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News You Can Use

News You Can Use

Hey, kids! It’s time for the news!

Yes, it is once again time for the editor of Global Gaming Business (motto: “Your Advertising Dollars At Work”), the most distinguished source for vital information regarding the international gaming industry, to go into what I like to call “Stooges Mode,” and make fun of that very vital information on which you rely.

Hey, we may as well laugh, right? It’s better than crying.

(By the way, for those of you in our Western audience, our alternative motto is: “The Best Danged Gamblin’ Book In The Whole Dad-Blasted County.”)

Speaking of the Stooges, slot manufacturer Atronic gives us our first news item this month. As we speak, the first units of a new Atronic game called “The Three Stooges” are no doubt being delivered to a casino near you. Maybe even to your casino.

I can’t wait to play it. I’ll sit down at a slot, and hear familiar voices:

“Nyuk! Nyuk!”

“Soitenly!”

“Why, I oughtta…”

“You chucklehead!”

“Nyaaaaah!”

Then, I’ll get up, and go find the Three Stooges slot.

(Slot-playing is the only thing that makes the voices stop.)

Our second gaming news item comes from Forbes magazine. Unfortunately, it seems the moguls of our industry have been losing a lot of money. A recent article in that magazine reports that Las Vegas Sands Chairman Sheldon Adelson personally lost $26 billion last year. Kirk Kerkorian, the largest shareholder of MGM Mirage, lost $4 billion. Steve Wynn lost almost $4 billion.

I felt really bad for Sheldon, Kirk and Steve. They’re almost tapped out. How will they make ends meet? Sheldon is down to his last $3.4 billion. Kirk only has a paltry $5 billion left. Steve is going to have to make do on only $1.5 billion.

I have about $347 and a breath mint. (I’m sending the mint to Steve Wynn. Hey, it’s the least I can do.)

Our next item first appeared in the “PR Web” online newsletter. The writer was plugging an online casino, and he was using the fact that Las Vegas casinos have banned iPhone use. It says you can visit this online casino, and in the “3D Lobby,” there is Elvis Presley using an iPhone. And that’s why you should visit this particular online casino.

Look. I have plenty of Elvis sightings at real, live casinos. Elvis just greeted me outside of Bill’s on the Strip last year. I can go to Legends In Concert and hear him sing. As far as dead celebrities go, I can’t seem to get rid of the hip-swiveling guy.

A 3D image of Elvis with an iPhone is not getting me to an online casino, sorry. I prefer to see who is taking my money.

I have room for one more item. It comes to us via our good friend over at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, Professor David Schwartz. David writes a great column on Atlantic City history for our Eastern edition of Casino Connection magazine, but if I’m strapped for goofy casino news, I can always count on his website, www.diecast.com, to give me a funny item or two.

This month, I found an item on his website that I can’t believe I missed when it happened-particularly since it happened in the city that is my home base.

It seems police arrested a guy at Bally’s Atlantic City who had broken into the kitchen. They caught him as he was leaving with-get this- 91 pounds of frozen lobster stuffed in his clothes.

A security guard noticed the shadowy figure tip-toeing out of the kitchen, and, as his subsequent report described, “His clothing was very bulky and he appeared to be concealing items beneath his clothing.”

It turns out he had more than $1,200 worth of crustaceans in his clothes. (And a song in his heart.) Let me guess. A guard stopped the guy and asked him what he had under his coat. He said, “Goiter!” (OK, I’m in Stooge mode again. That’s from the short where Curly was hiding a keg of beer from the cops. Yes, you are correct. I have no life.)

It’s just like that story last year, when security guards at Caesars Tahoe caught a wild bear roaming through the hotel kitchen rummaging for scraps of food. Except that it was lobster instead of just scraps of food. And it was a man instead of a bear.

OK, maybe it’s not anything like that story last year. Anyhoo…

I’m out of space. No more casino news. As Walter Cronkite may have said, “That’s the way it is. April 2009.”

Soitenly!

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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