Kemmerer resident with over 170 million YouTube views awarded
KEMMERER — Local resident Brantley Popp runs a slot and casino education network on YouTube and was recently honored with the YouTube Silver Play Button Award. The award recognizes the most popular channels based on subscription counts. Cowboy Slots has reached an audience of more than 170 million people with over 100,000 subscribers. He is based in Kemmerer and runs the channel locally. This award is a first for a Kemmerer resident.
Cowboy Slots is expanding quickly, Popp said.
“One of the biggest challenges is keeping up with the growth and demand,” he told the Gazette.
When he started the channel, he did not expect it to grow so quickly. Popp’s channel and website offer free education on gambling and slot machines, without the need to buy any classes or courses, to people looking to improve their gambling and better manage their budget. It also offers support resources for problem gambling and advocates for those struggling with addiction.
Popp’s background has prepared him to offer such advice, as he previously worked in the casino industry. Before starting his company, he owned his own storefront, where he sold slot machines and worked with manufacturers. That experience allowed him to know various aspects of gaming.
“One day I decided to make a video that educated people on the myths of slot machines,” he said, adding that he aims to teach people to better understand how the machines work to better their odds of winning. “We cover all the basic gambling education,” Popp said, “and we do it all for free.”
Popp said that, when he started Cowboy Slots, he noticed there were people trying to sell books and classes, but none of them had worked in the industry.
“There was a lot of misinformation,” he said. Popp said he not only wants to educate people, but he also promotes responsible gambling.
“We always start with how your gambling budget should be an entertainment budget that you set aside,“ he said. “You should never be dipping into money that you need to pay bills or support family.”
No budget is too big or small, Popp said, and he has videos to guide people with a range of money to spend at the casinos.
“Gambling should be used for fun and entertainment and not to make a living off of,” he said. Ultimately, he said, he is trying to promote responsible gambling and make sure people leave the casino with money. His website offers resources for those struggling with problem gambling as well as tips on how not to spend winnings.
Popp’s co-host, Marc Bollinger, has worked with slot machines for years, giving the two of them more than 20 years of combined experience working with the devices. They both have worked on the internal side, which includes programming, allowing them to access aspects of the machines that the public is not allowed to see.
“One of the biggest things we try to stress is that every machine is created different,” Popp said.
He said the machines are programmed differently, so if people are losing money, it may be because of the type of machine they are playing. He tries to educate people to play lower volatile games and how to identify them by looking at the pay table. He suggests that if you are going to put money in a machine, you want to understand it.
Aside from the YouTube channel, Popp has a line of products shipped directly from Kemmerer to various parts of the world. Cowboy Slots has reached international status with viewers in Australia, South Africa and Europe all now sporting the brand’s apparel. One of his biggest sellers is poker chips.
Although the apparel is the only part of the business that is not local, due to demand, Popp is working on ideas to produce his clothing in Kemmerer. He said he has a goal to keep everything as local as possible.
Popp mused that he is often recognized in larger areas, but people may not realize he operates from a small town in Wyoming.
“When we go to a major city like Vegas, and get recognized and asked for autographs, it is a reminder that we have a huge audience and yet we operate from a small town,” Popp said.
As Cowboy Slots has now launched its social media network for gamblers, it continues to gain attention of slot manufacturers. The team has also been invited to casinos around the world to speak and to partner locally with Shoshone Rose Casino in Lander.
Popp predicts Wyoming will see a growth in gaming as there are changes happening with state legislative gaming laws.
“We have amazing casinos right here in Wyoming,” he said, adding that there is great gaming in Wyoming and no need for people to travel out of the state to gamble.
Cowboy Slots also offers weekly live question-and-answer streams, which are broadcast directly from Kemmerer on Sundays and Wednesdays. Popp said Cowboy Slots has received positive feedback and thousands of comments from people about success stories from winnings at the casinos because of the education they received from the channel.