October 31, 2006

Proving Misery Loves Company

Whats a poor online gambling site to do with the loss of so much US revenue? Why merger of course!

Two of the biggest victims of laws banning internet gambling in the United States were today said to be in talks regarding a £ 1.6bn merger.

Party Poker owner PartyGaming and 888 Holdings have reportedly held preliminary discussions about combining their pool of online players, which has been drastically reduced by the removal of the American market.

Shares in PartyGaming have slumped 70% and 888 Holdings by 24% in the weeks since a ban on American gaming was announced. PartyGaming, which until recently was listed in the FTSE 100 Index, generated around 75% of its annual revenues from the United States, while 888 had half its business in the country.

Experts are braced for a round of consolidation in the sector, particularly from big players looking at rivals with a strong European or Asian presence.

More at This is Money

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October 31, 2006

Peer to Peer hitting Casinos?

From Casinos.ch

A new wave of interactive gaming devices allowing casino patrons to play poker anywhere on a casino's licensed property is on the way path to implementation, Progressive Gaming International Corporation [PGIC], a leading provider of technology and services to the brick-and-mortar gaming sector, has teamed up with Harrah's Licensing LLC, an affiliate of Harrah's Entertainment Inc., to develop and market the World Series of Poker 'Peer to Peer' Texas Hold'em gaming system.

The new peer-to-peer system is designed to allow poker players to compete on a wired or
wireless device, within the casino grounds, connecting to a secure Intranet server that
controls and coordinates the action. Whether or not the system is designed to be all-

or will work in conjunction with a physically present, PokerTek-styled electronic table
is unclear; both options are possible applications of the technology. The PGIC release
notes that 'players will be able to play within the casino property at a bar,
restaurant, and even poolside.' The idea is to create new gambling revenue from 'unused
gaming space,' and to do so without displacing other revenue streams, such as slots or

The system is also designed to be marketed to casino properties lacking the space to
implement a physical poker room in other ways, and the announcement cites a 'potential
global marketplace of other 5,000 legalized gaming venues.' The new system is also
planned for submission to various jurisdictional overseers, such as Gaming Laboratories

PGIC will showcase the new peer-to-peer World Series of Poker game system at this
November's Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas. Pending regulatory approval, the
system will then be rolled it in 2007 and beyond, first at Harrah's casinos and later at
other, non-Harrah's properties.

Sounds like some interesting new technology to hit the gaming floor! We're excited to see what kinds of new and interesting games the casinos can think up using this technology.

Russell Miner Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 30, 2006

Halloween in Vegas

Monster Meyhem Clown.jpg

So you find yourself without an invite to a halloween party this year? Not to worry. There are plenty of scares to be had all around Vegas on this spooky night! And if you see any elvis costumes, sexy costumes, or people on stilts, don't worry, they're probably just folks heading to work.

Monster Meyhem -- intersection of s. Las Vegas
BLVD and the 215 fwy, right across from Fry's electronics.

FRIGHTeNING STRIKES as Monster Mayhem returns to Las Vegas, bringing a new level of HORROR AND SHOCK, the likes of which has never, ever been seen in Southern Nevada. SEVEN COMPLETE HAUNTED HOUSES, an eerie above ground grave yard where disturbing VooDoo spirits and FIENDISH GHOULS wander amongst the crypts, fog filled pathways and creepy catacombs lined with CREATURES AND WORSE waiting for you around every corner, and much, much more…FIGHT OFF THE PANIC and don't look back, because you don't even want to know the TERROR that's behind you!

The Fright Dome -- Circus Circus
This is what happens when evil overtakes the circus. We thought the circus was scary enough already.

5 Haunted Houses including the all new Zombie Mansion
3 Haunted Ride Films
Freak Shows
20 Rides and Attractions
4 extreme scare zones

Saints and Sinners Ball at Jet -- Mirage
This is the big costume party, and ball. Its put on by Stuff magazine (hotties anyone?) and it has a top prize of 20,000 for the best costume.

Ghouls Gone Wild -- Harrah's Carnival Court

Over 10,000 in prizes for creative costumes and "sexy lady costumes". Sponsored by Bacardi, plenty of music, and the crafty bartenders will be showing their stuff while you show yours. Sounds like a wild party for sure.

If none of those sound good, The LA Review Journal's Page of Halloween events is simply chock FULL of things to do on Halloween night, so you have no excuse to sit at home. Get on our there and have a blast!

Russell Miner Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 29, 2006

Old Blue Eyes


One of the things we like to cover here at the Casino Snob, are the things that have that Casino Style. These may be anything from clothing and accessories, to movies and music that give that Casino feel. One of the major pieces of how casinos get that feel has got to be music. There is deffinitely music out there that always reminds us of the class and style of the Casino. And none could be more identifiable than the big band sounds and magical voice of Frank Sinatra.

When we pop in some sinatra with a big swing beat, we find ourselves magically uplifted. We feel like the coolest folks in town, and beleive us, its a great feeling. Below you will find a selection of Frank Sinatra Albums that you can pick up to bring that casino style into wherever you are.

The Very Best of Frank Sinatra -- The pic above is the album cover, and this is album is just what it says, the very best. This album has twenty tracks, and its filled with the softer gentler Sinatra. Its deffinitely worth having in your collection.

Classic Sinatra
Classic Sinatra -- This was our first Sinatra album. Its an excellent collection, but we do miss "Luck Be a Lady Tonight", which is easily our favorite Vegas Sinatra tune. This album has a nice range of his songs from swingers to ballads, and for us, its the epitomy of his talent.

Sinatra Vegas Box Set

Sinatra:Vegas Box Set
-- This is the grand-daddy of them all. All the Sinatra you could ask for, in one box set. Its his best hits all performed live at acts in Las Vegas, and it gets us in that casino feel every time.

So there you have it, a simple selection of Sinatra. We reccommend you get a disc, and pop it in your car, or maybe burn some MP3s and stroll around the Bellagio with Old Blue Eyes crooning in your ear. You will feel that Vegas cool penetrate you, and we promise, it will raise your spirits every time.

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October 27, 2006

Strictly Slots: Controlling your Cash

We were browsing the net recently trying to find more interesting nuggets to bring to you all, when we found a magazine called Strictly Slots. Its a player magazine made for those gamers who are into slots more than other kinds of gaming. If you are the magazine type, we encourage you to pick up a subscription. If however, its the web you crave, then happily they have their archives online, so you can read some of their articles.

One we came across was from the May '06 issue called "Controlling Your Cash Chill Out, It’s Only A Game
Casino visit should be a relaxing experience by Bill Burton
". The title is a mouthful, but the article good stuff, and it outlines a few ways that you can learn to keep an eye on your money and not blow it all in your first ten minutes at the slots. We really felt that the article was in synch with our own take on slot gaming. Namely that its a form of enjoyment, and you should never rush a thing like that.

Here's a snip:

Don’t play more than one machine at a time: Playing more than one machine just exposes you more to the house edge. In the long run you will just lose your money faster. Playing two machines involves standing or leaning out of your chair to reach over to the adjacent machine. Like the lady caught up in the slot frenzy, this is not very relaxing. Sit down in the chair in front of your machine and relax.

Head on over to the Stricly Slots archive,
and read the whole thing for more tips on how to take it easy at the slots. And while you're there, you can fix yourself a Beer and enjoy the article as much as the slots!

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October 26, 2006

Coolest...Casino...Heist... Ever

So we found this awesome tale of a complex robber gone wrong on gambling planet.org:

The indictment and an FBI search warrant affidavit outline each step of the caper as follows: Alisic made fake manhole covers so they would be lighter and easier to lift, and then switched them with two others the day before the robbery. The men placed ladders and ropes in the manholes and parked an all-terrain vehicle in the sewer system so they could race the money from one manhole to the other.

Holes were cut in the floorboards of two vans for access to the manhole covers, a trick Steve McQueen pulled in 1972's "The Getaway."

The men's gear included blue coveralls, gas masks, pepper spray, bear attack deterrent, smoke grenades, cell phones, two-way radios, a 9-millimeter handgun and a plastic pellet gun.

On the night of the attempted robbery, Bakir Mujkic and Daniel Mujkic parked a white van across the street from the casino and then got into a Lexus to watch the robbery.

After ramming their green van into an armored car, Kabaklic and Alisic jumped out and sprayed one of the guards with pepper spray. The two grabbed bags of money and fled to the first manhole cover. They set off a smoke grenade, but couldn't raise the manhole cover.

So, the group fled. Scottsdale police nabbed Kabaklic as he tried to get away with a bag of money. The others were tracked down and arrested later.

Let this be a lesson for you would-be criminals. Keep It Simple Stupid! All the planning in the world means your capers have that much more chance to go wrong!

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Macau now the top gambling destination?

According to the Casino City Times and news channel Asia, it looks like we need to scedule a trip to China soon.

As reported by the Channel News Asia: "Macau has become the world's top gambling destination, analysts said Wednesday, after the latest earnings figures from the southern Chinese territory showed it had probably topped Las Vegas.

"The upbeat estimate was made after the tiny city posted figures early in the week showing casino revenue in September had soared 37 percent year-on-year to 576 million dollars.

"By the estimates of leading Vegas-based leisure industry consultancy Globalysis, Macau is just ahead of the cluster of casinos on Nevada's most famous boulevard.

"…Gambling earnings have boomed in Macau since 2001 when the government ended tycoon Stanley Ho's 40-year monopoly on casinos in the city and allowed foreign operators to move in.

"The result has been a sudden rush of up to 25 billion dollars of mostly American cash into the once-moribund century-old local industry.

"Growth has been fuelled by a similarly explosive rise in tourism from China, following the relaxation of travel restrictions from the mainland in the wake of the former Portuguese enclave's reversion to Chinese rule in 1999…"

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October 24, 2006

Blogpire Podcast - Liquor Snob - All The News that's Fit to Drink 10.24.06

Blogpire 144 Our special guest Jake Jamieson from Liquorsnob.com teaches us about Tequila, and we taste test P.I.N.K. caffeinated Vodka. And of course, we have the latest news and views from around the 'pire. We also answer your questions from the past couple of weeks so keep sending them in to podcast at blogpire dot com.

[iTunes]Subscribe to the Podcast directly in iTunes (MP3).
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With Hosts: Russell Miner and Jay Brewer and guest Jake Jamieson

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Voters Get the Chance to Cut Through the Smoke In Nevada...A Little


Voters in Nevada this coming election will get the chance to help reduce the smoking in casino venues.
Sadly, gaming floors are staying smoke-able. Most of us here at Casnio Snob are non-smokers, and we are all hoping secretly that our favorite gaming establishments will begin to adopt more non-smoking policies. Nothing takes the buzz of your awesome night of gaming like that headache that sneaks in from too much lingering smoke.

Neither of two competing measures on next month's ballot to restrict smoking in Nevada dares to prohibit smoking in casinos.

The gaming-floor exemption to both smoking ban proposals reflects Nevada's libertarian attitude toward compulsive behavior and the understanding that smoking, drinking and gambling go hand in hand.

Preventing gamblers from smoking, the assumption goes, would be bad for business, and therefore bad for the state.

Some gaming insiders are quietly worried that in the next decade, a wave of public opinion may be calling for a total ban on casino smoking.

But evidence suggests that Nevada could acclimate to nonsmoking casinos and that the gaming industry could actually benefit by it over the long haul - while sparing casino employees the health risks of working around smokers.

Question 5 on next month's ballot, supported by the Nevada State Medical Association, the American Cancer Society and other health groups, would ban smoking in most venues save for the gaming floors of casinos. The initiative exempts bars that don't serve meals, although most bars in Nevada - partly to comply with a law allowing slot machines in bars only if gaming is "incidental" to the business - also prepare food.

Question 4, backed by gaming interests as a response to Question 5, would ban smoking in retail stores, galleries, libraries, museums and similar places that already tend to be nonsmoking, while allowing bars as well as grocery stores and convenience stores with slots to continue to accommodate smokers in those gambling alcoves.

If both petitions get more than half of the vote, the petition with the most votes would win.

Read the whole article over at the Casino City Times

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October 22, 2006

Jack Says: Dont Wear Sunglasses in a Nightclub

We have talked before about Jack Colton, the king of Vegas Club Cool. He has taken it upon himself to try to educate the masses in how to do things right, and how not to do things wrong on the Vegas scene. Today we bring to you some advice he has about sunglasses in night clubs. The skinny is don't do it, and here's what Jack says:

Wearing them in the club says to people:

1) You are trying waaaay too hard to look cool / fashionable.

2) You are rolling on E.

3) You fail to have any imagination when it comes to looking good in public, and will follow even the stupidest of fashion trends just because your friends are doing it - inspite of the fact that you can't even see the person standing in front of you.

4) You are hiding the fact that you recently contracted pink eye, and only the darkest shades will do

5) You see everyone looking at you, but because of the fact that you are stupidly wearing tinted sunglasses in a dark place, you cant see that they are actually also elbowing their friends and laughing at you.

6) You are cheating on your significant other, and are trying not to be recognized in public.

7) You think that just because you spent $500 on "Magic Celebrity Glasses," which cost more than your entire wardrobe, that you are supposed to wear them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Much like an 8-year old with a Batman cape that insists on wearing it to school, to the dinner table, and then to bed.

8) You fail to realize how many people are holding back from ripping your glasses off of your face, stepping on them, and splashing a shot of vodka in your eyes in hopes of teaching you a stern lesson.

9) You are from the East Coast, and are one of the few who have not yet realized that you don't have to mimick everything that someone says in a rap song.

10) Or simply....You are stupid and just forgot to take them off.

Sage advice. Head over to Jack Colton.com for even more.

Russell Miner Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 21, 2006

All About Caribbean Stud Poker

Caribbean Stud Poker.jpg
Its that time again folks! Time for another "All About" entry. This time we are taking a look at one of the most fun ways to pass time in the casino, Caribbean Stud Poker. This game is based on simple stud poker, but it has a nice tempo to it, that same relaxed tempo you find in the Caribbean.

If you enjoy that relaxed and pleasant lifestyle, that easy-going pace, or if you just like learning about a new table game, stop on in and learn All About Caribbean Stud Poker.

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October 19, 2006

World Tavern Poker


So lets say your into the whole poker scene, and you want to try your hand at playing in a big tournament, but you can't seem to get yourself to a venue where gambling is legal. No Problem. We have come across the perfect solution for you, World Tavern Poker. Its all the fun, excitement, and competition of poker, but in your local Tavern, and without that pesky gambling.

The World Tavern Poker Tour is a Nationwide Poker League where you will be competing during the season in Tournament Style Poker Events at your local tavern. The top 20 players in each tournament receive points, and are ranked at the Tavern, Regional and National Levels.

At the end of the season, the top players at each tavern qualify for the Tavern Championship, and the top players from each Tavern Championship qualify for the City (area) Championship.

Read on to find out more about this amazing new craze in bar-room entertainment!

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October 17, 2006

Kevin Costner In Dispute Over Casino

Dances With Courts
While trolling the back-news for interesting stories we discovered that Kvin Costner is in a dispute with a couple of soon-to-be-ex-partners over ownership in a South Dakota Casino. We had no idea he even owned one! Now we want to travel out there to see what this place is all about!

Kevin Costner is asking the South Dakota Supreme Court to help him cut ties with two business partners in a Deadwood casino Costner owns.

The star is asking the court to send the case back to a judge for a final decision so he can become the sole owner of the Midnight Star, an eating and gambling establishment where costumes Costner wore in various movies line the walls.

Costner filmed much of 'Dances With Wolves,' which won the Academy Award for best picture in 1990, on South Dakota's plains and in the Black Hills, where Deadwood is located.

The actor owns 93.5% of the casino and hired Francis and Carla Caneva to manage the operation and gave them each 6.5% ownership.

Costner fired the couple in July 2004 and asked them to part ways as partners, as well. When they declined, he chose to dissolve the partnership.

In order to formally sever ties, the casino's fair market value had to be determined, which has been the subject of much dispute.

Costner's accountant put the value of the casino at $3.1 million, while the Canevas got another Deadwood casino owner to testify he would pay twice that amount, or $6.2 million.

A judge agreed with that amount and ordered Costner to buy the business for $6.2 million or sell it on the open market.

Costner appealed the decision, arguing that the value of the casino wasn't derived from a hypothetical buyer and seller, as is required by the Internal Revenue Service, and that the value was set without viewing any financial documents.

-- from Gambling Planet
Kevin Costner Image from IMDB

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October 16, 2006

Safe Bet?


VegasPoker 274 (which appears to be nowhere near Vegas) issued a statement on Friday indicating that they intend to continue to service US players.

VegasPoker247 is pleased to announce that it's business as usual. VegasPoker247 issued the following statement today via Poker Room Manager Nick Powers:

"VegasPoker247 is pleased to assure poker players around the world that they will continue to be welcome to play on our site. VegasPoker247 is completely confident that we will be able to continue offering our US customers the very best, safest and most secure online poker experience available on the internet, including the fastest deposit and payout solutions. All new and existing VegasPoker247.com customers should feel 100% confident when playing at our tables.

"VegasPoker247 wants to remind its customers that the Safe Ports Act passed by the US Congress on September 30th neither prohibits nor makes it illegal for any US customer to transact with VegsPoker247.com. Because of this, we see no reason why our relationship with US players should change. VegasPoker247 continues to run as always. We look forward to serving our current customers and to welcoming any new players who want to play at our site.

"All player's funds are completely secure and we are exploring every available depositing options with our existing payment processors. We believe they will remain unaffected by this law and will continue to operate without interference. The US Congress has no control over the international banking systems that many of our payment providers operate within.

"We will continue to update our customers as the situation develops. In the meantime we encourage our customers to continue to enjoy their experiences at VegasPoker247. We want our customers to know that our exclusive promotions will run as promised. We look forward to serving our customers and look forward to continued growth in the coming years."

-- From the Casino City Times

It is deffinitely interesting watching as various parties decide wether or not they will still cater to US patrons. I don't know if we are ready to put our money back in just yet. We feel that the place still needs to shake down for a month or two.

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Political Contributions

As the election season hits its final weeks, things are heating up. There are referndum all over the country looking at changes in casino laws or in building casinos in the first place.

In addition, as this Casino City Times post shows, where a candidate gets their money from can be just as big an issue as their platoform.

As reported by the Houston Chronicle: "Candidates for Texas governor have received more than $2 million from gambling interests, including the Chickasaw Nation, which has reason to keep Texas Hold 'Em to itself across the Red River in Oklahoma.

"The Chickasaws own Winstar Casino, a facility in Oklahoma just north of the Dallas-Fort Worth area that is drawing Metroplex gamblers away from casinos in Shreveport, La. The tribe gave Gov. Rick Perry a $40,000 donation, according to campaign finance reports released this week.

"That donation and others put a new focus on the gambling industry's battle to influence state races. Some want to bring casino gambling to the Lone Star State, while others hope to keep Texas gamblers crossing state lines.

"…Through Sept. 28, people or groups with an interest in gambling enterprises have given more than $2 million to candidates in the governor's race…"

Russell Miner Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 13, 2006

Casino Cocktail Friday -- Beer n Slots

mmm beer

Sometimes you have class. Sometimes you have style. Sometmies you are the pinnacle of the casino scene. Other times, you just drink beer and play slots. Well for all of you (and many of us) we proudly present today's Casino Cocktail Friday. We will take a look at all you need to know about playing slots, and drinking beers, and even playing slots WHILE drinking beers.

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October 12, 2006

PokerStars Punches Back

poker stars table

This article from News.com says it all:

PokerStars, the world's second-biggest Internet poker firm, said on Thursday that a looming U.S. ban on online gaming would not apply to poker, as it is a game of skill, and its business would continue as usual.


The bill defines gambling as the act of staking something of value on "a sporting event or a game subject to chance" and is expected to be signed into law by President George W. Bush on Friday.

"These provisions do not alter the U.S. legal situation with respect to online poker," privately-owned PokerStars said in a statement.

"Our business continues as before, open to players worldwide including the U.S.," it added. "You may play on our site as you did prior to the act."

The stance contrasts with that taken by rival PartyGaming the owner of the biggest online poker site PartyPoker, which last week said the act made it "practically impossible" to provide poker for money to U.S. players.

PokerStars said: "It is important to emphasize that the act does not in any way prohibit you from playing online poker. PokerStars believes that poker is a game of skill."

Its a bold move, and we KNOW it will end in one giant messy litigation. But in the meantime, will any financial firms do business with the site? And until that litigation materializes, will PokerStars use the time to become an even bigger powerhouse than it already is?

So... much...to watch...

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So Was it All Just Hot Air?

More on the whole Internet Gambling Act from one of our favorite news sites, the Casino City Times

The Senate bill approved in Congress last weekend restricting Internet gambling had some local poker players cashing out their online accounts, calling their attorneys and blabbing less about their online play.

In Las Vegas, home to poker pros and businesses that cater to the offshore operators of Web casinos, players had grown complacent with their view that poker is a game of skill that isn't subject to U.S. gambling laws that address games of luck. Others say online poker is legal - or that if it isn't explicitly legal, it's not made illegal under the federal Wire Act, which was a law designed to outlaw Mafia-run sports betting telephone operations that predate the Internet.

Both the complacency and the overreaction that followed have been off the mark.

For Internet poker to truly become legit in the United States and evolve from an offshore enterprise to a business that U.S. gaming companies can participate in, casinos need to mount a legal challenge to the Wire Act or pass legislation in Congress to legalize Internet gambling. The odds are better on the former, though some shift in power away from religious conservatives who have dominated the Internet gambling debate could help legislative efforts.

The bill, like the Wire Act, doesn't criminalize players for gambling online. It applies criminal and civil penalties to institutions such as banks, credit card companies and online cash deposit services that process the bets. It also allows state and federal regulators to shut down Web casinos and halt methods of linking to those sites, including Internet ads and portals.

It's uncertain how actively regulators will pursue such efforts or whether foreign companies will bow to U.S. law enforcement.

The risk for bettors is that their favorite gambling site and payment processor might get spooked by the rules and block access. While there are repercussions for publicly traded companies abroad that don't return players' money, smaller, little-regulated sites could theoretically take the money and run.

Players can rest easy with the feds. The FBI has not shown any desire to arrest gamblers in their homes, nor would the Justice Department have the time or resources to pursue that course of action. The same holds true in Nevada, one of few states that prohibit players and operators from engaging in online gambling. State regulators haven't licensed Internet operators so as not to run afoul of the feds. Busting people who gamble on offshore sites, they say, is outside the state's jurisdiction and a federal concern.

Reading this, makes two things clear. First, the average online player seems to be in the clear with respect to playing on sites that are run offshore, though the risk to a sudden loss of assets will always remain. Second, it seems like the whole thing was just alot of political maneuvering in an election year.

We will certainly still remain cautious, and would advise our readers to do the same, but maybe this bill was more bark then bite.

-- Update: 10/12/06
With Online Accounts like Firepay closing their doors to online gambling payments, maybe the bite *is* sharp!

Russell Miner Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Deffinitely Time to Cash Out


Since this whole Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (or UGEA), many folks have been waiting to see what exactly the fallout would be. Some wondered if the methods they already used, like using a third party intermediary to handle the financial transactions, would still hold up.

Well, we have received a notice from one of our Firepay Accounts, that Firepay would be complying with this new law. Firepay is one of the more popular third party payment options, and this deffinitely tells us that anyone out there with money in any online casino accounts, should evacuate while the evacuating is good.

On September 30, 2006, the United States Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006.

Once President Bush approves the Act. FirePay (www. firepay.com) will no longer allow US consumer payments for online gambling merchants.

* Beginning the day President Bush signs the Act, FirePay will decline any purchase transactions from US FirePay account holders at any gambling merchant site.
* Ten days after President Bush signs the Act, FirePay will decline any transfer attempt made by any online gambling merchant to a US FirePay account.

All US FirePay accounts holders will continue to be able to make purchases and receive payments from non-gambling, online merchants, as well as "Deposit From" and "Withdraw To" their US bank account.

Click here for the latest news and opportunities for FirePay account holders..

** Please note:

1. This new policy will not affect FirePay account holders from outside of the United States
2. For any questions regarding these deadlines or policy, please email info@firepay.com


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October 11, 2006

Betting On the Bank

Gamign And Casino Fund

As we were trolling the stories on the Casino City Times, we came across a mention of a mutual fund called the Gaming and Casino Fund. Apparantly its a fund that invests in only gaming and casino related stocks. To our knowledge, it is the first fund to solely invest in gaming and casino related companies. We were fascinated by the concept, and we dug deeper to find out more.

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October 9, 2006

BlogPire Podcast - Autumnal Festival Episode - Fun Fall Products 10.09.06

Blogpire 144We feature all the things you need to get your Fall spirit rolling. Recipes and products from TheCookingNews.com and KitchenContraptions.com. Hear about all the latest natural products at ReallyNatural.com, and find out why we're excited about the Magic the Gathering card game expansion.

[iTunes]Subscribe to the Podcast directly in iTunes (MP3).
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With Hosts: Russell Miner and Jay Brewer

Program details after the jump...

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Bringing Down The House


One of the things we always get asked by readers is what we think about certain books. There are literally thousands of casino-related books out there that cover the gamut from strategies, systems, and rules to real-life stories and just plain fiction.

In order to help spread the word about the books we have taken a look at, we are starting up a new category here at Casino Snob, which is the Casino Snob Book Club. We will take a look at any kinds of books that have anything to do with casinos, be they real or fictional, and give you our observations and opinions.

And what book kicks off this new category? Why none other than one of the most famous casino books ever written: Bringing Down the House.

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October 8, 2006

How To Be a Sore Loser

Casino City Times had this priceless news bit:

As reported by the Miami Herald: "After dropping some cash at the Miccosukee Resort & Gaming hall in West Miami-Dade Thursday night, an unlucky gambler got into his pickup truck and crashed it into the casino's glass doors.

"Several witnesses said the man appeared angry as he left the casino, claiming he'd lost $10,000.

"The man, who Miccosukee police did not identify, had been in the casino at 500 SW 177th Ave. since at least 10 a.m. playing machines, according to witnesses. He left the building about 8 p.m., headed into the free parking lot and got into his newly purchased Ford F-150. Witnesses said he flashed his headlights -- and then charged the building, hitting it between the arcade and the day care center…"

Yeah, we guess we'd be angry if we lost ten thousand dollars too, but now he's going to have to pay court fees, damages, and probably spend some time in jail. Oh yeah, and good luck getting off that blacklist.

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October 7, 2006

The Battle of Connecticut: Part 1 - The Tale of the Tape

For those folks living in the north east, there are few options for getting in some casino gaming. One basically has to choose between two Connecticut casinos: Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun. But the question persists, which one to go to? Where should we spend our valuable free time? Which casino will give us more of what we want?

Fear not readers! We here at Casino Snob have placed these two casinos head to head, in a series we are calling "The Battle of Connecticut". We will take an in-depth look at both Mohegan Sun, and Foxwoods, and we will find out what each's strengths and weaknesses are. And through our exploration, we will provide you with all you need to decide where to visit on your next Connecticut Trip!

Read on for Part 1 - The Tale of the Tape

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October 6, 2006

Casino Cocktail Friday -- Let It Ride With Tequila


Its Friday yet again, and the time has come to raise a toast to a combination of game and garnish, the casino cocktail.

This week we are daring you to Let It Ride with a tequila in your hand. You can take it as a margarita, a tequila sunrise, or you can ask for some top-shelf to sip on, but either way you are pushing your luck each time you take a quaff. Before long, you know that tequila will let out the wild side in you, and what better game to play as you test the boundaries of good fortune then Let It Ride.

Let It Ride is a game that looks a bit like poker, but its just you and the cards in this game. Each bet you are asked wether you should "let it ride" or pull back your bet like some kind of coward. Starting to sound like everytime you have a certain drink? Our point exactly. Read on to learn more about Let It Ride, and some delicious Tequila.

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October 5, 2006

We're not the Only Ones Sayin It

Well, we said that Online gambling was really not going anywhere, that the money would just move underground. And it looks like we're not the only ones saying it.

Casino News had this to say on the issue:

It's a good bet that online gamblers will still be able to play Texas Hold 'Em or wager on the Carolina Panthers even if Congress succeeds in curtailing how players pay foreign Web casinos, gaming experts said Monday.

"They will figure out new ways to send money back and forth," said Kenneth Weitzner, who runs the online gambling news Web site eog.com. "They have always been one step ahead of the law. ... This is unenforceable. It's mostly a feel-good bill."

The Casino News also had a story about how MSNBC was holding a poll about wether Online gambling should be illegal or not. You can see that article, vote yourself, and see the results here. When we looked, with about 3500 responses, it was 93% saying it should be legal, and 4% saying illegal. Shocking.

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October 4, 2006

Harrah's Offered Large Buyout


Gambling Planet had this bit of news. It seems that Harrah's, the World's largest casino operator has received a fifteen BILLION dollar buy out offer from someone called Apollo Management and Texas Pacific Group.

Yes.. thats billion with a B. Its amazing how much like other megacorporations, Harrah's has built itself up by gobbling up the smaller outfits, until it now is so vast, it seems to be worth more than most countries.

The proposed deal, valued at $81 cash per share -- a 22% premium to Harrah's closing price on Friday -- would rank as one of the largest private equity buyouts on record.

The offer comes just as Harrah's puts the finishing touches on its plans to beef up its presence on the Las Vegas Strip, by acquiring Boyd Gaming Corp.'s Barbary Coast Hotel and Casino. After buying Caesars Entertainment last year, Harrah's now controls some 350 acres of prime strip property.

Harrah's shares rose 16.6 percent to $77.50 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
The proposed deal is the latest sign of aggressive private equity investors jumping on attractive targets.

This July, an investor group including Bain Capital, Kohlberg, Kravis Roberts and Merrill Lynch struck a deal to buy Hospital operator HCA Inc. for about $21 billion plus debt.

Harrah's gave no indication that it would agree to a buyout deal. "The Special Committee has not determined that a transaction is in the best interests of Harrah's and its stockholders," it said in a statement.

It will be interesting to see if this deal goes through.

Heres how some others are reacting.

It would also be interesting to see how one would deilver 15 billion dollars....an aricraft carrier filled with fiftys perhaps?

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More on the Reprecussions of the US ban on Online Gambling

Its been a couple of days now since the bomb was dropped on US online gambling. There are all sorts of stories floating about that indicate that the whole online gambling industry is reeling. One of the most telling bits we found was this from Gambling Planet

Internet gambling companies face a wave of consolidation in the wake of the US clampdown on online gaming, which could see American casinos and gambling businesses swooping for bargains in the sector, the heads of two of the biggest online gambling sites said on Monday.

Mitch Garber, chief executive of PartyGaming, and Gigi Levy, who takes over as chief of 888 Holdings this year, made their predictions as the sector felt the impact of the bill passed in the Senate on Friday making it illegal for banks and credit card companies to process online gaming payments from the US.

Investors wiped $7bn off the market value of what at the start of trading was an industry worth $12bn, as heavyweight internet gambling companies said they would suspend indefinitely their US operations.

Now thats a massive chunk of revenue gone. We have to believe that this money will not just vanish, but rather it will go underground. There will be a much seedier and less trustworthy structure that will fill in the vacuum left behind by these big pullouts.

As you can see in this NYTimes peice, the reason all of these mergers and acquisitions are possible, is because that law sent stocks falling and falling and falling for any companies involved with online gambling.

In addition MSNBC even has a story that indicated that there may be loopholes that render the act innefective in the end anyway!

Unlike the version that passed the House earlier this year, the approved legislation does not explicitly outlaw betting on online casino-style games, such as poker and blackjack. The bill does bar financial institutions from accepting "illegal" bets, leaving the question unanswered as to whether some forms of online gambling are permitted. To date, sports betting is one of the only forms of gambling explicitly outlawed in the act.

What a mess!

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October 2, 2006

No More Online Gambling in the US?


Well, it looks like the nuclear option has hit. Online gambling will no longer be legal in the US. It is a sad day for gaming Americans. This new law, "the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006", will have sever impacts on the gaming companies here in the US, and abroad, as all that revenue will either vanish, or go underground.

First off, it all went down under the guise of ammendments to a port security bill, and of course it happens just as congress is heading home for final campaigning for the mid terms. Slimy.

Yahoo News Had this report today:

Online gambling firms faced their biggest-ever crisis on Monday after U.S. Congress passed legislation to end Internet gaming there, threatening jobs and wiping 3.5 billion pounds ($6.5 billion) off company values.

Britain's PartyGaming Plc, operator of leading Internet poker site PartyPoker.com, and rivals Sportingbet and 888 Plc said they would likely pull out of the United States, their biggest source of revenue.

"This development is a significant setback for our company, our shareholders, our players and our industry," PartyGaming Chief Executive Mitch Garber said.

The House of Representatives and Senate unexpectedly approved a bill early on Saturday that would make it illegal for banks and credit-card companies to make payments to online gambling sites.

Read on for more from around the News Wires.

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September Wrap Up

Another busy month here at the Casino Snob, and the time has come to do the September Wrap Up, so warm up some apple cider, and in this early October, let's remenice about the September just past.

On the gaming scene, the first thing we did is take an in depth look at BlackJack with another in our "all about" series. We covered the basics of the game, as well as a few products that we though could enhance your black jack experience.

We also took a look at some sweet products for your home casino with the high quality Kem Cards and your very own slot machine.

In addition, we reported on our happy experiences with the Winning Bid slot machine we found at Mohegan Sun.

In the Casino Style section, as always, we had a slew of Casino Cocktail Fridays covering such lovelies as The Gimlet, the Cosmopolitan, the Ace of Spades, Dumpster Juice, and the Campari and Soda.

We also pointed out the one hundred percent pure style of Jack Colton.

Finally on the news front, we pointed out many interesting stories. Among our favorites were the Roulette Device, the electronic poker table, and the money train.

We hope you found those treats interesting, and we'll do our best not to trick you as we enter October, and the heart of Fall.

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October 1, 2006

Playboy Club Opens at the Palms in Vegas


Well, now we know where we should be on October 6th, at the Palms resort and casino in Las Vegas. And thats because Playboy Enterprises is opening its first new Playboy Club in over twenty years.

We weren't around to enjoy the clubs of yesteryear, but the lifestyle and attitude of the Playboy Club fit right in with the kind of scene that Vegas is today. Classy and fun.

Located at the top of The Palms new Fantasy Tower, this modern interpretation of the iconic Playboy Club is a must-visit entertainment destination for visitors in Las Vegas. The Playboy brand, which for years has been synonymous around the world with the "good life," brings a new level of excitement to the Playboy Club which is connected via glass enclosed escalators to the N9NE Group's new restaurant concept, Nove Italiano, and Moon nightclub which pays homage to Playboy with a giant Rabbit Head as the centerpiece of the dance floor.

In a scene that merges the past with the present, The Playboy Club introduces a complete integration of lounging and gaming, which has never been attempted before in Las Vegas. Custom design elements from the bunny buttons on the sofas to the collage wallpaper featuring every centerfold from the last 25 years reflect the image of the Playboy logo and capture the Playboy lifestyle.

Sixty plasma screens display visual riches from the archives of Playboy Enterprises, Inc., while dozens of Playboy Bunnies don signature Bunny Costumes as well as a modern version designed by Roberto Cavalli.

Read on at the Casino City Times

The Palms Las Vegas

Playboy Club

Russell Miner Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
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