July 26, 2007

Second Life Shuts Down Gambling

We had a feeling it was coming.

From The Inquirer:


LINDEN LAB, hallowed creator of the Second Life virtual world, has announced that all in-world casinos and miscellaneous gambling joints are herewith to be shut down.

That means that the large chunk of users that enjoyed using in-world casinos and betting Linden Dollars on events both inside and outside the game world will now have nothing left to do.

Perhaps more to the point for Linden, the move will cut off the revenues earned from those owning Casino-style islands in the game, the owners of which are some of the top contributors to the Linden coffers through currency fees and land rental.

You can also read Linden Lab's own blog post. Here is a snip of the official policy change:


Policy

It is a violation of this policy to wager in games in the Second Life (R) environment operated on Linden Lab servers if such games:

(1) (a) rely on chance or random number generation to determine a winner, OR (b) rely on the outcome of real-life organized sporting events,

AND

(2) provide a payout in

(a) Linden Dollars, OR

(b) any real-world currency or thing of value.

This includes (but is not limited to), for example, Casino Games such as:

o Baccarat
o Blackjack
o Craps
o Faro
o Keno
o Pachinko
o Pai Gow
o Poker
o Roulette
o Sic Bo
o Slot machines

It also includes Sports Books or Sports Betting, including the placing of bets on actual sporting events against a book-maker or through a betting exchange.
Linden Lab will actively enforce this policy. If we discover gambling activities that violate the policy, we will remove all related objects from the inworld environment, may suspend or terminate the accounts of residents involved without refund or payment, and may report any relevant details, including user information, to authorities and financial institutions.

It is a sad, sad day for online gaming, and onling gaming.


Russell Miner Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 25, 2007

Move to DeRegulate Online Gambling Growing

The Gambling Planet has some great news this morning, as we hear that the struggle to de-regulate Internet Gambling is gaining a little momentum. Here's the snippet:

July has been a good month for Congressman Barney Frank, Chairman of the influential House Financial Services Committee and author of Bill HR 2046 the Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act which proposes the regulation and taxation of Internet gambling in the United States instead of banning the pastime.

Five more Congressman have signed on to the Bill as sponsors, including Representatives Anthony D. Weiner (D-N.Y.) and Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.) who attached their support to the bill July 10, and Representatives Steven R. Rothman (D-N.J.), Michael M. Honda (D-Calif.) and Albert Russell Wynn (D-Md.) who signed up late last week.

The addition of the latest representatives grows the current list of co-sponsors to 32, up from the bill's original 11 when Frank first introduced the Act to the House in April.

We certainly hope that more congress-people will step up and help bring back Online Gambling for the US. We've certainly been missing it.

Russell Miner Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 23, 2007

Psychology Design and Economics of Slot Machines

Via Boing Boing, we came across this online course unit from Stanford design professor Michael Shanks. It is always interesting to see how casinos and casino-makers are employing clever manipulations to trick us into playing their games.

From the Unit titled The Psychology of the Slot Machine:


Slot machines take advantage of basic human psychology to maximize their appeal. In contrast to most other casino games such as blackjack or poker, playing a slot machine requires no skill, intellect, or decision-making ability. This non-threatening aspect is critical to the appeal of slot machines versus other casino games. In addition, there is no downtime while playing slots—the “action” is nonstop, and is designed to engross the player completely. Of course, the fundamental appeal of the slot machine, as in any other casino game, is the opportunity of winning and making a lot of money. However, slot machines are unique in that literally every coin a player puts in has a possibility of eliciting a huge payout, albeit a statistically negligible one. This aspect of slot machines provides initial and continued stimulus to the player; studies have shown that playing a slot machine activates dopaminergic neural pathways traditionally associated with pleasure or risk-taking. Beyond that, however, slot machines keep players engrossed through a psychological phenomenon known as operant conditioning.

Read the Whole Unit at the Professor's Website

Russell Miner Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 19, 2007

The Amazing Johnathan

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If you are looking for a show to see in Vegas, and you can't decide between comedy and magic, you can happily combine them in one fantastic show thanks to The Amazing Johnathan.

Johnathan's shows are ongoing in the congo room at the Sahara, and the shows are regularly full up.

Here's a snippit of reivew from Vegas.com:

If some of your favorite comedies include the likes of "Dumb and Dumber," "Tommy Boy," "There's Something About Mary" and "Planes, Trains and Automobiles," then Amazing Johnathan's humor is right up your alley. Dubbed the "Freddy Krueger of Comedy," Amazing Johnathan gives new meaning to politically incorrect and gives the audience numerous ways to go home and torture their friends.

The small, cozy showroom is not theater-style, and some seats don't offer the best view, but there are advantages and disadvantages to sitting in the front. You can see better, but you risk becoming fresh meat for Johnathan's tenderizing tricks. Before the show starts, a screen in the center of the stage shows clips from the above-mentioned movies, letting the audience know what they're in for.

Read the rest of the review, or head over to book your tickets at Vegas.com.

Also, check out the Sahara's official site.

Russell Miner Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 18, 2007

Sands Casino in Atlantic City to be Imploded: A Pinnacle Casino To Replace It

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Atlantic City is sometimes the forgotten sibling of larger casino destination rival Las Vegas, but the town hopes to change things as it ups the ante on what kinds of casinos and entertainment can be offered there.

From the Press of Atlantic City.com we get news of the pending implosion of an old AC staple: the Sands Casino Hotel, and its secret replacement coming from Pinnacle Entertainment.


Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. is promising some Las Vegas-style flair in a spectacular implosion this fall of the old Sands Casino Hotel.

But what will rise in place of the iconic Sands remains a mystery.

“See you in 2011,” Pinnacle Executive Vice President Kim Townsend coyly told an audience of Atlantic City business leaders who were anxious to hear plans for the resort’s newest casino.

Townsend, however, revealed precious few new details about Pinnacle’s proposed $1.5 billion megaresort in a presentation Tuesday to the Metropolitan Business & Citizens Association at Boardwalk Hall.

Pinnacle plans to break ground at the end of 2008 and begin full-fledged construction the following year. A grand opening is expected in late 2011.

The Las Vegas-based company, a newcomer to Atlantic City, will redevelop an 18-acre site overlooking the Boardwalk between Indiana and Kentucky avenues after the old Sands is imploded, probably in October.

“Truly, it will be a must-see event for all,” Townsend said while promising the Sands’ demise will match any of the extravagant implosions staged in Las Vegas in recent years.

Read the rest of the story over at the Press of Atlantic City.

Hopfully we will have another beautiful event to add to our movies of imploding casinos, and after thats done, a wonderful new casino destination.


Learn more about Pinnacle Entertainment and its casinos.

Russell Miner Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 16, 2007

Venetian Poker Room Review

venetian.jpg


This morning, we came across a very nice review of the Poker Room at the Venetian written up by Pokernews.com. We have not had the chance to visit the venetian's poker room, but it sure sounds like a lovely place.

The Venetian's poker room is one of three high-end, luxury poker rooms in Las Vegas, the other two being the Wynn and the Bellagio. The Venetian was designed with appearance in mind, having 21 large-screen plasma televisions, beautiful tables, extremely comfortable, adjustable chairs, richly appointed décor, and a very tasteful, muted, coordinated color scheme to the room – giving it an air of luxury that's unmatched in Las Vegas rooms.

Read the full review over at the Poker News.

Visit the Venetian Main Site

Russell Miner Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 13, 2007

Jack Colton Says: Bare Topless Pool Lounge Rules

barePool2.jpg


So very few of us can reach that level of style and sophistication that just oozes from Jack Colton. He is our oracle for anything related to the party scene in Vegas. And today he provides us with a titillating review of Bare Pool Lounge, a topless pool and lounge for the party-goer.

BAREPOOL.jpg

It's an intimate atmosphere that most would kill to enjoy: topless women, millionaires, celebrities, perfectly mixed summertime drinks, sundrenched cabanas, and a cocktail staff keen on serving your every need. Enter BARE Pool at the Mirage Hotel and Casino. Neatly tucked away within a secluded section of the Mirage swimming pool that has full view of Dolphins swimming in the Secret Garden, this exclusive pool party takes its daytime operational cues from the best that its Las Vegas nightlife counterparts offer, and delivers it all in a package that directly caters to some of the most beautiful and powerful people in all the world.

Not everyone is guaranteed entry into BARE Pool, nor is any cabana reservation 100% set in stone. This 450 capacity venue is quite literally the only one of it's kind within any of the MGM Mirage properties (MGM Grand, Mirage, Treasure Island, Mandalay Bay, NY NY, Luxor, and Bellagio), which means casino hosts are often flooding BARE Pool with their high-rollers, celebrities, models, and powerful executives.

*As an example, while at BARE I recently ran into Leonardo Dicaprio just before meeting a guy who casually mentioned how he just bought Aloha Airlines. It's just that VIP.

Read the rest of his review over at Jack Colton.com. And visit Bare's official site while you're at it. As for us.. we're heading to take a cold shower.

Russell Miner Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 11, 2007

Art We Can All Love: A Gallery of Casino Carpeting

Alot of work goes into choosing the look of a casino. And a large part of that look, is in the carpeting on the gaming floors and elsewhere. Well, someone has finally put some attention to this aspect of casnio beauty. Behold, a collection of carpet galleries:

New York, New York, Las Vegas
newYorkNewYorkCarpet.jpg

Wynn, Las Vegas
WynnLV1T.jpg

MGM Grand, Las Vegas
mgmT.jpg


See oh so many more at The Die is Cast Casino Carpet Galleries
Found via Boing Boing

Russell Miner Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 6, 2007

New York, New York, Now With Real Shootings!

Recently, a gunman opened fire on players at the New York, New York casino.

From the CNN Story:

A man on a walkway over the New York-New York casino floor opened fire on the gamblers below early Friday, wounding four people before he was tackled by officers and patrons, police said.

The New York-New York Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, where a man opened fire on patrons Friday.

Two women and two men were being treated at a local hospital for non-life threatening injuries, said Officer Ramon Denby, spokesman for the Las Vegas, Nevada, Metropolitan Police Department.

The gunman is believed to be in his early 50s and a Las Vegas resident. He was not a hotel employee or guest, Denby said.


This is both scary, and a real shame. No one wants to see any of the fun get spoiled by come crazy person with a gun, or worse. Lets all do our part to make sure that stpid stunts like this don't spoil the town we love so much! Everybody to the NY, NY for some gamblin fun!!

P.S. We 'd love to give a big shout out to the security AND patrons who helped subdue this nut!

Russell Miner Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 5, 2007

Home Poker Games going Too Far?

The Casino City Times had a story recently that caught our eye. The question here stems around a website called HomePokerGames.com. The idea of the site is to allow for your home poker games to get some variety by opening the typical invite list to encompass some strangers. The argument being that this can vary the poker crowd enough to keep the games interesting.

Like a gambling version of Internet dating, the site - www.homepokergames.com - lists buy-ins and limits for games as well as any house rules, such as no smoking, drinking or swearing.

But the amount of money at stake - buy-ins and organized tournaments that in some cases start at $20 and go up to $100 or more - is alarming some lawmakers and players.

At a recent gathering in Las Vegas, legislators from casino states beyond Nevada discussed how the Web site may be advertising games that are illegal or, at the least, generating tax-free winnings.

"I had no idea this was going on in my state," said Steven Geller, a Democratic state senator from Florida. "You've got all of the problems of casino gambling and none of the benefits. There's no job creation and there's no programs for problem gambling."

Geller also said players are risking their safety.

"You've got serious, hard-core gambling by serious, hard-core gamblers," he said. "You don't have to watch 'The Sopranos' to realize you've got a big security issue."


Now, while we can understand wanting to mix it up (our own poker games got stale after a bit), we think that inviting total strangers is just asking for trouble, either by unruly players, or in some case, by your local law enforcement. In our opininon, keep home games for fun, and only among friends. If you want to make real money, head to a casino, the watresses are better anyway.

Russell Miner Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 3, 2007

Eight in One Gaming Table From GameroomAntiques.com

eightInOneTable.GIF

Multi-game tables are not that hard to find out there, but finding a multi-game table that includes Craps is. You can imagine our excitement when we stubmled onto this beatuy. The distributor's website doesn't look like much, but hey, they are selling tables, not websites! Here are the features:


A classy dining table, or a fun game table to enjoy, this beautifully finished table and chair set can accommodate friends and family in every way. Set up the roulette and craps for casino night for those serious gamblers or flip the top to play a game of poker. When the night is over, tuck away all the game pieces in the functional storage unit. The chairs, sold as a matching set with this table, have genuine leather seating with a comfortable backrest. The chairs adjust to your desired height, and roll to wherever you want.

Avialble in Mahagany or Honey Oak.

Included in the Game Table:

* Dining Table
* Poker Table
* Roulette
* Craps
* Checkers
* Chess
* Backgammon
* Functional storage unit

Also Included are:

* Roulette ball
* Two decks of playing cards
* Clay Poker Chips (100 count)
* Chess and Checkers/Backgammon Pieces
* Dice
* Craps Stick
* Backgammon Dice Cup

Game Table Dimension: 54" x 31 ½"H
Leather Chair Dimensions: 27"W x 27"D x 35"H

Go check it out at GameroomAntiques.com

Russell Miner Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
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