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About John

In 10 years as Sports Editor of Nevada’s largest newspaper, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, John wrote five columns a week, covered the Olympic Games, the World Series, Horse Racing, Auto Racing, Boxing, Golf, and you name it. He was voted best Nevada sportswriter one year, and best TV sportscaster the next.

Offered an executive position by Del Webb’s Sahara on the Las Vegas Strip in 1960, he leaped into the casino business. In his 20 years as Marketing Director he modernized the casino’s mailing list and used it as his major weapon to create more casino play. He threw out mass marketing in favor of one-on-one direct selling through the mail. He created and for 12 years directed the Sahara’s $100,000 Super Sahara Celebration, a moneymaker that was the forerunner of huge casino promotions.

John's views on advertising were untraditional. He asked, "If an ad doesn't make a sale or capture a prospect’s name, what good is it?" He shunned expensive 4-color ads in favor of "long copy" black-and-white ads that looked like newspaper feature stories.

His methods worked so well that he won three Echo Awards (two Gold, one Silver) from the Direct Marketing Association in New York. Echos are a nationwide advertising contest based on sales generated – not beauty.

As a sports editor, John’s scoring of boxing matches was almost always the consensus of the three scoring officials. When the Nevada State Gaming Commission invited him to become a judge, he said okay – and eventually scored 7 world title matches. Examples: Gene Fullmer – Benny “Kid” Paret and Harold Johnson – Willie Pastrano.

During the same period he took up marathon running, ran well under three hours in most races, and finished 439th among 3,000 starters in the 1973 Boston Marathon.

In 1975, he invented table game gambling in tournament format. He wrote most of the rules including a rotating marker dealers use to start each hand. He became co-founder and principal owner in International Gaming Promotions Inc., In 1979, John’s concept drew 1,400 players to the Sahara, and within a few years the new tournaments had spread to hundreds of US casinos.


With his IGP partners he co-founded Players International Inc., a public company, in 1986. Later, John left Players to start his own company, John Romero Direct Marketing. He became noted for his unusual casino direct mail and direct response advertising and was hired by many of the top casinos and companies in the business.

John wrote his first book, Casino Marketing, in 1994. He called it “a witty, irreverent, no-nonsense roadmap for gaming in the 90s.” The book became an instant best-seller in the worldwide casino business. In 1998, he followed up with another hardcover named Secrets of Casino Marketing, branding it “Gaming’s new Bible of Direct Selling.” Together, the books sold more than 10,000 copies in a vertical business.

In 2004 he received the first Casino Marketing Lifetime Achievement Award at Casino Marketing, the National Conference. The conference also inaugurated the Romero Award for excellence in casino marketing. Winners in the various categories are those who fulfill the spirit of John’s long crusade for measurable and accountable casino marketing. John personally presents the trophies.

John’s new novel, The Eisenhower Enigma, now sells in the worldwide eBook market alongside his recently published, Las Vegas The Untold Stories. They join his two hardcover books written for the casino gaming industry. He credits his wife, Robin, with five words that started everything. “Time to start writing books.” He raced to his computer and began that same day. The next book in his arsenal, The Trojan Stones, will be available in 2014.