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Category Archives: Gambling
Posted: February 25, 2017 at 3:52 pm
Pharaoh’s Secret Temple video gaming machine at Tropicana Casino. Noah K. Murray/Special for the Record(Photo: Noah K. Murray/Special to NorthJersey.com)
These video game gambling machines – such as Danger Zone – in Atlantic City are the first of their kind in the U.S.(Photo: Noah K. Murray/Special for the Record)
Thousands of slot machines stillawait visitors to any Atlantic City casino, as they have for almost 40 years.
But at Tropicana and the three Caesars Entertainment casinos, a handful of new machines amidthe slots areintended to lure those seeking a different gambling experience.
The words VIDEO GAME GAMBLING on the sides of the Danger Arena and Pharaohs Secret Temple games beckon patrons, andlast week, the games the first such skill-based gamesat any casinos in North America,game maker GameCo Inc. said attracted some novices.
“Danger Arena is a first-person action game that appeals to a more ‘core’ gamer audience, similar to XBox games like Call of Duty,” said GameCo founder Blaine Graboyes. “Pharaoh’s Secret Temple appeals to a more casual audience and is similar to mobile ‘match 3’ games such as Candy Crush.”
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Danger Arena machines debuted in October, while the latter game was just installed at Tropicana last week. Both are now offered at each of the four casinos, with a total of 30 machines.
Part of the goal of the casinos is to getmillennials many of whom play video and social media games regularly but arent attracted to slot machines to spend more time and money because oftheir enjoyment of the games. Atlantic City casinos are eager to find new profit sourcesbecause the city’s combined casino revenuehasfallenby more than 50 percent since Pennsylvania and New York opened their casinos near the New Jersey border in 2006. The number of casinos has declined to sevenfrom 12 in 2014.The video games are an example of efforts by state regulators to consider a variety of gambling options to help boostAtlantic City casinos and raise more tax revenue.
Reaching millennials is not just a concern in Atlantic City. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority saidthe percentage of visitors there who gambled had declined to 71 percent in 2014from 87 percent in 2006. The percentages of those who gamble by age group is telling. Seventy-eightpercent of baby-boomer visitors to Las Vegas gamble, followed by 68 percent ofGeneration Xand 63 percent of millennials.
Graboyessaidvideo games have been around so long that even somepeople in their 40s and 50s are experienced players. (Duringseveral hours at Tropicana and Caesars, no senior citizens were observedeven considering playing the video games.)
“We staff brand ambassadors at the games to answer questions and collect exit interviews, and from that we know that 60 percent of players so far have been under 40 years old,” Graboyes said. Graboyes, who founded GameCoin 2015, said in September that the company had raised $8.3 million in venture capital to fund the launch at the Atlantic City casinos.
Peak activity, not surprisingly, has been nights and weekends. Half of the players interviewed said they would not have gambled if not for the video game machines, which Graboyes said bodes well for casino revenue. About 90 percent of the money gambled has gone back to the players, Graboyes added, which is similar to what casinos pay back on slot machines.
Atlantic City was chosen as the first location for the games,Graboyes said, to pay homage to his childhood visits to Atlantic City from Bucks County, Pa.
This is the first time Ive seen something like this, so I figured Id give it a try it looks kind of fun, said Kayla Jones, 30, of New Haven, Conn., after a couple of rounds of Danger Arena. Guys will definitely like this.
Another millennial, Mike Wasyliszyn of Carteret, looked over the Danger Arena games but then walked away.
I like to gamble, but I wouldnt gamble over video games its two totally separate things, Wasyliszyn said. I play Xbox and I like video games, but if I want to do that, Ill just stay home. Here, I prefer games like blackjack or craps.
Justin Miele, 38, of New Rochelle, New York, perused the games as well but said he declined because he is not a big video gamer.
I have some friends who would be interested in this, though, Miele said. Thing is, I havent seen anyone actually playing it yet.
Indeed, the games drew little notice at Tropicana at lunchtime on Feb. 17, a Friday, even with the PresidentsDay holiday weekend ahead.
Carlyn Davis of Queens, though, did take a chance on Pharaohs Secret Temple.
Ive played this type of game on my [smart]phone, Davis said. I have younger relatives who play slots, but theywould prefer to do this, I think.
I like to gamble, but I wouldnt gamble over video games its two totally separate things. I play Xbox and I like video games, but if I want to do that, Ill just stay home. Here, I prefer games like blackjack or craps.
Yeong Kim, who was visiting from Fairfax, Virginia, said he didnt much care for Pharaohs Secret Temple after a few tries at Caesars. (Ballys and Harrahs also offer the games).
My wife likes it more she says its like Candy Crush, Kim said. My kids would love it, though;they are 27 and 25. Ill tell them about it.
David Gargaro of Baltimore found that the Temple game reminded him of Bejeweled, another popular video game.
But theres too much skill involved, Gargaro, 30, said with a laugh. Its more daunting when youre gambling with real money, I suppose.
Only Jason Mejzak, 42, of Williamstown,in Gloucester County, found his experience so unappealing that he has written off the games for good.
The screen doesnt work, its too greasy, Mejzak said.
Players can choose five price points from 50 cents to $20 with either game. With Danger Arena, players must wipe out seven ‘botsin 45 seconds to break even while knocking off 10 of the cartoon robots gets you 25 times your money.
There are 10,000 unique maps, or virtual locations, with Danger Arena each with a different level of difficulty. That means that as with poker and blackjack, luck as well as skill plays a role because an easy board could lead to easy money, while even a very skilled player could be overmatched by one of the most difficult maps. The maximum payout in one game on Danger Arena is $5,500,if a player lucks into the maximum instant cash prize of $5,000, then bets $20 and knocks off 10 or more ‘bots to win 25 times his or her bet.
Graboyes said he plans to roll out more new games racing and martial arts fighting are among the other types and inmore locations overthe course of the year. Some of the new sites will be other Atlantic City casinos.
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Posted: at 3:52 pm
One slow day in the royal kitchens, the sous chef turned to the pastry chef and said: I bet you sixpence you couldnt bake four-and-twenty blackbirds in a pie.
Youre on, the pastry chef replied, dusting his rolling pin with flour. And we all know how that story ended with the maid being rushed to A&E with a severely pecked nose. One moral you can draw from this is that frivolous bets are bound to lead to trouble. Wayne Shaw, the roly-poly substitute goalie for Sutton United might think so, after his scoffing of that steak pie in the 83rd minute of the cup-tie against Arsenal last week led to his resignation. There was a whiff of scandal (as well as hot pastry) about it, because a betting company had offered odds of 8-1 against Wayne doing just that.
I think the true lesson we can draw here is that pastry is much more interesting than football; a burning-hot steak pie, straight from…
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Posted: February 24, 2017 at 7:02 pm
Pharaoh’s Secret Temple is one of the first video game gambling offerings in North America – so far the games only can be played in Atlantic City at four casinos, including Tropicana.(Photo: Noah K. Murray/Special for the Record)
It started with Danger Arena a first-person action game in the realm of Call of Duty.
Next came Pharaohs Secret Treasure a Match 3 game a la Candy Crush.
Next month, the latest in video game gambling offerings at Atlantic City casinos will be Nothing But Net a basketball shooting game. (For all the details on this new industry, and why Atlantic City’s casinos are the first in North America to have the games, click my story here.)
I think this might be our first really big hit, said Blaine Graboyes, CEO of GameCo., the company behind these games. Its so easy to play just one big button. Anyone can do it. With Danger Arena, if you dont play Xbox or PlayStation, youre probably not going to be very good.
Graboyes told me that a customer gets 12 shots, with each valued at a different amount. Thats the variable that intersects with the skill get a bunch of high value chances, and you are more likely to get enough points to break even or perhaps win money. The animation lets you know what each shot is worth.
Net will be in Tropicana and the three Caesars properties in Atlantic City, and Graboyes said all seven AC casinos likely will be offering video game gambling in the next 30 days. Atlantic Citys months-long monopoly on these games wont last, however, as Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun in Connecticut also will launch these games in March.
Graboyes said he just finished the application process to Nevada regulators, setting up the possibility of Las Vegas casinos joining the party sometime this summer.
While the couple of dozen video game gambling machines are dwarfed by the slot machine inventory, more and more such games are on the way. Look for hidden object games, fighting, racing, space combat, and bubble shooter, Graboyes said.
We are working to appeal to all gamers the average age is 35, and its 50-50 male and female, he added.
Look for big name brands on new games, too think Terminator, Mission Impossible, Ferris Bueller, Paranormal, and so forth.
Finally, Graboyes enthusiastically confirmed that he has the same experience people-watching around these games as I do. He even mentioned a spot where I visited last week the 10 North Lounge at Tropicana in Atlantic City.
Isnt it interesting? asked Graboyes. Its like they just dont know what to do when they approach the games. Theyll almost be afraid to touch it, like the game might bite them. Ive seen people stand by them for 10 minutes, just looking.
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Posted: at 7:02 pm
JEFFERSON CITY Missouri and Illinois residents soon could have thousands of new slot machines clanging and blinking in their midst.
In Missouri, two lawmakers are pushing plans to legalize video gambling in bars and fraternal organizations as a way to generate money for education.
In Illinois, Sen. James Clayborne, D-Belleville, has introduced a proposal to allow slot machines at the Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, a car racing track located just minutes from downtown St. Louis.
In both states, the proposals would allow video gambling in establishments where it has previously been prohibited.
In Missouri, the legislation would allow up to five video gambling machines in taverns and restaurants and up to 10 machines in benevolent organizations like the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
The state would then collect a split of the money generated by the machines.
Missouri Rep. Bart Korman, R-Warrenton, is sponsoring one of the measures. He said the revenue could help pad the states checkbook.
When you look at the budget situation we have, I think its something we need to have a conversation about, Korman said.
In particular, hed like to see revenue generated by the slot machines to go toward schools.
The cost of busing is an important issue in rural areas, Korman said. Student transportation has been cut year after year.
A similar proposal sponsored by Missouri Sen. Denny Hoskins, R-Warrensburg, would earmark 35 percent of the receipts generated by video gambling to higher education.
The legislation is similar to a measure approved in Illinois in 2009; it didnt get underway until 2012.
Since then, Illinois has seen an explosion in the number of establishments offering video gambling. In four years, the number of businesses with at least go-karts and off-road vehicles.
Gateway spokeswoman Susan Ryan said the proposal would help diversify the facility’s income stream.
“The long-term success of this business requires a diverse revenue base including non-racing entertainment options such as festivals, charity events, private parties, concerts and gaming,” Ryan said in a statement.
Clayborne, whose proposal has not been scheduled for a debate, could not immediately be reached for comment. His proposal is separate from a larger gambling proposal that was floated as part of a package designed to end Illinois long-running budget stalemate.
Under that proposal, Illinois would get new casinos in Chicago and its south suburbs, Waukegan, Carterville, Rockford and Danville.
The casino industry in both states is primed to fight the expansion of slots.
The Illinois Casino Gaming Association is opposing Claybornes idea, primarily because it could lure gamblers away from the Casino Queen, located less than five miles away in East St. Louis.
Its just such a big proposal and the Casino Queen is so close by, said association executive director Tom Swoik.
The Missouri Gaming Association, which represents 13 casinos, opposes the expansion of video gambling in Missouri because it also would cut into the casino market, executive director Mike Winter told the Post-Dispatch.
Illinois experience offers evidence that casinos have been affected by the explosion of video gambling.
In December 2007, for example, Illinois fleet of riverboats was drawing 1.3 million visitors. A decade later, that number had dropped to under 950,000 visitors. Receipts also have dropped in the past decade.
Illinois law also has led to a new breed of gambling parlors.
Business owners have launched chains of so-called gambling cafes hoping to draw customers who wouldnt otherwise go to bars. A chain called Lucys Place, for example, was originally designed to attract women over 40. Other similar operations are named Nikkis, Dottys and Pennys.
In Missouri, it remains unclear if Gov. Eric Greitens supports an expansion of gambling. His office did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard, R-Joplin, said he opposes gambling revenue as a way to fix the state budget. But he wont block the proposal from coming to the Senate floor for a debate.
Im not a fan of legalizing gambling to plug any hole for anything, Richard said. The Senate is supposed to be for open and fair discussion, so thats what I try to do, regardless of my support or not.
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Posted: at 7:02 pm
William Hill announced a 1% rise in pre-tax profit. The government is reviewing the harm TV gambling advertising may cause. Photograph: Neil Hall/Reuters
The man tipped to lead the UKs second-biggest bookmaker has broken ranks with the industry by offering support for a curb on TV gambling adverts.
Betting companies have largely rejected suggestions that their ads are seen by too many vulnerable people and children, but William Hills finance director said he understood peoples concerns.
I have teenage children and we are sympathetic to some sort of curb or some sort of review around the level of advertising, said Philip Bowcock.
Asked if companies were glamourising gambling, he claimed William Hill was more cautious than some high street rivals.
You could say that we are a little bit more corporate, but we try and be responsible about what we promote, he said.
Bowcock, the interim CEO after the departure of James Henderson last July following successive profit warnings, is among the favourites to be named chief executive, with a decision due within weeks.
His comments on advertising, as the company announced a 1% increase in pre-tax profit to 226m, come as the government reviews the potential harm caused by fixed-odds betting terminals and TV advertising.
The gambling industry has largely been defensive about the impact on children of TV advertising, which is banned before the 9pm watershed, except during sports events. The Remote Gambling Association, which counts William Hill among its members, rejected the need for curbs on the industry last year. And the Association of British Bookmakers has pointed to voluntary measures such as scrapping adverts for free bets before the watershed.
But one industry source said backing restrictions on daytime TV ads may benefit William Hill.
If youve got hundreds of shops with your name in the window, youve got much greater exposure than someone like Sun Bets, who have to do stunts with pies to get their name into the market, said the source, referring to the controversial incident involving the Sutton United reserve goalkeeper Wayne Shaw.
GambleAware recently launched adverts highlighting the risks of addiction. The ads, one addressing fruit machines and one highlighting online gaming, appear on YouTube for internet users in the north-east and north-west of England, but could be rolled out nationally.
The charity wants gambling companies to agree to one of its adverts being broadcast for every 20 of their own.
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Posted: at 7:02 pm
Sutton goalkeeper Wayne Shaw is at the centre of a betting probe after eating a pie on the substitutes’ bench during an FA Cup defeat to Arsenal.
The 46-year-old has admitted he knew Sun Bets were offering 8-1 odds against him doing so.
Both the Gambling Commission and the Football Association are now investigating whether the incident broke any rules.
:: Pie-eating goalkeeper Wayne Shaw resigns from Sutton Utd
Nicknamed the ‘Roly Poly Goalie’ because of his 20st weight, 46-year-old Wayne Shaw is employed by Sutton as a reserve goalkeeper and as part of the coaching team.
He said: “A few of the lads said to me earlier on, ‘What is going on with the 8-1 about eating a pie later on?’
“As I say, Sun Bets had me at 8-1 to eat a pie. I thought I would give them a bit of banter and let’s do it. All the subs were on and we were 2-0 down.
“I went and got it at half-time from the kitchen, I had it all prepared and ready to go. It was meat and potato.
“I think there were a few people (who backed it). Obviously we are not allowed to bet. I think a few of the mates and a few of the fans. It was just a bit of banter for them.
“It is something to make the occasion as well and you can look back and say it was part of it and we got our ticket money back.”
Gambling Commission enforcement and intelligence director Richard Watson said: “Integrity in sport is not a joke and we have opened an investigation to establish exactly what happened.
“As part of that we’ll be looking into any irregularity in the betting market and establishing whether the operator has met its licence requirement to conduct its business with integrity.”
The FA is also looking into the incident, saying in a statement that they are “investigating whether there has been a breach of FA regulations in relation to betting”.
The FA rulebook says: “A participant shall not bet, either directly or indirectly, or instruct, permit, cause or enable any person to bet on (i) the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of, or occurrence in, a football match or competition.”
Speaking on BBC 5 Live, Sutton chairman Bruce Elliott said: “Wayne is a top man. I didn’t know anything about it. He has got himself in the papers again and the fame obviously has gone to his head a little bit, but we will soon bring him back down to earth, don’t worry about that.”
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Posted: at 7:02 pm
WEST PALM BEACH
A 59-year-old Boynton Beach man was sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to get help for a gambling problem that he claimed led him to embezzle roughly $1.7 million from construction companies where he worked.
Alan Gainsborg was also ordered by U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra to pay $1.1 million in restitution to MSP Enterprises Inc. and PH Developers LLC, two Boynton Beach development companies owned by Michael Puder. He repaid roughly $560,000 and handed over the deed to his house when his scheme unraveled and he was fired in November 2015, according to court documents.
Gainsborg, who pleaded guilty in December to two charges of mail fraud, was allowed to remain free on bond. He is to turn himself in on April 24.
With the help of a Deerfield Beach man who wasnt charged, federal prosecutors claim Gainsborg sent fake invoices to Puder. When Puder questioned the bills, Gainsborg ran them through two general contractors. Those men, however, didnt know Gainsborg was stealing from Puder and didnt make any money on the scam, prosecutors said.
Gainsborg began working for Puder in July 2013. Puder is a developer of both commercial and residential projects, including the 130-home Waterview at Boynton Lakes, 115-home Montego Bay at Boca Pointe and The Grove, a 550-unit townhouse complex in Boynton Beach.
Posted: February 23, 2017 at 1:45 pm
The gambling commission believes betting breaches are widespread.
Former FIFA and Interpol adviser Chris Eaton has told BBC Sport that 53 footballers that have been reported for breaching betting rules are only “the tip of the iceberg.”
Eaton, who is now a sport integrity expert, added that only “naive or careless players” would be caught and highlighted specifically ones who use their own name and account.
BBC Sport obtained the numbers from the Gambling Commission’s Sports Betting Intelligence Unit (SBIU) after making a Freedom of Information request.
SBIU confirmed it received 53 allegations of footballers placing bets on matches between Aug. 1, 2014 and Dec. 23, 2016, but that figure is reported to relate to uncorroborated reports rather than confirmed instances of rule breaking.
However, SBIU also confirmed more alleged breaches were being investigated as a result of its own intelligence work.
As a measure against corruption in football, new rules came into effect as of August 2014 that applied to not just players but anyone involved in football.
Wayne Shaw, who was asked to resign from his position as Sutton United goalkeeper and fitness coach, is one player currently being investigated following a potential breach of betting rules.
Follow @ESPNFC on Twitter to keep up with the latest football updates.
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Posted: at 1:45 pm
Dan Le Batard comments on Wayne Shaw’s pie-eating during Sutton’s FA Cup match against Arsenal. Wayne Shaw steals the show in the FA Cup, Conan O’Brien joins Gio dos Santos and more in The Sweeper.
Former sports minister Richard Caborn labelled gambling within sport a “serious problem” after Wayne Shaw’s pie-eating stunt in Sutton’s FA Cup clash with Arsenal.
The 46-year-old reserve goalkeeper handed in his resignation on Tuesday as he prompted a betting probe after he was shown on television tucking into the snack towards the end of the 2-0 loss.
Discussing gambling within sport on BBC Radio 5 live, Caborn said: “It is a serious problem. People are jesting about it, particularly the incident the other night, but there’s a very serious question underlying this, and the responsibility of the gambling industry itself.
“It’s not just football — we’ve seen what’s happened in cricket, in snooker. You can in many sports.
“This is an area of some concern about the integrity of sport. If we are going to see the central point, as an ex-sports minister, I would be saying, ‘The integrity of sport is absolute — it should not be compromised.’
“We’ve seen that, whether it’s been in anti-doping, now gambling — you don’t have to throw the result, but you are creating a situation which is not fair on the playing field.”
Sutton held their own against a strong Arsenal side, only for manager Paul Doswell to be left dealing with the fallout of Shaw’s antics.
The departing keeper admitted after the match he was aware Sun Bets — who also sponsored Sutton’s shirts for the night — were offering 8-1 on him to be shown eating in the dugout during the game.
Both the Football Association and Gambling Commission announced independent investigations into the stunt, which Doswell felt had taken something away from his players on the biggest night of most of their careers.
“Wayne has offered his resignation to the chairman this afternoon and that has been accepted. It’s a very sad end to what was a very good story,” he said.
“He’s absolutely devastated — tears down the phone this afternoon. There’s no joy and nothing good coming out of this particular situation for him.
“It’s taken the gloss off my players’ performance and gone on to something it shouldn’t have gone on to. I feel very sorry for the players in many regards that that spotlight has been taken away from them.
“It was an honest error but one that’s had quite sad ramifications. Wayne’s been swept along with what’s happened in this last three or four weeks.”
The FA announced on Tuesday that it will launch an inquiry to determine whether Shaw breached its gambling regulations.
There could also be fall-out for the bookmakers, with the Gambling Commission confirming its own investigation into the incident to decide whether Sun Bets had breached its licence requirement by offering such a bet in the first instance.
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