Be Secure – RGT Online

June 30, 2012

Be Secure 3 June 2012 By Donald Catlin

Back in December of 1978 I played in the first Blackjack tournament, which was called The World Championship of Blackjack. It was the creation of the Fishman brothers and was held at the old Sarah Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. (See my article entitled “What Goes Around” in the archives on this site.) I played in several more of these tournaments in succeeding years and one of them was memorable, though not for what you might think.

In one of these tournaments I made it out of the first round a winner and a ribbon was attached to my ID badge declaring such. Players were advised that television cameras would be around filming the event so I wore my three-piece charcoal pinstripe suit. It was a nice suit that I had had tailor made.

After playing in and winning the first round I headed to the regular Blackjack tables to play some more Blackjack. I was warm in the casino so I hung my suit jacket on the back of my chair. When I got up to leave some 40 minutes later my jacket was gone. My fried Jocko and I searched all of the bathrooms (we even got permission to search ladies rooms) and all of the bushes outside but to no avail. How had someone managed to swipe my jacket? Then I remembered.

As I was playing, two women and a man approached our table. The women were wearing long coats. The man had severe palsy. In fact it was so bad that the poor dealer couldn’t tell if the man was just shaking or if he was scratching the table to indicate a hit. Needless to say it disrupted the game and focused everyone’s attention on him. He left the game five minutes later and I’m sure my jacket went with them under one of the ladies coats! That ribbon on my jacket was an indication that my jacket might well contain my winnings and attracted these scammers. There was no money in my jacket so they lost out, but I had a nice suit ruined.

So ladies and gentsc There are folks just waiting for such an opportunity. Ladies always keep you purse in front of you, preferably with a strap attached to your person. With the advent of TITO (ticket in ticket out) the old scam of a passerby telling you that one of your coins is on the floor and grabbing your bucket when you reach down is almost a thing of the past, but there are still coin machines around. And Craps players always stack your high denomination chips in the center of your chip rack with dollar chips at either end of your stack. If you have a large win, ask security to escort you to your room or your car. If possible, stay at a hotel that has a room safe. If not, you can always get a safety deposit box at the cage.

Now here is another tip that I learned from this experience. If you ever have anything stolen in a casino, don’t depend on hotel security to write up the theft as a theft. In my case they wrote it up as lost. So I called the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police and they made out a police report clearly stating that my coat had been stolen. They mailed the report to my home. I’m glad they did because my homeowners insurance covered the loss and I got a brand new tailored suit for no charge. The police told me that hotel security is only interested in protecting the hotel. So, always call the police. See you next month.

Don Catlin can be reached at

This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network, John Robison managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network.

Be Secure – RGT Online

The 500th INTERBLOCK’S G3 MEGASTAR Roulette installed in holland – Trade News – Casino – YourGuide

June 29, 2012

The 500th INTERBLOCK’S G3 MEGASTAR Roulette installed in holland 01/06/12

After successful launch of the first Interblock’s G3 Megastar products in Holland in 2003 and their big success, which resulted in long-term relationship with our important customer and distributor Elam Group company, Interblock is proud to announce the launch of 500th G3 Megastar Roulette at brand new Merkur Casino in Almere in the beginning of May. Mr. Jos H. M. van Rheden, Commercial Director of Elam Group, commented:“In the year 2000 multiplayers became allowed in the Dutch arcades. Soon afterwards, several multiplayers like horse-race, dice games, roulettes, blackjack tables, etc. entered the arcades in the Netherlands, but from the first moment Megastar Roulette was installed, it became the most popular multiplayer roulette for the players.”“After introducing the 2nd generation roulettes in 2000 Elam launched the 3rd generation in 2003. Jan 2011 the TiTo ready Megastar Roulette was introduced to the market. A very successful hardware concept consisted from Coins, bills, cards, hoppers and was prepared for all market purposes. In all these years the competition was very active and also tried to launch their type of roulette in this market, but none of them succeeded.” “The Megastar Roulette is maybe not the cheapest one but brings the most money in the cashbox and most important, players want to play exactly this brand and this type of product.”Mr. Klemen Sitar, Regional Sales Manager at Interblock, explained:“Dutch market is one of our home markets and that is why it is very important for Interblock. The number of installed Megastar roulettes speaks for itself – 500. Constant development and improvement of our products are keeping us ahead of our competitors. Megastar is known for its reliability and is still the most popular product in Holland. We would like to thank to our Dutch distributor – Elam group. The experience and success would not be so joyful without them.”

The 500th INTERBLOCK’S G3 MEGASTAR Roulette installed in holland – Trade News – Casino – YourGuide

Thursday Night Live set to start in downtown » Entertainment », Corbin, KY

June 29, 2012

CORBIN — By Carl Keith Greene / Staff Writer A summer of entertainment is scheduled for London beginning Thursday. Thursday Night Live begins at 7 p.m. in the middle of Main Street. This year the opening entertainment is to be from the Cornbread Mafia, based in London. The Mafia plays a variety of music, anything from bluegrass to hard rock. It’s a fun band dedicated to music. The musicians are Mike Obst, lead vocals and guitar, Eric Beckner on the B3 Hammond organ, Jerry Burkhart on bass guitar and sings harmony and Roger Miller on drums and sings, all of London. • The next week, on Flag Day, June 14, at 7 p.m. Level Ground, a London Christian religion rock band began in the Celebrate Recovery program at Hawk Creek Baptist Church in 2008. It has become much more. Level Ground is a ministry, more than just a band to its members. The band is made up of members from different churches, denominations, hurts, habits and hang-ups. It is four people living four different lives with a savior, a goal, and a mission. • June 21, will host Shane Wooten Band and Angie Patton at 7 p.m. Shane loves freedom. He loves to live the simple country life, enjoy a good time and good music with friends. That’s in his music and the stories he tells on stage. Shane has been touring nationwide playing his brand of country music and producing reality show style videos of his adventures. Angie Patton, a native of London calls herself “a country girl to the core and proud of my Kentucky roots.” Her stories include personal experiences and lessons from her life and those near her. She’s written more than 44 songs from traditional country, a bluegrass twist, to folk and even some with a gospel touch. • Set for June 28 is Pre-Fab Rehab kicks off at 7 p.m. Pre-Fab Rehab is one of Kentucky’s exciting live bands. The musical journey goes from Bourbon Street to Motown and beyond with a variety of Jazz, R&B, Pop and Hip Hop. On your way to the show bring your dancin’ shoes! • Mitch Barrett & Owen Reynolds show up on July 5 at 7 p.m. Their music is called Appalachian, Funky, Folksy, Rasta and Bluesman from Barrett, one of Kentucky’s most sought-after and talented singer, songwriter and story tellers. Barrett goes through thought provoking subject matter with a satirist’s sense of wit and irony. He’s performed all over the country with such notables as Arlo Guthrie, Les Taylor, Tom Paxton, Sam Bush and Dave Mallett. • July 19 at 7 p.m. C2 will perform. It’s a rock and roll band with a southern punk attitude. It’s armed with driven beats and stadium-ready rock anthems. C2’s live show captures audiences of all genres and styles. For more information go to: • Tidalwave and Laurel River Line will be on the state at July 26. Both four-piece bands are from the area. Based in Williamsburg, Tidal Wave Road is made up of Ben Parker, Carlie Parker, Daniel Parker and Mark Wilburn. They won second place in the 2011 Clear Channel Battle of the bands. At 8:30 Laurel River Line is a gospel-bluegrass band from London, Matt Scarbrough on mandolin, Matt Kirby on guitar, Malachi Smith on banjo and Brian Davidson on bass. • Generation Gap will be on stage at 7 p.m. on August 2. The group plays mostly 1960 and early 1970 top forty stuff and rock and roll. The band plays from Eric Clapton, Linda Ronstadt, Creedence Clear Water, Eagles, Temptations, Kingsmen, Wilson Pickett and the Rolling Stones. • The Greatest of These, a four-piece band, will open at 7 p.m. on August 9. The group has been active in central Kentucky. Each of the band’s members came from eastern Kentucky. The group was influenced by The Doors and Pearl Jam. Each member brings a unique musical perspective having been influenced by different avenues of rock and roll. For more information about Greatest of These go to: • And August 23 at 7 p.m. The Hillbilly Casino will furnish top notch players and top notch music. Hillbilly Casino was the brain child of Nic Roulette, a former singer for an Indiana rockabilly powerhouse. In 2004 Roulette moved to Nashville where he revved rockabilly band playing at Layla’s Bluegrass Inn on Nashville’s famed Lower Broadway. For more information about the Hillbilly go to:

IF YOU GO WHAT: Thursday Night Live WHEN: 7 p.m. Thursdays WHERE: Downtown London

Thursday Night Live set to start in downtown »
Entertainment », Corbin, KY

Untamed Bengal Tiger Microgaming’s Newest Online Slots Release

June 29, 2012

This weekend we played one of Microgaming’s latest online slots game released on the Casino Rewards brand of online casinos, Untamed Bengal Tiger. In usual Microgaming fashion this new slots game is stylish, the graphics are crisp, colorful and creative.

The Bollywood type soundtrack really gets the feel of the the reels going with realistic sounds of tiger roars mixed in for good measure.

Untamed Bengal Tiger is a 5 reel, 243 set pattern online slots with three mini bonus features offering FREE spins. The betting coin values are average and range from 0.01 to 0.05 with a 22.50 max bet.

Gameplay features include a wild symbol, scatter symbol and three mini bonus features as I mentioned earlier (Collect a Wild, Lucky Nudge and Your Gamble), Untamed Bengal Tiger’s Lucky Nudge is a random feature that can bump free spin near hits into actual wins. With the gamble feature, the player can risk half or all the winnings for a spin, and the game lets them gamble on the same spin multiple times.

We definitely would recommend this new online slot for a couple reasons, first reason, its Microgaming so you know that the game play is fair and honest, second I love the theme and the soundtrack, it kept me involved in the game as though I had been whisked off to the jungles in India. Third, although it doesn’t have a bonus round it does keep the excitement and thrill going with the FREE Spins bonus that light of the reels and take you face to face with one of nature’s fiercest creatures around, The Untamed Bengal Tiger!

To play Untamed Bengal Tiger download or log in to any one of the following online casinos and select the game from the new game list, on screen directions will prompt you on how to complete your short download and you will be on your way!

If you are new to any of the Casino Rewards brand of online casinos check out these new deposit bonuses available to you at this time…

Video Preview

Aztec Riches CasinoSign-up Bonus: Triple SUB up to $€£850Minimum Deposit: $€£20

Blackjack BallroomSign-up Bonus: $€£500 and 1 Hour Free OR40% Match on first deposit up to $€£400Minimum Deposit: $€£20

Captain Cooks CasinoSign-up Bonus: $€£500 and 1 Hour Free OR$€£50 Free on first deposit of $€£50Minimum Deposit: $€£50

Casino ActionSign-up Bonus: $€£1250 and 1 Hour Free OR$€£40 Free on first deposit of $€£40Minimum Deposit: $€£40

Grand Hotel CasinoSign-up Bonus: $€£5560 FREEMinimum Deposit: $€£20

Reported by Maggie B.

VN:F [1.9.15_1155]

Untamed Bengal Tiger Microgaming’s Newest Online Slots Release

Golden Nugget Announces

June 29, 2012

HOUSTON, June 28, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ –Golden Nugget, Inc. and Landry’s, Inc. are proud to announce the launch of the Golden Nugget online free play poker website, The website will enable players to participate in free online poker games and tournaments 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. will offer a wide range of exclusive tournaments and promotions, including cash prizes, gift cards to famous Landry’s restaurant brands such as Morton’s Steakhouse, Chart House, Oceanaire, McCormick & Schmick’s, Rainforest Cafe, Bubba Gump and Saltgrass Steakhouse, free hotel stays at Golden Nugget Casinos and Resorts nationwide, tickets to shows and much more. According to the Company’s Chairman, President and CEO Tilman J. Fertitta, “We have launched a free internet site in anticipation of the legalization of online gaming in the United States. With combined revenues of over $2.5 billion for Golden Nugget and Landry’s, will be able to reach over 60 million customers annually.”

Golden Nugget and Landry’s are utilizing Bally Technologies’ iGaming platform to create, which is a proven technology that has been successfully and securely used in Europe where online gaming is allowed in most jurisdictions. Golden Nugget’s free play poker network already enjoys on average over 25,000 players a day, which is believed to be significantly more than any other domestic gaming company. Golden Nugget filed its online gaming application in February of this year with the state of Nevada and anticipates that it will be among the first interactive gaming operators to be approved in the state.


Mr. Fertitta, through various wholly-owned affiliates, operates three (3) Golden Nugget Hotels and Casinos which are located in Las Vegas and Laughlin, Nevada and Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Las Vegas – Winner of the AAA Four Diamond Award consecutively since 1977, the Golden Nugget Las Vegas is the most luxurious resort on the Fremont Street Experience, and consistently receives critical acclaim for exceeding customer expectations. The Golden Nugget Las Vegas now offers more than 2,400 deluxe guestrooms and suites; a high-energy casino featuring the most popular slot and video poker machines, table games, race and sports book, and poker room; nightly entertainment with master impressionist and comedian Gordie Brown; world-class restaurants such as Grotto Italian Ristorante and Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse; a luxury spa and salon; and The Tank (rated one of the world’s top ten pools), a year-round outdoor swimming pool complete with a 200,000-gallon, live shark aquarium and the new H20 poolside lounge.

Atlantic City – The Golden Nugget Atlantic City, located on Frank S. Farley Marina, is a premier resort destination, offering guests more than 700 newly remodeled rooms and suites. The entire property has recently been renovated to take on a fresh, modern look which includes a high-energy casino featuring the most popular slot and video poker machines, table games, a poker room, new bars and lounges, stylish retail offerings, as well as Landry’s signature world-class restaurants such as Chart House, Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse and Grotto Ristorante. A new world class luxury spa and salon and H20 poolside lounge have been added as well. The Golden Nugget has first-class accommodations, exquisite dining options and fun-filled entertainment venues unlike anything else available in Atlantic City.

Laughlin – An oasis in the desert, the Golden Nugget Laughlin is a hotel-casino located on the banks of the Colorado River, near the Arizona and California borders, in Laughlin, Nevada. The whimsical, tropical-themed resort features top-notch restaurants, comfortable guest rooms and some of the hottest gaming action in Laughlin – all accented with personalized service and hospitality that have earned the hotel and casino many accolades. Guests can bask in a tropical paradise where the intimacy and serenity of the Colorado River region meets the high-energy gaming action of Nevada. The casino features slot and video poker machines, including progressive-play machines; table games, and a complete race and sports book, which is linked to the Golden Nugget Las Vegas for the most up-to-the-minute betting lines. In addition to gaming guests can wet their palate at several signature dining concepts featuring Harlow’s, Joe’s Crab Shack and Saltgrass Steak House before partaking in the energy of the nightclub/lounge.

SOURCE Golden Nugget

Copyright (C) 2012 PR Newswire. All rights reserved

Golden Nugget Announces

Garden City Senior News

June 29, 2012


The Recreation Department’s Senior Advisory Committee is looking for interested residents. If you are interested in being part of this committee, please contact the president of your Property Owners’ Association.


Get a head start on the summer! 2012 Garden City Pool Applications have been sent to all residents! Check out the ‘Splash,’ see all the great events planned, and join us for another summer of ‘Fun in the Sun’ at the GC Pool. If you did not receive your application, please visit our website at or visit our Administrative Office at 108 Rockaway Ave.


We hope you held onto last year’s Pool Pass! Once you renew your membership your card will automatically be valid for this season. If you have misplaced your pass you will need to have your picture taken. There will be a $5 processing fee for any replacement card.

New members and members who have turned 8, 13, 18, or 65 years of age will need to have their pictures taken and the new passes completed and activated, at no cost, at the Pool Photo Center prior to pool admittance. Pool passes will not be mailed to you. All members 18 years or older will be required to present a current, valid photo ID in order to have their passes processed.

The Pool Photo Center Hours are:

Monday through Friday 4 to 8 pm

Saturdays and Sundays 10 am to 4 pm

June 9 and 10 10 am to 8 pm

Beginning June 11, the Photo Center will be open during Pool operating hours for the duration of the season. Any questions, please call 465-4074.


Affordable family fun is right around the corner, so don’t forget to visit our state of the art miniature golf course. Our beautiful 18 hole course is located behind the Garden City Pool and is filled with challenges galore that will delight mini-golfers of all ages.

We also offer party packages for birthdays or other occasions. Please call Garden City Community Park at 483-2525 for party planning.

The price for a round of mini golf is as follows:

Resident Adult (12 and up) $5.00

Resident Child (under 12) $3.00

Resident Senior (65 or over) $3.00

Nonresident Adult (12 and up) $6.00

Nonresident Child (under 12) $4.00

Our hours are 10 am to 10 pm daily. Come down and try a round!


Our Recreation Office is offering several trips this spring in conjunction with Prime Time Travel. Here is a description of each trip:

NYC Police, NYC Fire Museums and the World Trade Center Memorial Gardens, July 10 – We will travel with Prime Time to visit these memorable places and also stop at South Street Seaport, where you will have lunch on your own.

We have 25 seats for this trip. The cost of this trip will be $64. To register for this trip, please visit the Recreation Office at 108 Rockaway Ave. A deposit of $30 must accompany your registration. Checks only, please make your check payable to Prime Time Travel.

Ellis Island and Dinner in Little Italy, August 23 – This Prime Time trip gives you the chance to visit Liberty and Ellis Island, with the many exhibits about the times when Ellis Island was used as a stopping point for our country’s many immigrants. After touring, we will enjoy a great dinner in Little Italy.

We have 25 seats for this trip. The cost of this trip will be $95. To register for this trip, please visit the Recreation Office at 108 Rockaway Ave. by April 30. A deposit of $30 must accompany your registration. Checks only, please make your check payable to Prime Time Travel.


St. Paul’s Senior Center is open and again running programs for Seniors to enjoy! The Center is open from 9 am to 4 pm, Mondays through Fridays, for senior individuals to either participate in the programs offered or to just sit, relax and enjoy the setting.

Programming for this week is as follows:

Monday, June 4 9:15 am Exercise with Felicia, including stretching to music in chairs

10:30 am Exercise with Felicia

Wednesday, June 6 9:15 am Exercise with Felicia, including stretching to music in chairs

10:30 am Exercise with Felicia

11:30 am Brown Bag Lunch and discussions about our summer plans

Friday, June 8 9:15 am Exercise with Felicia, including stretching to music in chairs

10:30 am Exercise with Felicia

11:30 am Resistance Exercise w/ bands

Monday, June 11 9:15 am Exercise with Felicia, including stretching to music in chairs

10:30 am Exercise with Felicia

Wednesday, June 13 9:15 am Exercise with Felicia, including stretching to music in chairs

10:30 am Exercise with Felicia

11:30 am Brown Bag Lunch and discussions and birthday cake for summer babies!

Friday, June 15 9:15 am Exercise with Felicia, including stretching to music in chairs

10:30 am Exercise with Felicia

11:30 am Resistance Exercise w/ bands

9:15 am Exercise with Felicia, including stretching to music in chairs

10:30 am Exercise with Felicia

9:15 am Exercise with Felicia, including stretching to music in chairs

10:30 am Exercise with Felicia

11:30 am Brown Bag Lunch and discussions and end of season celebration!

9:15 am Exercise with Felicia, including stretching to music in chairs

10:30 am Exercise with Felicia

11:30 am Resistance Exercise with bands

Garden City Senior News

U.S. wholesale stockpiles grew in April

June 28, 2012

Washington • U.S. wholesale businesses restocked faster in April, responding to a strong gain in sales. The increase could be a good sign for economic growth in the April-June quarter.

The Commerce Department says stockpiles grew 0.6 percent at the wholesale level in April, double the March gain. Sales by wholesale businesses jumped 1.1 percent in April, nearly three times the March sales gain.

Stockpiles at the wholesale level stood at $483.5 billion in April. That’s 25.6 percent above the post-recession low of $384.9 billion in September 2009.

It would take roughly five weeks to exhaust all wholesale stockpiles at the April sales pace. That’s considered a healthy time frame and suggests businesses will keep restocking to meet demand.

When businesses step up restocking, they order more goods. That generally leads to increased factory production and higher economic growth.

Slower growth in inventories held back growth in the January-March quarter. In the first three months of this year, the economy grew at an annual rate of 1.9 percent.

The increase in wholesale inventories was bigger than economists had forecast. That could signal that inventory growth will pick up and boost economic growth in the April-June quarter.

But stockpile growth largely depends on the spending habits of U.S. consumers and businesses.

Weaker job creation in April and May could force some to scale back spending. And pay has risen just 1.7 percent over the past 12 months. That’s slower than the rate of inflation for that period.

Sluggish job growth and weak pay raises threaten to drag on consumer spending, which would weaken growth. Consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of economic activity.

story continues below story continues below

One positive change: Gas prices have tumbled since early April. That could give Americans more money to spend on appliances, vacations and other discretionary purchases.

Many businesses cut back on restocking last summer fearing that the economy was on the verge of another recession. When it became clear that it wasn’t, they raced to rebuild stockpiles and keep pace with consumer demand.

Stockpiles at the wholesale level account for about 27 percent of total business inventories. Stockpiles held by retailers make up about one-third of the total. Manufacturing inventories represent about 40 percent of the total.

Copyright 2012 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

U.S. wholesale stockpiles grew in April

Cowell Gambling Show Loses Roulette Wheel

June 28, 2012

by Renee Israel Red or Black? Returns Minus Roulette Wheel

It was reported yesterday that Simon Cowell’s Red or Black? TV game show will be returning to UK screens shortly for a new season, although with a few notable changes.

For instance, avid fans of the show will no doubt be very disappointed to see that that Red or Black? will return minus its trademark roulette wheel, which was ejected from the show due to its obvious connection to gambling.

Earlier this year, the UK Gambling Commission launched an investigation into various UK TV game shows including Red or Black? and Deal or No Deal to see if they were in contravention of the country’s gambling laws.

After a few days, the Commission announced that it was not pursuing the investigation any more. However, the very threat of an investigation seems to have been enough for Cowell to decide to axe the roulette wheel, after the Gambling Commission claimed that it glamourised gambling.

The Sun quoted ‘an insider source’ as saying that the new season of Red or Black? will see a new game, called The Vortex replace the roulette wheel.

The game will see players predicting how long it will take a ball to fall into a velodrome, according to the source.

“It will still be as tense as the roulette wheel,” he is quoted as saying. “It could even be more exciting as the ball will hang around for longer.”

Besides the disappearance of the Cowell gambling show roulette wheel, other changes will also take place. Instead of nightly live shows as seen in the first series, Red or Black? will be shown as pre-recorded episodes each week.

The winner of each show will be handed a £500,000 in prize money, and producer say that a roll over could reach £3.5 million. However, some of last season’s winners triggered a major controversy when it was discovered that they had criminal records.

The new series will also host some of the top names in UK sports in order to attract a wider audience, with footballer Robin van Persie and cricketers Kevin Peitersen and Mark Ramprakash scheduled to make an appearance.

Last season’s hosts Ant and Dec will remain on to present the show.

The first season of Red or Black? had poor ratings, due in part to a repetitive format, episodes broadcast too close to one another and too many “sob stories”. Producers hope that the changes will result in better ratings, even if the big roulette wheel had to be sacrificed for the greater good.

Cowell Gambling Show Loses Roulette Wheel

Gambling boom a mixed blessing for Macau's youth

June 28, 2012

26 June 2012 Last updated at 12:54 ET Share this page By Katie Hunt Business reporter, BBC News, Macau Becoming a dealer or a croupier is a common career choice for young people in Macau

It's exam time at Macau's Polytechnic Institute and the students are busy cramming.

But they are not sat in the library poring over textbooks, they are deftly dealing cards, counting chips and calculating payoffs.

"The most interesting course is blackjack," says one student, 19-year-old Tommy Cheang.

Tommy is training for a job in the world's biggest gambling centre and is one of thousands of students who each year pass through the polytechnic's mock casino floor – a vast, fluorescent-lit room of baccarat tables, roulette wheels and slot machines.

It can take up to 80 hours of study to master games likes baccarat

It is here they learn all they need to know about the arcane world of gaming – from shuffling smoothly and managing the pit, to how handle a sore loser or spot a player stealing chips.

And it's a world where young people like Tommy hold all the cards. With the law favouring local workers, jobs are handed to the polytechnic's graduates on a plate. Many receive offers of employment from casinos long before they finish their courses.

Tommy, however, doesn't want to work as an entry-level dealer. He is taking a degree-level qualification, which he hopes will give him a shot at casino management.

Dramatic change

It's a dramatic change from in previous generations. Until this century, the former Portuguese colony was a largely forgotten backwater that manufactured fireworks, toys and plastic flowers.

But since its return to China in 1999 and the subsequent liberalisation of its gambling industry, Macau's economy has expanded at breathtaking speed. Growth of 18% is expected this year despite concerns of a slowdown in mainland China.

And fuelled by players from the mainland who flock to the territory's smoke-filled gambling venues, Macau's gambling revenue is five times greater that of the Las Vegas Strip.

The impact on local people has been mixed.

A law that limits non-residents from working as croupiers, dealers and construction workers has created well-paid jobs but it has also enticed teachers and nurses out of classrooms and hospitals.

Wages have doubled over the past 10 years, but a frenzied real estate market still makes it difficult for locals to afford an apartment.


The new Macau has proved particularly tempting to young people. A growing number are leaving school or skipping university in favour of a casino job, with more than half of the city's 500,000 residents employed by the casinos or related industries.

The polytechnic also offers courses for slot-machine technicians

It's a matter of concern for the city's lawmakers, who are seeking to raise the minimum age for working and entering a casino to 21 from 18. The law, which is still be drafted, may take effect in July.

The hope is that more youngsters will go into higher education, and avoid casinos at an age when problem gambling is more likely to develop.

Carlos Siu, an associate professor at the polytechnic's Gaming and Research Centre, agrees with the move.

While young people can acquire the practical skills needed to work in casino, he says it's hard to know whether they have the right temperament for what is a stressful job.

"A casino is a place where there are lots of temptations, maybe it's better that people are more mature when they start working there," he says.


Mr Siu has also detected a change in attitudes among his students, who, with jobs so easy to come by, have become a little complacent.

Young people like Tommy Cheang and Yoki Leung get casino jobs handed to them on a plate

"They want immediate results and don't pay attention to hard work," he says.

Most of the courses offered by the institute are short, with the longer, degree-level courses a recent innovation.

Tammy Lo, head of practical skills at the casino school, says it can take up to 80 hours to master blackjack and baccarat, the preferred game in Macau casinos. The most challenging part is the split-second mental arithmetic needed for chip payouts; no calculators are allowed.

It's a view shared by student Ng Hoi Wing. Standing at one of the horseshoes, his face is racked with concentration as he tries to work out the payouts on baccarat hands typed out on a crumpled piece of paper beside him.

Hoi Wing, 47, currently works 12-hour shifts at a money changer earning 9,000 patacas a month, and cannot wait to get a dealer job. He hopes to get paid 13,000 patacas month and says the shifts will be much shorter.

Long-term career? Many older people are retraining as dealers to get a higher paying job

But not all the students are sold on a casino career.

Yoki Leung, 26, who is working as a dealer while she studies for a degree in gaming and recreational management, says it can be tough handling players on a losing streak.

"Guests complain a lot but it's often nonsense. They complain just because they have lost money. It's not your fault," she says.

Other bugbears are the overnight shifts and the repetitive nature of the job. The excitement of people winning and losing vast sums of money quickly loses its shine, she adds.

Yoki doubts whether the casinos are a long-term prospect for both her own and Macau's future.

The Philippines, Singapore and other countries have taken note of Macau's success and are developing rival casino industries to appeal to China's high rollers, she notes.

But, for now, like the other students at the casino school, she is content to be part of the boom.

Gambling boom a mixed blessing for Macau's youth

East Dundee businessman touts legalized video gaming

June 28, 2012

By Mike Danahey June 27, 2012 9:57PM

Story Image

Owner Jill Hoppe (left) would like to have legal video gambling at her establishment Hoppes Corner on Liberty Street in Elgin. Frank Gumma (right) owns a East Dundee business, Ideal Amusements, which would supply this bar with the machines if Elgin allows it. June 25, 2012 | Michael Smart~Sun-Times Media

storyidforme: 32659128 tmspicid: 11955703 fileheaderid: 5464573

Gaming revenue elsewhere

Local coin-operated machine business owner Frank Gumma has been supplying are municipal officials with information packets that include data culled from gaming overseers in five states which allow the sort of video gaming that Illinois soon will have.

According to those figures, the most recent annual takes were a net $606 million at 14,727 terminals in Louisiana; $215.5 million at 9,114 terminals in South Dakota; $1.125 billion at 17,308 terminals in West Virginia (which includes race tracks, too); $720.5 million at 12,202 terminals in Oregon; and $349.3 million at 17,892 terminals in Montana.

The annual take per machine ranged from more than $19,520 in Montana to almost $65,000 across the terminals in West Virginia, where those at racetracks netted about $75,000 each per year.

In Elgin, Jill Hoppe hopes the city council will consider those numbers and allow video gambling at the bar she and her husband Tom own — Hoppe’s Corner at 1075 N. Liberty St. on the city’s northeast side.

“Tom has been working here since 1972, bought in as a partner in 1977, and we became full owners in 1982,” she said.

Hoppe said her place is a neighborhood bar with mostly middle-aged regulars who rarely go to the Elgin casino. The bad economy hurt her business, and she is worried that some patrons might go to bars in other towns for the gaming draw.

Hoppe also said increases in licenses and fees in recent years implemented by the city haven’t helped her bottom line, and she is fretting a 3 percent liquor tax going into effect in July in Elgin.

“The city gives incentives and exemptions on fees to bring new businesses to town, but not much like that for us. And I was at a meeting where the mayor said that service clubs give back to the community. Well, bars give back, too. We’re the first to be called when clubs and charities and even churches need things. Here at our place, we give to the fire and police department causes, and to local sports teams and kids teams, and have fund-raisers for PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter) and for two people who are battling breast cancer.”

Article Extras

Updated: June 27, 2012 10:46PM

As someone who has been in the coin-operated machine business for more than 40 years, Frank Gumma of Algonquin has been looking forward to this August.

That is when legal gaming machines finally can be installed in bars, restaurants, truck stops, veterans and service organizations in Illinois towns and unincorporated areas that have opted into the state program.

From his perspective, towns that have opted out or are on the fence about allowing such betting should thoroughly consider the economics of that decision.

With Hampshire, Hoffman Estates, Huntley, Lake in the Hills and South Elgin already on board, and Hanover Park probably set to approve such gambling, “Let’s not give people an excuse to leave Elgin,” Gumma said.

After tabling the matter June 13, Elgin City Council members are set to discuss the matter again in July. What some of the council would like to see is only allowing the video gaming at service clubs — a move that might be challenged in court by other types of establishments in the city.

Carpentersville, East Dundee and West Dundee have outright bans on such gaming. But, Gumma said, each of those towns is still feeling the impact of the recession. A recent example would be last month’s closure of the Best Buy store in West Dundee, which village officials say has led to a $200,000 shortfall in tax revenue and resulted in budget cuts for the village, he noted.

Gumma runs his family’s business, Ideal Amusements, which has been located in East Dundee for seven years. According to the company’s website, Ideal Amusements “operates all types of coin-operated amusement devices such as Digital Downloading Juke Boxes (TouchTunes), Golden Tee Golf, Dart Games, Bar Top Touchscreen Games, Prize Redemption Games, Pool Tables, ATM Machines, and all other types of state-of-the-art amusement games.”

Gumma has set up a sister business, Ideal Gaming LLC, for video gambling. Gumma also is the founder of American Vending Sales of Elk Grove Village, which is a distributor of video gaming machines and which he no longer owns.

Illinois has set up a system in which licensed manufacturers sell machines to distributors, which in turn lease or distribute them to licensed operators (such as Ideal). The operator then places the equipment in a licensed establishment.

“The Illinois Gaming Board (which is overseeing the effort) has a reputation as being the toughest in the country,” Gumma said.

Allowing this form of gaming is part of the 2009 Video Gaming Act, designed to use revenues collected to pay for a $31 billion capital improvement program throughout the state.

“This almost became a business that never was,” Gumma said.

Gumma explained that for about 20 years, the Illinois Coin Machine Operators Association has been lobbying to have legal video gambling in places that serve alcohol. Three years ago — with the state’s finances in disarray, unemployment high and infrastructure work of all sorts needed — “The time was right to get it done,” Gumma said.

Initially, the bill didn’t have an opt-out clause — and when Gov. Pat Quinn required it, that led to a lot of confusion, Gumma said. Adding to the delay was a lawsuit filed by Blackhawks owner and liquor businessman Rocky Wirtz.

The capital bill is partially funded through additional alcohol taxes, and Wirtz complained that it imposed “arbitrary, widely disproportionate new taxes on beer, wine and spirits that are not based on real and substantial differences.” In July 2001, the Illinois Supreme Court unanimously overturned a lower-court decision, paving way for the act to be implemented.

Prior to the 2009 legislation, the Illinois Gaming Board only had to oversee casinos operating in Illinois. Then it had to come up with a way to oversee rules that had the potential to apply to the 15,000 or so establishments in the state that are licensed to pour liquor, Gumma said.

Gumma noted that thus far, there are about 70 licensed operators in the state, including himself. Gumma’s business already supplies coin-operated machines of the non-gambling type to establishment across northern Illinois.

Machines for gambling will be the same as ones found in casinos such as poker, blackjack and line games, the latter of which Gumma feels will be the most popular.

Bets cannot be more than $2 a pull, and payouts on any one pull or hand are limited to $500.

As such, the players “aren’t the same players as at casinos,” Gumma said. “These are more casual players. And there’s a study that shows only about 3 percent crossover.”

However, Elgin Mayor Dave Kaptain has said the Grand Victoria Casino is concerned that such gambling will have an impact on its bottom line — which has been shrinking in the wake of the state’s smoking ban, the recession, and the opening last year of the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines.

The act calls for the gaming vendor and the host establishment to each get 35 percent of profits, with the state getting 25 percent and the local municipality 5 percent.

Gumma expects that a good many of his clients will have three machines. Those machines cost about $15,000 each and typically have a lifespan of about five years.

“But a caveat is the software can be replaced, meaning they could last longer,” Gumma said.

Gumma can check all the machines he oversees via the Internet — and the state has an electronic record of play and takes. Payouts will be in cash.

Some issues still need to be addressed. For example, there is no self-exclusion list set up as with casino where compulsive gamblers bar themselves from gambling.

While waiting for the legislation to go into effect, Gumma said his job has included helping customers fill out paperwork to have the machines; working up drawings related to the placement of the machines; and making sure that spaces chosen meet the requirements for holding the games.

He’s also been encouraging owners who want such gaming in their establishments to generate a dialogue with officials in their respective towns.

East Dundee businessman touts legalized video gaming

Next Page »