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Casino Hoodoo

It is reassuring to discover that there are always people in the world more stupid than you.

Casino Hoodoo

As 2013 begins to unfold and we all address our New Year’s resolutions—mine is to once again be as thin as my caricature—it is reassuring to discover that there are always people in the world more stupid than you.

Case in point: I was perusing South Africa’s Independent newspaper, as I often do, and I came across a story about a woman being charged with conning casino players out of their money by hypnotizing them with some sort of hoodoo.

According to police Colonel Jay Naicker, “The woman would approach her potential victims at a local casino and con them into believing that she can turn their luck around by performing bizarre rituals.”

One lady was robbed of cash and jewelry valued at more than 1 million rand, or US$150,000.

What’s killing me is that there are no details about these “bizarre rituals” that mesmerized players enough for her to steal their stuff. Did she dance around the slot stool while doing a Gregorian chant? Did she sprinkle fairy dust at players’ feet while biting the head off a chicken? Dangle a watch in front of the player’s eyes while spreading peanut butter on the slot screen? Do the jitterbug while singing the theme to Green Acres?

“Faaaarm livin’ is the life for me… Hey, where’s my wallet?”

I’m thinking it was the old “magic hammer” gag. She told players a touch of her magic hammer would bring them riches, then she just clobbered them and took their money.

“We believe that there are more victims out there that might have been too embarrassed to come forward previously,” said Colonel Naicker—a nice way of saying “victims who didn’t want it announced publicly how stupid they are.”

The lady, by the way, also told her victims she knew a psychic who would be able to improve their winnings. I’ve tried that. I got annoyed when the psychic just kept repeating, “You’re going to lose.” Of course, her prediction keeps coming true.

Anyway, speaking of stupid, another item in the news this month comes from Stockton, California, where three women received a rather insulting receipt for lunch at the Chilly D’s restaurant in the Cameo Club Casino. It seems the bartender typed a reminder for himself on the top of the bill to match each order to the customers. He left this one on the receipt given to the women: “Fat Girls.”

One of the women took a picture of the receipt, and it’s gone viral on social media.

It’s one thing to write a note to yourself, but typing it into the point-of-sale system is, well, stupid. When the women complained to the manager, according to one of many stories on the incident, the guy choked back laughter. The bartender—“Jeff,” according to the receipt—was suspended.

Personally, I want to see the reminders Jeff remembered to delete from his other receipts: “Ugly Guy.” “Huge Schnoz.” “Hairy Ears.” “Hunchback.”

There was a lot of other casino news of note last month, not necessarily about stupid people but still suitable for satire in this, my monthly memo of mirth. For instance, the Who was at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut, where they performed their entire rock opera Quadrophenia. This is something I, as a Who fan since childhood, find objectionable. First of all, it’s ridiculous to call them the Who, since half of the original Who is dead.

Secondly, the original members of the band who are still breathing are well into their 60s. I’d like to attend one of these shows just to be there when, after one of his trademark windmill guitar moves, Pete Townshend’s arm breaks off and flies into the crowd. It will be right after Roger Daltry finally brains himself with that microphone he twirls around by its long cord.

Now, that’s entertainment.

Finally, since I have room for one more news item, I need to report that one of the hearings on the proposed Tongue River Railroad in Montana is being held in Lame Deer, at the Lame Deer at the Charging Horse Casino and Bingo Hall.

No, that probably means nothing to you, and it is of little significance to the gaming industry at large. I just make it a point to seize every possible opportunity to write the name of that casino: “Lame Deer at the Charging Horse.” Every time I hear that name, I just know what’s going to happen to that poor deer.

Hey, I’ll bet that in Lame Deer, you can hunt with nothing more than a magic hammer.

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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