|The gambling world is mourning the loss of one of its more colourful characters this week, following the news that publisher and innovator, Chuck Di Rocco has passed away after a long illness. He was sixty-nine.|
Di Rocco founded Gaming Today twenty-eight years ago – essentially the first publication to cover racing and sports news and tips, as well as entertainment and industry news within the gaming sector. He was also a pioneer in the world of simulcasting services as owner of Winco in the 1980s, selling video rights to casino race books.
It was Di Rocco’s life-long love of gambling, however, and in particular horse racing, that fired his enthusiasm.
'He backed up his own advice with his own money,' said Dave Tuley, Las Vegas correspondent for the Daily Racing Form, who was managing editor of Gaming Today from 1998 to 2000. 'He was a high-roller at the blackjack tables, and he was not afraid to step up to the big window if he like a horse.
'Chuck would rub elbows with casino executives. He knew everyone in town. But he also considered himself one of the little people because he grew up on the tough streets of Philadelphia. He was proud of being a Depression-era kid who became a self-made millionaire.'
'No question he helped gamblers get some of their money back from the casinos with education through his free publication that is available virtually everywhere,' added Andy Isoke, columnist at Gaming Today. 'He started when gaming was frowned upon and he helped make it respectable.'
Di Rocco is survived by his wife and business partner Eileen Di Rocco, his son Edward, two sisters and several nieces and nephews.