Casinos demand punters' VIP deal

January 31, 2011

CASINO bosses will push the federal Government to streamline customs and immigration processing for Asian high-rollers flying into Australia.

James Packer’s Crown Casinos wants visas made easier to obtain, more frequent direct flights from Asia and VIP customs lounges at airports so gamblers can bypass queues.

Crown’s chief executive Rowen Craigie told The Sunday Telegraph the improvements were necessary if Australia hopes to tap into the lucrative middle and upper-class Chinese tourism market.

“They are the sort of issues we want to talk about with the federal Government,” Mr Craigie said, adding high-rollers wanted first-class treatment in all aspects of their visit.

In Singapore, where two casino resorts worth $11 billion opened last year, the Government has built a private lounge to fast-track customs and immigration processing for high-rollers.

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Officials meet VIPs at the air-bridge and escort them through the process, then casino valets and porters arrive.

“It needs to be competitive,” Mr Craigie said. “At the moment, it’s not.”

Mr Craigie welcomed the review that the Government announced last month into education visas. He said a similar process needed to be applied to tourist visas.

The higher education sector won the review into education visa processing after complaining that lack of access was discouraging students from studying in Australia.

A spokeswoman for Immigration Minister Chris Bowen would not commit to reviewing tourist visas.

The Sunday Telegraph understands the Immigration Department and some casinos have long-standing, prior arrangements for certain VIPs to access slightly more streamlined immigration processing.

“Australia’s migration and visa programs are global and non-discriminatory,” the spokeswoman said. “Where possible [we] offer streamlined processing to low-risk clients, primarily through electronic visas but also through preferred processing of applications lodged through trusted agents, as occurs in China.”

<a href=",2005:cluster=, 29 Jan 2011 13:05:32 GMT 00:00″>Casinos demand punters' VIP deal

Sports Betting Legend on CBS 60 Minutes

January 31, 2011

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<a href=",2005:cluster=, 18 Jan 2011 12:22:47 GMT 00:00″>Sports Betting Legend on CBS 60 Minutes

Barona Player Rings in the New Year Hitting Bad Beat Blackjack Progressive Jackpot

January 31, 2011

SOURCE: Barona Resort & Casino

Player Gets Lucky Break Scoring $52,600 Jackpot

SAN DIEGO, CA–(Marketwire – January 24, 2011) – A recent guest of Barona Resort & Casino scored a $52,600 jackpot at a Blackjack table while playing Barona’s Bad Beat Blackjack Progressive after the dealer beat his 20 with a seven card 21. The winner is thanking his New Year’s lucky stars.

“It is very exciting to start the New Year off with another big jackpot win,” said Mike Patterson, vice president of table games at Barona Resort & Casino. “This blackjack progressive was installed just a few weeks ago and we’ve already paid out more than $137,000 to several lucky winners. Not to mention the $100,000 Ginormous Bad Beat Poker Jackpot hit last week and the nearly $600,000 Marilyn Monroe slot machine jackpot a couple of weeks ago!”

Barona’s Bad Beat Blackjack Progressive invites players to cash in on a side bet when the dealer beats their 20 with a 21. The progressive uses the G3™ table game bonusing jackpot system manufactured by DEQ Systems Corp. All players have to do is place a $1-$5 side bet while playing blackjack.

The bonus is paid out based on how much the player bets and the number of cards in the dealer’s hand. Not only does the Bad Beat Blackjack Progressive reward players for getting beat by the dealer, but also offers better payouts depending on how many cards the dealer draws to get 21. If the dealer draws seven or more cards to get 21, the player takes home 100 percent of the jackpot.

Known as San Diego’s loosest casino, Barona has 2,000 slots and video poker machines. Additionally, the casino features over 80 table games including Blackjack, Pai Gow Poker, Caribbean Stud, Barona Craps, Three-Card Poker, Four-Card Poker, Mississippi Stud, Let It Ride, Baccarat and Barona Roulette, as well as the latest innovations in chipless gaming including Chipless Roulette™, Chipless Baccarat™, Chipless Three-Card Poker™ and Chipless Blackjack™.

About Barona Resort & Casino
Barona Resort & Casino, a AAA Four Diamond rated property, blends the best of San Diego’s leading resorts with the gaming excitement of Las Vegas. LEED® Gold Certified by the U.S. Green Building Council, Barona is San Diego’s leading destination resort featuring 400 guest rooms and suites all with beautiful views of the Barona Valley, a variety of award-winning dining options, the AmBience Day Spa, a full-service events center and the 18-hole championship Barona Creek Golf Club, rated the 3rd best resort course in California by Golfweek magazine. For Barona Resort & Casino reservations and information, visit, or call toll free 888-7-BARONA (722-7662). You can also join Barona on Facebook, Twitter and the Barona Casino blog.

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<a href=",2005:cluster=, 24 Jan 2011 18:46:51 GMT 00:00″>Barona Player Rings in the New Year Hitting Bad Beat Blackjack Progressive Jackpot

Mum-to-be is left out in cold

January 30, 2011

A pregnant woman was forced to evacuate her home over Christmas after being left without heating and hot water.

Yasmin Thomas, who is eight months pregnant with her first child, escaped her Cowpur Street home in Moorclose after her gas meter froze up, preventing her putting credit on the machine to keep her house warm.

Her suppliers have now replaced the meter after endless call-outs over the last four months which Ms Thomas says has left her without gas for ‘weeks’

Ms Thomas, 21, said: “I’ve been left without heating for days on end. You can phone on a Thursday but no one comes until the Monday leaving me the whole weekend without heating, hot water or being able to cook.

“The engineers have been so often I’m on first name terms with them now.”

Problems began for Yasmin in September when she moved to the town to be closer to her mum.

She soon contacted Southern Electric after being unable to add more credit to her pay-as-you-go gas meter after water dripped into meter box, which then froze. Engineers arrived to ‘wind on’ the meter, a process which sees the supplier add credit manually, but it soon froze again.

Tired of living in a cold house, Ms Thomas sought refuge in her mum’s house over Christmas as engineers from her supplier, Southern Electric and Gas, replaced the meter.

She said: “I’m due at the end of January which obviously makes it quite a stressful time for me so the last thing I need is to have to spend all day on the phone to Southern Electric pleading with them to come round to wind on my meter.

“I’ve got onto the the regulator OfGem now, and I hope that pressure will get them to sort this out once and for all before the baby arrives.”

A spokesperson for Southern Electric Gas, said: “Miss Thomas’ meter is situated outside her property and until recently the protective box which covered it was broken, causing rain water to get in. This, combined with the extremely cold weather resulted in the card slot freezing over, which meant that Miss Thomas could not put any credit onto the meter.

“Every time Miss Thomas contacted Southern Electric Gas to advise of this problem, engineers visited her to put the credit on the meter, as well as to recommend that she ask her landlord to repair the box to prevent the problem recurring.”


<a href=",2005:cluster=, 06 Jan 2011 10:12:38 GMT 00:00″>Mum-to-be is left out in cold

Egypt News Sparks Stock Sell Off: Social Unrest in Egypt Joins Wall of Worry

January 30, 2011

Editor’s Note: This is a text version of Lloyd’s Wall of Worry. For our graphic page, click here. For more on how to read the Wall of Worry, see below.

The events in Egypt have prompted nervousness in the markets and a special intra-week addition to Lloyd’s Wall of Worry:

Successful visit to the U.S. China spoke, the U.S. didn’t listen. The U.S. spoke, China didn’t listen. Might as well been one of my family reunions.

SOVEREIGN DEBT: The EU is thinking of selling financial instruments backed by good faith and credit of the European Community to shore up its weaker sisters. Capital idea! And then they can securitize the offerings and sell them all over the world in little pieces to insurance companies, banks and hedge funds, so there’s no systemic risk and…hey, wait a second!

CALIFORNIA AND THE OTHER 49 STATES: The Midwest strikes first! Illinois takes the reins of fiscal responsibility (and of course that law thing about a state needing to balance its budget) and raises its personal income tax rate. Rumor has it that some who are calling for yet another remake of the Cee Lo Green song “Forget You” to commemorate this event.

QE II: We need it, we don’t need it, we need it, we don’t need it. Geez, save some strength for the QE III and IV debating.

U.S. ECONOMY: It may not be text book or pretty in the least, but America — home of jeggings, the slap chop and the chip clip — is charging back like Snooki and “The Situation” en route to a free day at the grand opening of a tanning salon.

UNEMPLOYMENT: Take a seat `cause the U.S. payroll roulette table is open! Number choices range from negative 100,000 to positive 500,000. I’m gonna need my complimentary watered-down drink asap.

Freight train of economic stimulus love arriving by the carload. Looking like this conductor is aimin’ to keep that striped hat on for a long stretch `a track. Hoo-Hoo!

HFT: While these traders are begging for another Flash Crash, the rest of us are praying that it fades into footnote in history-land. Gonna be a regular Godzilla vs. Gamera (the flying, rocket propelled turtle) showdown.

INVESTOR SENTIMENT: Like a moth to a flame, magnet to steel, bees to honey and blubber to my hips, fearful retail investors are now leaning in but not yet falling into stocks. Maybe greed is dead? Sure, and maybe that blubber comment isn’t true also.

HOUSING CRISIS: Patience Grasshopper, the hill that takes all of history to create and one day to destroy will rebuild itself once again. Problem is there are a couple of million hills, which is where the patience thing comes in.

INFLATION/DEFLATION: Seemingly benign in the United States while going vertical in India, Brazil and China. How does America do it? “Oh ho-ho it’s magic, you know, never believe it’s not so….” 

QUANTITATIVE TIGHTENING: While we here in the  West are looking for ways to further loosen the monetary fit of our elastic waist economic sweat pants, the East and South (India, South Korea, China, Brazil, Peru and sundry others) are tightening their credit belts in an effort to fend off choking inflation and Tunisian-type leadership overthrow. Man, some countries are so selfish.

STOCK MARKET TECHNICALS: The charts are screaming for a correction almost as loudly as the short-positioned chart readers are. One might suggest trying “long-term investing” but the combined cacophony of laughter and crickets would be deafening.

MOTHER NATURE: She’s pissed. Australia, a natural resource king, is rapidly becoming a small sea, and Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro, a burgeoning economic king, is the world’s largest mud slide. Pardon my soap box but economically and humanitarianly speaking, this is the opposite of good.

SOCIAL UNREST:  When does the financially focused, bottom-line fixated stock market care about demonstrations and riots?  When it involves things like the Suez Canal and the commerce that flows through it. All eyes on Egypt until further notice.

What is Lloyd’s Wall of Worry?
By Lloyd Khaner

Since the 1930′s, when Benjamin Graham created the concept of “Mr. Market”, investors have been trying to figure out what events or fears are influencing the market. Investors call this body of concerns the “Wall of Worry.”

Oddly, no one has ever kept a list of the worries, except for me. I’ve been managing money for the last 20 years and keeping a running tally of all the things that are bothering investors. It’s an important part of my value investment discipline, because when Mr. Market gets nervous, stocks tend to get cheaper.

As Warren Buffett says: “Be fearful when others are greedy and be greedy when others are fearful.”

Click on the image below for a graphic version of Lloyd’s Wall of Worry:

The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer’s business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

<a href=",2005:cluster=, 28 Jan 2011 18:02:55 GMT 00:00″>Egypt News Sparks Stock Sell Off: Social Unrest in Egypt Joins Wall of Worry

PokerTek to Highlight Blackjack Pro and PokerPro Systems at International …

January 30, 2011

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<a href=",2005:cluster=, 25 Jan 2011 06:29:33 GMT 00:00″>PokerTek to Highlight Blackjack Pro and PokerPro Systems at International …

Atlantic City losing out to regional casinos

January 30, 2011

Thomson Reuters is the world’s largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.

NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.

<a href=",2005:cluster=, 25 Jan 2011 16:36:58 GMT 00:00″>Atlantic City losing out to regional casinos

Online Bingo Sees Significant Increase in 2010

January 29, 2011

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<a href=",2005:cluster=, 06 Jan 2011 13:14:49 GMT 00:00″>Online Bingo Sees Significant Increase in 2010

Femi “the DriFish” Lawal: The Clown With No Circus

January 29, 2011

EditorialBlogsBest of Baltimore

Best of Baltimore Home

<a href=",2005:cluster=, 25 Jan 2011 21:39:18 GMT 00:00″>Femi “the DriFish” Lawal: The Clown With No Circus

Flood a boon for Lake Mead

January 28, 2011

A flood that destroyed homes near Mesquite last month also delivered a welcome boost to Lake Mead.

High flows on the Virgin River and its tributaries raised the level of the reservoir by about a foot and a half, according to rough projections from U.S. Bureau of Reclamation officials.

That might not sound like a lot, but a foot and a half of water spread across the surface of the nation’s largest man-made lake totals almost 150,000 acre-feet, enough to supply about 300,000 average homes for one year and half as much water as Nevada is allowed to take from the reservoir each year.

Every foot of elevation counts right now at Lake Mead because it helps keep the surface of the drought-stricken reservoir above a federal shortage line that would force Nevada and Arizona to curtail their Colorado River use.

The trigger point for that shortage declaration is 1,075 feet above sea level. When the rain began to fall in Southern Nevada on Dec. 17, the lake sat at elevation 1,083.8. By Dec. 26, it had risen to 1,086.

Analysts think most of that water came in a rush down the Virgin River, which empties into the northern tip of Lake Mead, about 70 miles northeast of Las Vegas.

“Every little bit helps,” said Rose Davis, spokeswoman for the Bureau of Reclamation in Boulder City.

Lake Mead gets nearly all of its water from snow that falls in the Rockies and melts into the Colorado River and its tributaries. Precipitation here — even heavy rain and flooding — generally has no measurable effect on the reservoir.

Major floods on the Virgin and Muddy rivers are the exception.

When the two rivers northeast of Las Vegas overran their banks in January 2005, the surface of Lake Mead rose about 2 feet.

Last month’s storm system also helped the lake by dumping snow at the headwaters of the Colorado and soaking farms in Southern California, reducing orders for irrigation water from the river system.

“It was a win all the way around,” said J.C. Davis, spokesman for the Southern Nevada Water Authority, wholesale water supplier for the Las Vegas Valley.

The water level in Lake Mead has dropped about 130 feet since record drought took hold on the Colorado 11 years ago.

Now water users are scrambling to find ways to keep Lake Mead from slipping below the 1,075 mark.

The latest suggestion comes from Arizona, where officials are discussing the possibility of leaving some of their Colorado River water in Lake Mead to forestall a shortage declaration that would hit that state the hardest.

Bob Barrett is spokesman for the Central Arizona Project, the 336-mile network of aqueducts, tunnels and pipelines that delivers Colorado River water to Phoenix, Tucson and farming districts along the way. He said that if projections later this year show Lake Mead dropping to within a foot of the shortage trigger, the Central Arizona Project will consider reducing its diversions enough to keep the reservoir above the line.

“Why not leave 50,000 to 80,000 acre-feet in Lake Mead in order to avoid a hit of 320,000 acre-feet?” Barrett said. “It’s pretty simple stuff if you stop and look at it.”

He said they hope their counterparts in Nevada and California will consider similar moves to help delay a shortage declaration at least for another year or two — long enough, perhaps, to outlast the drought.

“It’s like sitting at a blackjack table and drawing a push. You didn’t lose, and every year Mother Nature deals a new hand,” he said.

Arizona is entitled to 2.8 million acre-feet of Colorado River water each year. Nevada’s annual share of the river is 300,000 acre-feet, nearly all of which goes to the Las Vegas Valley.

A shortage declaration would mean 320,000 acre-feet less water for Arizona and 13,000 acre-feet less for Nevada. Water officials in both states insist the cuts would have no effect on municipal water supplies.

Asked whether the Southern Nevada Water Authority supports Arizona’s plan to leave some water on this side of Hoover Dam, J.C. Davis chuckled and said, “We’re very supportive of any action that would result in Lake Mead staying above 1,075.”

Elevation 1,075 is also the trigger point for a pivotal vote by the water authority board on whether to build a pipeline to tap groundwater across eastern Nevada.

Should the lake shrink another 25 feet to elevation 1,050, the authority will be forced to shut down one of the two intake pipes that supply the valley with 90 percent of its drinking water.

A third intake is under construction to draw water from deeper in Lake Mead, but the $700 million project has been delayed by flooding at the underground work site.

Lake Mead is expected to receive a temporary boost from a new international agreement that will allow Mexico to store up to 260,000 acre-feet of water in the reservoir while it repairs damage from a 7.2-magnitude quake that struck Mexicali on April 4.

That extra water could raise the surface of the lake by 3 feet or more.

The Bureau of Reclamation’s latest projections, released before the flood on the Virgin River, called for Lake Mead to rise gradually through the end of March, then start back down again. The reservoir was predicted to reach a new record low in May and continue to shrink into July, when it was to bottom out just below elevation 1,078.

New projections are in the works that will reflect the effect of the Virgin River flooding and the recent snowfall in the Rockies.

The latest snowpack estimates show well-above-average accumulations in several areas that feed the Colorado River. Just don’t expect forecasters and water managers to start popping champaign anytime soon.

Several times over the past decade, the snow season has gotten off to a rousing start, only to fade in late winter and early spring, typically the best months for heavy, wet snowfall.

“We’re glad to be ahead rather than behind at this point,” J.C. Davis said.

“It’s the bottom of the second inning, so it’s a little early to celebrate our victory over the drought.”

Added the Bureau of Reclamation’s Rose Davis, “We’ll keep our toes crossed.”

Contact reporter Henry Brean at or 702-383-0350.

<a href=",2005:cluster=, 06 Jan 2011 10:25:18 GMT 00:00″>Flood a boon for Lake Mead

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