Tag Archives: Blackjack

Montecasino, a glimpse of Toscana, far away, in Johannesburg


Montecasino is a premium entertainment destination, where guests can enjoy a collection of casino games, relaxation and dining in the immediate vicinity of restaurants, theaters and cinemas.

Montecasino is a true landmark in African gambling and has succeeded, since its inauguration in November 2000, to attract 9.3 million visitors each year. Built on a 26 hectare area, the resort was designed, from the planning phase, as a replica of a Tuscany village.

Regarding the accommodation, visitors can enjoy one of the most popular hotels in Johannesburg, on Montecasino resort’s premises. Each hotel has its own style, so that clients can choose between a luxurious, contemporary, eclectic, business or romantic style, as no less than three locations are available: Palazzo Hotel, Southern Sun Montecasino Hotel and SunSquare Hotel.

Regarding the gambling, the resort provides to its clients a non-smoking casino and two smoking casinos, with an exceptionally diverse range of slot machine and live games. Over 1850 slot machines are available, along with 70 live game tables.

In the resort’s live games area, there are 30 BlackJack tables, over 30 American Roulette tables, one Craps table and, of course, other games.

The classic live games are completed by new games, such as Life of Luxury. The betting margin may range between minimum amounts and more than substantial bets.

The players can enjoy their favorite games both in the shared game areas and the Prive Lounges, if they wish to bet generous amounts and enjoy their privacy. At the live tables from the Prive Lounges, denominations start from the minimum amount of Rand 100 and reach the maximum amount of Rand 10,000; for the slot machines, denominations vary between 50c and Rand 500. Active players from the Prive Lounges can enjoy an open bar, an open buffet and a relaxation area.

Blackjack, also known as 21, is one of the most popular live games in South Africa, both among professional players and beginners, so that the 30 tables provided for this game are located both in the smoking and non-smoking areas and in the private areas, where the betting limits vary between Rand 50 and Rand 5,000.

Within the casino, there is also an area dedicated exclusively to the game of poker, with 8 Texas Hold’em tables and a variety of poker machines.

Those who enjoy the famous slot machines will find within the casino a wide range of games, including state-of-the-art ones, with multiple denominations, starting from 2c and up to Rand 100, multi-coin, multi-line and a series of progressive jackpots.

The slot machine areas include a non-smoking room and two more smoking areas: a small one and a large one. Also, there are two smoking and non-smoking Prive Lounges, so that all the clients’ requirements can be met.

Within the resort, there is also Montecasino Club Select, inviting its members to an exclusive game experience in Johannesburg, far away from the usual turmoil, so that they can enjoy the glamour atmosphere of the premium game table area. Montecasino Club Select provides higher game limits, exclusive treatment and customized services.

Besides from the casinos, the Montecasino visitors are invited to a culinary journey around the world. Having the option to choose between no less than 40 restaurants and bars, no wonder Montecasino is the most popular destination for gourmands, in Johannesburg.

The resort is home to a variety of gastronomic locations, providing a wide range of options: grill house, buffet restaurants, Portuguese cuisine, Thai specialties, Indian flavors, authentic sushi and of course, Italian food. From Greek varieties to the popular pizza – Montecasino has everything.

As any respectable casino-resort, the Montecasino could not possibly have missed a nightlife part, spa, zoo and theater. All these are provided in order to make the clients’ stay more pleasant and comfortable.

Montecasino is owned by the Tsogo Sun Group. Tsogo Sun is the most important hospitality, entertainment and gaming service provider in Africa. It has in its portfolio 14 casinos and over 100 hotels in Africa, Seychelles and the Middle East.

Trinidad and Tobago: from an underground casino world to regulations


by Oana Mihalache

Even if the gambling landscape in Trinidad and Tobago is not completely smooth – as it’s on its way towards norming and regulation – for sure the soft sand on the beaches and the views that remind us of the most exotic postcards can surely make up for this deficiency and more than that, represent an attraction for tourists and players alike. Despite the lack of clear regulations, there are many casinos that operate for some years now on the two islands, and they don’t just attract customers, but they also bring important incomes for the state, collected as excises. Well, given the fact that the gambling industry is so flourishing, and the first steps towards a clear legislative package have been made in 2016, we can only be optimistic regarding the future of this industry in Trinidad and Tobago. But first, let’s discover it properly…


…starting with the development of an underground gambling industry

This is due to the fact that the legislation initiated in 1995 laid the foundation for the appearance of Private Clubs that in time got to include slot machines and another games put at the disposal of customers. Obviously, these Clubs developed in an illicit manner and the gambling activities they offered were not properly regulated. At the end of the 1990s, through an amendment for the law that allowed these Clubs to be registered, the installation of electronic game machines was allowed, as well as table games. Consequently, ”a sector of the gambling industry, completely unregulated, quickly developed”, said the Finance minister, Colm Imbert. In fact, they started to function as live casinos.

By perpetuating these loose regulations, the gambling industry on the two Caribbean islands soon exploded: over 200 Private Clubs appeared, and on top of that more than 20.000 game machines were functioning in the 4000 bars and pubs existing in the entire country.

Nevertheless, their contribution to the economy of the country was by no records negligible: in 2012 authorities estimated that these Clubs employed over 7.000 people and they were paying weekly salaries totaling $6.7 million with the state collecting in the same year taxes reaching $28 million as excises.

Theoretically, gambling activities were regulated by the Gambling and Betting Act, amended in 2014. Still, more than a dozen casinos continued to operate clandestinely, without respecting the regulations of this Act.

The biggest casino in the country is The Royal Princess Members Club, which offers a varied selection of game machines (totaling 180) – including slots, progressive jackpot, video poker, electronic roulette terminals, as well as 12 live table games with Blackjack, Roulette, Texas Hold’em, 3 Card Poker, 4 Card Poker, 5 Card Poker and Rhum 32. Besides from the cash awards that can reach $200.000, every month a lucky player gets to walk home with a car.

Turnover/ year: $12 billion

Since the Act from the middle of the 20th century, no other government attempted to create a coherent legislative framework to accommodate regulations in the gambling industry…not until last year. Since 2013 the ministry of Finance was warning with regard to the negative social impact that the lack of regulations has, but also concerning the proliferation of money laundering activitites. In May of 2016 a legislative proposal was introduced, clearly stipulating the conditions for issuing licenses, but also for exerting a supervising acivity in the industry.

For an industry that records a turnover of $12 bln. Each year, many starting to raise concerns regarding the ensuing interdictions, even though the authorities gave insurances that the new law – for the Control of Games and Betting – will bring new jobs in the industry and will boost the economy by bringing an extra income of $500 million per year to the state budget. According to the initiators of the law, Trinidad and Tobago is one of the only countries in the Western hemisphere with such a prosperous and yet poorly regulated gambling industry.

What does the new law bring new: among other things, it comes with the establishment of a Control Commission for gambling, but also with the introduction of licenses for those who own, operate or produce gaming machines. On top of that, big penalties were introduced for breaking the law in the field. Some penalties can even reach $25 million. The law has already passed the Chamber of Representatives and must now pass through the Senate.

Other changes relate to online gambling, a segment currently under regulated as well. Basically, players in Trinidad and Tobago can enter any site that offers online gambling, from other countries, as the state did not issue licenses for online gambling so far.

The case of Trinidad and Tobago is an example of horizontal development in the gambling industry, by expansion of individual business arms independent of the state. The government’s attempt to regulate this field represents a test for the free marked and the gambling industry will surely pass it, and not only that but it could also rejuvenate by attracting new investors. We will keep an eye on these islands!

Casino Marienlyst – royal elegance, step-by-step instructions, Big Jackpot


-Oana Mihalache

Denmark is not even close to being the richest country in the world, yet in 2016 it was declared, for the third consecutive year, the country with the happiest citizens in the world. Mutatis mutandis, even though its casinos do not compete with the opulence that is specific to places like Vegas, we can still say that one of its casinos offers one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world and it’s declared by some as the most elegant casino in North-Eastern Europe. We’re talking about casino Marienlyst, which is part of the homonymous four star resort, including also a hotel, located in Elsinore (Helsingør in Danish), a harbor village from which you can reach the Swedish shores with a ferry boat.

What is so spectacular about this resort? The casino offers a landscape that is unique in the world, as it is built in a coastal area and the view is overlooking the Oresund (øresund) strait, which stands between it and the Swedish coast line. On top of that, visitors can also see the Kronborg castle, known in the entire world for the Hamlet tragedy, displaying an austere architecture, only its tall towers reminding of a castle.

Built in 1902, this casino is the oldest one in Denmark, and due to the influence of that period’s style, it also became known as one of the most elegant ones in North Europe. In fact, the initial construction of Marienlyst dates back in 1859, when it was used as a health center visited by princes and kings in Europe, and its importance led to a new building being constructed in 1902 – the hotel we know today – in order to accept a higher number of guests. Altogether, with the permission of the prince of Denmark at that time, to become King Frederick VIII, a casino started to operate in the building, with cash bets and awards. The casino used as a logo the symbol of the royal crown.

The influence of the Scandinavian style: favoring education & step-by-step

A truly special thing about this casino is the fact that it caters for all categories of clients, and moreover it encourages their way towards professionalism. The seminars offered for those barely initiated in the casino secrets stand for this: players can test the games before taking the adventure of playing against the house. In this way, they can be trained in Roulette and Blackjack during some educational seminars which show that the Scandinavian style is visible even in the casino world: education above all. These seminars are offered outside the normal casino schedule.

The casino has a varied games offer, including American Roulette, Blackjack, Punto Banco, 7-card Stud, Omaha, Texas Hold’em, but also gaming machines – over 60 of them can be found in the Jackpot Club. According to the Danish law, all gaming machines must pay back a minimum of 80% of the winnings to players, but at Casino Marienlyst the return rate is 93%, the biggest in the country and even greater compared to the machines operated by the national lottery. On top of that, those who are fond of Texas Hold’em will be thrilled to know that each Saturday and Sunday, starting from 7.30 PM, poker cash tours are organized. Those interested in the Jackpot need to know that for a minimum bet of 10 cents (DKK 1) can win a Jackpot of almost 300.000 euros (the equivalent of DKK 2,000,000) – this being the starting amount.

Even though many players can be quite skeptical given the different terminology, this casino stands to its international standards and uses, mostly, international expressions that are part of the casinos jargon. Before each game, there is a display showing the instructions for the terminology being used, under the banner of „Player’s Guide”.

There is one thing that already became a tradition at Marienlyst: inspections are run regularly, and this offers an increased degree of safety for clients. All table games, cards, chips and roulette reels are checked by its own inspection teams as well as by public authorities.

The minimum age for access is 18 and as dress code is concerned, the rules are relatively lax, even though a style that is beyond casual can make guests feel uncomfortable, that is why the management asks the guests to be presentable. After the attractions that we mentioned at the beginning, you must be convinced that at least one night booked at the hotel is imperative – the hotel has 222 rooms, from single ones to 240 square meters suites, with a view towards the resort’s garden or the strain that stands between Denmark and Sweden.

Other useful information for guests: an entrance tax is imposed, smoking is forbidden and the access with electronic devices, including phones, is not allowed.

Even if one can be amazed by the elegance, the historical print of this casino and the offer of games and prizes, the Marienlyst Casino is also a small replica of the Scandinavian lifestyle, which promotes a rules-based life, even if apparently a relaxed attitude prevails, but also a strict adherence to the social contract between those who offer entertainment and those who consume it: quality if only offered in exchange for respect showed towards high standards.

DELTIN ROYALE CASINO, India’s floating paradise Bollywood charm intertwined with gaming adrenaline


-Oana Mihalache

For those who are accustomed with luxury and with the pompous character of the Bollywood industry, the ideal place to visit is Deltin Royale Casino, the biggest casino in India, located in Goa. Luxury, opulence, live music, exotic dancesc, restaurants with the world’s finest cuisines, exclusive poker rooms and Indian Flash – this is how we can describe this paradise dedicated to players and this is how tourists that go to Goa are welcomed if they choose to visit Casino Deltin Royale. Located on the west coast of India, Goa still preserves some artifacts that remind of the Portuguese domination.

Unlike the more well-known cities of Delhi and Mumbai, which are ideal if one wants to better know the cutomes and culture of India, Goa is a paradise full of exoticism, when there are non-stop parties and there is a tropical vibe that competes with even the most exotic islands that became now gaming attractions in themselves – like the Carribean islands or the Dominican Republic. This off-shore jewel of India, which is often presented as an entertainment destination which must not be missed, was inaugurated under the auspices of Delta Corp, the most important player of the Indian gaming & hospitality industry, marking altogether the launch of a new brand under the name of Deltin, under which all the casinos and hotels in Goa that belong to Delta Cord will be coordinated – both the present ones and those that are planned to be built. At its inauguration there were many well-known stars from Bollywood, but also important celebrities from Goa – a master illusionist, a violonist, but also other talents from various fields. Our primary focus has always been on providing premium experiences as we stand for luxury and glamour at each of our properties and the Deltin brand is an accurate reflection of that, said the chairman of Delta Corp, Jaydev Mody.

The floating casino in Goa

The floating casino, as the tourists often call it, as it basically stands on the surface of the water – has no less than 850 slot machines, 123 live table games and 30 roulettes that cover in total 40.000 square meters. Moreover, it also has gaming rooms that are especially built for special guests – three of them also having rooms for their accomodation, but also a section dedicated to dinning and entertainment a la Vegas and a bar lounge named „Whiskys”, with a fine selection of distinguished drinks. Hee one can also find the largest space for poker in the entire India, under the name of Royale Poker Room.

The casino is in fact a ship of 4.280 tons, 85 meters long, with five floors and it is anchored on the shore of the Mandovi river. It is not the only casino of this type, with other three situated along this river, namely  Deltin Jaqk, Casino Pride and Casino Pride 2. These are only a few of the total 15 casinos in Goa, where tourism is one of the main sources of income. More than 2 million tourists come annually to visit this island, and 30% of them also go to casinos. BBC recently estimated that over 15.000 visitors come daily in the Goa casinos, and the number is growing by 30% each year. Goa is the largest gambling destination in India and brings 95% of the gaming revenues in India. Back to speaking about Deltin Royale, the first floors are dedicated to regular customes, whereas the superior ones are reserved for exclusive members. It follows that the ground floor is reserved for table games and slot machines, at the first floor are the restaurants, and from the second floor up spaces are reserved for the members of the club and high roller players. The most popular games are Blackjack, Baccarat, Roulette, Three Card Poker, Five Card Poker, Mini Flush, Casino War, Pontoon or Treasury 21, Money Wheel, Sic Bo, Andar Bahar. After having enough of these games, those who feelt the need for a break can relax in the Sky Bar, at the top floot – where the whole landscape of the rives Mandovi spreads before your eyes.

The danger of the demonetization politics – going after India’s tax evasionists

Well, all the general shining that characterises this casino was shadowed last year, when it was put in front of the dark perspective of closing its operations. The government led by Narendra Modi announced its demonetization measures, taking 500 and 1000 rupee banknotes out of the system – consequently, 80% of the total cash went out of circulation, which affected the activity of casinos as well. The measure was taken as an attempt to discourage and catch tax evasionists. This was a dificult moment for all casinos in Goa, and some of them even suspended their activity temporarily. The managers of these casinos stated that they ran out of cash in order to give change to players or pay their winnings.

The casinos is still opened non-stop and, to the astonishment of the visitors, it has a dress code for men – no shorts or flip flops, but no such code is imposed for women. In order to have access inside, you must be at least 21 years old and pay an entrance tax – which shows one more time the exlusivist character of this casino. The entrance taxes vary along the line of $36 (normal pacj), $58 (premium pack) and $110 for VIP. For those who are under 21, the tax is $22, without the permission to play, and for kids an entrance tax of $15 is imposed.

Which is truly spectacular about this casino is the fact that is combines entertainment with the the more pragmatic useful side of things: for example, it offers recreational programs for children, sustained by a magician, but also live music moments with bands like Crimson Tide or famous Bollywood bands. Well, for a more chill atmosphere, stand-up comedians were contracred, and during the weekends a dance crew performs can-can. Over 1.500 employees are there to make sure that everything functions perfectly and in line with a casino’s demands. An admirable fact is that many employees are enlisted in free courses about the hospitality industry, as part of Delta Institute, a program created through Corporate Social Responsibility.

The Deltin Royale Casino is a place which must be on the list of places to visit, especially bu those who admire elegance and high class entertainment. The guests on this wonderful ship will feel like part of a floating mirage on the banks of this miniature Indian Ganges river and at the same time part of a classy experience either they are or not VIP clients.

Vegas reloaded in Canada: Grand Villa Casino


-Oana Mihalache

Even if the most recent debates involving Canada have revolved around the signing of the economic agreement known as CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) with the European Union, which came to once again show the importance of interconectivity at both a regional and a global level, we must say that the gambling industry is sensitive enough to the economic fluctuations in the region. In the case of Canada, this industry appears to be strongly influenced by the US market, thus opening a new casino at its border is an indicator of the increased competitivity between the two countries, with advantages for both. Grand Villa Casino in Burnaby is more than just a casino, with a high potential to attract clients from the USA, but also to revamp Canadian gambling – through luxury, games variety and other attractions that we will further describe below.

In order to better understand the importance entailed by the grand opening of this casino, located in the British Columbia canadian province, close to Vancouver, it is neccesary to first mention the magnitude of the gambling industry in Canada. Total incomes from this industry reach $15 billion, and the number of employeed who work in this industry is 40.591, to which the new casino added more than 200.

Inaugurated in September 2016, the casino was built by Gateway Casinos, one of the biggest gambling operators in Canada – with 12 casinos in their portfolio. According to its CEO, the construction of this new casino meant an investment of $32 million. Located in the eastern part of Rogers Place, the new casino has 600 slot machines, 42 table games and 7 restaurants. This is how a short description would sound like, but this new canadian gambling attraction offers much more than that.

A holistic approach: a casino as a micro-universe dedicated to gambling

To all this we add the 1.100 game machines, the 6 poker tables and the room that is dedicated to poker. Players can also enjoy the perks of having access to two bars, and those who want to spend many days at this casino can check in at the hotel, in one of its 200 rooms. For players who usually like to raise the stakes in the game they play, while benefiting from a private space, the casino features the Cypress Room for their own enjoyment. Moreover, the conference center makes this casino an ideal destination for business meetings or private events.

Among the games that players can enjoy at Grand Villa Casino we note Blackjack, Caribbean Stud Poker, Craps, Let it Ride, Mini-Baccarat, Pai Gow Poker, Poker, Roulette and Sic Bo. The casino is open non-stop and for a boost of authenticity, clients are also able to enjoy live entertainment, which means that the general atmosphere is a relaxed and friendly one. If you want to recharge your batteries or relax your muscles after a tensed gaming session, the fitness center is the ideal place.

One thing is for certain, namely the fact that this casino will not lack clients – located next to Rogers Place and Winter Garden, a space dedicated to events, the new „Mecca” of gambling in Canada will surely attract a considerable share of the 1.5 million visitors of the two mentioned attractions. Basically, Grand Villa Casino replaced the old Baccarat Casino, which was closed for good after the former’s opening, and a great share of its employees were hired at the new casino. One of the novelties brought by Grand Villa is the way in which it tackles the dependence issue, promoting an initiative called GameSense, that allows employees to be instructed on how to offer specialized advice to those with issues in this regard. On top of that, a part of the incomes brought to the government of the province in which it is located will be directed towards a new treatment center for those who are gambling addicts.

According to the operator, the new casino will attract a more stylish clientele and bring a boost of elegance to this area of Canada. Keeping into account the predictions that seem to reveal a grow of the canadian gambling industry in the context of raising incomes at a national level, we can quote him and assert with certainty that indeed, Grand Villa Casino is not just about gambling, but also more about entertainment and it is set to establish a smaller duplicate of Las Vegas in Canada.

Hustler Casino, the winnings sanctuary in LA


-Oana Mihalache

When the owner of a casino is so famous that he can successfully endorse a business by simply being famous, it becomes more than obvious that his business will prove to be an utmost success.

This is the case of Larry Flint, who owns Hustler Casino since 2000, a name taken after the ononymous magazine he runs. Well, the number of breakthroughts marked by this casinos are not few: it brings profits that surpass $20 million a year, it hosts the biggest seven card-stud game in the world and it was voted as the most luxurious casino in Los Angeles  also known as „The City of Angels”- for six years. In the lines below you will be able to discover the fantastic story behind this internationally known casino and of the man who has the merits of making the name „Hustler” a piece of history – Larry Flint.

 You don’t have to be in Vegas to enter the world of gambling”

Opened in June 2000, Hustler Casino is now open 24/7 and the list of games available in it includes Blackjack, Limit and No Limit Texas Hold’em, No Collection EZ Baccarat, Three Card Poker, Pai Gow Poker, among many others. Located just 15 minutes away from Downtown Los Angeles, the casino offers unforgettable moments spent among the best dealrs in LA, together with top class entertainment. This casino has the ideal recipe to summarize the saying „you don’t have to be in Vegas to enter the world of gambling”. This is due, among other factors, to the fact that it displays the highest poker progressive jackpot in California, a room that resemble the ones in the most luxurious casinos in Vegas, together with services and restaurants that equal the experience one meets in the most sophisticated hotels. On top of that, the casino has marble elements, excellent lightning and spectacular chandeliers.

Million dollars winnings & happy players: checked!

The casino owned by Larry Flint is operated through El Dorade Enterprises Inc and Hustler Magazine and it has become a pricefull gem in the business collection under his management. When it was bought, in 1998, the amount paid for it now makes the deal seem like a real bargain – $8 million. This amount now represents the revenue of the casino for less than half a year. A true example of ROI (Return of investment) by the book. In 2007 the casino was extended with a n addition that became the Crystal Room – used as a card games room, conference room and poker tours. The casinos now consists of 50 poker tables, 30 live games tables, two restaurants and a Gift Shop.

Another thing that ensures this casino a well-deserved place among the top casinos in the world is the fact that since 2007 is the host of the biggest seven card stud game, with a buy in of $200.000 and stakes of $2.000 – $4.000, one of the greatest in the world of casinos. The game takes place, most of the times, in the main poker room and among the guests that participated by now we can mention the american poker player Barry Greenstein, Phil Ivey, but also Ted Forrest, a famous poker player in Las Vegas.

What do you mean who’s Larry Flint?

The story of Hustler Casino is only a chapter – albeit among the most importan ones – from the uneasy life of Larry Flint. In order to maintain a proper overview, we will go on by saying that the incomes of the casino merely rise to 10% of the total incomes of Flint for a year, of $150 million. In the publishing world he is best known as the owner of the „Larry Flint Publications” publishing house, which prints over 20 magazine, including the male magazin Hustler. His first business was a striptease club in Ohio, and afterwards many other business attempts followed, that made him known as the „King of pornography”. Even if along time Larry Flint was also involved in many public scandals, Larry Flint is still a role model for many. In fact, his life was screened in the movie The People vs. Larry Flint in 1996, directed by Milos Forman.

Even if this casino seems to be just one of the many business gems belonging to Larry Flint, it is a well-known fact that he runs no business like usual. Just like he did with Hustler Magazine, he runs businesses that become landmarks in their field of activity. Well, Hustler Casino came to be associated with luxury, sumptuousness and, above all, a winnings paradise.

Uruguay, the genie in the bottle: gambling paradise in a capital-size country


-Oana Mihalache

Even if it’s one of the smallest countries in South America, Uruguay offers multiple gambling facilities to those who are keen on it, having a total of 18 live casinos, an impressive number for a country with only 3.3 million people. The main target of casinos in Uruguay is represented by tourists, who are attracted by the exoticism of the country, but also by the easiness of regulations and controls made by authorities when it comes to gambling activities.

Three forms of gambling are legal in Uruguay: casinos, pari-mutuel bets and horse tracks. Traditional sports betting activities are carefully controlled by the authorities in the field, and lottery is under state monopoly. Among the games that can be played in casinos we can name baccarat, blackjack, roulette, craps, poker and punto banco, but also many types of slots. Online gambling is not properly regulated, and that is precisely why it is easily accessible to players in the whole country.

One of the most popular games in the country is poker – and this has become a pattern that can be traced on the whole South-American continent, while at the opposite side lays bingo. In fact, in 2015 Uruguay hosted the 8th edition of Latin American Poker Tour, which was organized by PokerStars in Punta del Este Hotel and Casino Motevideo.

The gambling industry in Uruguay, a short history

One of the factors that clearly favor the influx of tourists in Uruguay is the fact that the country is geographically between the two biggest countries in South-America – Brazil and Argentina – that had for a long time been subject to restrictions for some forms of gambling. Many tourists in these two countries have chosen to play in Uruguay, being also attracted by the beaches on the Atlantic Coast. Both tourists and investors are fascinated by the free economy in the country, with no discriminations being made between foreigners and nationals.

Private casinos have a history of more than 100 years in Uruguay, and the first law in the gambling field was issued in 1856. According to the legend, the tradition connected to casinos was first established by French immigrants, who wanted to play their popular roulette game. Until the 1990’s, casinos had already been taken under state control. The private ones then started to grow really fast, especially after the government authorized the construction of a five stars hotel and a casino in Punta del Este. Opened in 1997, the casino operated by Conrad International is still the largest in the country, with annual incomes that surpass $140 million. This resort has over 80 table games and 640 slot machines, being a major attraction for tourists, as they can also enjoy aquatic sports activities. On top of that, the casino also has four restaurants, two bars, and it welcomes its guests with 296 luxurious rooms. In 2013 this casino signed a contract with Bally Technologies in order to launch an online gaming platform, with the latter ensuring the software. This shows that, in practice, even though online gambling is not regulated by the authorities, they do not explicitly prohibit operators from opening online casinos.

Even if 15 cities in the country offer gambling facilities, the most developed city from this point of view is the capital city, Montevideo, where there are two casinos – Parque Hotel and Hotel Casino Carrasco – with incomes from both going to the government, as these two casinos are owned and operated by a central governmental entity handling these kind of activities: Direccion Nacional de Casinos del Estado.

Apart from casinos, another activity that is very popular in Uruguay is sports betting, but those connected with big sports events are prohibited. A real paradox, some would say, given the fact that the number of fans who fall for sports activities is growing in Uruguay. Football is one of the most popular sports, not randomly as Uruguay is one of the five countries to win the FIFA World Cup at least twice. On top of that, Uruguay is the smallest country that has ever won the World Cup.

Even if the gambling landscape in Uruguay is very diverse and attractive, the country is still not considered a landmark for South-American gambling, this title being more appropriate for countries like Argentine or Chile. Nonetheless, both the diversity of gambling activities and entertainment facilities, and the exoticism of the country lure tourists coming from neighboring countries, precisely because Uruguay has set free the genie in the bottle: casino businesses are blooming in an environment which would not have normally become an attraction for gambling, lest its strengths were properly and fully exploited.

Most expensive tattoos: extravagant ideas for a lucky gambler

scott campbell

de Oana Mihalache

Our Toys for Gamblers saga has now reached an episode dedicated to tattoos, but not any type of tattoos, as a gambler who wins collosal amounts in an evening spent at the gaming table surely wants an unique tattoo. Casino Inside comes with a top which is equally extravant and impressive for any tattoo lover, but also for those who want to try new things.

One of the most renowned tattoo artists in the world is Anil Gupta, who charges $450 per hour for a tattoo, and depending on its complexity, the price can reach a few thousand euros. On top of that, he is well known as one of the forerunners of this form of art in America.

A shightly higher price is charged by Ami James, whose price is fixed at $500 per hour for a tattoo. In his case as well, a tattoo of medium complexity can reach up to a few thousand euros. The most expensive artist of the moment is Scott Campbell, who charges $1.000 for the first hour, and afterwards the price increases. Among his clients we can name Penelope Cruz, Sting, Marc Jacobs, Orlando Bloom, Robert Downey Jr. and many other celebrities, but for sure to this list we can add many gamblers who wanted their tattoo to have the signature of one of the most famous artists in the world. The price of such a tattoo is for sure not worth a fortune for a player who managed to take the big pot or who is a master at poker, blackjack and other games. Above all, what is truly important is the symbolic side of such a tattoo, that marks a lifestyle similar to that adopted by hollywoodian stars.

If not very long time ago those who got a tattoo were identified with criminals, bikers, rockers or other social group associated with rebelion, now tattoos are recongnized as such: a form of art that uses the human body as a canvas for „paintings” made by artists. This form of art was refined by some artists who found more and more exquisite ways to promote themselves through some…exquisite tattoos.

And so we reached the point where we can announce that we have found the most expensive tatoo in the world, which will surely be wanted by many gamblers who could afford the amount. The tattoo was made by an african company that produces and sells diamonds of the finest quality – Shimansky – and is based on a technique that consists of encrusting real diamonds into the skin. The tattoo took longer to make than a regular one, more precisely eight hours, given the fact that 612 precious stones were encrusted in the skin of an african model who accepted the challenge. The diamonds do not remain permanently encrusted in the skin, as an adhesive is used to fix them. For such a tattoo one has to pay no less than $924.000 from their pocket.

Dear players, Casino Inside has only one advice for you: huge wins usually deserve an equally huge challenge, and a tattoo made by a renowned artist using a never heard-before technoque can be exactly the adrenaline dose you need in order to raise the stake at the games you take part in.

Bill Baxter, A life in poker


by Bogdan Fechită

 Bill Baxter reached the venerable age of 76 years and has an experience of over fifty years in the world of gambling. He collected seven gold bracelets, the most craved trophy in the WSOP Circuit and he can still be found at the live tables. Never abandon the passions!

On his real name William E. Baxter Jr., Bill (he is called Billy) was born in 1940 in Augusta, Georgia. Since adolescence he was attracted by gambling and at 14 he began practicing billiard. He felt he had talent on this game and practiced it for a few years. Until 16 he managed to save 5,000$ from billiard. Once he celebrated the age he discovered a new passion that influenced him the rest of his life: the poker.

How to win a casino

Billy was no exception to the rule, and its beginnings in poker were troublesome. He lost the saved money, so a period he returned to billiard games where he won more often, then he tried again his luck at poker. The recipe was kept so for several years without Bill to earn too much in poker.

Finally, the luck and the skill had been on his side. He took courage and started playing on high stakes. At one point, he even won a part of the property of some casino in Augusta, called Paisley Club. Later, with the money earned from games against the other casino owner, has managed to buy the rest of shares and became the sole owner.

However, to reduce costs, he decided to close the casino and it has turned into a betting location. He organized illegal roulette and blackjack games, and that gave him some trouble with the local authorities and the FBI.

Honeymoon with unexpected ending

In 1975, Billy was newly married and had left with his wife in a honeymoon in Hawaii. On their return, they stopped in Las Vegas. This stop lasted nine months, during which they stayed at a hotel, and Baxter tried to earn his living as a poker player. The plan was to earn  money to continue to stay in the city of gambling. Billy was playing poker everyday and he was feeling happy. That’s how he met his good friend, Stu Ungar, and other legends of the industry: Doyle Brunson and Puggy Pearson.

In this period he achieves his first notable performance: he wins the gold bracelet after finishing first in the event “No Limit Deuce to Seven Draw” within WSOP. In addition to his first bracelet, he receives $ 35,000, a considerable sum in those days.

The career takes off

From this moment, Billy is often seen in professional poker tournaments, and his favorite game is ”Deuce-to-Seven Draw”. Moreover, in addition to the first, four other gold bracelets which he won were obtained in this type of poker events: 1978, 1982, 1987 and 1993. The other two gold bracelets were obtained as follows: one in the event”Ace to Five Draw” in 1982, and the second, which remained the last, at the event”Razz” in 2002. He is ranked in the top five players with the most gold bracelets, on a par with Men Nguyen.

Besides gold bracelets, Bill has obtained 68 cash classifications according to Poker Database during May1975 – December 2015, of which in 11 rows he managed to win the events. He participated in professional tournaments only in USA, and most cash classification were in WSOP and WPT events. Thus, from the over $ 2.4 million earned, almost half were obtained in WSOP events. The biggest win on an event was $ 244,921 for 5th place in “No Limit Hold’em – Championship Event” within WPT Classic, Las Vegas, in April 2010.

Inveterate gambler

Beside poker, Bill Baxter was attracted by betting. Probably one of his biggest wins was recorded in the spring of 2013 Billy had bet on the fact that Tiger Woods will become again  the world leader in the ranking of golf circuit in a time when the player was the protagonist of a costly divorce littered with accusations of infidelity. Woods fell to 58th place in November 2011 and many believed that his career had come to an end. Not Billy, who had the courage to bet on the fact that Tiger will become again the world leader,. In the spring of 2013, Woods wins a major tournament and returns to first place, and that brings to Billy a gain of $ 400,000!

About Bill Baxter:

-seven gold bracelets;

-he was good friend with Stu Ungar;

-since 2006 he is part of Poker Hall of Fame;

-total incomes from poker: $2.406.608;

-the biggest prize: $246.921 – WPT Classic, Las Vegas;

-68 classifications in cash to WSOP events

-he is passionate also of sports betting;

-he had problems with the authorities several times and was in prisone for a period;

Top players with the most gold bracelets:

1. Phil Hellmuth: 14 bracelets

2. Doyle Brunson, Johny Chan, Phil Ivey: 10

3. Johnny Moss: 9

4. Erik Seidel: 8

5. Men Nguyen, Billy Baxter: 7

Aria Resort&Casino Sometimes, What You Like in Vegas, You Can Take Home

© Al Powers, PowersImagery.com

by Bogdan Fechită


Aria Resort&Casino is certainly one of the largest hotel complexes in Las Vegas. Over 4,000 rooms, nearly 20 restaurants, numerous bars, three swimming pools, a casino and many other attractions. The good news is that if you like an object in the hotel, you can take it home with you!

Aria Resort&Casino is located in the southern part of Las Vegas Boulevard and the modern and magnificent architecture of its buildings is astonishing. Opened in 2009, the location is neighbor to Bellagio Hotel & Casino, New York Resort & Casino and MGM Grand. The resort is described by the presentation websites with terms like “brilliant”, “elegant” and “luxury on all levels” and it is considered the “jewel in the crown of the metropolitan area of the city.”

The dream of the Tech Fans

Since the resort was opened recently, it still retains the aspect where everything seems new. Rooms are the dream of any tech fan, equipped with various gadgets: from the keyless locks to “one-touch” control for lighting, room temperature, curtains, music and more.

Like any self-respecting resort, Aria has a pool area which is open seasonally. There are three large pools one more attractive than another. Liquid Pool Lounge seems most attractive because it is not only open during the day, but at night too, when it becomes a nightclub attraction. The bars inside the complex are not to be missed either, each with its own specific, and if we get hungry, we visit one of the nearly 20 restaurants.

Luxury Services

They say that there is no modest room at Aria. This is reflected in the accommodation price: all of the over 4,000 rooms offer luxury conditions. The lowest price we found in the following two months is $ 112 per night, but the prices are balanced. Obviously, the cost of renting the apartments is higher, but it comes with additional services: for example, transportation by limousine from the airport to the hotel.

Smokers can light up their cigarettes only in the casino or the specially designated bars, but it is strictly forbidden to smoke in other rooms. Those who violate the ban, may find themselves having to pay an additional fee of $ 250. The parking is very spacious and is divided into two main areas, each being served by butlers ready to take over the cars of the customers. You can also enjoy the event rooms or the conference rooms here.

Take what you like with you at home

The resort is known for offering a very rare service. If you like the way you have slept in the hotel room, where you can order an identical mattress for your home. Also, the owners have made it possible to order cushions, beds, room fragrances and many other things. Specifically, if an old saying specific to Las Vegas says “What happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas” behold, for the Aria Resort & Casino this could be adapted to “What you like in Las Vegas, you can take you home“.

Insider tips

Those who have already visited the resort were impressed by several things. The first is the art collection. If you are an art lover, you’ll be surprised by the collection of plastic works that one can admire without paying the price of a ticket to the museum. The second is Aria Spa & Salon. You should not miss an afternoon spent at the spa that offers unique amenities including a “Shio Salt” room (where the air is infused with salt, which improves breathing and skin), and beds with heated stone which relaxes your muscles. Lastly, the resort organizes often shows branded Cirque du Solei, which, if you can, you should not miss.

Lay the stakes!

Gaming enthusiasts have one of the most beautiful casinos in Las Vegas at their disposal. Players can choose from hundreds of slots from different producing companies, but also 15 live tables where they can play Blackjack, Craps, Baccarat, plain or European Roulette, Mini Baccarat, Pai Gow, etc. There is also a special room where different poker games are organized, and No Limit Hold’em tournaments are held daily. Another interesting casino room is the one dedicated to betting on races and sporting events, and competitions can be viewed on giant screens. High stakes players have VIP rooms reserved where they can play whatever they want.

Aria Resort&Casino in numbers:

- 2009 opening year

- 4,004 rooms, of which 568 apartments

- 17 restaurants

- $ 112, the lowest price for a room

- 24 hours a day opento the public

- 14,000 square meters is the surface of the casino within the resort

- 15 live game tables

- 1 room dedicated to poker games

- 40 millions of dollars is the sum invested by the owners into the pieces of art within the resort.