Books Set in Australia – Five Novels to Read Before You Travel

A trip to Australia is one that offers endless variety — you could spend your time partying in Sydney, you could make an adventurous journey to the Outback, or you could wallow in the many wineries on offer in several Australian states. Australia is a big country and unless you have months to spend there, you are going to have to make some decisions on how best to spend you time. To help you do that, here are some books set in Australia — five novels portraying different aspects of Australian life and history.

‘The Secret River’ by Kate Grenville

A story of Australia’s beginnings, William Thornbill and his wife Sal are sent from London to the fledgling colony of New South Wales in the early 1800’s. After some time in Sydney (very different from the Sydney of today!) they decide to try their luck on some land Will has set his eye on along the Hawkesbury River. The challenges they face from their environment, the local Aborigines and fellow settlers reminds us of how harsh the country was for those who decided to make it their home. There are some magnificent descriptions of the landscape as seen by an outsider, and the books gives a ‘warts and all’ look at the impact of settlement on Australia’s indigenous peoples.

‘A Town Like Alice’ by Neville Shute

While the first part of this novel is set in the Malayan jungle during WWII, what follows is a story that brings you to rugged, country Australia. If you want to know what life was like in a small outback town (more of a hamlet really) in the 1940’s and 50’s then this novel gives you a good idea. You are subject to the harshness of the landscape and the incredible distances involved, as Englishwoman Jean Paget travels to the heart of Australia to find a man she met whilst captured by the Japanese in Malaya. The language and attitudes, particularly in relation to Australia’s Aborigines, are true to their time and should be taken as such. But it gives a good indication of the realities of life in rural Australia, something which is still a strong cultural influence on Australians today.

‘Breath’ by Tim Winton

From the desert to the sea now in this novel by one of Australia’s most respected writers. This novel is set in Australia’s south-west corner, at a time when the area was more of a home for the logging industry than for the tourists and vineyards of today. Set mainly in the 70’s, this is a coming-of-age story about teenager Bruce as he seeks to overcome the boredom of country life with some high risk activities — like surfing off what can be a dangerous and deadly coastline, and developing a dark friendship with an older woman. As Bruce begins to grow up, both emotionally and sexually, we are treated to some of the most poetic and exhilarating descriptions you will ever find of the ‘religion’ that is surfing. And you too, will feel as if you have explored the rugged and beautiful coastline of this part of the country.

‘Bad Debts’ by Peter Temple

Peter Temple is one of Australia’s leading crime writers, and this novel is our introduction to his hero Jack Irish. — an inner-city Melbourne solicitor with a love of Australian Rules Football, gambling, and part time cabinet-making. This is Melbourne in winter, complete with its rain, pubs and shady underworld. Irish has barely been sober for a number of years after one of his dodgy clients murdered his wife, and now Danny, another former client, needs his help. But when Danny is killed, Irish discovers there are plenty of the city’s political elite who would like the past to remain undisturbed, and he is determined to get to the truth. Temple’s novels may not give you ‘sun and sand’, but you will be treated to as much genuine Australian vocabulary and city sub-culture as you can handle.

‘Summerland’ by Malcolm Knox

And finally to Sydney, and a novel that explores the life of the city’s idle rich. Four young Sydneysiders have been friends since they were teenagers, and living around the city’s northern beaches they have the world at their feet. They form two couples and spend every Christmas at Palm Beach, a popular holiday location for the affluent. But despite all this, their friendship is based on lies, as Richard finds out when he learns of the long-running affair between his wife and his best friend. If you’d like an insight into a live of the privileged few in Sydney, then this novel will take you there.

These novels are just a taste of many books set in Australia, but they are well worth reading in the lead-up to your travels or on the plane. Immersing yourself in a novel about the place you are going to will not only give you an insight into the place itself, but it will whet your appetite for your travels ahead, making it far more enjoyable once you get there.

Corn Sugar and Blood And the Rise and Fall of the Cleveland Mafia

Chapter I

“Big Ange” and the Death of the Cleveland Mafia

In 1983, Angelo Lonardo, 72, one-time Cleveland Mafia boss, turned government informant. He shocked family, friends, law enforcement officers and particularly, criminal associates with his decision which was made after being sentenced to life plus 103 years for drug and racketeering convictions. The sentence came after a monumental investigation by local, state and federal agencies had all but wiped out the Cleveland Mafia.

“Big Ange” as he was called, was the highest ranking mafioso to defect. He testified in 1985 at the Las Vegas casino “skimming” trials in Kansas City and in 1986 at the New York Mafia “ruling commission” trials. Many of the nation’s biggest mob leaders were convicted as a result of these trials.

During his testimony, Lonardo told how at age 18, he avenged his father’s murder by killing the man believed to be responsible. He further testified that after that murder, he was responsible for the killings of several of the Porrello brothers, business rivals of his father during Prohibition.

Chapter II

Birth of the Cleveland Mafia

During the late eighteen hundreds, the four Lonardo brothers and seven Porrello brothers were boyhood friends and fellow sulphur mine workers in their hometown of Licata, Sicily. They came to America in the early nineteen hundreds and eventually settled in the Woodland district of Cleveland. They remained close friends. Several of the Porrello and Lonardo brothers worked together in small businesses.

Lonardo clan leader “Big Joe” became a successful businessman and community leader in the lower Woodland Avenue area. During Prohibition, he became successful as a dealer in corn sugar which was used by bootleggers to make corn liquor. “Big Joe” provided stills and raw materials to the poor Italian district residents. They would make the booze and “Big Joe” would buy it back giving them a commission. He was respected and feared as a “padrone” or godfather. “Big Joe” became the leader of a powerful and vicious gang and was known as the corn sugar “baron.” Joe Porrello was one of his corporals.

Chapter III

The First Bloody Corner

With the advent of Prohibition, Cleveland, like other big cities, experienced a wave of bootleg-related murders. The murders of Louis Rosen, Salvatore Vella, August Rini and several others produced the same suspects, but no indictments. These suspects were members of the Lonardo gang. Several of the murders occurred at the corner of E. 25th and Woodland Ave. This intersection became known as the “bloody corner.”

By this time, Joe Porrello had left the employ of the Lonardos to start his own sugar wholesaling business.

Porrello and his six brothers pooled their money and eventually became successful corn sugar dealers headquartered in the upper Woodland Avenue area around E. 110th Street.

With small competitors, sugar dealers and bootleggers, mysteriously dying violent deaths, the Lonardos’ business flourished as they gained a near monopoly on the corn sugar business. Their main competitors were their old friends the Porrellos.

Raymond Porrello, youngest of his brothers was arrested by undercover federal agents for arranging a sale of 100 gallons of whiskey at the Porrello-owned barbershop at E. 110th and Woodland. He was sentenced to the Dayton, Oh. Workhouse.

The Porrello brothers paid the influential “Big Joe” Lonardo $5,000 to get Raymond out of prison. “Big Joe”

failed in his attempt but never returned the $5,000.

Meanwhile, Ernest Yorkell and Jack Brownstein, small-time self-proclaimed “tough guys” from Philadelphia arrived in Cleveland. Yorkell and Brownstein were shakedown artists, and their intended victims were Cleveland bootleggers, who got a chuckle out of how the two felt it necessary to explain that they were tough. Real tough guys didn’t need to tell people that they were tough. After providing Cleveland gangsters with a laugh, Yorkell and Brownstein were taken on a “one-way ride.”

Chapter IV

Corn Sugar and Blood

“Big Joe” Lonardo in 1926, now at the height of his wealth and power left for Sicily to visit his mother and

relatives. He left his closest brother and business partner John in charge.

During “Big Joe’s” six-month absence, he lost much of his $5,000 a week profits to the Porrellos who took advantage of John Lonardo’s lack of business skills and the assistance of a disgruntled Lonardo employee. “Big Joe” returned and business talks between the Porrellos and Lonardos began.

They “urged” the Porrellos to return their lost clientele.

On Oct. 13th, 1927 “Big Joe” and John Lonardo went to the Porrello barbershop to play cards and talk business with Angelo Porrello as they had been doing for the past week. As the Lonardos entered the rear room of the shop, two gunmen opened fire. Angelo Porrello ducked under a table.

Cleveland’s underworld lost its’ first boss as “Big Joe” went down with three bullets in his head. John Lonardo was shot in the chest and groin but drew his gun and managed to pursue the attackers through the barbershop. He dropped his gun in the shop but continued chasing the gunmen into the street where one of them turned, and out of bullets, struck Lonardo in the head several times with the butt of his gun. John fell unconscious and bled to death.

The Porrello brothers were arrested. Angelo was charged with the Lonardo brothers’ murders. The charges were later dropped for lack of evidence. Joe Porrello succeeded the Lonardos as corn sugar “baron” and later appointed himself “capo” of the Cleveland Mafia.

Chapter V

The Cleveland Meeting

The trail of bootleg blood continued to flow with numerous murders stemming from the Porrello-Lonardo conflict.

Lawrence Lupo, a former Lonardo bodyguard was killed after he let it be known that he wanted to take over the Lonardos’ corn sugar business.

Anthony Caruso, a butcher who saw the Lonardos’ killers escape was shot and killed. It was believed that he knew the identities of the gunmen and was going to reveal them to police.

On Dec. 5th, 1928, Joe Porrello and his lieutenant and bodyguard Sam Tilocco hosted the first known major meeting of the Mafia at Cleveland’s Hotel Statler. Many major Mafia leaders from Chicago to New York to Florida were invited. The meeting was raided before it actually began.

Joe Profaci, leader of a Brooklyn, N.Y. Mafia family was the most well-known of the gangsters arrested. Within a few hours, to the astonishment of police and court officials, Joe Porrello gathered thirty family members and friends who put up their houses as collateral for the gangsters’ bonds. Profaci was bailed out personally by Porrello. A great controversy over the validity of the bonds followed.

Several theories have been given as to why the meeting was called. First, it was thought that the gangsters, local presidents of the Unione Siciliane, an immigrant aid society infiltrated by the Mafia, were there to elect a new national president. Their previous president, Frankie Yale had been recently killed by order of Chicago’s notorious Al Capone. Second, it was believed that the meeting may have been called

to organize the highly lucrative corn sugar industry. It was also said that the men were there to “confirm” Joe Porrello as “capo” of Cleveland.

Capone, a non-Sicilian was reported to be in Cleveland for the meeting. He left soon after his arrival at the

advice of associates who said that the Sicilians did not want him there.

Chapter VI

The Second Bloody Corner

As Joe Porrello’s power and wealth grew, heirs and close associates to the Lonardo brothers grew hot for revenge.

Angelo Lonardo, “Big Joe’s” 18-year-old son along with his mother and his cousin, drove to the corner of E. 110th and Woodland, the Porrello stronghold. There Angelo sent word that his mother wanted to speak to Salvatore “Black Sam” Todaro. Todaro, now a Porrello lieutenant, had worked for Angelo’s father and was believed to be responsible for his murder. In later years it was believed that he was actually one of the gunmen.

As Todaro approached to speak with Mrs. Lonardo whom he respected, Angelo pulled out a gun and emptied it into “Black Sam’s stocky frame. Todaro crumpled to the sidewalk and died.

Angelo and his cousin disappeared for several months reportedly being hid in Chicago courtesy of Lonardo friend Al Capone. Later it was believed that Angelo spent time in California with his uncle Dominick, fourth Lonardo brother who fled west when indicted for a payroll robbery murder in 1921.

Eventually Angelo and his cousin were arrested and charged with “Black Sam’s” murder. For the first time in Cleveland’s bootleg murder history justice was served as both young men were convicted and sentenced to life. Justice although served would be shortlived as they would be released only a year and a half later after winning a new trial.

Chapter VII

Rise of the Mayfield Road Mob

On October 20th, 1929, Frank Lonardo, brother to “Big Joe” and John was shot to death while playing cards. Two theories were given for his death; that it was in revenge for the murder of “Black Sam” Todaro and, that he was killed for not paying gambling debts. Mrs. Frank Lonardo, when told of

her husband’s murder screamed, “I’ll get them. I’ll get them myself if I have to kill a whole regiment!”

By 1929, Little Italy crime boss Frank Milano had risen to power as leader of his own gang, “The Mayfield Road Mob.” Milano’s group was made up in part of remnants of the Lonardo gang and was also associated with the powerful “Cleveland Syndicate,” Morrie Kleinman, Moe Dalitz, Sam Tucker and Louis Rothkopf. The Cleveland Syndicate was responsible for most of the Canadian booze imported via Lake Erie. In later years they got into the casino business. One of the their largest and most profitable enterprises was construction of the Desert Inn Hotel/Casino in Las Vegas. Dalitz would become known as the “Godfather of Las Vegas.”

Joe Porrello admired Milano’s political organization, the East End Bi-Partisan Political Club and, seeing the value in such influence, wanted to ally himself with the group. Milano refused. Later, Porrello was reported to have affiliated himself with the newly formed 21st District Republican Club. He hoped to organize the Woodland Avenue voters as Milano was doing on Mayfield road.

Chapter VIII

More Corn Sugar and Blood

By 1930, Milano had grown quite powerful. He had gone so far as to demand a piece of the lucrative Porrello corn sugar business. On July 5th, 1930, Porrello received a phonecall from Milano who had requested a conference at his Venetian Restaurant on Mayfield Road. Sam Tilocco and Joe Porrello’s brother Raymond urged him not to go.

At about 2:00 p.m., Joe Porrello and Sam Tilocco arrived at Milano’s restaurant and speakeasy. Porrello, Tilocco, and Frank Milano sat down in the restaurant and discussed business. Several of Milano’s henchmen sat nearby. The atmosphere was tense as Porrello refused to accede to Milano’s demands.

Porrello reached into his pocket for his watch to check the time. Two of Milano’s men, possibly believing that Porrello was reaching for his gun opened fire. Porrello died instantly woth three bullets in his head Simultaneously, a third member of Milano’s gang fired at Tilocco who was struck three times but managed to stagger out the door toward his new Cadillac. He fell to the ground as the gunmen pursued him, finishing him off with another six bullets.

Frank Milano and several of his restaurant employees were arrested but only charged with being suspicious persons. The gunmen were never actually identified. Only one witness was present in the saloon when the shooting started. He was Frank Joiner, a slot machine distributor whose only testimony was that he “thought” he saw Frank Milano in the restaurant during the murders.

Cleveland’s aggressive and outspoken Safety Director Edwin Barry, frustrated by the continually rising number of bootleg murders, ordered all known sugar warehouses to be padlocked. He ordered a policeman to be detailed at each one to make sure that no sugar was brought in or removed.

Meanwhile, the six Porrello brothers donned black silk shirts and ties and buried their most successful brother. The showy double gangster funeral was one the largest Cleveland had ever seen. Two bands and thirty-three cars overloaded with flowers led the procession of the slain don and his bodyguard. Over two hundred fifty automobiles containing family and friends followed. Thousands of mourners and curious on-lookers lined the sidewalks.

Cleveland’s underworld was tense with rumors of imminent warfare. Porrello brother Vincente-James spoke openly of wiping out everyone responsible for his brother’s murder.

Three weeks after his brother’s murder, Jim Porrello still wore a black shirt as he entered the I & A grocery and meat market at E. 110th Street and Woodland. As he picked out lamb chops at the meat counter, a Ford touring car, its’ curtains tightly drawn, cruised slowly past the store. A couple of shotguns poked out and two lasts of buckshot were fired, one through the front window of the store and one through the front screen door.

The amateur gunmen got lucky. Two pellets found the back of Porrello’s head and entered his brain. He was rushed to the hospital.

Chapter IX

“I think maybe they’ll kill all us Porrellos”

“I think maybe they’ll kill all us Porrellos. I think maybe they will kill all of us except Rosario. They can’t

kill him – he’s in jail.” Thus Ottavio Porrello grimly but calmly predicted the probable fate of he and his brothers as he waited outside Jim’s hospital room. Jim Porrello died at 5:55 p.m.

Two local petty gangsters were arrested and charged with murder. One was discharged by directed verdict and the other was acquitted. Like almost all of Cleveland’s bootleg related murders, the killers never saw justice.

About this time, it was rumored that the Porrello brothers were marked for extermination. The surviving

brothers went into hiding. Raymond, known for his cocky attitude and hot temper spoke like his brother James did of seeking revenge. Raymond was smarter though, he took active measures to protect himself.

On August 15th, 1930, three weeks after James Porrello’s murder, Raymond Porrello’s house was leveled in a violent explosion. He was not home at the time since he had taken his family and abandoned his home in anticipation of the attack.

Four days later Frank Alessi, a witness to the murder of “Big Joe” Lonardo’s brother Frank, was gunned down. From his death bed, he identified Frank Brancato as his assailant. Brancato was known mainly as a Lonardo supporter and suspect in several murders. Brancato was acquitted of Alessi’s murder.

Chapter X

In March of 1931, Rosario Porrello was paroled from Ohio’s London Prison Farm where he had served one year for carrying a gun in his car.

In mid-1931, National Mafia “capo di tutti capi” (boss of all bosses) Salvatore Maranzano was killed. His murder set in motion the formation of the first Mafia National Ruling Commission created to stop the numerous murders resulting from conflicts between and within Mafia families and to promote application of modern business practices to crime.

Charles “Lucky” Luciano was the main developer of the commission and was named chairman. Also named to the commission were Al Capone of Chicago, Joe Profaci of Brooklyn and Frank Milano of Cleveland.

In Dec. of 1931, Angelo Lonardo and his cousin Dominic Suspirato were released from prison after being acquitted of “Black Sam” Todaro’s murder during a second trial. Because he had avenged his father’s death and (for the most part) gotten away with it, he became a respected member of Frank Milano’s Mayfield Road Mob.

The thirst for revenge had not been satisfied for members of the Lonardo family. It was generally believed

that “Black Sam” Todaro instigated and perhaps took part in the murders of “Big Joe” and John Lonardo. However it was believed by members of the Lonardo family that the remaining Porrello brothers, particularly the volatile John and Raymond and eldest brother Rosario still posed a threat because of

the murders of Joe and James Porrello.

On Feb. 25th, 1932 Raymond Porrello, his brother Rosario and their bodyguard Dominic Gulino (known also by several aliases) were playing cards near E. 110th and Woodland Avenue. The front door burst open and in a hail of bullets the Porrello brothers, their bodyguard and a bystander went down. The Porrellos died at the scene. Gulino died a couple of hours later. The bystander eventually recovered from his

wounds.

Several hours after the murders, Frank Brancato, with a bullet in his stomach, dragged himself into St. John’s hospital on Cleveland’s west side. He claimed he was shot in a street fight on the west side. A few days later, tests on the bullet taken from Brancato revealed that it came from a gun found at the Porrello brothers murder scene. Although never convicted of either of the murders, Brancato was convicted of perjury for lying to a Grand Jury about his whereabouts during the murder. He served four years after a one to ten year sentence was commuted by Governor Martin L. Davey.

In 1933, Prohibition was repealed. The bootleg murders mostly stopped as organized crime moved into other enterprises. Angelo Lonardo continued his crime career as a respected member of the Cleveland family eventually rising through the ranks to run the northeast Ohio rackets in 1980.

In early 1933, in a sequel to the tragedy of the large Porrello family, Rosario’s son Angelo, 21, was killed in a fight over a pool game in Buffalo. It was said that he and his Uncle John were there trying to muscle in on the corn liquor business.

******

The Binion Silver Hoard

Lonnie Theodore Binion (known as Ted Binion) was that rarest of birds: Native Son of Las Vegas. Brought up amidst prominent privilege as the son of infamous Benny Binion, the owner of the downtown Horseshoe Casino and founder of the World Tournament of Poker, Ted Binion appeared to have it all. He, along with his brothers and sisters, were on intimate terms with the internal workings of the legendary Las Vegas landmark, taking over for Bennie upon reaching adulthood. On the surface, the Binions not only had the American Dream, with ownership of casinos, a huge ranch in Montana, and money, money, money coming into their coffers on a daily basis, they lived a life most of us cannot even imagine. Sounds good, doesn’t it? They had a large family, received the best education, lived in luxury, had all that money could buy.

As in so many cases, what’s wrong with this picture? So many times we hear of the sons and daughters of wealthy, prominent parents going off the deep end, losing their lives in ruination. Ted Binion was one of these unfortunate sons, who in spite of having the best money could buy, couldn’t buy himself a life worth living. He had the best, but fell victim to all the worst “Sin City” has to offer, ending in his demise – drug-addicted, barred from the only life he really knew (casino life), his live-in lover and his best friend accused of his murder. This is a story of excess: think money, think the best food, all you can eat, think drinks, all you can drink, think up all night, partying, topless bars, drugs to keep it going, no limits on what you can have, no boundaries on what you might spend, the best houses, the best cars, clothes, jewelry, whatever! No limits. This was Ted Binion’s life. Every man’s dream, so it seems. But, alas, it wasn’t the answer. Conversely, Ted Binion was also known as a caring, helpful person, who would put himself out to his friends and neighbors – a man at the mercy of opposing forces.

In his days managing the Horseshoe, Binion saw a constant flow of money that led him to develop an appreciation and eye for quality silver. He began to collect, becoming fascinated with the artistry and variety of coinage that numismatists are prone to. He not only began to collect, but being a man of excessive tastes, he began to hoard. He found and stashed every kind of silver coin he could get his hands on, eventually filling a vault beneath the gambling hall he called home with 46,000 pounds of mint silver coins.

This is a story, not only of Ted’s tragic life, but of the silver he loved and its journey from the vault under the Horseshoe to its newly-constructed home under the Nevada desert, to you, the reader of this story, and how it all ties in. In our society, precious metal in and of itself has value. But we, beings who love a story almost beyond where we should, are endlessly fascinated with the story behind things, the story behind celebrities, historical figures, great works of art, greatness on any level. Hell, it doesn’t even have to be greatness, as long as the telling of the story is great.

We are a people who love the backstory, especially if it concerns someplace we’re familiar with, and how many of us have frequented the Temples to Money that is Las Vegas? We (although we’re warned not to), love to worship at the Golden Calf, and hope it’s also being served on the buffet table. Hey, it’s what our economic system is all about. Our system may not be perfect and may cause a lot of secondary problems, but for right now, it’s all we’ve got. What’s that old line? The man who dies with the most toys at the end wins the game? If we begin to see things in terms of systems and games, everything looks a little different. It’s all a matter of perspective and perception.

So, this is the story of Ted Binion and the backstory of his Silver Hoard , an amazing collection of silver coinage (described in more detail below) and how you might get your hot little hands on some of it, should it be of interest to you. Silver in any form is expected to greatly rise in value in the next few years, and for those of you who are numistamistically inclined (there’s a mouthful), this may be your chance to acquire pieces far so beyond the ordinary they almost fall into the “worthy of worship” category. I don’t believe there’s any admonition about not worshiping at the Silver Calf. Certainly, we can understand Ted Binion’s desire to acquire and hoard these treasures, even if we can’t quite understand his loyalty to that which brought about his questionable end.

As we alluded to earlier, Ted Binion was quite the party animal. He lived hard and fast and loved the ladies. He was known to frequently frequent a famous Las Vegas establishment of titillation by tit-elevation known as Cheetah’s – a place known for it’s scantily-clad lovely ladies. Therein, he met a surfer-girl named Sandy Murphy. Ms. Murphy had just lost over $10,000.00, her life savings, playing blackjack at Caesar’s Palace. It was initially reported that in order to cover her losses, Ms. Murphy took a job as a topless dancer at Cheetah’s, but Murphy claims that she was working at the club as an independent contractor selling costumes to the dancers who worked there. In any case, it was where she and Binion hooked up.

Sandy Murphy’s profile on the Court TV’s website quotes Ms. Murphy as saying, “I really didn’t know who Ted Binion was or what the Binion family was.” Binion, age 55, apparently fell for the 23-year-old Southern California girl, who had just made her first trip to Las Vegas. It is reported that Binion and Murphy grew quite close, and on March 7, 1995, Binion moved her into his home on Palomino Lane. It was not long before Murphy quickly fell into step with Binion’s rich Las Vegas lifestyle, which seems to have included violence, sex, drugs, physical and verbal abuse. Sandy Murphy claims that she was never after Binion’s money or that she had any knowledge of his reputation on the local scene. It seems a plausible story, if you consider she, a pretty 23-year-old, was most likely thrilled she’d found a 55-year-old who gave her a nice house to live in, along with a lifestyle of abuse and degradation.

Enter Part Two of the end-story of Ted Binion. Early in 1998, Binion met and befriended a struggling contractor by the name of Rick Tabish, whom he had met in the restroom of one of Las Vegas’ high-end restaurants (…an auspicious beginning). Apparently, Tabish was not a very savvy businessman because he continually lost money through weak business dealings, and when he met Binion he was running a sandpit and trucking company on the verge of failure. Binion, however, befriended Tabish and invited him to his home. Both Tabish and Binion came from families with successful fathers, and the Binion family had a very large ranch in Montana, where Tabish also hailed from. These factors may have been the common bond that drew them together.

After some bad business with the Gaming Commission, Binion was barred from running the Horseshoe Casino, and his sister was in line to take over. Ol’ Ted had to find someplace to put all that silver. In the interim, Rick and Sandy had become attracted to each other and began an affair behind Binion’s back. The efforts of his new friend Tabish and his girlfriend Murphy in talking him into liquidating the silver were not well received. Binion felt the price of silver was too low and he wanted to wait for a more advantageous time. So, in a stroke of brilliance, he contracted with Tabish to build him an underground vault on his property in Pahrump. The vault was constructed, and on July 4, 1998, Tabish filled the vault with 46,000 pounds of silver from the basement hiding place of Binion’s Horseshoe Casino. When Tabish had finished and locked up the vault, he asked Binion if he wanted the locks changed and the key back, and Binion declined, stating he trusted his friend.

About two months later, Binion was found dead. On September 17, 1998, paramedics found Ted Binion dead in the den of his Las Vegas home that he had shared with Murphy for about 3 1/2 years. Initially, investigators thought Binion, who struggled with a drug addiction, passed away from a overdose of tar heroin, Xanax and Valium, drugs he had purchased a day

earlier. The 911 telephone call to police to report the death was made by Murphy an estimated four to ten hours later, and she was reported to have cried to the 911 operator that her “husband” was not breathing (Binion and Murphy were not married).

Rather suspiciously, one day after the death of Binion, Murphy is seen on a videotape pointing out which possessions she wants from the estate; accusing the Binion family of

removing items from the house in her absence and pocketing a wine glass that investigators believe may have contained the drug mixture that was forcibly poured down Ted Binion’s throat.

Even more suspiciously, two days after Binion’s death sheriff deputies caught Tabish and two assistants, excavating the last of Binion’s estimated $7 million of silver coins and bars from the underground desert vault at 2:00 a.m. Their report also stated that they found Tabish’s briefcase at the scene containing a safe combination and a handwritten note from Murphy

proclaiming her love for him.

These events, along with private investigations begun by the Binion family,

initiated an additional investigation by police. What was thought to be an

overdose now became a murder probe. The police probe into the death of

Binion led to the arrest of Murphy and Tabish about nine months later, and gave

the prosecutors the following evidence to present at trial:

o Murphy and Tabish began an affair during the summer of 1998.

o Tabish bragged about the affair.

o Both Murphy and Tabish knew about the $7 million of silver; tried to

convince Binion to sell it; and, knew of the underground desert vault.

o The prosecution’s medical examiner, Dr. Michael Baden, theorized that

Binion was force-fed the drug mixture which disoriented him, and allowed him

to be suffocated.

o Tabish’s involvement was reinforced by his attempt to excavate the

silver.

o Murphy was listed as a beneficiary in Binion’s Will.

o Binion’s estate attorney filed a petition stating that Binion told him over

the telephone, “Get Sandy out of the Will if she doesn’t kill me tonight.

If I’m dead, you’ll know what happened to me.” Binion was dead before the

Will could be changed.

o Tabish needed money because he was cash-strapped.

o Tabish had previous run-ins with the law. He was convicted twice in

Montana, once for burglary and once for conspiracy to possess narcotics.

In addition, he was also charged (along with two associates) in the kidnapping

and torture of business associate Leo Casey in July 1998.

Murphy and Tabish were tried and convicted on May 19, 2000, after an eight

day deliberation by the jury. Tabish was sentenced to 25 years in prison, and Murphy received a minimum 22 years. In July 2003, in a 4 to 3 decision the Nevada Supreme Court overturned the conviction of Murphy and Tabish because of improper courtroom procedures. This led to a retrial, and in November of 2004 a seven-man, five-woman jury returned a verdict after 19 hours of deliberations. Murphy and Tabish were acquitted of the most serious charge against them, the murder verdict. The Las Vegas jury cited a lack of medical evidence for their decision. Through a provision in Binion’s Will, Murphy may be able to claim $1.2 million pending the outcome of a wrongful-death suit brought against her by the Binion family.

Where are they now? Both were each acquitted of murder but were convicted on lesser charges of conspiracy to commit burglary, burglary and grand larceny. Murphy was not returned to prison, because of time served. Tabish is expected to be released in 2008.

Note: A prosecution death theory, which the jury ultimately rejected, formed the basis for “Burked,” a September 27, 2001 episode of the TV series CSI. After the jury in the re-trial found Tabish and Murphy not guilty of murder, news accounts reported that jurors had been unwilling to find them guilty because the forensic evidence introduced by the prosecution had not met the standards of the television show.

So, what happened to all of Ted Binion’s silver? In November 2001, Spectrum Numismatic International purchased the coins from the Binion Hoard for $3 million, and the marketing of the coins was assigned to Goldline International, Inc. There were over 100,000 Morgan and Peace Silver Dollars, and an unspecified number of silver Half Dollars. The coins were authenticated and graded by NGC (Numismatic Guaranty Corporation). A special tag and designation was created by NGC to make these coins stand out as coins with a pedigree. In addition to the special tagging, the silver dollars were marked with the words Binion Collection and the half

dollars were marked with the words Nevada Silver Collection. The coins were sold in a variety of grades up to and including MS-68, and there was a wide array of price points originally starting at $50.00.

The story and court trial over Ted Binion’s death has kept America buzzing,

and the coins from the Binion Hoard have given Coin Collectors a piece of modern day history that will live long in the annals of numismatics. The complete story is far from over, but once the last chapter is written, these pedigreed coins will have a story like no other.

The Binion coins were authenticated and certified by the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), one of the nation’s leading independent facilities for the inspection, authentication and grading of collector and investor coins. At the completion of their process, NGC sealed each silver dollar into a tamperproof plastic holder showing the coin’s year and mint of issue, plus the coin’s grade. A coin’s grade is important because it is the primary determinant of the coin’s market value.

Mark Salzberg, President of NGC, said, “This is the greatest collection of silver dollars that NGC has ever authenticated.”

NGC has also included a unique certification sealed into each protective holder for the historic coins. Each Binion silver dollar features a special NGC pedigree label that for the first time is in a color (green) and depicts three cowboys from the Old West. Each label also reads, Binion Collection and BinionCollection.com to further identify the pedigree and to offer collectors a website with additional information about the collection. “These coins are dripping with amazing originality and historical importance,” said Salzberg. He added, “Less than one out of every 1,000 coins NGC grades has a pedigree. Pedigrees add to the collectibility of a coin because they identify it from a historical perspective.”

“The coins of the Binion Collection offer an opportunity for both novices and sophisticated collectors to acquire coins for their collections,” said Mark Albarian, President and CEO of Goldline. “The price range is affordable–many coins are available for less than $50 with the most expensive over $10,000.”

Author’s Note: Being the final chapter of this story has yet to be unfolded, we, have reported this story as accurately as space & time will allow. There was no intent to show bias, or to liable or slander any of the parties involved. Sources for this research includes:

A Bad Night in Vegas: A Boxing Story

His name was Javier Ayala and he was from Los Angeles by way of Tijuana. He had once gone ten rounds with the great Roberto Duran in 1973 in Los Angeles and also went the distance with Leroy Haley. But on this night at the Silver Slipper in Las Vegas, his main event opponent was Bruce Finch whose claim to fame would be that after his 3rd round TKO loss to Sugar Ray Leonard in1982 in Reno, Leonard would have surgery to repair a detached retina.

Coming into the Finch fight, Javier had lost six straight including ones to the very capable Jerry “Schoolboy” Cheatham and Dujuan Johnson as well as to rugged Lou Bizzarro. Arguably, he had become a gate through which prospects must get through before going to the next level.

I was visiting my brother at the time (I had been on assignment in nearby Phoenix and flew in for some R and R), but on this particular July night in 1980 I was alone. After several hours of Black Jack at Bally’s and dinner at Kathy’s Southern Cooking restaurant, I pursued my real interest of the evening which was to watch a young lightweight prospect out of Youngstown, Ohio by the name of Ray “Boom Boom” Manicini. He had won ten in a row and was on the undercard in a eight-rounder against one Leon Smith whom he blew away in the first round with several unanswered body shots to Smith’s liver that you could hear throughout the hall…………I was on the aisle near ringside and they sounded like muffled bombs. I was most impressed and anything else on this particular boxing night would simply be icing on the cake.

Chris Schwenke fought his first pro fight and won a four-round UD over Bill Fallow. He would then go on a 14 fight win streak. There was an uneventful 6-rounder before the Finch-Ayala bout between Danny Sanders and Irish Pat Coffey which Danny won by TKO in the last round. At that point, there was a brief intermission and I remember this young boy of about 9 or 10 years old who then appeared and was standing just to the rear of my seat. I asked him his name and he said he was Javier Ayala’s son. He was very shy and humble. We had a nice exchange and I said I hoped his father would do well. As the fighters walked to the ring, I noticed Javier reach over to pat his son on the shoulder and give him a smile and wink. The fighters were then introduced amidst the usual fanfare and the crowd readied for the main event.

Finch, from Milwaukee, had lost only three fights coming in and these were to the very capable Tommy Hearns, Larry Bonds, and Pete Ranzany. He had won 21 and was touted as having lot’s of pop in his punches. The much younger Finch looked to be in excellent welterweight shape, while Ayala, at age 37, looked just a bit shop worn.

As I torched up my Cuesto Rey……….thankfully, there was no political correctness back in 1980, particularly in a gambling casino……….the fighters received their instructions touched gloves, the bell rang and the fight began. The first two rounds were mostly cat and mouse with both fighters feeling each other out and getting in a few decent shots. Finch threw some neat combinations and seemed to have taken control by the end of round two. In the third round is when it happened. Both fighters were coming out of a clinch and as they set themselves, Ayala moved forward to throw a telegraphed looping right. Finch got there first unleashing a short and vicious right uppercut which hit Ayala at the point of his chin. You could hear the blow back in the gambling area.

Ayala hit the canvas as if he had been hit with a ten gauge shotgun……..and that’s when what started out to be a pleasant evening of manly fun became something else. As he landed on his back, his body hit before his head which then whip sawed onto the canvas. He stayed down as his only handler hovered over him and as ringside officials and the referee quickly went to revive him. He was unconscious and stayed that way for between 15 and 20 minutes without so much as moving a limb. A stretcher was being readied, the crowd was hushed, and a genuine sense of concern permeated. Everyone feared the worse. Finch, while elated with his one punch victory, was visibly concerned. While this was all going on, I glanced over at his son standing in the rear area and I’ll never forget the look on his face or the tears in his eyes. I went over to him, put my arm around him and said “don’t worry, your father will be fine.” He was shaking all over and it was all I could do to keep myself composed.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, Javier Ayala arose to scattered applause, but their was palpable relief as well. He left the ring under his own power, albeit unsteadily, and seemed okay. As he was heading for the dressing room, he stopped and took his son’s hand in his own and they both disappeared from sight as they went into the room. The word that best descibes what I witnessed at that moment was pathos……..my overwhelming emotion was one of sympathy and pity.

I never found out exactly what happened to Ayala but I do know that was his last fight. He would finish with a record of 21 wins, 24 losses, and 1 draw. Where he is today or where his son might be remain mysteries that I just as soon not solve. My connection with Javier Ayala has remained deliberately unresolved.

As for Bruce Finch, he would go on to win eleven in a row before being stopped by Sugar Ray in 1982. He would then lose six of his next seven fights before retiring in 1985.

To this day, when I get giddy over some fight or engage in a heated argument over boxing in general and need a reality check, I always think back to that bad night in Vegas………one that would leave me with indelible memories. “In no other sport is the connection between performer and observer so intimate, so frequently painful, so unresolved.” – Joyce Carol Oates

Nightlife in the Dominican Republic

For many people, vacation is one of the few times they can unwind and have a great time. Because of that, there is a focus on nightlife when someone is visiting a new area. If you are getting ready to go to the Dominican Republic, you will be pleased to know you will be able to participate in an amazing nightlife. There are parts of the DR that light up after hours, and you will be able to spend hours out on the town.

There are many options when it comes to nightlife in the Dominican Republic. You can go dancing, listen to live music, or hit the casinos. You will be able to fill up your nights doing exactly what you want to do. There are truly options for everyone.

If you want to have drinks by the beach, the Aura Beach House in Juan Bolio is a must. This is one of the most popular bars in the area. It attracts a diverse crowd, from wealthy people to young people just looking for a good time. With the perfect atmosphere and talented DJs, this club is a must. You will be able to dance the night away, or sit and have drinks. Since it caters to many different age groups, it also caters to different styles. You can relax or go wild.

If you want to have a wild time without limits, there is a club you can visit that is certain to deliver. Occidental Grand Punta Cana is the home of the Disco Mangu. This is a great place to go if you like a wide variety of music and you love to dance. You will be able to have a night full of drinks, dancing and fun when you go to this club.

Santo Domingo is another great place to spend the late hours. You can go to the Atlantis World Casino to try your luck at gambling. After you get done there, you can go to one of the many clubs in the area.

La Masia is one of the best clubs in Santo Domingo, thanks to the live music. When you visit the club, you will get to hear music from actual musicians instead of watching a DJ spin a record. You can listen to jazz music, along with other music. You will get to have a taste of the Dominican Republic and its musical culture when you visit this club.

If you are traveling to the North Coast of the Dominican Republic, you might want to try the Crazy Moon. This dance club is one of the most popular in the area, and for good reason. This club has a lot to offer. You will be able to dance the night away with throbbing beats, and you can hang out at the bar and get a little rest in before you start dancing again.

If you want to travel from one club and restaurant to the next, Boco Chica is the perfect place to go. You can go to Calle Duarte, which is the main street, and wonder through the area. Bars, restaurants and shops line the street and you will be able to have drinks, grab a bit to eat, or get some shopping in.

The Dominican Republic is the place to go if you are looking for a fun nightlife. You will be able to pack your nights full with all of the fun you can find in the area. You will be able to go to exciting bars and clubs, and also take in some great casinos. If you love to go out at night, you are sure to find something you will enjoy in the Dominican Republic.

Superstitions On The Roulette Table – The Meanings of Numbers

Number Meanings From 0 To 36

0 – The number 0 is one of the most significant numbers, but when it comes to roulette it’s the number that gives the house the edge so it’s not a lucky number for us, it’s a lucky number for casino owners.

1 – They say that one is the loneliest number, and that rings true even on a roulette table as the number 1 is a part of the french orphans bet. This number can represent strength. It can also represent new beginnings, which are more than welcome after a streak of bad luck.

2 – The number 2 is all about balance. According to the Pythagoreans, the number 2 is the most unlucky number, in fact they declared the second day of each month to represent the god of the underworld, Hades. In the Far East, however, they consider the number 2 to be very lucky.

So – how’s that for balance?

3 – They say that the 3rd time’s the charm, which isn’t always necessarily true while you’re at the roulette table but we’ll take any help we can get, right?

4 – Remember the Pythagoreans who thought that the number 2 was evil and unlucky? They also believed the number 4 to be a perfect number. It represents many things such as the four seasons, the four directions on a compass, the four winds and the four elements (Earth, Wind, Fire and Air.) The Irish believe in the luck of a 4 leaf clover. Have you ever found a four leaf clover on your way to a roulette table? Me neither.

5 – According to mystical numerology, the number 5 carries with it an aura of uncertainty. It’s very rare to find any certainties in life, especially in a casino, so perhaps this characteristic is true of all numbers on the roulette table.

6 – Some believe that six is a symbol of luck, but what happens when you have the number 6 three times in a row? We’ll talk more about the significance of this at the end of the article.

7 – There are seven colors in the rainbow, but just three on a roulette table. Red, black and green. Seven is often refereed to as being the luckiest number.

8 – In Asia, 8 is a lucky number for several reasons. First of all, the number 8 looks like the infinity symbol which is of great significance to Asian cultures, and also the way it is pronounced in Chinese sounds similar to the word for “wealth” or “prosperity.” I’ll take wealth and prosperity over good luck any day of the week.

9 – Known as the number of magic, heaven and the Creator. 9 is also the amount of lives that a cat has. In Japanese, the number 9 sounds similar to the word for “pain”, which is a contrast to the Chinese number 8 which we just learned about.

10 – They call it a perfect 10. In Sikhism, there were 10 gurus so this is a very significant number to them. In the Bible, Egypt was cursed by 10 plagues. One thing that’s becoming clear as we explore all of the double meanings that these numbers have is that it really just depends on how you look at things.

11 – The number 11 has been considered to be a number which represents internal conflict. Another fitting feeling that we’ve all probably experienced while at the roulette table, trying to figure out what our lucky numbers for the day will be.

12 – The number 12 is very significant across many cultures historically. There are 12 months in a year, thus 12 signs for the zodiac calendar but if you’re into Tarot cards you will know that 12 is the number of the hanged man. Uh-oh!

13 – Just as seven is lucky, 13 is often considered to be it’s counterpart as an unlucky number. Western superstitions dictate that to dine with 13 people at a table is unlucky, perhaps in reference to the Last Supper.

14 – We’ve already looked at a couple of words who’s pronunciation in Chinese and Japanese sound like other words, but try this one on for size. In Chinese culture this is an unlucky number because “one” “four”, when said, sounds just the words that mean “want to die.” Sorry for being a little morbid, we’re just the messengers.

15 – This number has some meaning for anybody who believes in equality amongst all people. Susan B. Anthony fought her entire life for women’s rights, and her birthday was on the 15th day of February. We’re not really sure what her lucky numbers were, or if she was even a fan of roulette, but thanks to her efforts there’s a little girl out there somewhere today who’s spinning a roulette wheel for the first time and she’s not going to let anybody hold her back from her dreams! Isn’t that sweet?

16 – It was the 16th amendment to the US constitution that made it lawful for the government to collect taxes from us, so this one is certainly a lucky number for a lot of people sitting in public office, don’t you think?

17 – In Tarot, the 17th card is the card of the stars and it represents hope. You know, like “Boy, I really hope this Voisins bet pays off.”

18 – Eighteen is the legal voting age! In many Canadian provinces, it’s also the legal drinking age and thus the age at which you can finally enter a casino to put your lucky numbers and number meanings to the test for real.

19 – According to the Qur’an, 19 is the number of angels which are guarding Hell. On the other hand, it’s also the title of the debut album from the beautiful songstress Adele, who’s voice has captivated millions worldwide. In Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, 19 is a mysterious number. Finally, it’s the last year that one is a teenager, still so young and ready to grab life by the horns. A great candidate to be a lucky number, if you don’t mind the whole 19 angels guarding hell thing, that is.

20 – A group of 20 of something is called a “score”, and scoring is what we’re all looking to do when we sit down at the roulette table so the number 20 gets our stamp of approval when it comes to choosing a lucky number!

21 – This is the drinking age across most of the United States of America. Yee-haw! 21 grams is the weight of the soul, according to some research that is generally considered to be absolutely meaningless and without merit – so.. there’s that too.

22 – There’s a Jay-Z song in which he rhymes the words “two”, “too” and “to” 22 times. If hearing Jay-Z say two a bunch of times makes you feel lucky, look no further than 22 as your ultimate luckiest number.

23 – The 23 Enigma is a belief that most events that happen are somehow connected to the number 23. Perhaps you have heard of the Jim Carrey movie called The Number 23 that deals with a man who becomes obsessed. If so, then you can’t you haven’t been warned about obsessing over this number!

24 – There are twenty four hours in a day, but they seem to pass a lot faster when you’re on a winning (or losing) streak. I wonder why that is?

25 – The Book of Revelation said that there were 25 thrones.

26 – There are 26 red cards and 26 black cards in a regular deck of cards. Red and black, sound familiar? Some people will actually use a deck of cards to help them choose which color to wager on in roulette.

27 – European roulette is a popular version of the game that features a single zero, rather than a double zero. Why does this matter? There are 27 countries in the European union, so could this number be lucky for someone who’s playing European roulette?

28 – The atomic mass of silicon is 28. We’ve all seen our share of silicon sitting around the roulette tables, especially in Las Vegas, and it’s often there as a form of good luck charm it seems, so take from that what you will!

29 – Tom Waits sings songs about people who are down on their luck, and just so happens to have a song called “$29.00”.

30 – Thirty minutes, half an hour, the length of the average mind-numbing sitcom and also the amount of silver ounces that it took to convince Judas to betray Jesus in the Bible. It’s up to you to decide if this number will betray you, or lead you to silver and gold.

31 – This is a lucky number for musicians because there are 31 triads in music theory. It’s music to the ears to hear that roulette ball drop into the right slot, that’s for sure.

32 – Here’s another one for the music fans. In his lifetime, Beethoven completed exactly 32 sonnets for piano.

33 – It’s said that Alexander The Great could have died at the age of 33. That certainly makes this a lucky number if you were one of his enemies.

34 – The number 34 has various significances across cultures, generally seen as a lucky number since 3+4=7.

35 – 35mm film is popular both for motion pictures as well as for photography. It’s also the former Jersey number of retired Chicago Blackhawk’s great Tony Esposito. If you’re under the age of 35 and you want to be President of the United States of America, you’re out of luck since it’s the minimum age that one must be to run for President.

36 – The 36 Views of Mount Fuji are a famous collection of paintings by a Japanese artist named Katsushika Hokusai. It’s also, of course, the highest number on the roulette table and one of either 37 or 38 total numbers when you include the zero or the double zero, depending on which style of Roulette wheel you’re playing on. The American wheel has two zeros, whereas the European roulette wheel has but one.

The Devil’s Game

We’ve seen that a lot of numbers have their own spiritual significance in numerous religions and faiths, but why is roulette nicknamed “The Devil’s Game”? Well, we mentioned that the number 666 had some significance much earlier on in our list, and the reason that this relates to roulette is quite simple. If you add up all of the numbers on the roulette board, you’re left with… You guessed it… 666, the Number of the Beast. Sometimes, however, you’ve just got to put on your pretty shoes and dance with the devil.

What Are Your Lucky Numbers?

Have any of these tidbits changed your lucky numbers? Knowing number meanings can be a fun exercise, but it’s important to remember that the roulette table is random and there’s just as much of a chance of the roulette ball landing in any given number’s slot as it has of landing on any other number. Unless, of course, you decide to believe in some of the superstitions and facts that we’ve laid out in this article, of course, in which case anything’s possible!

Malaysia Casinos

When you think of Malaysia the first thing that comes to mind is vibrant colors, spices and the tropical weather of a never-ending summer. Malaysia is a very popular destination for tourists around the world and for a good reason, it offers just about everything you can wish and hope to do on a vacation in order to have fun, relaxation, excitement as well as trying your hand at becoming rich over night in the famous Malaysia casinos at the Genting Group.

The Genting Group is situated about an hour drive from Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia on the top of one of the mountain peaks of the Titiwangsa Mountains at 2000 meters above sea level. Genting Group is one of the most famous resorts in Malaysia; it has the largest hotel in the world boasting 6,118 rooms, which beats the MGM Grand of Las Vegas, which has 5,690 rooms and is the second largest hotel in the world.

Genting Group also shelters the only legal Malaysia casinos and where you will be delighted to find every game you can think of and more. There are 426 game tables and 3,140 slot machines open 24 hours a day for the entertainment of the guests.

The best way to enjoy all the luxurious facilities the Genting Group resort has to offer is to stay in their hotel for the duration of your vacation; you can have access to the casino 24 hours a day and when you decide to explore Malaysia you can jump in a car and head to Kuala Lumpur as it is a short drive away.

Besides the beautiful casino, the Genting Group resort offers everything a five star hotel promises, swimming pools, shopping arcade, a variety of restaurants and even a theme park that is similar to the Disney World, which your children will simply adore irrelevant of the age group.

In Malaysia casinos you have to be 18 years of age to gamble or enjoy any alcoholic beverage. Do not venture in other casinos besides the one available in the Genting Group, as they are not government approved and therefore not legal. However, once you visit the Genting Group resort and its casino it is unlikely that you will wish to spend your time and changes of winning anywhere else in the country. Malaysia’s only casino is build to provide all the entertainment you can hope for and who knows this may be the right place where lady luck may smile down on you too.

How to Keep From Treating People With Disabilities Differently

Workshop Goals

To understand the history of American attitudes and legislation regarding people with disabilities;

To learn how to properly assist individuals with disabilities in a courteous and respectful manner;

To practice providing assistance to people with disabilities, both fellow employees and museum guests.

In order to gain the most out of the presentation, please:

  • Listen with an open mind;
  • Be respectful of each other;
  • Challenge your thinking;
  • Be willing to learn something new that you can use on the job!

Challenge Activity

Bean Bags

  • Place a bean bag on your head
  • Move to the music!
  • If your bean bag falls off your head, freeze until another player, without losing his/her beanbag, retrieves the fallen one and replaces it on the frozen person’s head.
  • If the rescuer loses his/her beanbag, then he/she is also frozen until another person appears to rescue them both.

What is the object of the game?

How do you “win”?

What is the advantage of picking up a classmate’s beanbag?

What is the Definition of a Disability?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as amended by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA), prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in several key areas including: state and local government services, places of public accommodation, employment, telecommunications and transportation.

The individual with a disability is a person who (3 part definition):

  • Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities;
  • Has a record of such an impairment, even if they do not currently have the impairment; or
  • Being regarded as having such an impairment.

What is considered a disability?

The ADA does not list conditions that are considered disabilities; however it does list those which are not included.

Not covered by the ADA are homosexuality, bisexuality, transvestism, transsexualism, compulsive gambling, kleptomania, pyromania, pedophilia, exhibitionism, voyeurism, gender identity disorders not resulting from physical impairments, other sexual behavior disorders.

The ADA does not cover individuals who are currently engaging in illegal drug use.

A short-term condition is generally is not a disability. The test is whether the impairment markedly limits major life activities when assessing the duration, scope, and impact of the impairment.

Small Group Activity

Divide into small to discuss your experiences and examples of instances you have assisted co-workers or museum guests with the following disabilities:

  • Physical
  • Sensory
  • Intellectual or Developmental
  • Emotional
  • Invisible

Remember that each person’s situation is unique!

Physical disabilities: a limitation on a person’s physical functioning, mobility, dexterity or stamina; a short list of examples:

  • Spinal cord injury
  • Amputation
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Spina bifida
  • Musculoskeletal injuries (eg back injury)
  • Arthritis
  • Muscular dystrophy

Sensory impairment: a limitation of one or more of a person’s senses; including:

  • Hearing Loss
  • Tinnitus
  • Limited vision/Blindness
  • Loss of Smell
  • Spatial awareness

A person could be born with the impairment or could it could develop throughout the lifetime.

Intellectual disabilities – significant limitations in both intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior, which covers social and practical skills. Originates before age 18 years. Affects approximately 3% of the population.

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Down’s Syndrome
  • Fragile X Syndrome
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)

Emotional

  • Mental illness has nothing to do with intelligence.
  • Mental illness is a condition that disrupts a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, and ability to relate to others.
  • Results in a diminished capacity for dealing with everyday life
  • Can include major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, and personality disorder.

The Invisibility of Disabilities

Be sensitive that disabilities come in a variety of types, and each person is an individual

The impact of a person’s disability may not be easily seen.

Person may be perceived as lazy, when in fact, the disability impacts his/her ability to learn, work, and function.

Teachers and peers may see only behavior problems or uncooperative behaviors, rather than accommodating the disability.

A Brief History of Legislation

1964 – Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act

1973 – Rehabilitation Act, Section 504

1990 – Americans with Disabilities Act – First comprehensive civil rights law for people with disabilities.

History, continued

2008 – ADA Amendments Act

Expanded definition of the term disability to include individuals with amputations, intellectual disabilities, Epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, Diabetes, Muscular Dystrophy, and cancer;

Strikes a balance between employee and employer interests;

Overturned two key Supreme Court decisions (Sutton vs. United Airlines, Inc. and Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. vs. Williams), where lower courts had found individual’s situation did not constitute a disability, therefore the question of discrimination had never been addressed.

American Attitudes – FDR

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

32nd President of the United States from 1933 to 1945.

Had suffered paralysis as a result of Polio.

Although the his use of a wheelchair was common knowledge, the wheelchair was not shown by the media.

Gather Your Thoughts

How do you feel about the cloaked FDR statue?

What do you think is more important: to respect President Roosevelt’s wishes OR to reflect modern views of people with disabilities?

How could this spectrum of opinion be reflected in the workplace?

As a manager, how do you work to bring understanding and acceptance among your staff, while following current ADAAA guidelines?

Let’s examine recent examples of people with disabilities who have achieved celebrity status!

Stevie Wonder

Born prematurely in 1950 in Michigan. Suffered retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), due to too much oxygen in the hospital’s incubator.

Began playing instruments at an early age and signed with Motown Records at age 11. Has had an amazing writing and recording career.

Celebrity spotlights can aid in bringing important issues into the spotlight.

Jim Abbott

Born in 1967, in Flint, Michigan, without a right hand

Baseball star for University of Michigan

Played in the 1988 Summer Olympics

Played Major League Baseball, and pitched a no-hitter in 1993 as a NY Yankee.

Amy Purdee

Born in 1979 in Las Vegas, Nevada

Contracted meningitis at age 19, resulting in double amputation below the knees and kidney transplant

Paralympic Athlete in Snowboarding – Bronze Medalist

Terminology Over Time

Crippled – an invalid and derogatory term that is no longer acceptable to describe people with disabilities;

Retarded – a medical term that can be used as a slur; no longer acceptable in everyday language:

Handicapped – something that hampers or hinders, such as in a race; no longer used in referring to people;

Normal people – avoid using this term when making a comparison, as this implies a person with a disability is not normal. Everyone is unique and has their own identity and abilities;

Person with a Disability – “people-first” language that focuses on the individual, not their condition.

Using People-First Language

American Psychological Association Style guide

  • Person’s name or pronoun first
  • Description of impairment or disability second
  • Descriptors should not modify or limit the person

Examples:

  • A boy with Down’s Syndrome, not “the Down’s Syndrome boy”;
  • Sydney has a hearing impairment, not “the deaf girl.”

Discussion: What Do You Do?

On the Job Situations You May Encounter

A guest arrives at an event with a cat in a stroller. She claims the cat is a service animal. Do you allow her entrance?

A group of 60 children is moving from the 1st floor exhibit to the 2nd floor through the only staircase in the wing. One child is on crutches. As the group’s tour guide, how do you handle the transition between floors?

What Do You Do?

Guidelines to Follow

  • If the guest claims the cat is with her as a service animal, the cat can be permitted to accompany her into the event. She does not need to produce any paperwork to justify the service animal.
  • Review the options with the student’s teacher/chaperone. If the child wishes to take the elevator, suggest a small group of students and an adult accompany her, so she does not feel alone or singled out.
  • Ask the guest if he would like to sit or hold onto in a chair inside the ride.

Employees with Disabilities: What is Reasonable Accommodation?

A reasonable accommodation is assistance or changes to a position or workplace that will enable an employee to do his or her job despite having a disability.

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified employees with disabilities, unless doing so would pose an undue hardship

Examples of Reasonable Accommodations

  1. Providing a chair for a cashier who uses crutches so he or she can sit when not assisting customers.
  2. Reserving a parking space close to the entrance for an employee who has difficulty walking because of loss of a limb.
  3. Providing instructions and information in writing for an employee with hearing loss.
  4. Permitting a staff member to bring a service animal to work.
  5. Allowing an employee with tinnitus to play background music to help block out the ringing in his ears.
  6. Allowing more frequent work breaks or providing back-up coverage when an employee with a disability needs to take a break.
  1. Providing specialized equipment for an employee who has lost a hand or finger, such as a large-key keyboard, a one-handed keyboard, a trackball, a touchpad, or speech recognition software.

  2. Flexibility in scheduling to allow an employee with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to attend counseling sessions or offering a later start time to a staff member with a spinal cord injury who has a lengthy personal care routine.
  3. Decreasing distractions, providing information in writing, breaking down complex assignments into small steps for a person with a traumatic brain injury.
  4. Making sure equipment is within reach for an employee who uses a wheelchair.
  5. Adjusting the height of an office desk for a staff member who uses a wheelchair, and ensuring the space is not obstructed by wastebaskets or other items.

Unacceptable Practices

Examples of A Record or History of Disability

Examples:

  • An employer refuses to hire a qualified candidate due to a history of mental illness, even though the person has recovered sufficiently to perform all essential functions of the job.
  • A dentist refuses to treat a patient because he was diagnosed as having HIV, even though the diagnosis was proven to be incorrect.
  • A retail outlet fires a woman who is pregnant, because they assume she will not be able to work during the busy holiday season.

Unacceptable Practices

Regarded as Having an Impairment

Examples:

  • An employee has controlled high blood pressure, which is not substantially limiting. However, his employer fears that the employee will suffer a heart attack and reassigns the employee to a less strenuous job.
  • A person with a severe burn or scar does not actually have a disability. He may be regarded as having a disability when he faces discrimination based on people’s attitudes toward him.
  • An overweight candidate for a bus driver position is not hired because the employer assumes (without conducting tests) that she will not be able to move fast enough in case of an emergency.

Courtesy

Gum chewing – Do not chew gum when speaking to people with hearing loss. It makes you more difficult to understand

Stand in front – When speaking to people with hearing loss, stand directly in front, so they can see your lips

Paper and pencil – Have a paper and pencil ready, in case communicating through written word may be more effective than spoken word

Sit down – when speaking to a person in a wheelchair, take a seat! Looking upward may hurt their neck, and it is common courtesy to be at eye level.

Ask if the person wants help before acting – Do not assume that someone needs help. Have the respect and courtesy to ask how you may help, and then follow directions

Be patient – Do not roll your eyes, cross your arms, or rush a person who needs extra time.

Use people-first language – always refer to the person first and do not use their situation as a descriptor.

End of Session Quiz

You are at the Information Desk and a guest in a wheelchair has a question. What is the most courteous way to approach the interaction?

An employee you are managing has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She begins to walk with a cane, and is able to perform her job functions as school group facilitator in the laboratory. Discuss what types of accommodations can be made for her.

A child who uses crutches wants to watch the Dive Show at the Kelp Tank. All the seats are filled and many patrons have filled the open viewing area. How do you accommodate the child, so he can see the show?

List 3 new pieces of information that you learned, which you can use on the job.

1- Information Desk

Invite the guest to the side of the counter that is wheelchair accessible.

Sit at the chair, so you are eye-level.

Answer his questions respectfully.

Ask if the guest needs any assistance.

Ask if he is familiar with the location of the elevator.

2- Employee Accommodations

Review the employee’s job duties and discuss if any accommodations need to be made at this time, such as reassignment, additional time for tasks, use of a chair while working.

Make a plan to review her situation as needed, to see if any accommodations or a reassignment needs to be made.

For example, an employee who lead the student experiments in the laboratory could be reassigned to the Information Desk to answer the telephone with a headset.

3- Viewing the Show

  • Given that the situation involves a child, consult with the student’s parents or chaperone.
  • Ask if the child would like to sit by the tank or in the bleachers.
  • Show the family where the seating area for people with disabilities is located.
  • If someone is sitting in that area, respectfully work with the guest to find a spot for the child. Posted signs indicate that the are is reserved for people with special needs.
  • If there is no wiggle room, ask if the child would like a chair to sit, or ask a guest if they would mind moving over to accommodate the child.
  • Remember that you are responsible for the guests during the dive show. Feel empowered to make the situation pleasant for the guests, in a courteous manner. Call your supervisor if you need additional assistance.

Odds History

The concept of the pointspread began over a half century ago and really raised the interest in sports betting. It leveled the playing field; the pointspread became the equalizer. In the 1970s, Bob Martin of the Union Plaza Race and Sportsbook in downtown Las Vegas was the most respected oddsmaker in the gaming industry. A lot of oddsmaking tools used today are credited to Martin.

Oddsmakers are the first to say they are not in the business to predict the outcome of a game, but to divide public opinion of the final outcome. Public opinion is created by the media; newspapers, magazines, television, radio and the Internet. Popularity of well-known teams, superstars and media hype, influence the line in a lot of cases besides statistics and power ratings. Power ratings are based on many statistics taken from offense, defense, special teams, points for, points against, at home and away.

The oddsmaker has to take into account every possible thing which affects the outcome of a game… information such as: quality of the teams, injuries, incentive to win, morale, weather (football), history of the match up, recent and previous records. In a perfect world for the oddsmaker, an equal number of people will bet on each side.

In the 1980s, Roxy Roxborough became the main influence in oddsmaking as the age of technology began. Computers became a force in oddsmaking and changed odds at sportsbooks simultaneously. Roxborough founded Las Vegas Sports Consultants (LVCS) in the 1980s which now has most of the sportsbooks in Las Vegas as clients. LVCS has used computer-generated power ratings and information, so everything is passed along faster.

Certain offshore sportsbooks are taking the lead today and their numbers are probably the most respected. Setting a line and letting the most sophisticated and sharp handicappers play into it, then opening it to the public, gives sportsbooks the most two-way action.

Las Vegas Sports Consultants is the world’s best oddsmaking company and the most respected authority on making the lines. There are 4-5 oddsmakers assigned to make lines for each major sport. Each of these oddsmakers adds different opinions, strengths and weaknesses to the process. They want to create a line that half of the people like to bet one way while the other half will bet the other way.

The opening line is the first line created by the oddsmakers then sent out to the sportsbooks. It starts with each oddsmaker creating a line on every game, based on their own approach. This includes up-to-date power ratings on each team. Power ratings are the oddsmakers view of each team; they are used to calculate a beginning pointspread. The power ratings are adjusted after each game. Non-game factors such as injuries, travel, rest, morale are some of the adjustments used to make an opening line. Recently played games and previous meetings between opponents are also considered. They sit down and come to a consensus line that the more experienced oddsmaker okays before being released to the sportsbooks.

Once the opening line is released, the individual sportsbooks decide if they want to make any adjustments before offering it to the public. Experts working for individual books sometimes will have strong opinions on a game. The purpose of these adjustments is to divide the betting action equally. When the betting begins, sportsbooks can adjust the line at any time. By doing this, they make the team getting less action, more attractive. Moving the line can influence how the public bets on a particular game.

Successful bettors are the ones who look at the pointspread as a starting point and determine which side of the line would give them the most value and chance of winning. You must decide with your head, not your heart, to be successful.

Singapore – The Ultimate Gaming Venue

Singapore, the ‘visitor’s paradise’ is poised to eclipse Las Vegas, as a renowned gaming destination with more travelers choosing it as their favorite gaming and gambling spot. Be dazzled by one of the finest gaming halls; bump in to some poker halls and enjoy heart-pumping entertainment at Singapore, which is sure to relish you all!

Recently, legalized gambling has been spreading in Asia in a faster pace and Singapore has emerged as Asia’s hottest gaming destination. Resort World Casino, Sentosa, is an unrivaled gaming floor in Singapore, where the celebrations reach its zenith. Owned by one of Asia’s oldest gaming operators, the casino brims with never ending activities. Wide array of table games, slots, baccarat, blackjack, roulette and casino style poker games, keeps you entertained. More than just gaming, you can see Dale Chihuly’s magnificent glass sculptures, taste some of Singapore’s best culinary delights, and watch top-class shows. Tourists above 21 years of age having a valid passport can enter the gaming floor. Resort World Sentosa is an amazing casino and home to some grand hotels, Theme Parks, trendy shops, maritime museum and marine park.

Marina Bay Sands, a grand 5.5 billion dollar casino is definitely a try at least once in a life time. From baccarat to Singapore Stud Poker, you’ll get everything you are looking for. Get a chance to indulge and explore some exhilarating rapid table games- a combination of dealer and electronic betting interface, serenaded by world-class performances by jazz legends and pop sensations at ‘The Shoppes’ or whet your appetite with a selection of Chinese, Indian or Malay savory cuisines. It’s probably a place where you can shop till you drop. Marina Bay Sands gaming floor is the place where it all comes together.

For the roller coaster die-hard fans, chill out at Singapore’s Universal Studio. Hop on state-of-the-art rides; experience the ‘Transformers The Ride -3D’ show or coast ride out on ‘Battlestar Glactica’. It’s absolutely ‘universal’ and you’ll never forget the thrill.

Singapore Cable Car, Asia’s first cable car museum, presents a bird’s eye view of Singapore’s skyline. Unbelievable! Picturesque view of the city from Mount Faber is really an interesting move from the gambling vessels to the skyline. Take a stroll amidst the heaven of scenery, not only scenic, it is fun also.

Singapore Poker also has driven great popularity. Surprising Singapore doesn’t have a poker room and the great news for poker players is Resorts World Sentosa is planning to open the poker rooms soon. The underground poker network is active throughout Singapore, where the fans organize games. Getting a spot at these games is not very easy and the entry is strictly restricted by invitation only.

Singapore Flyer, the largest observation wheel is yet another exciting venue. Visitors can enjoy a ride in real a flight simulator, a journey of dreams. Enjoy a unique experience of viewing three countries Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore, while you fly high in the sky!

Singapore also provides a variety of sports betting option for international and domestic football games and Grand Prix Auto races. Paint Ball Game played with a special paint ball gun also attracts guests. Either played indoors or at outdoors, fields of varying sizes offer realistic and unique experience. Red Dynasty Paint Ball Park and Bottle Tree Park offers some finest paintball scenarios.

The attractions here are vast and varied, whether it is about shopping off the beaten path, soaking in the cozy atmosphere or getting into some thick action with a variety of sporting or gaming action, Singapore is simply superb!

Stu Ungar – Gambler, Addict, Loser, Legend

If you chance upon a cluster of people at a party chitchatting about great poker players, there would be no doubt that you would hear the name Stu Ungar come up at least once. There are a lot of people in the poker world who actually consider Stu Ungar the greatest poker player of all time – second to none. Of course there would be those who would contest that but the greater majority would agree that Stu Ungar was one of a kind.

Born in September 8, 1953 as Stuart Errol Ungar, he was nicknamed “The Kid.” He was born to Jewish parents in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Though Stu is most known for being a poker player, he actually started out playing gin rummy. His skills were such that at the age of ten, he won a local tournament. Four years later, he was already one of the best gin rummy players in New York. As his father had died in 1968, he dropped out of school to focus on playing at gin rummy tournaments to help support his family.

Stu’s genius in gin rummy proved to be too much for his opponents. Eventually, no one would want to play with him anymore as he beat them too badly. He soon moved Las Vegas and proceeded to make his reputation in gin rummy there as well. After a while, the same situation evolved – no one would set up a match with him as he would just grind them to pieces. That was when he channeled his attention to poker.

In 1980, Stu made a name for himself in poker when he beat Doyle Brunson, a poker legend by his own rights, at the World Series of Poker. Stu is the only poker player to have won both the WSOP title and the Super Bowl of Poker three times! In fact, by the time he was 25 years old, Stu had won the WSOP twice already. He earned his last title in 1997 when he played at the WSOP for the last time.

Stu was not only into gin rummy and poker but was a great blackjack player as well. This could be attributed to the fact that he had a very high IQ – a genius, that is – and he had a photographic memory as well. This served him well in card counting and he was eventually barred from a lot of casinos because of this skill.

Not all was rosy in Stu’s life, though. He was known for his drug abuse and troubled marriage. In those days, professional poker players were not known for their polite behavior as well. Stu was quite well known for dealer abuse. This poker great’s life ended in 1998 when his body was found at the Oasis Hotel. Autopsies recorded that he had drugs in his system though they were not indicated as the main cause of death. However, records showed that the heart failure that killed him was a result of years of drug abuse.

I think the best thing to remember Stu by would be one of his quotes: “Some day, I suppose it’s possible for someone to be a better no limit hold ’em player than me. I doubt it, but it could happen. But, I swear to you, I don’t see how anyone could ever play gin better than me.”

Poker in Mexico

Although poker in Mexico’s casinos is legal in certain areas, it is only in the last few years that the card game has become more popular among its residents and now we are beginning to see more Mexican poker players winning major tournaments around the world, on a daily basis. Take for example two of Mexico’s most successful players – Victor Perches, winner of a WSOP Bracelet in 2006, and Mexico’s most recent WSOP Bracelet winner, Angel Guillen, who took home the prize back in 2009.

Perches, originally from Chihuahua, Mexico, arrived to the United States almost 30 years ago and shortly thereafter began a successful poker career. With plans of working in a food processing plant in Oregon, Perches moved to Las Vegas shortly thereafter. Even though it wasn’t in his original plans, Perches eventually worked his way up to the 2006 World Series of Poker and won the first WSOP Bracelet in Mexico’s history. At the age of 57 years-old, Victoriano Perches cashed in a cool $157,338 and the title of being the first Mexican poker player to win a coveted WSOP Bracelet in the tournament’s history.

Angel “Boloban” Guillen is relatively new to the professional poker scene, but in his short career has already seen his fair share of big wins. It was at the LAPT in Punta del Este where he cashed in for a huge $99,920 prize and took third place in this prestigious poker tournament. Following up that big win, in 2009 the Mexico City native entered the World Series of Poker $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em event and took second place for a very impressive $312,800 cash prize. Many would have called it a day after a win like that, but Angel followed it up only 10 days later with a first place win in the $2,000 No Limit Hold’em Event and cashed in a massive prize of $530,548! With this win, Guillen became only the second poker player from Mexico to win a World Series of Poker Bracelet.

Although professional poker players in Mexico are few and far between, players such as these show promise that one day this highly-populated country will become a driving force in online and live poker tournaments around the world. “Like Chris Moneymaker did for you (in the U.S.), I want to do the same thing in my country. Hopefully, I can.” said Guillen regarding his future poker career.

Boobala Darling Wins A Cruise: Part 5 of 9 (A Fictional Story Staged In Brooklyn)

The Opportunist: Makes His Mark

Uncle Jake was quite taken aback by the unexpected news. He was against his nephew wanting to marry at such a young age. Besides, he was not too pleased with his choice. He felt his handsome nephew deserved something better than this unattractive girl, but she might end up being a devoted wife. He turned to Harry and asked: “Do her parents know you are getting married?”

“No they don’t, Uncle Jake. They dislike me big time, and I don’t know why. They are threatening to send her to an aunt in California to keep us apart. Boobala and I love each other very much and it would break my heart if she left. Since we are of age, we have decided to elope. I am hoping as my Uncle you will give us your approval and help us out financially.”

Uncle Jake couldn’t understand the rush. “Is she pregnant?”

“No, Uncle she’s not pregnant,” he answered.

Jake was still uneasy about the coming marriage. How could he give his approval when he knew that Harry was emotionally immature and irresponsible. Of course, he had to painfully admit he was partly to blame. He was sorry that the kid got a bum deal out of life, with his mom dying when he was so young and a dad who didn’t care. Maybe that’s why he spoiled him so much. He hoped that Harry would become a responsible adult once he married. Jake agreed to get them a furnished room and kitchenette, the rent paid up for a year. He even bought him a suit for the wedding with all the accessories to match.

Harry never seemed to be satisfied with what he got. He always wanted more. In planning the wedding, Boobala had suggested to Harry that they go on a cruise to the Bahamas for their honeymoon. She had always dreamed of going on a cruise. “It’s so romantic,” she would say. Harry angrily snapped at her: “What are you crazy, I get seasick easy. Do you want me to spend our honeymoon throwing up? Besides it would be dull with nothing to watch but watch the sea, so forget about it. I’d rather go to Las Vegas where the action is. It’s more fun.”

As a last shot, to squeeze some more money out of his uncle, he reminded him about the honeymoon. “Hey uncle,” Harry turned on his famous charm, “since I’m your only kin, why don’t you send us to Las Vegas for a week’s honeymoon. I always wanted to go there.” He was looking for a way to escape his wedding night consummation, which he was not bargaining for.

Uncle Jake was annoyed. “What the hell do you think I am, a [email protected]#[email protected]% ATM? Listen dude, the buck stops here. I’ve spent enough already on this wedding. You want to go that bad, then you can work and save your money if you like.” This was the first time that Uncle Jake exploded towards him, and the first time Harry didn’t get his way. He was mad as hell. Already at 19 years of age, Harry had begun to drink and bet heavily. His best friend Billie Boy always had a stash of beer and wine on hand whenever Harry needed it. Uncle Jake didn’t even have a clue that Harry was drinking and gambling. He only knew that he smoked. In his eyes, Harry was always a good kid, a little wild-eyed but good. There was nothing about him that should cause concern.

No: 7 (9-7-2011)

To be continued: Part 6 of 9 of Boobala Darling Wins A Cruise

The Myth of the Hot Sports Betting Handicapper

The most prevalent means of sports service marketing is some variant on the theme that so and so is “red hot” and you should therefore pay him your money and follow his plays. The crooked services do this by coming up with all sorts of confusing and contradictory rating systems and hyperbolic descriptions for their games. How many times have you heard a handicapper brag about being “16-2 on his 500 star MWC underdog plays of the month” or saying that his “Southern Conference total of the month is 60% lifetime”?

Basically, the bottom feeders of this industry can slice and dice their statistics all sorts of ways to make themselves seem “hot”. Or they can do what a lot of them do, and simply lie about their performance. When I was first starting out as a sports handicapper there was no such thing as the Internet (at least as it exists today) and I had to rely on a scorephone for line and score updates. This scorephone was sponsored by a group of touts not noted for their veracity, and you had to sit through a few pitches for their 900 numbers before you got to the scores. A bit of a Faustian bargain, to say the least, but it was an effective way of keeping up with scores in the pre-Internet dark ages.

So one night we’re at a party thrown by some kid that we didn’t like too much. My crew and I were racking our brains to think of some mean pranks to pull on the guy. Someone got the idea to rack up some 900# charges on our mark’s phone bill. Since there’s no such thing as 900# directory assistance, I resulted to the only 900# I could remember – one of the touts from the scorephone that had drilled his digits into my memory through the sheer force of repetition.

For the sake of argument, I decided to write down the tout’s NBA plays. I had less faith in his handicapping ability than I would in a prognostication based on a divining rod or Ouija Board, but since I wasn’t paying for the call I figured I’d just see how the guy did. I wrote down his plays and checked his performance the next morning.

To his credit, the tout went 5-3 on his 8 plays. By any criteria a 5-3 night is a solid performance. Later that day I called the scorephone and waited for the tout to start crowing about his 5-3 night. Much to my surprise, the tout didn’t say a word about his 5-3 night. That’s because he was too buy bragging about his mythical 7-1 performance the preceding day.

Now, I understand that the revelation that boiler room touts like about their performance is on par with “pro wrestling is fake” or “the games at the fair aren’t on the up-and-up” as self evident truths. The point I’m trying to make, however, is that the desire to be the “hot handicapper: is so great that the tout felt he had to embellish a solid performance the night before.

So despite the fact that some handicappers like about their performance, what’s wrong with trying to ride the hot handicapper? Plenty-it’s not only an ineffective way to evaluate a handicapper’s abilities, it also has a number of statistical and theoretical shortcomings.

The simplest way to explain what I’m talking about is to borrow a disclaimer that you’ll hear on every commercial for a mutual fund: “Past performance is no guarantee of future results”. The sports gambling milieu, like those of stocks, commodities and other financial instruments, is a marketplace and subject to a number of the same tendencies of other financial institutions (what economists call “market dynamics”).

The fact that a sports wager’s success or failure is dependent to a degree on the “whims” of a marketplace (of odds and pointspreads) and to a greater degree on other external events outside of the bettor’s control exacerbates what is already a matter of simple logic: what a handicapper does over a period of time (be it a day, week, month or season) has no intrinsic correlation between a handicapper’s performance one year and the next. In other words, the sports gambling marketplace and the random patterns of events that act upon them don’t care if I hit 60% last year. If I don’t do my work, crunch the numbers, get good prices to bet into, and catch a few breaks along the way I may end up beaten regardless of how well I performed in a subsequent period of time.

The Best Roulette Game in Las Vegas – Why and Where to Play Single Zero Roulette

We have all seen a roulette wheel. Some of us have even played it in a casino. While all roulette games look the same at first glance, small variations in the winning payouts and even the wheel itself can lead to sizable differences in the expected outcome for both the player and the casino. In this article, we will show you the three main roulette games available in American casinos. We will take a deeper look at the underlying mathematics of each game to determine which variant of roulette is best, and why. Finally, we will help you track down the best roulette game in Las Vegas!

If a roulette wheel had only 36 pockets (the little slots on the side of the wheel into which the ball eventually drops) the game would be truly fair. The 1-in-36 (2.78%) chance a player would have to win 35-to-1 would exactly offset the 35-in-36 (97.22%) chance he or she would have to lose.

Casinos, of course, are in the business to make a profit. The money to buy the liquor they serve for free, to build and maintain the dancing fountains, and to pay the wages of everyone from the bellhop to the pit boss to the celebrity headliner has to come from somewhere. A lot of it comes from the house edge, which is the mathematical advantage over the player that is built into every game the casino offers.

In most roulette games offered in American casinos, that advantage is provided by the green 0 and 00 pockets both on the wheel and at the top of the layout. Instead of 36 pockets, a typical American roulette wheel actually has 38: the numbers 1 through 36, 0, and 00. The presence of the 00 pocket leads to American roulette sometimes being called “double-zero roulette.” In double-zero roulette, the player now has only 1 chance in 38 (2.63%) of winning 35-to-1; the probability of losing has increased to 37 out of 38 (97.37%) Even the most math-averse reader can see that this setup is disadvantageous to the gambler. More specifically, the 2 extra pockets give the casino a house edge of 5.26%. Over the very long run, for every $10,000 the casino collects in losing wagers, it pays back only $9474 in winnings. It should be pointed out that all bets available on double-zero roulette–except one–have the same house edge. The comparative payouts and probabilities for straights, streets, corners, and splits, as well as the lower-paying bets on the outside of the layout, are all structured to have this same house edge of 5.26%. The one exception is the “basket,” which is a wager on 0, 00, 1, 2, and 3. This wager pays 6-to-1 and has a house edge of 7.89%.

Serious roulette players who want to minimize the house edge should track down and play single-zero roulette. In single-zero roulette, the green 00 pocket is missing; the wheel has only 37 pockets. This is as close to fair as the wheel can get. The player has a 1-in-37 chance (2.70%) of winning 35-to-1, and a 36-in-37 chance (97.30%) of losing. This is only a 7 one-hundredths of a percent increased probability of winning on any particular number, but it has a significant effect on the house edge. Single-zero roulette has a house edge of only 2.70%, compared to 5.26% for double-zero roulette. That works out to an extra $256 in winnings per $10,000 collected.

Some single-zero roulette games offer another variation on their payouts. If a player wagers on one of the even-money outside bets on the layout (even, odd, red, black, 1-to-18, or 19-to-36), and the ball lands in the 0 pocket, the casino collects only half of your losing wager. For example, if you wager $10 on black, and the ball lands on 0, the house only takes $5 of your wager.

In an even rarer variation, the dealer may give you the choice of either losing only half your bet, or putting your bet “in prison.” Here’s what happens when you go to roulette jail:

1) The dealer puts a marker over your bet (the full $10 bet from before) that says en prison. You can neither add nor take away from your wager for the next spin.

2) The dealer spins the roulette wheel again for the next round.

When the ball finally comes to rest, one of two things will happen. Again, let us assume we have a $10 en prison bet on black.

1) The ball lands on black. You do not win anything, but it is like a jailbreak for your wager. The en prison marker is removed and you are free to do what you wish with your $10. Effectively, you get your money back.

2) The ball lands anywhere else (red or 0). You lose.

The en prison or “half back on even money” option cuts the house edge on these bets to a meager 1.35%. All of the other bets on the layout remain at the usual single-zero house edge of 2.70%. As far as I know, no casino offers this option on double-zero roulette. If one did, the house edge on these even-money wagers would be 2.63%.

By this point, we have shown that single-zero roulette is the more advantageous variation to play. It is the standard roulette game across Europe and Australia; a double-zero roulette game in Monte Carlo would be practically unheard of. You will also find single-zero roulette in many casinos throughout the Caribbean and the Pacific Rim.

Single-zero roulette is significantly harder to find in the United States, but it is out there. Many of the larger, higher-end casinos on the Las Vegas Strip offer it in their high-limit gaming sections only. A few of the more “European-themed” hotels are rumored to even offer the en-prison option.

If you lack either the bankroll or the stomach to wager $25, $50, or even $100 per spin, head to Las Vegas and visit Caesar’s Palace, Mandalay Bay (on weekends only), The Mirage, Monte Carlo (Friday and Saturday nights only), Nevada Palace, Stratosphere, and The Venetian.

Note that at Caesar’s, The Venetian, and Mandalay Bay, while their regular roulette tables may not technically be “high-limit” tables by their standards, they may still have a $15 minimum bet.

Several Las Vegas casinos reportedly offer single-zero roulette in their high-limit areas only. Other casinos not listed here just might offer it if a known high-roller requests it. Las Vegas casinos that limit their single-zero roulette to their high-limit tables include Bellagio, Golden Nugget (at high roller request only), Las Vegas Hilton, Luxor (weekends only), MGM Grand, Paris (at high roller request only), Rio, and Wynn Las Vegas.

A few of these high-limit tables even offer the favorable en prison option. Gamblers have reported playing en prison at the high-limit tables of Bellagio, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, The Mirage, Rio, and Wynn Las Vegas.

Several casinos in Atlantic City offer single-zero roulette in their high-limit areas only. I have heard of none that offer en prison. You can play high-stakes single-zero roulette at Tropicana, Showboat, Harrah’s, Caesar’s, Trump Marina, and Trump Taj Mahal.

These lists of casinos will no doubt change as time goes on. Some games increase in popularity while other tables have no one but a lonely dealer at them at 10 o’clock on a Friday night. In the time between this article was written and is now being read, some casinos may have expanded their single-zero roulette games or gotten rid of them entirely. An attempt is being made to keep track of all active single-zero roulette games in the United States at the Single Zero Roulette Squidoo Lens at [http://www.squidoo.com/singlezeroroulette/].

We have shown that single-zero roulette offers substantially better odds for the gambler than does the more common double-zero American game. The gambler will ultimately lose money over the very long run at any roulette game. Because of the lower house edge, however, the gambler has a better chance of winning money in the short run at the single-zero tables, particularly if the game offers the en prison option. Any roulette enthusiasts who want to maximize their wins–or even just minimize their losses–would do well to find and play the more advantageous, single-zero roulette game.

The Worlds Greatest Horse Race Handicapper – Winning Over $670 Million

My friend and mentor Australian Alan Woods, passed away on January 28th 2008 at the age of sixty-two. He was, without a double the world’s most successful horse-racing gambler. It was estimated that at the time of death last January, he was worth over £320m ($670 million US). For twenty years, he was regarded as one of the world’s largest punters and was generally named as one of the three biggest bettors alive. We called him “Mister Huge”.

He did not see racing as a sport of horses and humans, he only saw it as a never ending string of statistics and numbers. He did not socialize with the upper crust of racing. In fact he couldn’t’ even recognize common names of Jockeys, trainers, or important racing personalities. He would brag that he had not been to a racetrack for over twenty-five years. He was the best of the game and had little interest in the beautiful animals that make up the sport. Alan was strictly a numbers guy. Born in 1945 in Murwillumbah, New South Wales, Alan showed an early brilliance for mathematics. He was a losing punter at university and did not develop gaming interest until later on. He was a mathematician and worked as an actuary in the 1970s. His job was to figure out how long you would live if you smoked two packs a day and did not exercise. The insurance companies would then sell you insurance based on his numbers.

In the mid 70’s, he was intrigued by reading a copy of The Revere Point Count Strategy on blackjack card counting. This was his initiation as a serious gambler. For three years he undertook disguises to avoid identification as he traveled from Australia to Las Vegas, playing alone or with teams of blackjack pirates. In 1982 he was tired of the travel, fake identities, and dodging the casino bosses, he headed for Hong Kong. He was successful in the world of card counting, but it was a drop in the bucket compared to what was ahead in horse racing. After investigating what the Computer Group was doing with computers in sports betting, his priorities changed. With a couple of programmers, he would establish a new purpose and change the sport forever. Hong Kong is the perfect spot for professional gamblers. Racing is controlled by the not-for-profit Hong Kong Jockey Club, and is scrupulously honest. You don’t want to be caught fixing races in China and have the authorities find out. Untrue results or race fixing hurts computer calculations. Hong Kong racing features huge betting pools with a limited number of horses and jockeys. He would build a database, his programmers would write a program and they would make history. Hong Kong racing is packed with multiple exotic wagering providing numerous financial opportunities for computer wizards.

For twenty years, Woods would rise to the zenith of this business and become one of the world’s largest horse players. His teams of computer experts and money running agents made it all work. He directed his empire them from a luxury high-rise apartment in Manila. Over the journey he had his ups and downs but it’s reported that during one race day in 1995, Woods made $8 million. It was estimated that in the 2006-07 season, Woods accounted for 2% of the $71.46 billion total Hong Kong Jockey Club betting turnover. His downturn only came when he ventured outside of the Racing world. In the late 1990’s, he took a $100-million stock-market hit when he attempted to short the NASDAQ index just weeks before the bubble actually burst. Had he waited sixty more days, he would have been a billionaire. But it is showing how effective computers can be to the professional punters in succeeding at horse racing. Though Alan is gone, another cancer victim, his legacy will live on. We will miss you my friend.

The Advantages of Online Sports Betting

Just one short decade ago, it was virtually impossible to engage in legal sports betting if you live in the United States or in Canada. Both countries prohibit betting on almost all organized sports, in any form at all. The exceptions have always been parimutuel betting, which is only applied to two or three different sports (among them dog and horse racing).

Outside of those sports, the only legal bets one could place on sports in North America had to be made in the state of Nevada. For whatever reason, sports betting seemed like a reasonable thing to do deep in the desert, but nowhere else.

The coming of age of the Internet has changed the face of sports betting forever. First of all, it has opened up whole new opportunities for those interested in making legal wagers on their favourite teams or events. No longer does a person have to wait to make a trip to Las Vegas in order to place a bet on the Final Four during March Madness. Instead, those bets can be placed with a Vegas bookmaker online, from the comfort of one’s own home.

And Vegas is not the only town in on the online sports betting action. All over the world, major bookmakers have opened online sites for those wishing to place a wager. This means that you can place a bet on virtually any sport in the world, from American football to lacrosse, in any league you want be it amateur or professional.

Of course, the governments of some nations (America in particular) are concerned with the prevalence of online sports gambling, so there are some sites which will not take bets from American customers. However, there are plenty that will, at least until the legality of the practice is determined by the governing bodies of the nation.

In the meantime, though, sports betting online means that there is more money floating around than ever before, all thanks to ease of access.

Aside from the many options offered by the number of bookies online alone, those wishing to engage in football betting, basketball betting, or placing bets on any other type of sport can also take advantage of alternate betting opportunities. Traditionally, sports bets have had to be made through a bookmaker. This business sets the odds and takes a cut of the action as well. The rise of the online betting exchange, however, has meant that bettors can make or take their own odds, often increasing the value of their bets. There are also opportunities to bet against a team or individual in a sports betting exchange, rather than just on a team to win.

Finally, online access means that people betting on sports have more information at their fingertips which can help them decide which bets to make. Sports information lines have up to the minute records of teams, statistics, rosters, and odds which can all factor into the responsible gambler’s bet day decisions.

The growth of the Internet has revolutionized many different industries, and sports betting is certainly among them. More information and a lot more options are two of the main strengths of online sports betting.

Origins of Baccarat

Baccarat is known as the card game of the rich and famous. Baccarat was so enigmatically linked with the wealthy upper classes and rich and famous and as a result many people shunned the game its triumphant emergence online.

Baccarat is one of the easiest of casino games to learn and play and can really generate some excitement when played at an online casino. There is no skill involved in the game as the rules determine each hands action. The only variable involved is the betting. In short, Baccarat is a game of chance.

Baccarat is thought to have originated in either France or Italy during the middle Ages. The word baccarat is a derivative of the Italian word for zero. In the middle ages the game was played using Tarot cards as opposed to the modern day card used today.

As Baccarat’s popularity increased across Europe, as with most of the other forms of gambling in those days there was some rigorous opposition from the Church. The Church viewed Baccarat as the game of the devil and those who played it were carrying out the devil’s work.

Tarot cards were first used in a game of Baccarat by Felix Galguiere. The Etruscan nine gods are said to be the basis for Galguiere’s version of the game. In this early edition of Baccarat, dice were rolled to determine the fate of a woman since the nine gods required the sacrifice of a blond virgin.

A roll of either an eight or nine made her a priestess; a six or seven and she was banned from religious activities; a number less than six and she walked into the sea and disappeared.

This early Baccarat variant became the game of choice for the upper classes and aristocracy and eventually evolved into ‘Chemin de Fer’ and European Baccarat it is thought that this took place at approximately 1500. The game, even though extremely popular, was illegal at first, as any form of gambling was. Eventually, the government made it legal and placed taxes on it. This made the game even more popular because people could rationalize that they were doing something for the good of the poor when they played baccarat thanks to the tax involved. The game began to lose its popularity during Napoleon’s reign when it was again outlawed. It remained illegal until the early 1900’s. At around this time many of the grand casinos were established along the French Riviera.

This version is the one that eventually made it way over to America but was a different version of the game that came from England. Baccarat was legal in England during the period that it was illegal across the rest of the Continent.

The English version of Baccarat reached the shores of Argentina in early 1950, where it was called ‘Punto y Banca’. When the game eventually reached Havana, the aim of the game had differed somewhat as now the player played against the house. It is this version, American Baccarat that was played in the casinos in Havana.

The Capri Casino version is the Baccarat variant that migrated to Las Vegas in the mid 1950s via Francis Renzoni, after a Las Vegas casino opened a baccarat pit. The game began it new life in America as an unpopular addition to the casino game selection. Las Vegas adapted the game and made the banker the UK casino or house position. This made it possible to bet for or against the house with the banker position. This is the Baccarat variant that is now so popular in the United States, England and Australia.

Before the game of baccarat had reached Las Vegas, it was already being played in New York and Florida. The game was played at the Saratoga race track and at the Palm Beach resort in 1910, forty years before it was played in Las Vegas.

Since its origins in the Europe during the Middle Ages, Baccarat has steadily made it’s way across each continent eventually becoming one of the most famous and respected casino games in the world.

There are variations in play depending on the location at which you are playing, so it is always best to check the house rules. And, as so may other forms of gambling, baccarat has made its way onto the internet. Most online casinos offer baccarat games with some variation in house rules; the biggest I have found is that there are only two hands: the banker and one player. Again, it’s advised to check the house rules before you play. Some online casinos also play the game with a single deck of cards, which is unusual in a land-based casino.

Howard Hughes and the Silver Slipper

Another of Las Vegas’ most iconic signs belonged to the Silver Slipper Gambling Hall. Originally opened in 1950 on the Last Frontier property, it was named the Golden Slipper because the Silver Slipper name was already taken, but shortly after they opened, the Silver Slipper folded and the name moved to its new home on the Las Vegas Strip. The Silver Slipper was never a big casino, but due to its central Strip location and proximity to the Last Frontier, it was very popular with families and offered the best 49-cent breakfast buffet in town.

I find it interesting from a marketing perspective that most of the Strip hotels used desert or pioneer themes for their casinos: Hacienda, Sands, Aladdin, Dunes, Frontier, Sahara, Desert Inn, Stardust, El Rancho Vegas, and the Bonanza. A few hotels even referenced their Cuban and South Florida roots: Flamingo, Tropicana, and the Riviera.

Considering that hotels and casinos on the Strip didn’t begin sprouting up until the late 1940’s with the El Rancho Vegas and Bugsy Siegel’s Flamingo, it’s interesting that they all chose to stay within a particular set of themes, but then again the mafia has never been known for their creativity or risk taking, unless said risk-taking involves a new and improved style of murder or extortion. I guess they were less concerned about design awards and more interested in the skim.

Riding the wake of the sale of his Trans World Airways for $546,549,171, Howard Hughes came to Las Vegas with an eye on the future and a boatload of cash, but Hughes wasn’t convinced Las Vegas was where he wanted to set up shop. After two years of bouncing back and forth between the East Coast and Las Vegas, and some careful study of Las Vegas’ financial potential, Hughes decided to stay and moved into the two top floors of the Desert Inn with the resolve to reshape the Las Vegas landscape. Why? Who knows, but Howard Hughes found sufficient intrigue to keep him an active participant in Sin City’s growth and with a billion dollar bankroll, he was an instant force. In fact, his name was so big, the Nevada Gaming Commission all but rolled over when it came time to review his application to own a casino. Something that took most potential owners months and years to complete, with Howard Hughes, the ink was dry before his aides left the hearing.

So what’s the Silver Slipper got to do with Howard Hughes? It seems fair to say that when Hughes’ moved to Las Vegas, his apparent bi-polar behavior and companion paranoia was well established. Hughes moved into the Desert Inn with the express agreement he would stay no longer than 2 months. This arrangement was fine with the ownership, but the penthouse suites on the top two floors were earmarked for the hotel’s stable of high-rollers that came to play over the Christmas holidays, and Hughes’ staff who were all Mormons, non-gamblers, non-drinkers, and they just weren’t spending money at the casino or bar. Hughes was asked to leave and when push came to shove, Hughes wrote a check for $13.2 million, assumed ownership of the Desert Inn, and launched a spending spree unlike anything Las Vegas had ever seen.

But Hughes wasn’t satisfied and as his neurosis and paranoia grew. Memories of the McCarthy anti-communist hearing also began to weigh on his psyche. This was amplified by the fact that his suite faced the Silver Slipper Gambling Hall across the street and the rotating slipper rotating on the Strip marquee would reflect light into his room. It not only get him up at night, he got the notion that hidden in the toe of the shoe were cameras with the sole intent of photographing the Desert Inn, his suite, and the hotel entrance all in an effort to chronicle his comings and goings. So incensed by the sign, Howard Hughes sent a telegram to his chief aide, “I want you to buy that place, that damn sign is driving me crazy, it goes round and round and round.” On April 30, 1968, Howard Hughes bought the Silver Slipper Gambling Hall for $5,360,000 million, and rumor has it that his first edict was to stop the rotating Silver Slipper and fill it with concrete. Surveillance cameras or not, Howard Hughes would finally get a good night’s sleep. Maybe.

The Hughes Corporation owned the Silver Slipper until June of 1988 when it was purchased by Margaret Elardi who owned the Frontier Hotel and Casino next door. The Silver Slipper was demolished shortly thereafter with plans to expand the Frontier, but a union strike and tough economic times put an end to that.

Today, the iconic Silver Slipper sits perched above Las Vegas Boulevard at the Neon Museum just north of downtown Las Vegas. The slipper is available to see 24/7, but the museum is only open by appointment only. Go to their website for more information about their tours and costs. For anyone who revels in the nostalgia of “Old Vegas,” a trip to the museum is well worth the trip.

Howard Hughes moved to Las Vegas on November 24, 1966 and died on April 5, 1976 at the age of 70. His impact on Las Vegas in the 60’s and 70’s is monumental and came at a time when mafia interests were waning and corporate Wall Street interest was on the rise. We’ll look into this fascinating time in Las Vegas’ history in future posts.

Online Casino – Look Out For the Advantages

With the emergence of the online casino, people do not have to fly or drive to a faraway casino to play their favored games. Changing times and new innovations resulted in the growth and popularity of the internet casinos these days. Considering the present scenario, the online casino has developed as the most entertaining and enticing means to check out a number of popular casino games under one roof.

Gone are those days when you had to plan for a holiday or vacation to travel to a location like New Jersey or Las Vegas popular for offering the excitement of real casinos. However, it is obvious that while planning a holiday, you had to put aside your official commitments. It is more likely that traveling frequently leaving behind all your assignments may not be possible always.

The introduction of the internet casino or more popularly the online casino eliminates a lot of hassles for the gamers making it much more easy for them to reach out their favorite game at any time and at any place. Additionally, you do not require to travel all the way to any brick and mortar casino to play your casino game. Having a computer with internet connectivity can put an end to all these problems.

Casino online gives you access to a lot of gambling sites on the internet. If you’re 21 (the considered legal age of gambling) then you are ready to start with the online casino games. You should know that playing at any online casino site brings about a lot of advantages for the players.

Having a look on the major advantages of the online casinos will help you to know why this means of gambling has grown so popular. Why is it the most preferred option for most casino players worldwide? Well, in the following lines you will come across the most common advantages that online gambling brings you forward. These include

Playing at your convenience:

One of the main features of casino online that makes most gaming lovers to turn to gambling online is that the internet forms to be the most convenient medium these days. The online casino forms to be an essential way allowing more and more players to gamble with ease from their own residence. Till you’re connected to the internet, you can play your favored casino games 24×7. You just have to enter a site and get started with your chosen casino games.

Promotion and bonuses

The online gambling bonuses prove to be the most attractive options to select playing online. You will never be finding these kinds of options in any brick and mortar casino. Presently, you are offered a range of bonuses like deposit match bonus, sign up bonus or welcome bonus, no deposit bonus ad cash back bonus. These promotions can be a great way to attract more and more new players and hold on to the existing players as well. With bonuses, the players can easily increase the bankroll as they have much more cash in hand to bet.

More choice of casinos

With the internet casinos, you will get a choice of more casinos at a time. You can even switch over to one site to another as it depends solely on your wish.

Convenient and easy withdrawal and deposit options:

Online casinos brings you a lot of banking options to make your selection. Many online casino sites accept Master and Visa credit cards for both withdrawal and deposit purposes. Other popular options available include wire transfer, NeTeller, myCitadel, Moneybookers, Entropay and others.

Wisconsin Casinos, The Top Three

I have been gambling in Wisconsin since I was 16 years old! I snuck in for two years straight. After legally gambling at the age of 18 for a few months they moved the age limit up to 21. So I was forced to sneak in for a few more years. I only played blackjack. I hate slots and it would be my luck to hit a jackpot and not be able to claim it because I was under age. So, since the age of 16 I have played at nearly every casino in Wisconsin. I am a diehard gambler and many times when I was just 16 I would drive 2 hrs to Ho Chunk casino. All the time at risk of not getting in as I was only 16!

So lets start with my favorite and move down.

1. Oneida Bingo and Casino in Greenbay WI.

Oneida is like Las Vegas in Wisconsin. Well not quite, but they do have nearly all the games Vegas offers. Blackjack, Craps, Let it Ride, Roulette, Caribbean Stud, Bingo, POKER! And a sports book. Poker and the Sports book are just down the road at their Mason St casino and you can take a shuttle back and forth. Oneida is one of the only casinos in Wisconsin to offer all of these games.

2. Potowotomi Bingo and Casino

The “Pot” has Blackjack and Craps, Let it Ride, Roulette and POKER. They are however always packed. Located near downtown Milwaukee and being a newer casino they are always busy. It can be difficult to get on a table. They do have a nice little poker room. They also have some great food at the “Firepit” sporstbar and grill.

3. HoChunk Bingo and Casino in Wisconsin Dells

“The Chunk” was great for a while. At one time they had the first poker room in Wisconsin. And they had a variety of games for a while. When it came time to pay Uncle Sam they decided it wasn’t worth it. So they lost the poker room and variety of table games. Now they just have Blackjack, Slots and Bingo. It is a great casino to visit when vacationing in the Dells, but if driving from Milwaukee I would choose the 2-hour drive to Oneida over “The Chunk”.

Enjoy

Travel To Singapore – The Strict Entry Requirements To The Casinos

With the launch of the two integrated resorts in Singapore, this has opened up a flood gate of tourists visiting this wonderful city-state. In Singapore context, what is known as the integrated resorts is another meaning for a resort and casino complex.

The two resorts that have successfully obtained the licenses required to run a casino in Singapore are the Marina Bay Sands Resorts and Casino, run by the Sands Company which is headquartered in the United States, and Resorts World, run by Genting Group which is headquartered in Malaysia. Regardless of which integrated resort you visit, if you intend to visit the casino, you must abide to the strict rules in place. Here is a quick guide to the entry requirements to the casinos in Singapore.

Age Requirement

The minimum age requirement to enter the casino is 21 years of age. Anyone below that age is not allowed to enter.

Documents Requirement

For all visitors who are neither Singapore citizens nor holding any permanent residence status in Singapore, the only requirement is to bring their passports as a form of identification to prove that they are purely tourists from overseas and that they meet the minimum age requirements to enter the gambling areas. There is no levy fee for these types of visitors. If you qualify as this type of visitor, then you can simply line up in the foreign visitor’s lane while entering the gaming areas.

For visitors who are Singapore citizens or holding permanent residence status, they must present either their passports or national identification card, and also pay the mandatory 100S$ (Singapore dollar) levy fee. Please note that the levy fee only allows you to enter the casino for 24 hours from the time and date you paid the fee. After the 24 hours is up, then your current levy will expire and should you wish to stay longer, then you will need to pay the levy fee a second time in order to enter the casino for another 24 hours. To enter the gambling center as a Singaporean or permanent resident, you will need to line up in the lanes designated as “Singaporean citizen/ PR holder” to enter the gaming area.

Dress Code

For both integrated resorts at Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World, the dress code to enter the gaming areas is smart casual. Shorts, singlets, and “flip flop” slippers are not permitted. The security guard will check to ensure you meet the dress code before allowing you to enter.

By taking note of these entry requirements to the casinos of both integrated resorts in Singapore, it will help to ensure that you can enter the casinos as smoothly as possible.