Crime, Secrets... and Boardwalk Horses

You know, when you win a pile of cash in a casino, you can actually ask for a check, or a wire transfer. There's no need to walk around the city like Scrooge McDuck.

Crime, Secrets… and Boardwalk Horses

Boy, casino criminals just aren’t too bright. Or, maybe they should read this column. Exactly one year ago, I wrote about a winning gambler who was robbed after he had left an urban casino. The robber followed the guy home, and took his cash winnings and his smartphone. The cops traced the GPS on the phone and nabbed the crook.   

Last month, there was a nearly identical robbery involving the same casino. A guy leaves with a pile of cash, calls a cab, and the cab is followed. He’s robbed outside of his house, of cash… and his smartphone.

Yep, you guessed it. GPS app. Cops followed the signal and arrested the bad guy.

Don’t these casino stalkers talk to each other? Don’t they have a blog or something?

Seriously, though, the victim is suing the casino. His lawyers say they didn’t provide him adequate protection.

Now, I’m not saying the casino couldn’t have done more. The guy said he had complained about people standing around watching the game but not playing. The dealer told them to step back a foot or two. Surprisingly, telling them to take a step back, even with a stern look, didn’t cower the stalkers from carrying out their crime.

Then again, the guy himself could have done more. We’re talking about what was reportedly more than $10,000 in cash. That’s a hundred $100 bills. The guy must have had cash bulging from his pockets. In this particular city, that’s like walking into a lion’s den wearing a meat jacket.

You know, when you win a pile of cash in a casino, you can actually ask for a check, or a wire transfer. There’s no need to walk around the city like Scrooge McDuck.

OK, you youngsters might not understand the reference. Scrooge McDuck was Donald’s rich uncle who used to dive into the pile of money in his cash vault, and…

Oh, never mind. Ask for a check.

In other news, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority put on a cool contest in connection with the June 15 implosion of the Riviera. Playing on its “What Happens Here, Stays Here” marketing campaign, the authority invited people to submit their “confession” of something they did in Vegas. According to the LVCVA website: “We’ll print it, seal it into a high-security, maximum-anonymity, no-judgment, ultra-safe confessional, then send it off into oblivion with the Riviera. Forever.”

The best confession was to garner a free trip to Las Vegas. No word on who won. My deadline came before the implosion. And no, despite more than 30 years of going to Las Vegas, I didn’t have anything I needed to have blown up.

Or maybe I did, and it got blown up. You’ll never know.

Speaking of June 15, that’s when Glenn Straub was slated to reopen the hotel at the Revel in Atlantic City. As late as a couple of days before the event, there had been no job fair, no announcements of restaurants to be included, no marketing to fill the rooms, no website, and no announcement of who is going to operate the hotel.

I originally concluded that Straub was going to open the hotel and stay there himself. However, just as we went to press, it came out that he wouldn’t make the June 15 date. Maybe June 17, he said. Straub said he’d put people with reservations up at other hotels, so evidently, he’s not staying there himself.

By July 4, he was to have “a big chunk of the restaurants” open, Straub told the Press of Atlantic City. By August 15, he said, “there will be a skydiving machine where you have a big propeller that blows you up off the ground. And the climbing wall will be done by that time.” He also told the newspaper there will be “mini-deluxe theaters,” a nightclub, and “horse riding, especially on the beach.”

I guess horse riding in the corridors would leave too much of a mess.

Anyway, just days before the projected soft opening, the hotel didn’t even have a name. Straub last month invited people to submit new names for the Revel, which garnered tweeted suggestions ranging from “The Future Former Revel Hotel” to my personal favorite, “Boaty McBoatface.”

By the time you read this, we’ll know whether Straub somehow completed all renovations, hired a hotel operator and staff, and sold rooms in complete secrecy. If he did, it was a truly remarkable accomplishment, and I’ll be the first to visit Boaty McBoatface. I’ll ride the zip line. I’ll fly through the air with a propeller hat.

I’ll ride a horse.

On the beach, even.

Frank Legato
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 recently published book on gaming, How To Win Millions Playing Slot Machines... Or Lose Trying.