Archive for June, 2009

Las Vegas Casino Removes Automated Poker Dealers

Monday, June 29th, 2009

After four months of failed test trials for automated poker dealers, the Excalibur Casino has decided to remove all of their electronic poker tables. In March, Excalibur struck a deal with software developer PokerTek to install 12 tables equipped with PokerPro. The automated system was designed to deal cards and display them to users on private screens very similar to those in online casinos, while displaying general information on a bigger screen in the middle of the table.

Many casinos in Atlantic City and California have had positive reviews of this system. However, Las Vegas gamers felt that automated poker tables took away from the genuine casino experience. The automated dealers were met with apprehension from casino-goers, who were far more inclined to visit tables with live-dealers. Clients noted that human interaction is an essential part of the casino experience. They argued that without live dealers and actually holding cards in your hand, it seemed less authentic.

Excalibur Hotel and Casino opened its doors in 1990 and is one of the busiest casinos in Las Vegas with one of the biggest client bases. While this means good news for the casino’s clients, it’s bad news for Excalibur’s owners. Automated dealers would not only have generated far more hands than a live-dealer but would have also saved them money on staff wages, ultimately increasing their profits.

Harrah’s Opening New Online Casino

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Harrah’s is one of the biggest casino operators in the US, with locations in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Reno and other gambling capitals of the country. Now, they are planning on bringing the excitement overseas – via the World Wide Web. Harrah has recently started planning on opening an online casino for European players, which will be become a competitor some of Europe’s online gambling websites such as William Hill and Ladsbroke.

While a similar effort by MGM previously failed in recent years, Harrah’s believes that they are in a much better situation to take the leap into the only gambling world. In today’s economy, the casino industry is changing, as more and more people are seeing the benefits of gambling online. Most land-based casinos are expected to oppose online gambling because it presents itself as competition. But, as the recent economic crisis has gamblers staying closer to home and even at home to play their favourite casino games, American land casinos are beginning to realize that jumping on the online bandwagon could be advantageous.

However, there are still many people who continue to oppose the legalization of online gambling. Several casino owners continue to view online casinos not only as competition but as a possible embarrassment of the land-based casino industry.

Harrah’s is also at an advantage due to its ownership over rights to the World Series of Poker (WSOP), one of the biggest poker brands in the world. Harrah’s is a name that is widely recognized worldwide and they believe they will enter the European marketing with a readily-established reputation.

Bad News for Las Vegas Transportation

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

Well it’s not quite all transportation but definetly some of it. This bad news particularly concerns the Las Vegas monorail which was a project that was supposed to be fully funded on a private basis. It seems that this may not quite be the case as some tax dollars may now be required to keep the project running to scale.

The monorail is experiencing particular low traffic ever since the trains started moving about 5 years ago. As you may have guessed, the current economic situation isn’t making things any better as there hasn’t really been a pickup in traffic in recent times.

When the original forecasting was done to predict the traffic of the project and provide a cushion fund for the off seasons it seems as though traffic this low was never part of the consideration thus raising the issue of the predicament that it is currently facing. And funds are running out at a rather quick rate.

What will happen now? Well it seems that the weeks to follow will have some missed bond payments meaning that the project can be taken over by the original financers, however it is important to point out that the people in question are actually just that: financers and wouldn’t know the first thing about operating a train company.

While several different financing options are now up for discussion it is not clear at this time what the exact plan for payout will be. In the meantime the debt of the project is not getting any lower.

For those that may be concerned, there is nothing to worry about just yet as there are no plans to cancel operation and the train will continue to operate on schedule, at least until further notice.