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Burgers, Bonzo and Buds

Big Mac bribes and monkey business, just another wacky month in the industry

Burgers, Bonzo and Buds

As I always say, if you’re going to cheat at baccarat, you’d better back up your play with a take-out burger.

OK, maybe I don’t always say that, but apparently, it is a fail-safe for at least one guy in Indiana. A 34-year-old gambler was nabbed recently at Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg for past posting—that’s fancy gambler talk for placing a bet after the outcome of a game is known—on a baccarat table. He was approached by an agent of the Indiana Gaming Commission.

Here’s what the agent wrote in his affidavit, omitting the name to protect the innocent (just like Jack Webb on Dragnet):

“When I advised (the gambler) that what he had done was considered ‘Cheating at a Gambling Game,’ and that it was a Level 6 Felony, he immediately said that he didn’t mean to do it. He said, ‘I wouldn’t try and cheat the casino.’ (He) asked if he was going to jail; he said ‘I can’t go to jail, I’m here trying to make my house payment.’ He also said I’ll get you as many free (McDonald’s) Big Macs that you want.”

When I looked at this story, my first impression was how lame the guy’s excuse was. He didn’t mean to do it, and according to the agent, he had to be told that past posting was considered cheating. No wonder he thought he could make his house payment gambling.

Roulette wheel spins to stop...

“The winner is red 6!”

“Hey, that’s what I bet! Just a minute… There, see?”

As far as using the promise of Big Macs to bribe the agent, I believe that is a time-tested kind of bribe, going all the way back to the Old West:

“You’ve got an ace up your sleeve, you cheatin’ tinhorn! Reach for the sky!”

“Don’t shoot! Here. Have a knish.”

“Oh, well, in that case…”

Back during Prohibition, Elliott Ness and his Untouchables were known as the only law enforcement able to resist bribes of corn dogs and rueben sandwiches. It’s only natural that gambling agents these days have to turn down fast-food bribes.

Our Indiana agent was somehow able to resist enough daily Big Macs to send him to clogged-artery heaven. The past-poster was arrested and charged with the felony. Last I heard, he was bribing prison guards with double cheeseburgers.

Moving on, if you’re a frequent reader of this column, you know by now that I always pass on any news involving gambling monkeys. Hey, it’s just a matter of being conscientious in serving my readers, you know?

I was perusing my latest issue of Current Biology (my favorite periodical, next to Modern Embalmer) when I came across a report on a study of the gambling habits of rhesus monkeys. The little guys were given the choice between pushing a button that would give them a steady stream of small juice drops or another button that would give them big gulps of juice occasionally, but would leave them juiceless more often than not.

The monkeys picked the long shot every time, chasing the big juice payoff. But when the researchers inactivated a certain region of the prefrontal cortex in the monkeys’ brains, they avoided the risky behavior and went for the sure thing. The conclusion was that it’s possible that the portion of the human brain that corresponds to the monkey cortex could some day be treated to curb risk-taking behavior.

As intriguing as that is, admittedly, I only picked the story because it had monkeys in it.

I only wish they had been chimpanzees.

In jumpsuits.

(Monkey Cortex, by the way, is the name of my next band.)

Finally, one of the newest attractions in Downtown Las Vegas is Cannabition, a cannabis museum opened to educate visitors about marijuana in the wake of Nevada’s legalization of recreational weed. Attractions at Cannabition include a 24-foot-tall glass bong, “huggable” faux marijuana buds, and a pool full of foam weed nuggets.

“Our goal when people come out of this is that they don’t fear the cannabis industry if they are not believers in the industry,” founder J.J. Walker told the Associated Press. “Cannabition is not about just serving people that like marijuana, it’s about serving the masses that want to learn about cannabis and/or just have fun and go do a cool art experience.”

Wait a minute. J.J. Walker? J.J. “Dy-no-mite!” Walker?

OK, it’s not the same J.J. from the ’70s sitcom Good Times, as apropos as that would have been. But it’s still a cool addition to Downtown. They have a room with gonzo journalist Hunter Thompson’s famous “Red Shark” Chevy Caprice in addition to the big bong, which is named “Bongzilla.”


Frank Legato is editor of Global Gaming Business magazine. He has been writing on gaming topics since 1984, when he launched and served as editor of Casino Gaming magazine. Legato, a nationally recognized expert on slot machines, has served as editor and reporter for a variety of gaming publications, including Public Gaming, IGWB, Casino Journal, Casino Player, Strictly Slots and Atlantic City Insider. He has an B.A. in journalism and an M.A. in communications from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. He is the author of the books, How To Win Millions Playing Slot Machines... Or Lose Trying, and Atlantic City: In Living Color.  

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