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Tech infused in Las Vegas casinos
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Tech luxury infused in Las Vegas hotels to dazzle guests besides the glamour of gambling

Tech infused in Las Vegas casinos

A robot named Pepper stands in the lobby of the Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas. Pepper is programmed to interact with guests and answer pre-programmed questions. (AP Photo/John Locher)

 

What do you think you will expect in Las Vegas hotel room when you  visit one of the brand casinos? You are offered finest luxuries of the room and best of wine and dine. If you wanna something in the room it takes just minutes for a room service attendant to respond to a text message asking for a soda, bringing the Diet Coke on a tray with a glass of ice and lime wedges, no need for the modern hassle of placing a phone call.

Thousands of guests at some of Las Vegas’ casino-hotels also can get towels, food and toiletries delivered with just a few taps on their smartphone. It comes as the staples of hotel room technolog,  a phone on a nightstand and a flat-screen TV aren’t cutting it anymore in the hypercompetitive world of Sin City tourism.

You can use tablets to control room features like lights and temperature. Shower infusers and special lights promise travelers a chance to recharge. Also a 4-foot-tall robot can point visitors to the nearest ATM. In the battle for millions of Las Vegas’ tourists, voice-assisted speakers and purification systems also are part of the push to attract ever-more-demanding customers and keep them coming back.

Tablets used as room service in Las Vegas

Here an interactive tablet in a suite at the Aria hotel in Las Vegas. The tablet allows guests to schedule breakfast delivery, access thousands of publications and adjust temperature and lights, among other things. (AP Photo/John Locher)

 

So with the latest technology all infused together in the hotel the casino brands are trying to make themselves evolve to become more relevant to a younger audience that is highly technologically enabled. This is what was remarked by Robert Rippee, director of the Hospitality Lab at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Las Vegas hotels are not the only ones using such technology. The Acme Hotel Co. in Chicago put an Amazon Echo in every room and the Waldorf Astoria in Beverly Hills, California, has equipped rooms with iPads. But what sets Sin City properties apart is the volume of guests they handle, which can test the technology that must be easy to understand.

“Let’s say the tablet is a Microsoft Surface, but the tablet you use is an iPad, so you immediately have a gap,” Rippee said. “You, as the user, now have to learn to use a product an operating system you are unfamiliar with. If you are here for two nights, you are going to discard it.”

Robots at Las Vegas

The texting service at Caesars Entertainment

Caesars Entertainment launched a texting service at its 3,976-room Caesars Palace casino-hotel on the Las Vegas Strip in August 2017, months after rolling it out at two boutique hotels. Senior vice president and chief experience officer Michael Marino said the service aims to improve guests’ stay after the company noticed a dip in phone calls. It’s not like they have less needs, it’s just that something has happened over the last couple of years where people just don’t like to call people anymore.

Ivy the Artificial Intelligence at casinos

Four properties now have the service named Ivy, which the company credits for higher scores of two of its hotels on travel review website TripAdvisor.

The service uses artificial intelligence to automatically answer common questions and requests, such as gym location and hours of operation. But trained staffers type back responses to more complex inquiries such as where Muslims should face to pray in the direction of the Kaaba in Mecca.

“The window of your room faces to the East. If you pray facing the window, you will be oriented towards Mecca,” Ivy answered within two minutes.

Robots working at Las Vegas Casinos

The Cosmopolitan casino-hotel also launched a chatbot a year ago, around the same time Wynn Resorts announced that an Amazon Echo would be installed in every room of the Wynn Las Vegas casino-hotel.

At the Aria and Vdara hotels, each room is equipped with a tablet with applications that allow guests to schedule breakfast delivery, access thousands of publications and adjust temperature and lights. Travelers also can choose special rooms at the MGM Grand and The Mirage with several lighting options, including one that helps the body’s internal clock, and a device that infuses the shower’s water with vitamin C.

Meanwhile, a shiny white, wide-eyed standing robot named Pepper in the lobby of the luxury Mandarin Oriental hotel can answer a set of preprogrammed questions, including checkout time, how to connect to the Wi-Fi network and the location of the spa.

Robot Bartenders

Robots working as Las Vegas Bar tenders

Robots serve drinks at the Tipsy Robot, which opened this summer inside the Miracle Mile Shops next to Planet Hollywood Casino in Las Vegas. (David Montero / Los Angeles Times)

 

Also Robot bartenders have made their way to the Las Vegas Strip. Bar owner Rino Armeni swears this isn’t yet another move to replace human beings.

“No, no, no,” he said gamely and with a laugh. “It’s entertainment — like the Bellagio fountains.” Though, it should be noted, the fountains have not joined the labor force and been retrained to become, say, baristas.

The Tipsy Robot opened in August 2017 inside the Miracle Mile Shops next to Planet Hollywood Casino, squeezing its way onto the Las Vegas Strip along with a roller-coaster atop a tower, replicas of iconic world landmarks and a 24-7 world of gambling, booze and quirkiness. It celebrates the weird, the new and the now.

The futuristic setting inside the Tipsy Robot feels like a mash-up of a bar, Apple Store and car manufacturing plant. The centerpiece of the watering hole is the two bartender robots affixed to a stage-like bar. They are white, mechanized assembly-line arms moving with jerky fluidity.

Above the robots, liquor bottles hang upside down like hummingbird feeders, and the steel arms whirl, twirl and stretch upward to let the alcoholic nectar flow down into the mixer with precision before pouring the mixed drink and then place it onto a grooved slat.

The finished product is then slowly slid to the edge of the bar already forgotten as the robotic arm moves to the next order on the alcohol assembly line. You can sit in front of the smart tablet and  place orders and looked over the drink options. Isn’t this interesting and entertaining.

World's largest Music and Entertainment venue
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World’s Largest Music and Entertainment Venue Coming to Las Vegas

World's largest Music and Entertainment venue

The world’s largest music and entertainment venue will be coming to the Las Vegas Strip thanks to the Sands Corporation and Madison Square Garden Company. The two are joining forces, with a few other partners, to build a 400,000 square-foot site that will be the world’s largest built specifically for music and entertainment.

According to the executive chairman of The Madison Square Garden Company, James Dolan, the company believes that there is a demand for venues specifically focused on music and entertainment.

The venue will be on Sands Avenue, between Manhattan Street and Koval Lane, and it will have direct access to the Venetian and Palazzo hotel-casinos. The centre will have 17.500 seats that will face the front of the stage and also have scalable seating capacities to accommodate a wide variety of shows.

According to Sheldon G. Adelson, Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO, at a time when significant conversations are taking place about the city’s future tourism needs, a state-of-the-art venue designed, built and exclusively dedicated to bringing the world’s greatest musical and entertainment acts to Las Vegas is the type of development it should all be excited about.

The venue will make use of the latest technology to achieve the best possible acoustics. Also this the space will be able to deliver new and innovative experiences for both performers and the audience.

Sans and MSM are working with Azoff, Live Nation Entertainment and Oak View Group on the project. They are all confident that the result will be a world-class performance venue that will attract people from around the world. According to Tim Leiweke, CEO of Oak View Group, this new venue will pioneer the next generation of fan experiences and content development, and raise the bar for innovative branding opportunities.

World’s Largest Music and Entertainment Venue

The two companies announced  that they were creating a “venue of the future” capable of housing large touring concerts, specially designed residences and full-blown productions and events.

The Nevada-based Kaempfer Crowell law firm submitted pre-application project documents with Clark County in October 2017. The documents include a diagram showing a proposed 585,000-square-foot music venue, which would sit on the southeast corner of Koval Lane and Sands Avenue. Sands owns the roughly 18-acre parcel of land.

In addition to superior acoustics, state-of-the-art technology will be utilized throughout the building, creating a venue of the future capable of delivering new and innovative experiences for both artists and fans. Also the venue will reinvent the VIP experience, with luxurious seating options and exclusive clubs and lounges.

The proposed music venue is considered a high-impact project given its size, scope and the number of people it likely would draw to the area, hence the pre-application requirement.

Aside from the company’s iconic and namesake arena in New York City, Madison Square Garden is also behind The Forum, an arena-sized venue in Los Angeles dedicated to music and entertainment.

Entertainment venues have been the latest trend in Las Vegas. The 650,000-square-foot T-Mobile Arena, owned by MGM Resorts International and AEG, debuted in spring 2016. It’s considered a multi-purpose entertainment venue that hosts concerts, sporting events and awards shows as well as being the home of the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team.

Movie studios- Now Racing to control the entertainment experience of autonomous cars
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Movie studios- Now racing to control the entertainment experience of autonomous cars

Movie studios- Now Racing to control the entertainment experience of autonomous cars

Most of the Australians drive to work each day and with the impending adoption of autonomous vehicles, that commute is going to look very different indeed which is going to be a much more exciting and enjoyable prospect.

While the likes of Tesla, Google, Apple and the world’s major car manufacturers work to develop their autonomous driving technology, the entertainment industry is also gearing up for the day when your car drives itself. Suddenly you’ll be free to check your e-mails, do some reading and maybe even take a nap, if the law permits.

But if advertisers and the entertainment industry  who refer to the approaching proliferation of autopiloted cars as a “new consumer space” have it their way, you’ll be watching plenty of content.

In fact, Warner Brothers has already teamed up with Intel to create an immersive entertainment experience for drivers who don’t need to watch the road.

According to Intel’s CEO Brian Krzanich, the rise of the AV industry will create one of the greatest expansions of consumer time available for entertainment as seen in a long time and it’s not just typical screen viewing they’ve got in mind.

He also explained that not only do you see passengers consuming content ranging from movies and television programming, you imagine riders enjoying immersive experiences never seen before, courtesy of in-cabin Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) innovations.

Like if a fan of the superhero Batman could enjoy riding in the Batmobile through the streets of Gotham City, while AR capabilities render the car a literal lens to the outside world, enabling passengers to view advertising and other discovery experiences.

Movie studios

Warner Brothers certainly isn’t the only movie studio eyeing off the potential of the autonomous car experience. Earlier in 2017, Paramount Pictures hired its first ever in-house futurist, Ted Schilowitz, who believes the windshield can become the movie screen of tomorrow. Ifyou look at the windshield and windows, they are ‘screens’ at the right distance to be entertainment portals.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, some analysts predict that in-car streaming entertainment could be worth as much as $US200 billion per year in extra revenue in the not too distant future. It does make sense for entertainment companies to race to capitalize on the new-found freedom of attention while on the road. Like if Netflix can strike a deal with Tesla to integrate its platform into the car’s system it would be a pretty canny way to reach potential new customers and advertisers are also licking their lips at the possibilities.

A spokesperson from America’s National Association of Broadcasters told Fox News that they could deliver interactive, geo-located advertising based on nearby shops, restaurants and businesses, the potential to turn what was once a chore into an entertainment experience is immense.

Intel and Warner

Intel and Warner Brothers have struck a deal for in car entertainment systems

 

The car-loving Australians would no doubt be a prime target given the amount of time many of would spend in traffic each day. In Sydney, about 58 per cent of commuters relied on their car, according to a survey of 5000 Australian commuters done by the Australian Automobile Association and NRMA earlier in 2017. A research report published by the Australian Government in 2016 found that about a third of employed people in Sydney have return commutes to and from work of more than 90 minutes a day  that’s basically an entire movie.

The average return trip time in Sydney stands at about 71 minutes, and it’s not much better in Melbourne. It’s probably the worst part of the day for most people, but perhaps they’ll soon be able to pretend they’re in the Batmobile while cruising in Gotham City.

Lady Gaga
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Lady Gaga to start Las Vegas residency at Park Theater end of this new year 2018

Lady Gaga

Fans of Lady Gaga will be excited to hear that the pop star has announced a two-year residency in Las Vegas and will be joining other big names such as Celine Dion, Britney Spears and Shania Twain who have recently taken up their own residencies.

Gaga said that she will begin the two-year engagement at the 5,300-seat Park Theater at the Park MGM in December next year, part of the transformation of the Monte Carlo hotel in to the new Park MGM resort.

In a statement Gaga said that it has been a life-long dream of hers to play in the home of Elvis, Tony Bennet, Frank Sinatra, the Rat Pack, Elton John and so on. She said that the honour of playing in Vegas is humbling and that she intends to create a “new show unlike anything Vegas has ever seen before.”

The series of performances begins in late 2018. The pop superstar wrote on Twitter, “The rumors are true. “I will have my own residency at MGM’s Park Theater. Get ready for a brand new show!! It’s been my lifelong dream to be a Las Vegas girl, I’m so overjoyed! Love you little monsters we did it, meet me in Las Vegas!!” The residency will be comprised of 74 concerts with the possibility of extending the run. Variety, the major show business publication, citing its sources, says that the deal is worth $100 million, with Gaga earning over $1 million per show.

Over the last decade Gaga, in addition to gaining popularity for her songs, she has become known for stunts such as setting her piano on fire and wearing a raw meat dress. Last February she began the Super Bowl halftime show by singing “God Bless America” from the top of Houston’s NRG Stadium.

She had a health scare a few months ago and postponed the European leg of her world tour until early 2018 citing severe pain. In 2013 she was hospitalised for a hip injury and she also revealed that she suffers from the musculoskeletal disorder fibromyalgia.

A number of top musicians are drawn to Las Vegas residencies as they allow the performers to remain in one location and still draw in large crowds without the need to tour.

About Lady Gaga

About Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta born March 28, 1986, an American singer, songwriter, and actress. She is known for her unconventionality and provocative work as well as experimenting with new images.

Gaga began her musical career performing songs at open mic nights and school plays. She studied at CAP21 through New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts before dropping out to become a professional musician. After Def Jam Recordings cancelled her contract, Gaga worked as a songwriter for Sony/ATV Music Publishing, where Akon helped her sign a joint deal with Interscope Records and his own label KonLive Distribution in 2007. She rose to prominence the following year with her debut album, a dance-pop and electropop record titled The Fame, and its chart-topping singles “Just Dance” and “Poker Face”. A follow-up EP, The Fame Monster (2009), featuring the singles “Bad Romance”, “Telephone”, and “Alejandro”, also proved successful.

Having sold 27 million albums and 146 million singles as of January 2016, Gaga is one of the best-selling music artists of all time. Her achievements include several Guinness World Records, three Brit Awards, six Grammy Awards, and awards from the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Gaga has been declared Billboard’s Artist of the Year and included among Forbes’s power and earnings rankings. She was ranked at number four on VH1’s Greatest Women in Music in 2012, finished second on Time’s 2011 readers’ poll of the most influential people of the past ten years, and was named Billboard’s Woman of the Year in 2015. She is known for her philanthropic work and social activism, including LGBT rights, and for her non-profit organization, the Born This Way Foundation, which focuses on promoting youth empowerment and combating bullying.

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Did the red rooster brought the first casino in Las Vegas

Red Rooster

Can a rooster bring the first  casino on the Vegas Strip. But rooster is a simple bird and he did set an alarm to wake the players up for wonderful games. Jest apart, Red Rooster was the first casino on the Las Vegas strip now where stands the Mirage Casino.

Even before gambling arrived in Sin City Red Rooster was actually a night club that served alcohol though it was prohibited at that time. Also Nevada officials had banned gaming in 1911. So when the state of Nevada passed legislation legalizing gambling in March of 1931, owners of the Red Rooster quickly took advantage of the new law, becoming the very first recipient of a gaming licenses in Clark County, Nevada. They were granted this license on April 1, 1931. Reportedly, they opened with just a few pokies machines and one blackjack table.

Red Rooster Casino

“Crime lords, illegal whiskey, federal stings and mysterious fires … par for the course in the tale of the Red Rooster, the first nightclub on what would eventually become the Las Vegas Strip” – Robert Stoldal, from Ace of Clubs, a history of Red Rooster and Meadows at KNPR. Photo: Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas.

Irony is that though Red Rooster became the first casino on the Las Vegas Strip, it also became the first casino in Las Vegas to lose its gaming license.

According to the book, “License to Steal” by author Jeff Burbank, the new gaming board revoked the Red Rooster’s license on July 7, 1931, after federal authorities raided the casino for selling alcohol as prohibition was still the law of the land. So, this first casino in Las Vegas lasted for less than 100 days.

The other “first casino on the Strip” contender was established on a desolate parcel a little south of where today’s Stratosphere now stands. It was the oddly named Pair O’ Dice, which had been a successful club previously, but which was granted a gaming license in May of 1931, just a month after the Red rooster.

Like the Red Rooster, the Pair O’ Dice was built on Highway 91, also known as the Los Angeles Highway, which would later be called the Las Vegas Strip. The Pair O’ Dice’s location was on land that would later become the Frontier Hotel and Casino directly across the street from where the Wynn and Encore stand now.

Owners of the Pair O’ Dice purposely built the nightclub or casino south of downtown, so as to try to capture some of the Los Angeles tourist traffic headed on Highway 91 into downtown. Like the Red Rooster, they too illegally served alcohol, but were somehow spared the wrath of the United States government, and continued to stay open.

After years and years of successfully operating as “The Frontier”, and then the “New Frontier” Hotel and Casino, the resort was closed and demolished in 2007. Grand plans to build a replica of the famous Plaza Hotel in New York City on the now-vacant land have failed to materialize, meaning this parcel of land on the Las Vegas strip was busier and more happening back in 1931 than it is today.

While the Pair O’ Dice was the first sustained casino on the Strip, the first resort with a casino was the El Rancho Vegas, which opened in April of 1941.

Unlike the Pair O ‘ Dice, which was basically a nightclub with a few pokies machines, one blackjack table, one craps table, and one roulette wheel, the El Rancho Vegas was more like the grand dad of the Strip casinos you know today. It had a swimming pool, a showroom, the first buffet in the nation, and fancier accommodations than at the hotels on Freemont Street a few miles to the North.

According to UNLV, the resort also had a whopping 70 pokies machines, and 4 table games, and the largest restaurant in Las Vegas. The hotel portion consisted of 63 rooms. This Las Vegas first sat on the land across from the SLS Hotel and Casino.

There is also a false and common belief that the Flamingo was the first casino on the Las Vegas Strip. The Warren Beatty/Annette Bening 1991 hit film “Bugsy” helped spread the misconception around. In one dramatic scene, Warren Beatty’s character Bugsy, character based on mobster Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel stops his car in the middle of a lonely desolate highway in the desert. Here, as it was told, Bugsy came up with his vision of what would soon be the luxurious Flamingo Hotel and Casino. In reality however, Siegel and his mob associates purchased a majority interest in the already-planned resort, with Bugsy forcibly taking over the design and construction aspects.

In fact, the Flamingo opened on December 26, 1946 – that is 15 years after the opening of the Pair O’ Dice a mile up the road, and five years after the opening of El Rancho Vegas. For their part, Flamingo officials can brag that they were the first casino on the southern part of the Las Vegas strip.

What the Pair O ‘ Dice, El Rancho Vegas, and Flamingo started, has turned into a multi-billion dollar miles-long stretch of entertainment that is the premier gambling destination in the country.

Of the Strip, and nearby Strip properties, twenty-two are mega resorts, which the UNLV Center for Gaming defines as a resort having gaming revenues of at least $72 million per year. Strip properties bring in over a billion dollars of gaming revenue a year – of what the big change that came from a small, humble Red Rooster, Pair O’ Dice and some of the other first casinos on the Las Vegas Strip.

Female gambling Research
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Research now on new study on female gambling and the influence of pop culture on betting

Female gambling Research

Bookmakers are offering gambling markets on television programmes such as The Bachelorette starring Sophie Monk.

Deakin University launches new study on female gambling and the influence of pop culture on betting. The rise of reality television betting, female-targeted pokie machines and Instagram influencers will form part of new study on women’s changing attitudes towards gambling.

The research, undertaken by Deakin University, will analyse if the saturation of advertising is making gambling more socially acceptable for young women. Associate Professor Samantha Thomas, from Deakin’s School of Health and Social Development, said gambling companies were increasingly targeting women with a range of tailored marketing strategies.

During Melbourne Cup week in 2017, online bookmakers were using female celebrities and influencers to promote products in their social media posts. It also includes the promotion of entertainment options and women’s groups from clubs and hotels, and a range of female-centred entertainment options from the casino.

The Melbourne Cup Carnival is an unequalled world-class event that encompasses the finest racing, entertainment, fashion, culture, food and wine all in one place.  Encompassing the famous Melbourne Cup Day, along with three other key racedays, Victoria Derby Day, Crown Oaks Day and Stakes Day, the Melbourne Cup Carnival holds a unique position in world racing as there is no comparable week where crowds of such magnitude gather to celebrate thoroughbred racing.  The Melbourne Cup is the iconic race of the Carnival, with increasingly the best thoroughbreds from around the world showcasing the very best of the sport.

The manufacturers of poker machines are using branding that is much more friendly and appealing to younger women as well, including the development of Britney Spears, Ellen and Big Bang Theory themed machines. Bookmakers are even offering gambling markets on events that are popular with young women, such as The Bachelor.

Associate Prof Thomas said women’s traditional preference for luck-based, rather than skill-based, gambling is changing. Until recently online bookmakers typically gave women a decorative role in advertising, but they are now starting to feature women as the protagonist.

The new Crownbet ad specifically features a woman, Australian actress and model Nicky Whelan repeatedly using the tagline: ‘If I were a betting man’. The ad portrays a sense of female empowerment and confidence through wagering.

The new study will access if the saturation of advertising is making gambling more socially acceptable for young women, and why their attitudes towards some forms of gambling, such as sports betting, are changing.

While there has been a significant amount of research on young men and gambling, there is almost no research on the gambling behaviours of young women in Australia.  So to properly understand this behaviour to develop strategies and help reduce and prevent gambling harm among young women, researchers are looking to speak with young women aged 18-34 who have gambled on the pokies, horses, sports, or at the casino in the past year. To find out more about the study, email gambling.research@deakin.edu.au.

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The ten pokies machines that brought change in gaming and punters will always cherish

pokies machines cherish

Pokies machines give hours of entertainment. It is not necessary that you need to spend money or place bet or play with real money to get this fun of gaming as most of the machines are available free to play. When you enter a casino you see lots and lots of pokies machines but do you know these pokies machines have all changed with times. As new technology enters the casino and gaming world so do the pokies also get a change of things like in machinery, structure, game play and other things. Here are ten pokies machines that brought change in gaming and punters will always love to speak of them.

1. The Sittman and Pitt Pokies Machine

Sittman and Pitt

The Sittman and Pitt Pokies machine is the first pokies machines that was invented in 1891 by Sittman and Pitt. In this pokies you needed to insert a nickel into the coin slot and then had to try and win prizes by building the best poker hand possible from the five spinning drums that displayed a selection of 50 card faces.

2. The Liberty Bell Pokies Machine

Liberty Bell Pokies machine

The classic pokies machines that you see today at casinos is said to be the resemblance of the Liberty Bell pokies machines developed by Charles Fey between 1887 and 1895 that hit casinos across the world over the 20th century. This pokies machines had three spinning reels with five symbols available to hit. These symbols consisted of diamonds, hearts, horseshoes, spades and the Liberty Bell icon. It offered the first automatic payout system and this would change the way betting and gaming operated.

3. Money Honey Pokies Machine

Money Honey

Money Honey pokies machine introduced the electro-mechanical pokies machine onto the market. It was in 1963, US-based developer Bally launched the this first pokies of such kind. Previous pokies had included elements of electro-mechanical design but this took things to a whole new level. The bottomless hopper and potential 500 coin win made it more attractive to the mass market at a time when Las Vegas was growing fast it is now. It was the perfect launching of this pokies at the perfect time.

4. Fortune Coin Pokies Machine

Fortune Coin

Fortune coin pokies machine was launched in 1976 by a firm called  Fortune Coin Co. This was the first video pokies machine to be introduced into casino market. It would set the precedent for decades of pokies machine releases. The pokies machines you still see on the casino floors to this day all draw inspiration from this pokies machine. It possessed a 19-inch Sony Trinitron color receiver and boasted logic boards for the machine’s functions. Its first live public demonstration came at the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel. The machine became hugely popular along the Las Vegas Strip and Fortune Coin Co would eventually go on to become owned by renowned software developer IGT.

5. Reel ‘Em In Pokies Machine

Reel Em pokies

In the year 1996 WMS released Reel Em In pokies machines.  It was the first video pokies to offer a second screen bonus feature. Modern day pokies live and die by their bonus features. It’s hard to imagine a world when they didn’t exist.

Still WMS has continued to innovate the industry with the stunning Zeus pokies, the 6-reel behemoth of Raging Rhino, and the introduction of the Colossal Reels on a number of its titles such as Spartacus – Gladiator of Rome. This remains the most important pokies in their portfolio due to the impact it had on the industry by introducing the world to more in-depth bonus features.

6. Cleopatra Pokies Machine

Cleopatra pokies

This pokies machine was launched in the year 2005 with the Egyptian-themed and was 5-reel, 20-payline pokies from renowned developer IGT. It was a simplistic video pokies that took the world by storm. The chance to win 15 free spins with a 3x multiplier made it a must-play with novice and experienced players alike. For many pokies players, it’s one of the first games they ever played on.

Since its release, Cleopatra has spawned sequels and has also enjoyed equal levels of success on both the online and mobile platforms. It is unlikely you will ever see a day when this pokies machine is not available to play at a casino somewhere in the world. Only a few other pokies such as Playtech’s Desert Treasure, Microgaming’s Thunderstruck II, and WMS Gaming’s Zeus come close to the immortality of Cleopatra but the Egyptian Queen still rules the land.

7. Sushi Bar Pokies Machine

Sushi bar

Sushi Bar was launched in the year 2012 when 3D technology had already stepped in the gaming market. Everybody that witnessed the 3D movement back then will remember the red and blue cardboard glasses and the basic graphics produced from the technology. That has all changed now.

With the introduction of lots of 3D games as well as 3D TV screens things are lot more glamorous and fun now. Betsoft Gaming led the way with their array of 3D pokies. Sushi Bar was one of their finest releases along with Good Girl, Bad Girl, Mamma Mia, and More Gold Diggin’. These pokies brought a whole new gloss to the visual side of pokies gaming.

8. Mega Fortune Pokies Machine

Mega Fortune Pokies

Mega Fortune pokies were hit in 2013 when one anonymous player at the Finland-based Paf Casino hit the Mega Fortune mega progressive jackpot for a value of €17,860,868. It was the largest ever jackpot win on an online pokies machine. Only Microgaming’s Mega Moolah has come close to surpassing that figure when Jon Heywood triggered the game’s mega jackpot for £13,212,882 on 6th October, 2015.

9. Iron Man Pokies Machine

Iron Man pokies

Iron Man was released in 2014 by Playtech brought Marvel themed pokies into the casino industry. Playtech launch a number of Marvel-themed pokies like The Incredible Hulk, Captain America, Thor, and The Avengers. The pokies all received very positive reviews and changed the landscape of a lot of Playtech-operated casinos online. They also proved to be a big hit at land-based casinos. The future of the pokies now hangs in the balance with Marvel planning to adopt a more family-friendly approach to their business but for the time they graced casinos around the globe, they were brilliant.

10. Jack and the Beanstalk Pokies Machine

Jack and Beanstalk

Now it is time for Virtual reality pokies and soon NetEnt is going to release many pokies machines with VR technology and other of their popular pokies with Jack and the Beanstalk being touted as one potential title.

Besides these ten pokies machines there will be a time when more will be added to the list  when VR and AR games will be on rise in coming years soon.

2017 big winning year for Queensland
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2017 was the ‘Big Winning’ year for lottery players across Queensland

2017 big winning year for Queensland

THE Far North has emerged as one of Queensland’s lotto hot spots in the past 12 months with residents enjoying a combined windfall for more than $64 million.

A total of nine division one wins were recorded in the region throughout the year, which was just behind the Gold Coast where 13 winning entries were recorded.

In just the 4870 postcode area there were three division one winners which totalled $42 million.

Lotto winner

Customer Susan Lui has her fingers crossed for another lotto win in Far North Queensland. Picture source: Justin Brierty

During the past 12 months, between 1 December 2016 and 30 November 2017, Queensland lottery players enjoyed 105 division one prizes and pocketed more than $303.5 million in division one prize money.

While Queensland had the third highest number of division one wins nationally during the 12 month period, the state had Australia’s highest amount of division one prize money.

Golden Casket spokesman Matt Hart said a total of 63 millionaires were created across Queensland during the 12 month period. 2017 will long be remembered by many as a year of big wins for lottery players across Queensland.

Division one wins

Division one wins across Australia. Picture: The Lott/Supplied

According to Matt Hart there have been clusters of division one wins in certain areas in each state, these vary from year to year and in 2017 and seen division one wins land far and wide across Queensland in both metropolitan and regional areas.

He said one of the highlights in 2017 was in June when a young mother from Cairns recorded a $40 million Oz Lotto win.

Cairns is also home to another unclaimed division one lotto prize. An entry bought at NewsExtra DFO Cairns, shop 255, DFO Cairns, 274 Mulgrave Road, Cairns, won $2 million in Monday & Wednesday Gold Lotto draw 3315 on 22 January 2014.

You can play Saturday TattsLotto gives you the chance to take home a share in an estimated $4 Million dollars every Saturday! There are also regular events called Superdraws which offer Division One prize pools of $20 Million or more. Saturday TattsLotto draws close at 7.30pm (AEST) every Saturday night and to win you have to match 6 winning numbers in a single game.

Monday & Wednesday Lotto gives you the chance to become a millionaire each Monday and Wednesday with a guaranteed $1 Million dollar prize pool for up to four winners! Monday & Wednesday Lotto draws close at 7.30pm (AEST) every Monday and Wednesday night and to win you have to match 6 winning numbers in a single game.

Australian lotteries to win

Oz Lotto is a jackpotting game where 7 winning numbers are selected from a lottery draw barrel. To win the jackpot your entry needs to match all 7 winnings numbers in a single game, and if no one wins Division 1, the prize pool jackpots to the next draw. Oz Lotto draws close at 7.30pm (AEST) every Tuesday night and has jackpotted to over $100 million in the past!

Powerball is Australia’s biggest official jackpotting lottery. With the biggest prize pool and hundreds of thousands of winners each week, if there are no Division 1 prize winners, the prize pool jackpots to the next draw which has been as high as $80 Million! Powerball draws close at 7.30pm (AEST) every Thursday night and is a game of chance drawn from 2 barrels. 6 numbers are drawn from the main barrel and 1 Powerball number is drawn from the Powerball Barrel. Match all 6 winnings numbers plus the Powerball in a single game to win the jackpot!

Set for Life gives you a chance to win $20,000 a month for 20 years. It is the only game that allows you to play your numbers across 7 consecutive daily draws – that’s a chance every day of the week to be Set for Life! Draws take place every night at 9.00pm (AEST). To win first prize, your entry needs to match all 8 winning numbers in a single SET.

Besides these there are many other pool, mega and raffle lotteries to play and win. Try your luck then?

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The story of Pokies entertainment so far in 2018

Story of pokies

As 2017 is about to end in few days, 2018 might see lots of changes in pokies entertainment. Pokies have stories in history where the crude machines changed to fascination and glamour and travelled to digital as well as VR gaming till now.

It all started in 1895 when Charles Fey first introduced pokies machine. Pokies machines as heavy with metal casing, having only a tiny coin inlet to insert with a small lever to pull as if starting an old model car engine that made the internal gears spin. The three reels featured diamonds, hearts, spades, horseshoes, stars and a cracked liberty bell (the name of the machine), all of which were hand painted. If three of these symbols matched up, the machine would automatically release its coins for the winner.

But people were charmed by the way it gave out coins and thus started the journey of pokies around the world. Mills Novelty Co. soon copied the idea and supplied bars around Australia, North America and Europe with the game. Over the years, new manufacturers began to add more reels and symbols to the original, but it wasn’t until the 1980s that they raised the jackpot odds high enough for more investors to become interested. You see, the original machines only had 1,000 combinations available, but when computerization was introduced, the odds of winning were raised to 1 in 16.8 million.

Computer age brought many changes to pokies machines as well as many casinos were on the rise both land and online.  Computer and technology made pokies more independent, meaning casinos could fill entire floors with the machines without having to attend to every unit individually. Instead, microprocessors ensured that the machines delivered high, frequent jackpots when possible and smaller jackpots when almost empty.

Around this time, many pokies manufacturers also introduced the Random Number Generator (RNG) and Ticket-In/Ticket-Out system. Not only do RNGs inform each individual machine what percentage it should pay out when compared to how much money has been paid in, but it also makes winning completely unpredictable for the first time ever.

Meanwhile, the Ticket-In/Ticket-Out method allowed casinos a little extra safety, as the tickets displaying jackpot amounts had to be swapped by a cashier. Before this system was introduced, jackpots were rewarded instantly in cash which made it incredibly difficult for casino operators to keep track of how much they had paid out.

As the millennium approached, many land-based casino brands as well as up-and-coming entrepreneurs realized the potential of creating online pokies.  Many gaming brands and software companies like Microgaming, Aristocrat, Playtech and Netent brought many new vibrant, progressive and swift gaming access to players all over the globe. By 2012, online casino operators  were able to compete with other flourishing gaming industries, by offering online pokies such as Mega Moolah, Major Millions, Starburst and Guns N Roses in addition to digital table games, scratch cards and even live dealer games. Also all of these games can be accessed on a variety of platforms including desktop, tablets and smartphones.

Pokies- A problem in Australia

But when pokies became a problem

Pokies became a problem when players lost more and were addicted to it. There was special impact on Australians where billions of dollars went down the drain by playing pokies. Many of these losses came from problem gamblers who cannot afford it. Placing bet limits on high-intensity machines help curb these losses without impacting on recreational gamblers.

There is/was an abundance of evidence that gambling – and pokies in particular – causes enormous harm in the community. Genuine gambling reform is an issue governments now have to face.

The failure of the poker machine reform legislation has been attributed largely to the lack of any betting limits on pokies under the most recent form of the laws. Both the Australian Greens and Senator Nick Xenophon demanded that a $1 bet cap on pokies and clubs be implemented in an attempt to limit problem gambling.

Supporters claim that the change would help limit the ability of players with potential gambling problems from spending beyond their means, while those who oppose the change point not only to the initial cost of implementation, but also the fact that reducing bets will lead to reduced revenues for clubs, and limit player options without significantly changing the incidence of problem gambling.

At the present time in Australia, there are no low-intensity machines where bets are restricted to ranges consistent with normal, recreational play. This contrasts with other jurisdictions around the world such as New Zealand and the United Kingdom, where certain venues are restricted to machines with low limits on the maximum stake and maximum prize. In the United States, high-intensity machines are generally limited to casinos.

It is possible to quickly lose large sums of money on the typical Australian poker machine. In states where a $10 maximum bet applies and the spin rate is unregulated, a gambler could expect to lose $1200 per hour – with possible losses significantly higher.

Because of the risks high-intensity machines pose, the Productivity Commission made several recommendations for reform in the area of electronic gaming machines.

  • A maximum bet limit of $1 per spin. Given that 88% of recreational gamblers already spend less than $1 per spin when playing pokies, this policy will not affect the average punter playing the pokies for an hour or two on a night out.
  • Limiting the amount of money to $20 that can be loaded into a machine at any one time will slow problem gamblers down.
  • Jackpots of no more than $500 reduces the volatility of the machines and therefore their addictiveness.
  • To give the industry time to adjust, all new machines must support bet and jackpot limits by 2018, with the limits enforced by 2020.

The Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2016

The Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2016 includes legislation that bans all internet gaming activities not specifically authorized within the new national codes, such as online poker. Although sports betting will remain authorized, the amended law reiterates the nationwide ban on any form of in-play wagering. A number of major operators have been offering in-play betting via a technical loophole where players could place an in-play wager via telephone, rather than online. It is thought the move could trigger a mass exodus of gambling companies from the country, with a number of firms having already withdrawn. As a result of the law changes, consumers that currently play online poker and place in-play bets on sports, and wish to continue doing so, will be forced to turn to unauthorized websites.

The pokies story will continue as the technological advancement behind the games rise each day. Now with virtual reality and augmented reality games boom pokies will also surely adopt this new technology. But will it bring a BIG change and stop punters to feed their money into these machines time will tell.

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Ever counted the number of casinos in Vegas- Know the figures and the facts

Las Vegas Casino

If you are wondering how many casinos are in Las Vegas then find below some interesting facts and figures. According to 2017 figures there are 104 casinos in Las Vegas. These are located in the Las Vegas valley including downtown, the Strip, and suburbs, even though, technically, some of these are not in the city limits of Las Vegas.

These figures are taken from the Nevada Gaming Commission’s “unrestricted gaming licenses,” which defines a casino as a business with more than 15 pokies machines or one with table games.

That shows not in count the local 7-11 with a video poker machine as a casino (Like the “Louie,” a taxi driver who runs a semi-regular craps game behind the 7-11 on Friday nights). The neighbourhood bar with a few video poker machines, or the corner gas station with a few pokies machines aren’t considered casinos by the Nevada Gaming Commission, and thus, are not counted as casinos.

The  Nevada State Gaming Control Board, is good source for such figures considering they have authority over the ownership, games, licenses, and everything else to do with casinos and gambling in Nevada.

Few interesting facts

  • There are 172 casinos in Clark County, as of January 1, 2017, according to the Nevada State Gaming Control Board. This is up exactly 1 casino from 2016, but down 4 from the 176 casinos in Clark County in 2015 . For those of you unaware, Las Vegas is in Clark County, as are the gambling destinations of Mesquite, and Laughlin, Nevada. This 172 figure also includes the casinos in nearby Primm. Overall, Clark County has roughly 2 million people, and encompasses all of Southern Nevada.
  • 87% of the state’s gambling revenue comes from casinos in Clark County, Nevada, and 57% of the state’s gambling money comes from the Las Vegas Strip.
  • The 172 casinos in Clark County took in $9.7 billion in gaming revenue for the 2016 calendar year. This is up just slightly from the $9.6 billion earned in 2016 and up slightly from the $9.5 billion in gaming revenue for 2014.
  • Clark County’s gaming revenues were $9.7 billion 2013, meaning there hasn’t been any growth in gaming revenue in Clark Country in 4 years.
  • Although Clark County has 172 casinos, you cannot count the 172 figure in this Las Vegas figure, seeing as how some of those casinos are pretty far away from town.

Fortunately, the state of Nevada separates gaming revenue figures into many different geographical sections – four of which would apply to Las Vegas: The Strip, Downtown, North Las Vegas, and The Boulder Stip.

The Strip

The Strip

Of the 172 casinos in Clark County, Nevada, there are currently 40 casinos in the Las Vegas Strip area as of 2017 data. For their purposes however, the Nevada Gaming Commission includes casinos that are not actually on Las Vegas Boulevard as being Strip casinos in their figures. These include major resorts like the Rio, the Palms, the Hard Rock, and the Westgate. Also included in this list, are off-Strip properties like Hooters, the Orleans, and the Gold Coast. As you might expect, these 40 casinos represent the vast majority of gaming income in Las Vegas. In fact, in 2016, the Strip accounted for 57% of all the gaming revenue in Nevada. In 2016, Las Vegas Strip casinos generated $6.376 billion in gaming revenue, down slightly from the $6.348 billion in gaming revenue generated in 2015. It nearly matched the 2014 figures.

Downtown

Downtown Las Vegas

There were 20 casinos reporting revenue in the downtown Las Vegas/Fremont Street area in 2016. These 20 downtown casinos had gaming revenues of over $564 million in 2016, which was up over 4% from the $542 million in 2015.

In contrast, the 40 casinos on the Las Vegas Strip took in approximately $6.4 billion in 2016. So although the Strip has just over twice as many casinos, it has over 11 times more gambling revenue than downtown. This really isn’t surprising given the modest size of many of the popular casinos on Fremont Street as compared to the behemoths like the Bellagio and MGM Grand on the Strip.

North Las Vegas

North Las Vegas

North Las Vegas has 12 casinos, again, according to the Nevada State Gaming Control Board. Casinos in North Las Vegas are mainly locals-oriented, and are not that popular than their cousins on the Strip. North Las Vegas Casinos include the Station chain properties: Santa Fe Station Hotel and Casino and the Texas Station, as well as the old-school classic joint: Jerry’s Nugget, which has been around since 1964. My friend Ken stops there every time he’s in Las Vegas, as they always have very low minimums on the craps tables. Also in this North Las Vegas category are the Cannery Casino and the Aliante Hotel and Casino, which was built in 2008. In 2016, these North Las Vegas casinos brought in $275 million in gaming revenue, up from the $271 million in gaming revenue in 2015.

Boulder Strip

Boulder Strip

The Boulder Highway area covers some casinos in Las Vegas suburbs, or those on the outskirts. These are mostly locals places, and include casino/hotels such as Sam’s Town, Boulder Station, Fiesta Station, Green Valley Ranch, and such. There are 31 casinos in this area.

It may surprise you to learn that casinos in the Boulder Strip area bring in more gambling revenue than downtown Las Vegas. This area of mostly “locals” casinos is roughly seven to ten miles east and southeast of the Las Vegas Strip. While many tourists have probably never played there, this section of town, which includes Henderson, Nevada, is an impressive player in the casino market. There are 32 casinos on the Boulder Strip. These thirty-two casinos brought in $787 million in gaming revenue during 2016, versus the $784 million in gaming revenue in 2015.