Posts Tagged ‘Gambling’

Gambling on Pac-Man Is About To Be a Thing

 Gambling on Pac Man Is About To Be a Thing

You know what I have never thought to myself while playing Pac-Man?

“I’d really love to have some money riding on this.”

Soon, that non-dream of mine will become a reality (is that the correct way to phrase that?) as Gamblit Gambling, LLC and BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment will debut Pac-Man Battle Casino at the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) this week with casino installations set for 2018.

pac man battle casino prize wheel resized Gambling on Pac Man Is About To Be a ThingPac-Man Battle Casino is based on the player-versus-player arcade game, Pac-Man Battle Royale, introduced in 2011. If we assume that the games are essentially the same aside from the gambling factor, here is what the new skill game will look like.

Two to four players will compete against each other simultaneously in the same maze, unlike traditional Pac-Man, where two players really just play their own single-player games, alternating turns when someone loses a life. There will be four ghosts, dots, and power pellets, as usual. The dots, though, will not necessarily fill the entire maze.

When all of the dots on the screen have been eaten, they immediately reset in a different configuration with no stoppage in play. The same thing happens if a special item, like the cherries, are eaten.

The ghosts turn blue and can be eaten if a player eats a power pellet, just as we are used to in the original Pac-Man, but here’s the big twist: when a power pellet is eaten, all of the other players turn blue, as well, and can also be eaten. That’s right, you can eat the other Pac…Men? Pac-Mans?

If a player is caught by a ghost or eaten by an opponent, they are done for the round. The last player standing wins the round. In Pac-Man Battle Royale, games are three to nine rounds long; we don’t know if that will be the case with Pac-Man Battle Casino. Rounds are also timed in the arcade game.

As for the gambling aspect, it is very similar to PokerStars’ Spin & Go tournaments. Each player wagers the same amount of money and then a spinner appears to determine the winner-take-all prize that they will be playing for.

In the screenshot of the prize wheel Gambling Gaming provided to the media, four players each bet $ 5 and the wheel just happened to land on what appears to be the biggest prize, $ 600 (two of the largest prizes are difficult to read because of a sunburst-type of graphic effect). The smallest prize showing for the four-person $ 5 wager is $ 12 and 9 of the 16 spaces on the wheel have prize amounts of $ 12, $ 15, or $ 18. Thus, the casino is obviously profiting at least 56.25 percent of the time. I would assume that the probabilities of each prize aren’t the same, so the chances of hitting the top prize are almost certainly much, much lower than 1 in 16.

The prize is definitely known to the players at the beginning of the match, as screenshots of the gameplay show the prize displayed in the middle of the playing field.

The post Gambling on Pac-Man Is About To Be a Thing appeared first on Poker News Daily.

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NJ State Senator Lesniak Wants to Open State’s Gambling Borders

 NJ State Senator Lesniak Wants to Open State’s Gambling Borders

When Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware launched their online gambling industries (just poker for the former, poker and casino games for the latter two), the gaming sites were restricted to accepting players only from within their respective states’ borders. It was kind of bullshit, but it was the way they could be compliant with federal law, so that’s what had to be done. Now New Jersey State Senator Raymond Lesniak, arguably online poker’s biggest supporter in the New Jersey legislature, wants to change that and permit people from outside of the state to play on his state’s gaming sites.

“I’ve changed my mission from making New Jersey the Silicon Valley of Internet gaming to the Mecca of Internet gaming,” Lesniak told the Associated Press. “Online gaming has helped Atlantic City to revive its casino sector with a success that we can expand in ways that will generate more revenue, create jobs and fuel technological innovation in gaming.”

Lesniak plans on introducing a bill to allow for the expansion of online gambling player bases beyond New Jersey’s borders. The Courier-Post says that the director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, David Rebuck, has not seen a proposal yet.

As it stands now, New Jersey gaming law states that any operator wishing to do business there must house their game servers in the state. Not only that, but they must be on the premises of an Atlantic City casino; Atlantic City is the only place in the state that casinos are permitted. Additionally, as was mentioned earlier, all players must be located within New Jersey’s borders. They do not need to live there, just be located within state borders while playing online.

According to reports, Lesniak’s future bill would do a number of things to change the state gaming laws: it would remove the location restriction on players, allowing people from other states to play on New Jersey sites, it will allow international gaming companies to establish New Jersey bases, and it would lift the requirement for servers to be situated in Atlantic City.

Unfortunately, people like me, who live in the state of Georgia or the multitude of other states that do not currently have legalized, regulated gambling, would not suddenly be able to hop on PokerStars NJ or the Party Borgata network. Only people in states where online gambling is permitted would be able to play on New Jersey sites. The good thing, though, is that it would remove the need to enter into interstate gambling compacts.

Players in other countries where online gambling is regulated would also be able to get in on the fun.

One of the tricky things about expanding the geographic scope of the player base is that it would complicate geolocation, meaning the ability for the gaming sites to pinpoint where someone trying to login is sitting at the moment. New Jersey got off to a rocky site with geolocation (mainly erring on the side of being too strict and sometimes thinking a player was outside of the state when he was not), but is now an example of geolocation excellence.

Lead photo credit: @senatorlesniak Twitter

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Ontario Lottery Commission to Outsource Operation of 3 Toronto-Area Gambling Sites

 Ontario Lottery Commission to Outsource Operation of 3 Toronto Area Gambling Sites

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. (OLG) is currently conducting a bidding process, seeking to turn over control of the Greater Toronto Area’s (GTA) gambling venues to a private operator. According to the Globe & Mail, Canada’s most read weekly newspaper, the selection should be made within the next few weeks.

The three locations whose operations would be transferred to the chosen company are the Woodbine Racetrack, Ajax Downs, and the Great Blue Heron Casino. As one might be able to tell by their names, Woodbine and Ajax are primarily horse racetracks, but both do have sections operated by OLG that contain slot machines and electronic table games. Great Blue Heron is more of a traditional casino.

The OLG believes the GTA is an underserved gambling market, according to the Globe & Mail, and it believes outsourcing the three venues would allow them to grow and operate more efficiently than if OLG continued operating them itself. The private operator could build out the three locations as larger, more all-encompassing casinos, as well as build a fourth casino, all provided local approval.

It looks like the OLG will pay the winning company for operating the casinos a minimum of $ 72 million per year for the 22-year duration of the contract. The company will also get to keep as much as 70 percent of the gambling revenue. The company would still have to work with the OLG and show that it has solid plans to increase revenue.

Essentially, what the OLG is trying to do here is very much like a classic client/consultant business deal. The OLG, the client, is outsourcing part of its business that it is not its core strength to a consultant, the private company. The client will receive a long-term monetary benefit from the improvement of the business (the casinos) while not having to spend time and money tackling the problem itself. The consultant gets paid (and in this case, gets paid long term via multiple revenue streams) and provides its expertise to the client.

A source close to the RFP process told the Globe & Mail that three of the companies that have gotten involved in the bidding include Caesars Entertainment, Brookfield Asset Management (Canada), and the Genting Group (Malaysia). Our readers are likely familiar with Caesars, but not the other two. Brookfield is a massive company that owns assets in the real estate, energy, and infrastructure areas. Through subsidaries, it owns Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas and the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The Genting Group owns the Resorts World properties as well as more than 40 UK casinos, including Crockfords Casino in London.

As the Globe & Mail writes, Woodbine is potentially the most important of the three gambling sites, located right by the Toronto airport on busy stretch of highway. If it could be built up as a Las Vegas-style casino, rather than a race track with a bunch of slot machines, it could be a boon to the local economy.

“The OLG’s modernization plan is the catalyst for Woodbine Entertainment to unlock the value of the Woodbine lands to sustain horse racing on our 680-acre site and bring real economic development to Rexdale,” Woodbine spokesman John Siscos told the Globe & Mail.

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New Netflix Movie “Win It All” The Next Great Gambling Film?

 New Netflix Movie “Win It All” The Next Great Gambling Film?

It isn’t very often that movies about gambling – and especially poker – come across any of the forms of media from Hollywood. Arguably the best known of this genre is the seminal poker film Rounders and there are few other examples that would compare (for comedy, check out The Grand and, to help Matt Savage’s retirement fund, go for Lucky You). A new effort that didn’t even go to the silver screen is now drawing attention for its realistic look at gambling and poker.

One of the best things that has come from the streaming services such as Hulu, Amazon Prime and Netflix is that they are now developing their own programming. That’s where a fan of gambling films can find Win It All, streaming on Netflix basically any time that the viewer wants to watch it. The movie has a 95% approval rating on the movie website Rotten Tomatoes (based on 20 reviews) and an average rating of 7.5 out of 10, while it also garners a 78 (on a scale of 100) on the website Metacritic.

The movie focuses on Eddie Garrett (Jake Johnson, known for his work on the Fox comedy New Girl), a gambler whose day job is parking cars at Wrigley Field in Chicago (for anyone who has ever tried to park in the neighborhood surrounding the home of the Cubs, you’ll understand the job) and who by night is, as his Gamblers’ Anonymous sponsor Gene (Keegan-Michael Key of the Comedy Central program Key & Peele), someone who has “never won.” But things are about to change for Garrett after he does a favor for a friend of his named Michael (Jose Antonio Garcia):  hold onto a duffel bag while he is incarcerated, but don’t look inside it.

While it should be easy to do a favor, curiosity gets the better of Eddie and he eventually cracks open the bag to find a crapload of money inside. And, naturally, because he is a compulsive gambler, Eddie eventually blows the money in the bag through a variety of gambling means. Where the twist comes to the movie is when Michael calls Eddie from prison to let him know that he’s being released early and Eddie must come up with the money that he’s lost in the only way he knows – gambling.

The premise may not be appealing to those who consider themselves “professional gamblers,” but Win It All works because of the directing of the film. Director Joe Swanberg gives the film a great look at how the underground gambling scene works (he also films it very well), but Swanberg also doesn’t shirk scenes away from the “world of gambling.” Win It All is as much a look at the gambling world as it is a glimpse into the mind and psychology of a person who tries to do the right things but sometimes steps awry.

It may be a better effort than what could be coming down the pike soon. Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin has finished his directorial debut in Molly’s Game, his adaptation of “The Poker Princess” Molly Bloom’s story of working in the world of underground poker. The story of Bloom is well known to most in the poker world, how she went from a former Olympic hopeful to the organizer and host for the biggest high stakes cash games in first Hollywood and then New York. The problem with Molly’s Game? Sorkin doesn’t plan to tell the whole story.

On many occasions, Sorkin has stated he will not delve into the players who took part in the games, going as far as to not name them at all. That would mean ignoring (or at least putting on fictitious players) vast swaths of Bloom’s book where she talks about such power players as Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck, Tobey Maguire and other Hollywood producers and businessmen. Sorkin has also said that Molly’s Game isn’t about the poker but about “Bloom’s journey to finding who she is.”

The problem for Molly’s Game is that it has lined up some A-list talent for what might be a horrendous story. Two-time Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain will play Bloom, with Idris Elba slated to play her attorney and be a major plot driver. Others such as Kevin Costner, Michael Cera and Jeremy Strong are also a part of the project, which is slated for release later this year.

Until the Sorkin film premieres, we might have to do with Win It All to satisfy the jones for gambling movies. If the reviews are correct, it may be the better of the two films.

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New York’s Seneca Nation to Stop Gambling Revenue Payments to State

 New York’s Seneca Nation to Stop Gambling Revenue Payments to State

The Buffalo News reported last week that the New York’s Seneca Nation of Indians is discontinuing its payments of casino revenue to the state. The plan is to halt the casino share this week; if it happens, the New York state government stands to lose as much as $ 110 million in revenue per year.

It does not look like the Seneca Nation has given any specific reason for its decision to stop the payments, but it appears that it very well may be that it is not happy with New York’s casino gambling expansion. New York was once home to just racinos and tribal casinos, but in the last few years, commercial casino construction was approved. Since late 2015, four commercial casino licenses have been issued: Rivers Casino & Resort and Del Lago are already open, Tioga Downs was transformed from a racino to a full-fledged casino, and Montreign should open next year.

It is Del Lago that may be the casino that really sticks in the craw of the tribe. The Seneca Nation’s three casinos are all in western New York. Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino is in Allegany near the Pennsylvania border, Seneca Niagara is in Niagara Falls, and Seneca Buffalo Creek is in Buffalo. Del Lago is approximately 100 miles due east of Buffalo and, based on the possibility that its existence rubs the Seneca Nation the wrong way, it may be drawing a decent amount of traffic away from the three casinos.

The Seneca Nation’s 2002 compact with the state gives it exclusive rights to gaming west of State Route 14 for 21 years. Del Lago is just a few miles east of Route 14, so it does fall outside of the Seneca Nation’s promised gaming territory.

For those exclusive rights, the Seneca Nation has forked over a portion of its gaming revenues to the state for about a decade and a half. According to The Buffalo News, the compact stipulated that the payment rate was 18 percent in the first year, eventually rounding out to 25 percent in “Years 8-14.”

After that, there is no mention, apparently, of any more required payments. Therefore, the tribe has decided that, now that is in the fifteenth year, it does not need to contribute to the state’s coffers any more.

“We’re now in the 15th year of that compact,’’ a Seneca representative told The Buffalo News. “This is the Nation following the language of the compact.’’

The Seneca Nation has also been paying host municipalities where its casinos are located and has said that it plans to work something out with them so that they don’t lose all that money.

“Although the revenue share has ended, we remain committed to being good neighbors in the communities where we have gaming facilities and we look forward to working directly with them to continue the economic progress of Western New York,’’ Seneca President Todd Gates said in a statement.

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