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News We Can Use

If I had to go to jail every time I bit a security guard, they'd have to send me up for life.

News We Can Use

OK, did Miley Cirus and Liam Hemsworth really split? Are Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux really already married? Are Sean Lowe and Catherine Giudici from The Bachelor really “saving it” until after the wedding?

Boy, I’m glad I don’t have to deal with the “regular news” in this column. I can’t imagine having to offer analysis of complicated news events such as the above. Luckily, there is plenty of casino news that is ripe for the kind of thorough, insightful analysis you’ve come to expect in this space. (Ha ha.)

For instance: A man in Oklahoma was arrested and charged with “maiming” in connection with a casino incident. When I saw the headline, I thought someone went at another casino player with a chain saw or something. As it turns out, a player was hauled to jail for biting a casino security guard. “It was a very substantial bite,” Catoosa Police Chief Kevin McKim told reporters.

Boy, if I had to go to jail every time I bit a security guard, they’d have to send me up for life. (OK, I’m kidding. I only bite video poker machines.) Evidently, the guard is going to be fine, although he will need rabies shots, and the player is going to be put down.

In other gaming news, bookmakers across Europe and in Las Vegas have proven once again that they will take bets on anything. Last month, they were taking bets on who the new pope was going to be. As cardinals of the Catholic Church began their conclave to elect a new pope last month, bookmakers were giving 100,000-to-1 odds on U2 singer Bono and roughly the same odds on disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong becoming pope.

The conclave took two days and three votes (I think the first two votes were just the cardinals doing the old “pope-a-dope” routine on us) before they picked a cardinal from Argentina who took the name Pope Francis I.

Pope Frank. Imagine that.

I had planned to put my money on Sheldon Adelson—Pope

Sands I—until I realized that it almost certainly would be a cardinal who became pope. So I went with Carlos Beltran.

In still other gaming news, I came across a press release on a new casino product that no player will want to be without. It’s called the “Gamble Box,” touted by its manufacturer as a “revolutionary pocket-sized device to help gamblers quit while they’re ahead.” It is a wallet-sized steel box with a lock on it. The idea is to slide folded cash winnings into a slot in the top of the box. You’re supposed to leave the key at home, so you won’t be able to get at your winnings until you’re away from the casino.

Is it me, or are there more effective money-management techniques out there? Like, say, printing your cash-out ticket and sticking it in your wallet? Also, the manufacturer of this product must realize there are these amazing machines at casinos that let you stick a card in and get cash out. I suppose the instructions tell you to keep your ATM card and credit cards in the locked box too, right?

Personally, I have a fail-safe money management technique. If I lose, I just bite a security guard. Then, I go to jail, where I can’t gamble.

Finally, it appears the old Stardust site on the Las Vegas Strip is actually going to have a real casino on it. Malaysian casino giant Genting announced it is buying the site of what was once going to be Boyd’s Echelon project to create a China-themed resort, complete with a faux Great Wall. They even plan a panda exhibit.

Do you suppose they’ll have dealers and cocktail servers dress up like Mao? Will there be pandas dressed up like Elvis? Will there be little red books in the rooms instead of the Gideon Bible? Will they have American take-out?

Seriously, though, the casino will carry Genting’s Resorts World brand, and whatever they do, it is sure to be an improvement over the current resort that graces the site, the Rusty Bare Structural Steel Casino Resort and Spa.

By the way, one more bit of monumental “regular” news that actually was posted on an internet news site: Kim Kardashian almost got a speeding ticket. According to a source close to the investigation, the cop let her off with a warning.

Whew, thank goodness for Kim. A speeding ticket surely would have ruined her chances to become pope.

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.