May 14

A fond farewell to mechanical horse racing games.

A Fond Farewell to the Nostalgia of Mechanical Horse Racing Games

I often talk about the variety of casino games found in today’s major gambling establishments. Everything from slots and video poker machines, to blackjack, baccarat, roulette, craps and other table games, not to mention keno, bingo, and today’s big-ticket skill-based games slowly invading Atlantic City. One game I don’t believe I’ve ever mentioned before is the Sigma Derby.

We’re not talking about genuine horse race betting. The Sigma Derby is a mechanical race simulator. It takes place at a massive table that seats up to 10 players, with 5 figurine horses racing around a miniature track. The results are random, the payouts are real, and that one minute of excitement is more than enough to draw beads of sweat as the mechanical ponies jerk their way ever-closer to the finish.

How Mechanical Horse Racing Games Work

Sigma Games Inc., based out of Japan, introduced the first electro-mechancial horse racing game in 1985. Named after their own company, the Sigma Derby was a big hit out of the gate. The set-up features 5 horses on an oval track. Each is pulled along from beneath by individual gear chains. To make the games fair and unpredictable, each gear runs at a random speed each time it’s initiated.

The only available wagers on Sigma Derby games are “quinellas”, meaning that the player must select two of the five horses to win and place (finish 1st and 2nd). It doesn’t matter which order they win and place in, so long as the two horses selected are the first two to finish. As such, there are only 10 betting options. Eligible quinellas and their respective payouts are as follows:

Much like a slot machine, the probability of the speed being high or low is predefined, but is determined at the moment the game starts by the algorithmic density of a random number generator (RNG). Suffice it to say (and this is only an example), horse #4 may only win or place in 8 out of 100 races, but no one – not even the manufacturer – can predict which of those races he will finish.

Horses Pays Horses Pays
#1 + #2 5 to 1 #2 + #4 20 to 1
#1 + #3 39 to 1 #2 + #5 2 to 1
#1 + #4 200 to 1 #3 + #4 160 to 1
#1 + #5 19 to 1 #3 + #5 15 to 1
#2 + #3 4 to 1 #4 + #5 79 to 1

Mechanical Racing Simulator a Dying Breed

The Sigma Derby fell from the grace of casino management many years ago when it was decided that the games just weren’t profitable enough to keep them around. It certainly wasn’t a popularity issue. Everywhere these games existed, the seats were occupied, and almost always at capacity.

Why the Sigma Derby is a Dying Breed

So why weren’t they making money? They can’t blame the house edge. Those horses were providing anywhere from 10-20% edge for the casino. Players didn’t even care, though. Even knowing how bad the odds were, the game provided plenty of excitement, at a low enough cost, to keep the seats filled. And with 10 players participating, wins occurred often enough to attract more bettors whenever one left the table.

The real problem was that Sigma designed the game to take quarters only. Players would bring a cup of quarters with them to the derby game, and could bet anywhere from 1 to 20 coins per race ($0.25 to $5), but most stuck to one quarter. With 10 players betting 1 coin per minute, even with a 20% edge, the casinos were only generating about $2.00 per minute. Removing a game of such considerable size and replacing it with a bank of slot machines, or a single $5-minimum blackjack table, could earn them so much more in the same span of time. So that’s what they did.

At the time of writing, it’s believed that just one Sigma Derby game remains in North America, occupying a small piece of property on the second floor of The D Las Vegas. More recent remakes are being introduced, but they lack the tinny nostalgia – as well as the cheap betting options and 5-horse build – of the original, mechanical horse racing games.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , ,

May 08

Five fast ways to ruin your chance of winning video poker.

Five Fast Ways to Ruin Your Chance of Winning Video Poker

Did you know that video poker is one of the very rare gems at a casino that can afford a house edge of less than 0.5%? That’s a theoretical return to player (RPT) of 99.5% or better! Find the right rules and pay table, and that could rise to 99.92%. Even a perfect blackjack strategy can’t harvest that kind of RTP – not without a precision card counting team.

That 99.92% RTP is about the best you’ll find online (Microgaming’s All Aces VP), but a few land-based casinos do still offer machines that pay over 100%. The highest I’ve seen is 100.76%. They are insanely rare, but they’re out there.

5 Ways to Ruin Your Chances of Winning Video Poker

As generous as some of these games can be, it’s very much possible to win at video poker. Even online, all you’ll need is a smidgen of luck to beat those odds. That is, if you don’t make these common mistakes… The following is a list of 5 easy ways to ensure you will not win playing video poker.

#1 Overlook Pay Table Value

The pay table in a video poker machine is the most important piece of information for players. It holds two key things to look for.

First are the payouts for a Full House and Flush. A Full House should pay 9, and a Flush 6/ This is called a 9/6 Full Pay. Second is the progressive value of a Royal Flush per coin wagered. Betting 5 coins should offer a payout higher than the 5x multiple of a 1 coin payout. (Hint: Bet all 5 coins!)

Win at Video Poker with a 9/6 Full Pay and Max 5-Coin Payout Multiplier

The image above shows a 5-coin wager is worth 4,000 coins, as opposed to an even multiple of 1,250. If the payout is 1,250 for a Royal Flush, or the Full House/Flush pays are anything less than 9/6, do not play the game… unless it’s got wild cards (see below).

#2 Only Play Jacks or Better

Despite popular belief, Jacks or Better isn’t the only good video poker game on the casino floor. In fact, with the right pay table, Deuces Wild, Joker Wild, Aces & Eights and Double Bonus machines can all pay over 100% RTP. And, as I mentioned earlier, the best online video poker game is All Aces by Microgaming.

#3 Ignore Video Poker Strategy

There are three basic ways to play video poker.

1) You can randomly click cards to hold.
2) You can rely on your gut instinct to decide what card to hold.
3) You can employ a video poker strategy that determines exactly what cards to hold for the highest possible odds of winning.

If you want to win, the third option is the only way to go. There are some really good hand calculator apps out there for VP strategy, too. Find one that offers the same rules/pay table as your machine, input each hand as it’s drawn, and the app will tell you exactly how to proceed. It really is that easy.

#4 Not Knowing Where to Play

Visit a casino often enough, and you’ll realize the layout rarely changes. Be extremely observant, and you’ll notice that, despite the unchanging layout, the machines themselves tend to move. The most popular games move the most, which means that video poker machine you found last month that paid so well, probably won’t be in the same spot next time you go.

Thankfully, there’s this amazing website called This website provides a searchable list of casinos all over North America. It lists the video poker machines they offer, including their RTP and exact location in the casino! It’s updated daily by actual players who visit these casinos and play the games. Pretty amazing, right? You’re welcome 🙂

#5 Don’t Use a Player’s Club Card

To get the maximum value out of any casino experience, you have to join the rewards club. At online casinos, it’s usually automatic. Land-based casinos, however, require a bit of work on your part. You’ll have to visit the Player’s Club desk and give them your basic info to receive a card. Swipe this card in every machine you play before inserting money, and the casino will track your play. Doing so will earn you casino comps – everything from a free meal to a weekend stay in the penthouse suite!

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , ,

Apr 30

AML laws to blame for Parq Vancouver Casino losing money?

Parq Vancouver Casino Losing Money, Some say AML Laws to Blame

Since 2018, money laundering has been the most abundant topic surrounding British Columbia’s once-flourishing gaming industry. Hundreds of millions – perhaps even billions – of dollars have been identified moving through BC casinos over the last decade. Provincial leaders are cracking down on the situation, and while putting a strangle-hold on the activities of organized crime syndicates is a huge positive, the impact it’s having on the Vancouver gambling scene is not.

According to recent reports, the Parq Vancouver, the areas largest casino opened in 2017, is not fairing so well. In its first year, the integrated gambling and entertainment venue made nearly $20 million. Following the implementation of new anti-money laundering (AML) regulations, this latest year’s profits are non-existent. The property recorded a staggering loss of more than $150 million.

Is Parq Vancouver Casino Still Viable?

The Parq Vancouver is an imposing structure located in the heart of British Columbia’s most populous city. Its copper-tinted window-wall exterior and unique shape are unmistakable, and are home to a two-story casino, a pair of luxury hotel towers (JW Marriott and The Douglas) on each end, eight diverse restaurants and lounges, and a plethora of other amenities. It is, as its owners describe it, an “international entertainment destination” that proffers “everything in one place.”

At the time the casino was being built – a process that took nearly 3 full years to complete – such a facility was in high demand. It was no secret that some of Asia’s most affluent tourists are drawn to BC, Canada, and that they are keen high rollers on the gaming floor. No doubt, the Parq Vancouver was hoping to capitalize on that foreign cash crop.

What the property’s owners did not know was that Asian VIPs were about to become a thing of the past in Vancouver as exhumed records would soon reveal a deep dark pattern of money laundering, resulting in a strain of new AML policies designed to thwart cash-cleaning by organized crime units.

AML Regulations to Blame for Revenue Loss?

In its first fiscal year, despite hefty loans and mounting debt, the casino drug in a profit of about $18 million. However, when the Office of Attorney General David Eby uncovered a history of money laundering – one that was highlighted by suitcases and duffle bags stuffed with mostly $20 bills amounting to $13.5 million being deposited at the River Rock Casino in nearby Richmond, BC in a single month’s time – began re-scripting the province’s AML laws, BC casinos didn’t look quite so appealing to all those high rollers anymore.

Dundee Corp, minority owner of Parq Vancouver, filed its annual earnings report on March 28, 2019, and the results weren’t nearly so vibrant. On the year ending December 2018, Parq Vancouver lost nearly $153 million. According to research analyst Andrew Hood of M Capital Partners, $112 million of that was spent covering loans. Owners declined to comment beyond the revelations of the report, but Hood took no issue addressing the pink elephant in the room.

“The anti-money laundering regulations in British Columbia have been a problem,” explains Hood. “The regulations were supposed to cut down on illicit gambling but, of course, that hurt volumes across casinos.”

Furthermore, data from Bloomberg reveals Parq has a pair of loans out. The first is a US$220 first-lien term-loan, and the second is a $150 million second-lien term-loan. Being owned by two privately held companies, Dundee Corp and its majority owner, PBC Group, specific details like interest rates do not have to be disclosed. But it’s clear that the Parq Vancouver Casino is drowning in debt.

Global market ratings experts at S&P say there’s every chance Parq will default on its loans. “We still believe that, absent a debt recapitalization, the company will be unable to materially address its high fixed charges and financial sustainability,” notes S&P.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Apr 17

More online blackjack rules than you can shake a stick at!

More Online Blackjack Rules than you can Shake a Stick at!

If there’s one thing land-based casinos have taught us, it’s that all blackjack games are not created equal. To the untrained eye, all they may appear to be the same. But any veteran gambler knows there are many differences to be observed. Every rule variation, no matter how slight, will impact the expected return to player (RTP).

Most casinos know that delivering blackjack tables with an affable set of rules is crucial for attracting wise players to the casino floor. But they usually have a little extra room for those less valuable games, making them look more attractive with lower limits or special side bets – something less educated gamblers are often drawn to.

Online casinos, on the other hand, have taken this concept to the brink of RTP destruction! They aren’t bound by spacial limitations. They can proffer as many variants of blackjack as they wish, never running out of room or seats. And if you’ve visited any of the bigger online and mobile casinos, you know exactly just how many variations that can be!

More Online Blackjack Rules Than You Can Shake a Stick At!

As a quick example of what I’m talking about, let’s take a glance at the game variety provided by LeoVegas Mobile Casino. This particular operator is among the industry’s most popular, in part because it employs so many software brands; nearly 50 of them, plus its own proprietary software as the cherry on top.

Many of those big-name brands offer one, if not a few, blackjack variants. And when you put them all together as LeoVegas has, it creates a plethora of blackjack titles to choose from; all with slight (if not monumental) rule alterations. All told, this popular mobile casino currently supports 27 RNG-based blackjack titles, and no less than 9 live dealer blackjack offerings.

That’s at least three dozen ways to play blackjack. And if you don’t know what to look for – if you can’t recognize the differences in the rules and pay tables – you may be getting terrible value for your bankroll budget.

Best Blackjack Rules for Minimal House Edge

Some rules have a minuscule effect on a blackjack game’s RTP, while others can be significant. At the same time, some rules benefit the player, while others benefit the house. The following list contains all common rule variations and their effect on the casino’s edge. Note that a positive integer is good for the player. A negative integer benefits the house.

Number of Decks

The number of decks used can have a large impact on the house edge in blackjack. A shoe can contain anywhere from 1 to 8 decks. The golden rule here is to play with the least number of decks possible.

Number of Decks      House Edge Effect
1 Deck0.48%
2 Decks0.19%
4 Decks0.06%
6 Decks0.02%
8 Decks0.00%

Payout for Natural Blackjack

The payout for a natural blackjack can be one of the most significant differences in a game. A 2-to-1 payout is best, but extremely rare. You should generally look for the standard 3-to-2 payout. Anything less will decimate the house edge.

Natural Blackjack Pays     House Edge Effect
2 to 12.27%
3 to 2 0.00%
7 to 5 -0.45%
6 to 5 -1.39%
1 to 1 -2.27%
Blackjack Tie PaysHouse Edge Effect
3 to 20.32%
1 to 20.11%

Other Blackjack Rule Variations

Next up is a list of all common rule variations that don’t fall into the above categories. That doesn’t make them any less important, though. Pay close attention to all rules that deliver an added advantage to the player.

Common Rule Variations       House Edge Effect
5 Card Charlie 1.46%
Early Surrender against Dealer’s Ace 0.39%
Early Surrender against dealer’s 100.24%
Double on Any Number of Cards0.23%
Draw to Split Aces0.19%
6-Card Charlie0.16%
Double Down Rescue0.10%
Late Surrender0.08%
Resplit Aces Allowed0.08%
Late Surrender Against Dealer’s 100.07%
Split up to 3 Hands-0.01%
Double Only on Total of 9-11
Split up to 2 Hands-0.10%
European Blackjack (No Hole Card)-0.11%
No Double after Split-0.14%
Double Only on Total of 10-11-0.18%
Dealer Hits on Soft 17-0.22%
Dealer 22 is a Push-6.91%

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , ,

Apr 15

Exploit your swag to fleece extra casino comps in Las Vegas.

Exploit Your Swag to Fleece Extra Casino Comps in Las Vegas

Earning casino comps doesn’t have to be a long, tedious or costly process. Sometimes, playing the part of a high-roller is all it takes to generate VIP treatment. You won’t have to rob a bank to pull it off either.

Flashing just enough cash can do the trick, but only if you bring the entire package. A full high-roller ensemble includes fancy attire and a trendy hair do to match. Keep reading to learn how a sharp dressed man, or woman, can have the casinos eating out of the palm of their hand!

Fleece Your Swag to Earn Extra Casino Comps

There’s an age-old adage that says, “The clothes make the man”. If you want to get a good job, you don’t walk into an interview in jeans and a Led Zeppelin t-shirt. If you want to impress a girl on your first date, you don’t wear socks with sandals. And if you want to attract the attention of the VIP managers in Las Vegas, you never, ever show up in a polo.

If you’ve ever caught a glimpse of the usual Las Vegas tourist scene, it’s surprising how many people think quarter-button down shirts and khakis are “cool”. Maybe if you’re heading to the miniature golf course, but the Bellagio? Not even close.

The better dressed you are, the more heads you’re going to turn. You don’t even have to be a good actor. As it turns out, simply dressing in formal attire has the ability to provide you with all the swag you’ll ever need.

Don’t believe me? It’s a scientific fact!

The Science of Formal Attire

In 2015, research was conducted by Columbia University Professor of Psychology Michael Slepian. The study revolved around the impact of dressing sharply, both on the mental and physical prowess of the wearer, and his impression upon those he interacts with. The study culminated into a research paper titled The Cognitive Consequences of Formal Clothing, published in SAGE Journal’s Social Psychological and Personality Science.

Dr. Slepian found that “wearing formal clothing enhances abstract cognitive processing.” He conducted five separate studies, concluding the donning of fancy, formal attire could be associated with…

Study 1: …higher action identification level.

Study 2: …greater category inclusiveness.

Study 3: …greater category inclusiveness.

Study 4: …global processing advantage.

Study 5: association between clothing formality and abstract processing was mediated by felt power.

According to Slepian:

The findings demonstrate that the nature of an everyday and ecologically valid experience, the clothing worn, influences cognition broadly, impacting the processing style that changes how objects, people, and events are construed.”

Clothing, Confidence, Cognition & Coinage

Once you’ve got the clothing, all you need is the confidence of a high roller, the cognition of a strategic gambler, and the coinage to back it up. Two of these should come naturally, as Dr. Slepian points out. The right attire gives a person confidence, and that confidence equates to higher mental capacity. The thing it won’t give you – quite the opposite if you have to pay an arm and a leg for the clothes – is money.

As I said, you won’t need to rob a bank, but you should save up a decent size bankroll before attempting to exploit the casino. You can’t possibly pull off the persona buying in for anything less than $1,000. This doesn’t mean you have to wager the whole 4-figures. You just have to look like you’re ready to do so.

Take a leisurely stroll across the casino floor. Check out the tables. Spend a few moments observing the action at various mid- to high-stakes tables, but steer clear of the VIP room. Let them feel like you’re thinking about playing, but shrug it off as something a bit too boring for you taste and keep on walking. Before long, someone should take notice and approach you. They may ask if you’re looking for something in particular, or if you’ve considered partaking in their VIP games. This is your moment!

Act interested, but disconnected. Tell them you were about to play one game or another, but you haven’t eaten yet and your throat is parched! If you can pull off the debonair of James Bond or one of his seductive lady friends, you’ll be dining free of charge before you can say “Hit me!

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , ,

Apr 12

Slot Machines & Negative Expectations: Calculating Your Hourly Expectancy

Slot Machines & Negative Expectations: Calculating Your Hourly Expectancy

You’ve planned a night out at the casino. You’re all dressed up. Your ride is waiting. You suddenly realize you have no idea how much money you should bring! If you’re new to casino gambling, you may have come across this problem before.

Many people perceive casino games to be very expensive. Or, they decide to bring more money than necessary because there’s always the chance they’ll lose everything long before the night is over. If you’re not sure how much to bring, and don’t want to overextend your budget, here’s a few tips on calculating the hourly cost of a slot machine.

Slot Machines & Negative Expectations

First, you need to understand how slot machines work. These games, like almost every game in a casino, come with a negative expectation. This simply means that, based on the pre-programmed payout rules, you can expect to lose money when playing them. It doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to lose, but the odds are definitely not in your favor.

The great thing about slot machines is that the payout percentages are not determined by how you play the game. You can shift the tides in blackjack or video poker based on the decisions you make. In slot machines, there exists something called an RTP, or return to player. This is the percentage-based amount the machine is going to return, based on what it takes in. A 96% RTP, for instance, will pay out 96% of all money wagered to its players. The other 4% goes to the casino, known as the house edge. It’s a long-term thing, subject to variance (see Flaws below), but in terms of calculating hourly slot machine cost, it’s a necessary figure.

You’ll need two other pieces of information to complete the equation; the cost per spin, and the average number of spins per hour. Now, to put them all together…

Calculating Your Hourly Expectancy

You can do this a few ways, but the easiest is to start by multiplying the cost per spin by the spins per hour.

Let’s say you’re playing a game that costs $0.40 per spin. That’s a fairly common rate at both live and online casinos.

The speed at which you spin plays an enormous role in the expected cost of play. If you just keep tapping the spin button every time the reels stop, you can expect to see about 10 spins per minute, which equates to (10*60) 600 spins per hour. However, if you take your time, observing the results of each spin before continuing, not only will you enjoy the experience far more, you’ll only spin the reels about 6 times per minute, or (6*60) 360 spins per hour.

For obvious reasons, I would strongly suggest taking your time. But that’s your choice, of course.

By multiplying your cost per spin ($0.40) by your spins per hour (360), we find that you’ll be wagering about (0.40*360) $144 per hour.

Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean you’ll be losing $144 per hour. Some of those spins will produce wins. So if we multiply the total wagers per hour by a house edge of 4% (that being the opposite of a 96% RTP), we can estimate how much money we should expect to win back in that hour. In this case, ($144*0.04) $5.76 per hour.

Gambling on slot machines doesn’t sound nearly so expensive when you look at it in this manner. Losing just under $6 in an hour, we could spend a vast amount of time at the casino on a $150 bankroll.

To sum it up, the formula for estimating slot machine losses per hour is:

Cost-per-spin x spins-per-hour x house-edge = loss-per-hour

The Flaw In This Plan

The only problem with this plan is a little thing we call variance. A machine is not guaranteed to pay out its RTP with every wager, or within every hour. It could produce a win. It could even produce a very large win! Or, it could produce far fewer wins than the RTP suggests, causing players to lose money more rapidly than the estimations above.

The variance of a machine can be high, medium, or low. The higher the variance, the more swings in win/loss you can expect. The lower the variance, the closer to the above estimation you’re likely to get. Most live casinos do not advertise the variance of their games. Many won’t even list the RTP. Online slot machines, however, often do. If you can get this information, use it to your advantage when sizing your bankroll.

My suggestion would be to anticipate losses of 4x more on a high variance game, 3x more on a medium variance game, and 2x more on a low variance game. This way, you’re safeguarding your bankroll against a streak of bad luck that could leave you high and dry before the night is over.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , ,

Apr 10

Exploring the minimal efficacy of casino money management for slot machine players.

Exploring the Minimal Efficacy of Casino Money Management for Slots Players

If you’ve ever looked into gambling strategies before, you’ve surely read a lot of information about bankroll budgeting. Every tactful wagering guide touts the need for proper bankroll management. It’s a useful tool in extending one’s entertainment value, but those who laud it as an effective gambling strategy for slots players are sorely mistaken.

Time and time again, I’ve come across online blogs that list proper bankroll management as a slot machine strategy. A strategy is something that’s meant to increase your odds of winning a game. Managing your money properly has no effect whatsoever on the house edge or odds. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying you shouldn’t budget your bankroll. I’m just saying that it’s a matter of player responsibility more than anything else.

What Casino Money Management Does for Players

Money management is all about extending a player’s entertainment to get the best value for your wagering dollars. If you’re going to spend an evening at the casino, and you have $200 to spend, I would suggest betting in smaller increments to make it last a few hours. Don’t drop $10 per spin into the slot machines. Stick to $1-$2 bets per spin. Win or lose, at least you’ll have had lots of pleasurable time in the casino.

Maybe you’re planing on spending 3 days in Las Vegas, and you’ve got $600 to spend at the casinos. Here’s where bankroll management becomes even more important. You don’t want to run out of money on the first day, right? Instead, you split your bankroll into 3 daily portions, $200 each. Maybe you want to do a little gambling in the morning, then come back again in the evening. You’d split that $200 again to provide two $100 budgets per day.

This kind of bankroll management is perfect for online casino players too. Maybe you only have $200 a month to wager with. You don’t want to deposit $200 on the 1st and go broke by the 2nd. Limit yourself to $15 a day. You’ll get at least two weeks out of it, plus all the small wins Lady Luck decides to toss your way.

Add in a win-limit – the point at which you’ve won enough money to quit and keep the cash – and you’re on the expressway for entertainment success!

Why Budgeting Isn’t a Slot Machine Strategy

Slot machines are a negative expectation games. No matter what you do, you’re not going to gain an advantage. Whether you bet your entire bankroll on a few spins of the reels, or spread your wagers out to last 3 days at a casino, the probabilities of winning will never increase.

In fact, the longer you spend playing slot machines, the more likely you are to lose on them. We chalk this up to short-term versus long-term variance.

The less time you spend playing, the more variance you’ll experience. So even a game with a negative expectation might proffer a win. So long as you stop after that win, a short-term player experience can become a positive win.

The more time you spend playing a game, the more likely your results are to match true mathematical probabilities. And those mathematical probabilities are what state you’ll lose. It’s what keeps casinos in business. Some players do go home winners, but many more will leave with lighter pockets to make up for it, providing the casinos with profits that equate to the house edge of each game.

Effective Bankroll Management Strategy

There’s one game available in casinos where bankroll management can be a very effective strategy. I’m talking about the one game that is not house banked – poker. In poker games, players compete against one another, therefore there is no house edge.

Managing your poker bankroll is easily done by splitting the total value into multiple sessions and/or tournaments. This is effective because you are playing against different odds, or in different circumstances, each time you buy in. You may compete against a tough set of players one session and lose that entire portion of your bankroll, then find yourself up against a table full of fish the next day, doubling or tripling that session’s spending limit.

Likewise, buying into one expensive tournament with your entire bankroll gives you only one shot at finishing in the money, where as budgeting your bankroll to join 10 smaller tournaments gives you that many chances to prevail over the competition. Thus money management is an effective tool for increasing the win rate of poker players.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , ,

Apr 04

At last, Gateway pins down a location for Ontario’s newest casino in Wasaga Beach.

It’s been a full year since Gateway Casinos & Entertainment won the bid to operate the ‘Central Gaming Bundle‘ of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp (OLG). As the region’s commercial casino service provider, Gateway earned the day-to-day managerial rights of one of Ontario’s most popular gambling establishments, Casino Rama Resort, as well as the OLG Slots at Georgian Downs. Moreover, the company was awarded responsibility for constructing a new casino and entertainment complex in the community of either Collingwood or Wasaga Beach .

It wasn’t long before Gateway decided on Wasaga Beach as the host municipality for the upcoming facility. However, the debate over where to build the casino has been raging for months. Finally, in a press release issued just hours ago, Gateway has announced the location of its upcoming Wasaga Beach casino.

Ontario’s Newest Casino Coming to Wasaga Beach Roundabout

At Last, Gateway Pins Down Site for Ontario's Newest Casino in Wasaga Beach

Gateway Casinos has submitted a proposal requesting permission to build the new gaming and entertainment facility on a 7.5-acre parcel of land in Wasaga Beach’s west end, flanking the Mosley Street roundabout at Lyons Court and Beachwood Road. Local and provincial officials will be looking over the proposal this week.

There’s little doubt that the necessary approvals will come swiftly, at which point Gateway can complete the acquisition of the plot and begin hiring crews for the construction phase of the property. The proposed casino would feature a range of slot machines and table games, along with a host of other amenities and attractions for guests.

No specifics are being leaked just yet on what the site will look like. The overall size and scope of the development will be discussed in the coming weeks, detailing the range of new employment opportunities, plans for food and beverage amenities, and other local economic investments. No doubt Gateway will put its stamp on the community with its signature MATCH Eatery & Public House and The Buffet dining options.

Assuming provincial and municipal approvals are met in a timely fashion, construction of the new casino – likely to be named Gateway Wasaga Beach – is expected to begin sometime this spring.

Town Leader Praises Efforts for New Wasaga Beach Casino

None were more pleased by the announcement than Nina Bifolchi, Mayor of Wasaga Beach. On behalf of the community, she welcomed Gateway to the area with open arms and emphatic praise.

“We are thrilled that Gateway has settled on a site that will best meet its business needs and we look forward to the construction phase starting,” said Mayor Bifolchi. “We know that Gateway has a tremendous track record in its industry, they are truly leaders, and we look forward to a strong and positive relationship with them in Wasaga Beach.”

Keith Andrews is the Senior VP and Managing Director for Gateway Casinos Ontario. He offered the enthusiastic sentiments of his company in a brief statement.

“We are very pleased to announce that we expect to soon be able to move forward with our plans to build an exciting new casino and entertainment destination in the Town of Wasaga Beach,” he said. “We look forward to receiving all the necessary provincial and municipal approvals and concluding the land transaction so we can start construction as quickly as possible.”

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Mar 29

Victims file class action lawsuit in Casino Rama hack.

Victims file Class Action in Casino Rama Hack, up to 200,000 Impacted?

While British Columbia continues to deal with its never-ending casino money-laundering scandal, Ontarians are still reeling from a casino hacking incident that resulted in the sensitive personal and financial information of nearly 11,000 individuals being publicly posted on the world wide web for all duplicitous eyes to see. The incident occurred at one of Ontario’s most popular gambling establishments, leaving players, staff members and even vendors fearing for the security of their identities.

The hacking of Casino Rama took place back in November of 2016. Some perceived that Casino Rama was doing the right and ethical thing – being a “good corporate citizen” – by informing tens of thousands of people that their information may have been compromised. For many of the casino’s employees, patrons and vendors, however, sympathy was far from their mind. They immediately contacted the legal team of Charney Lawyers, who initiated a class action lawsuit just three days after the incident.

The Casino Rama Hack

On November 4, 2016, Casino Rama was informed that it had suffered a grievous breach in security. Its internal computer network had been hacked, compromising the names, addresses, income and employment information, credit files, gambling losses and other details of their customers, employees, and vendors.

The casino reported the incident to the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. Then, Casino Rama sent out a mass email to all customers, staff and vendors informing them of the situation; that their sensitive information may have been compromised, and that they’re working with the OPP, RCMP and OLG to rectify the matter.

On November 11, 2016, the hacker made good on his threat to post the sensitive information on a public website. Approximately 10,900 individuals were victimized in the cyberattack. The hacker posted a total of 4.5 gigabytes worth of data, and threatened to publish a further 150 gigabytes of data.

New Evidence Leads Request for Class Action Extension

The case had been trudging along ever-so-slowly up until late January 2019, when Ontario’s Privacy Commissioner released the findings of its investigation into the matter. The investigator’s report concluded that:

[Casino Rama] did not have reasonable security measures in place to prevent unauthorized access to records of personal information.”

In light of this new “evidence”, the plaintiff’s legal team is now seeking to expand the class action to as many as 200,000 victims, seeking $60 million in damages. Lead attorney, Ted Charney, was in court on Thursday pleading the case. He argued that the victims go far beyond those impacted by the publication of sensitive data; that past and present employees, vendors and patrons, including those in the voluntary self-exclusion program, should be included as well.

“Thank goodness we now have the commissioner’s report,” Charney told the court. “We have evidence now that a substantial number of patrons had data on the two servers. There’s some basis in fact that their information wasn’t adequately protected.”

Defense Paints Casino Rama as “Good Corporate Citizen”

Lead defense attorney Cathy Beagan-Flood contends that the plaintiff’s proposed extension to the class is far too broad; that only 10,000-11,000 were impacted, and therefore should be included. She also disputes the validity of the Ontario privacy commissioner’s report, stating:

The (privacy commissioner) did not have all of the information. The evidence is that the non-Windows servers would not have been vulnerable.”

Beagan-Flood contends that the information of many more patrons and employees were stored on non-Windows based systems that were not vulnerable to the cyberattack. She goes on to paint Casino Rama as a “good corporate citizen” that should not be punished for making the quick and ethical decision to send out emails to tens of thousands of people, warning them they may have been effected by the Casino Rama hack.

Superior Court Justice Edward Belobaba expects to deliver a decision on the motion to extend the class action in May.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , ,

Mar 25

Trio of dealers charged with cheating at table games at Parq Vancouver Casino.

3 Dealers Charged with Cheating at Table Games at Parq Vancouver Casino

Cheating at the casino – it’s something that’s been going on since the dawn of gambling-kind. Prior to strict regulation, reporting and monitoring, some casinos were notoriously suspected of rigging certain games. Duplicitous players have been known to try everything from the infamous card-up-the-sleeve trick, to using sophisticated computer programs that coax slot machines into paying out a jackpot.

Such things don’t happen nearly so often these days, mostly because authoritative bodies and security technologies are much smarter than the criminals who might try to defraud one system or another. And yet, despite the great risk of being caught, casino fraud does still happen, as we learned when it was revealed why three former table games dealers at British Columbia’s Parq Vancouver Casino were fired from their positions last year.

BC Dealers Charged with Cheating at Table Games

There isn’t a great deal of information available on the cheating scandal that took place at the Vancouver gambling resort. In fact, no details at all were available until CTV News utilized the British Columbia Freedom of Information Act to obtain documents regarding the dismissal of those three employees. And even that information was vague.

CTV News learned – and MSN reported – that the three former live table dealers were “charged by police” with “collusion”; the act of two or more people working together to gain an unfair advantage. The report indicates that the former employees provided players with casino chips valued at $37,000, $40,000, and $43,000, even though those players were “not entitled” to receive those chips. The documents described the charges as “cheating at play”, but went into no further details.

Parq Casino isn’t talking, except to deliver the generic statement that they won’t comment on employee matters. They offered only an affirmation that the company “takes compliance seriously”. Ed Rampone, former Director of Casino Operations for the BC Gaming Policy & Enforcement Branch (GPEB), was more willing to speculate.

Rampone once specialized in criminal casino investigations, and in his educated opinion, it’s certainly possible that a dealer could slowly worked more chips to a player than they deserve. A blackjack dealer, for instance, could “add and include extra chips as he’s sliding them across the table.”

With the first half of the scam complete, the player could easily pay off the dealer for his or her troubles at an off-site location. Rampone describes a hypothetical scenario in which, “For every hundred or thousand dollars that I slip to you, you pay me back half or a third, depending on what the risk is.”

Other Cases of BC Player/Dealer Casino Collusion and Notable Employee Dismissals

Casino collusion was noted in two other incidents at BC casinos in 2017. One occurred in Langley’s Cascades Casino in a case wherein a “patron gained $7,000 in unentitled chips.” The other took place at the Hard Rock Casino Vancouver when “an employee colluded with [a] patron” in an “estimated theft in excess of $5,000.”

The employees involved in both of those incidents were also fired. But not all of the casino firings were for suspicion of cheating at table games. At Chances Casino Kelowna, an employee was discharged for stealing cigarettes and a lighter from a co-worker. In another incident, an employee was not exactly fired, but “de-registered”, after stealing two chocolate candy bars from the concession stand at Lake City Casino in Penticton.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , ,