November 10, 2006

Denise Richards Causing Trouble At a Casino


Poor River Rock casino, sometimes the stars cause all sorts of trouble. And those paparazzi aren't making aything any easier!

A spokeswoman for Denise Richards blamed aggressive paparazzi for a run-in that prompted the Hollywood actress to toss a pair of laptops from a balcony, causing minor injuries to two elderly women.

Howard Blank, a spokesman for the River Rock casino resort in the Vancouver suburb, confirmed an incident took place Wednesday evening.

Global TV reported Richards was filming a scene for the movie "Blonde and Blonder" when she allegedly confronted a photographer trying to take her picture. Richards threw the laptop computers off a balcony, hitting two elderly women sitting in the lobby below.

Paramedics were called but the women did not appear to be seriously injured.

"Based on the actions of the paparazzi, they are lucky their laptops were the only things that were thrown off the ledge," Richards' publicist, Nicole Perez, said in Los Angeles on Thursday.

Story at
Photo from

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November 7, 2006

October Wrap Up

Lean back in your easy chair and buckle that safety belt. Its time for the Casino Snob October Wrap up!

Blogpire News
We had more podcasts this past month. If you havent heard them yet, you can listen to yours truly, and Jay Brewer wax rhapsodic about all the blogpire has to offer.

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

BlogPire Podcast - Autumnal Festival Episode - Fun Fall Products 10.09.06

Casino Snob Book Club
We kicked off a new category with a look at the perennial casino book: Bringing Down The House. Its a fine read, and you should deffinitely check it out.

Casino Style
There were a couple of Casino Cocktail Fridays. We sipped on a Tequila with Let it Ride and we had a frothy cold one while we played the slots.

We had some smart advice from Jack Colton to never wear sunglasses in those night clubs.

And finally in style, we took a great look at Old Blue Eyes himself, Frank Sinatra, and took an overview of the best of the Vegas Music CDs of that classic crooner.

The Battle of Connecticut began, with our look at the two big casinos in CT, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun. The battle still rages on, and we're excited to see round 2, but for now you can check out the Tale of the Tape.

We found out about the Casino And Gaming Fund and how you can bet on the house.

And finally we learned a little about Kevin Costner's Casino Adventures, and why Nevada may be getting a little more smoke free.

THe big news was of course our look at all the stuff going on for Halloween in Vegas. We are thinking that next year we will have to schedule a trip there for just the week of Halloween, as nowhere else can we slide on our Marilyn Manson costume and potentially win twenty thousand dollars.


Playboy made a big swing early in the month by opening up its new playboy club at the Palms.

We also covered a funny and crazy bank heist that looked like Ocean's Eleven.

But all that sex, crime, and rock and roll could not outshine the big bomb of October, the online gambling ban within the US. We are still dealing with the reprocussions, which have included places freezing accounts, buyouts, and mergers galore.

Yes, it was a wild October, and we're excited to see what happens next as we head into the Holidays.

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November 6, 2006

Future of Casinos in Moscow in Jeopardy


The end may be near for gambling in Russia. Even though the Moscow gambling industry is booming, it looks like Vladimir Putin wants to put a stop to it in the capital and other major cities. It is still unclear if the bill passed would ban it outright, or simply relegate it to certain zones, but either way, it sounds like the operators in Moscow are scrambling.

There are more than 60 of them in the city now, neon palaces of capitalist glitter and risk that have become as ubiquitous as the onion domes of Russian Orthodoxy. One major street, Novy Arbat, has more than a passing resemblance to the Las Vegas Strip, and even a casino called the Mirage.

There is just one cloud on this rosy horizon: They are all to be closed, though perhaps not for a while.

Pressed by President Vladimir Putin, the only political authority that matters anymore, lawmakers are drafting a law that would banish casinos, slot-machine parlors and other gambling halls from Moscow, though they could be allowed to operate in a few other places.

Unless lawmakers buck Putin, which has yet to happen, the new law would do more to alter the cityscape of Moscow than any other since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Soviet government banned gambling until the end of the 1980s and, perhaps not coincidentally, the end of its history.

The first big casinos followed hard on the Soviet collapse, but they have proliferated since 2001, when an easing of licensing rules coincided with Russia's growing economic boom, creating a frenzy of easily disposed income. Industry officials here estimate that nearly $6 billion is spent on gambling each year in Russia.

Moscow now has more casinos than any other cities except Las Vegas and Miami, according to the World Casino Directory, an online industry association.

You can read the whole article at the International Herald Tribune.

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November 3, 2006

Goodnight Stardust


Yes folks, yet another classic casino has met its maker.

The Stardust, the neon-wrapped casino with a mobbed-up past whose 1,065 rooms once set the standard for size on the Las Vegas Strip, witnessed its last roll of the dice Wednesday.

Wistful longtime employees and loyal gamblers gathered for a last farewell to the iconic 48-year-old institution, which is to be razed early next year to make way for Boyd Gaming Corp.'s planned $4 billion Echelon Place resort.

The Stardust opened July 2, 1958, as the world's largest hotel and catered to middle America with $6-a-night rooms and low-minimum stakes gambling.

But as bigger, classier casinos sprung up around it in the late 1980s and '90s and patrons began shelling out more for rooms, food and drinks, its luster began to fade.

"I'm really going to miss this place," said Jimmy Kunihiro, a 60-year-old Honolulu resident, as he took a last pass at the craps table. "It's a home away from home."
-- CNN

We join millions of others in saying farewell to this classic dame of the strip. With a rich and colorful history, and a tradition steeped in casino style, we will be having a moment of silence for her.

So long stardust...

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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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Peer to Peer hitting Casinos?


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.

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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

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

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 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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