As the owner and operator of two casinos in a young gaming district, I worked with the newly formed Colorado Division of Gaming to design and program a data analysis tool that could be used to tame the massive amount of data that is produced by the slot machine control systems. At first, the project parameters were a simple variance accounting tool, but later I was able to design features that were used to predict fraud on the casino floor. I used the available data to drive the pivot programming language that became the base for many years of use in our Colorado casino operations. The program later became the proprietary program that I used as a casino fraud consultant throughout gaming jurisdictions in the United States and Canada to find and prosecute gambling swindlers.