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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Bank of America tests technology to pay with phones | Reuters

Bank of America tests technology to pay with phones | Reuters


Bank of America Corp is testing a technology that allows a customer to pay at a store register by simply scanning an image with a smartphone, such as Apple Inc's iPhone or Google Inc's Android devices.
The pilot program is being tested in Charlotte, North Carolina, where the second-largest U.S. bank is headquartered, and marks the latest effort by a financial institution to come out on top in the race to determine how people will pay for things in the future.
With sophisticated mobile phones reaching a growing number of people around the world, financial services companies, startups as well as technology giants such as Google and eBay Inc's PayPal, are looking for ways to turn phones into digital wallets that house credit and debit cards, coupons and store loyalty program details.
At stake is a gargantuan market for global mobile payments, which the consulting firm Gartner expects to exceed $171 billion this year.
Bank of America and other banks already rake in hundreds of millions of dollars in fees for managing payments, making it imperative for them to come up with the new way for people to pay their bills - especially when new regulations and a tepid economy are squeezing revenue.
In the trial, Bank of America has partnered with Paydiant, a startup that has developed a technology to allow such mobile payments. It doesn't require new phones or hardware for merchants.
In past trials, Bank of America has experimented with Near Field Communication technology, in which a chip installed in a phone transmits a radio signal when it is waved or tapped at a device at the cash register.
Bank of America launched its pilot last week at five merchants in Charlotte. The test will last three months and only the bank's employees have access to the program. They can use newer iPhones and phones that use the Android operating system.
"The pilots provide us with the opportunity to explore innovative mobile solutions, engage our customers and utilize their feedback," bank spokeswoman Tara Burke said.
Burke declined to comment on whether the bank is still considering using NFC technology but said it continues to test and monitor the marketplace. That technology suffered a setback this month when Apple did not embed NFC chips in its iPhone 5.
"EARLY DAYS"
In the bank's NFC trials, customers stored their payment information digitally in a secure area on their phone and then paid at a merchant who kept a device to read the signal from the phone. In the latest test, customers store their payment cards on a computer server and when they pay, they use an application on their phone that scans a Quick Response code displayed at the register.
Paydiant is currently running tests with five banks and financial services companies, said Chris Gardner, one of the company's founders. He declined to name the other participants.
"We are in this extended period of test and learn," he said. "It's early days."
The company's technology also allows its customers to control the payment process, rather than acting as another intermediary like Visa or MasterCard, he said.
The technology currently works with QR codes but could be adapted to other methods that connect a user's phone to a retailer, Gardner said.
In the Bank of America trial, Gardner said, one restaurant is using codes printed on receipts, allowing customers to pay at their table and leave.
Paydiant was founded in 2010. It raised $7.6 million in venture capital funding in February 2011, followed by $12 million in July.
The company makes money from a combination of small transaction fees, user fees or revenue from advertisements and offers, Gardner said. Its partners can also generate revenue from the service.
(Reporting By Rick Rothacker in Charlotte, North Carolina)

Behind the public mudslinging, lawmakers still trying to work an online poker deal - Las Vegas Sun News

Behind the public mudslinging, lawmakers still trying to work an online poker deal - Las Vegas Sun News



If the recent airing of the dirty laundry — including the trading of public insults between Sens. Harry Reid and Dean Heller — is any indication, the delicate effort to legalize online poker is mired in deep political quicksand.
While that show has been playing for the public, however, lawmakers are continuing to work on a backup plan, in which they hope to avoid explosive public fights altogether and quietly resolve the poker standoff behind closed doors.
And it appears Plan B — “or D or E,” as Reid Chief of Staff David Krone put it in an interview last Friday — may actually have been the plan all along.
Back in January, just a few weeks after the Department of Justice released an interpretation of the Wire Act that would inspire more than a dozen states to start pursuing their own Internet gaming ventures, Krone sat down to dinner with his then-counterpart in the House, Barry Jackson, former chief of staff to House Speaker John Boehner.
They came up with a plan, Krone said, in which Reid and Boehner could rein in that Wire Act reading while legalizing interstate Internet poker, all without too many fireworks.
The online poker effort being pushed by Nevada’s gaming industry is twofold. First, Congress must halt the proliferation of state-based online gambling made possible last year by the Department of Justice’s interpretation of the Wire Act . Then, Congress must legalize online poker and craft a national scheme for regulating it.
The two-pronged strategy is complicated: While it’s fairly easy to find a filibuster-proof majority of lawmakers who support walking back the Wire Act, lawmakers who then support giving poker special treatment are in shorter supply.
Click to enlarge photo
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and David Krone, right, a member of his staff, meet in Reid's office on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., Monday, Dec. 21, 2009.
But Krone said he and Jackson saw a way around all that: by doing the bulk of the detail work in their own chambers instead of on the floor.
When Reid’s office drafted the poker bill, they produced two versions: a full-fledged bill and a bare-bones “placeholder,” designed to be inserted innocuously into a much larger bill and touching on just enough gaming and poker topics to let lawmakers discuss them in a conference process.
The existence of two versions is important — and not just because a summary of the full-fledged bill has been circulating in public for weeks while the the placeholder language is still under wraps.
The conference process the placeholder version is designed for is how Congress reconciles matters when the House and the Senate have passed related, but not identical, bills. Traditionally, special committees are appointed to do that work, but lately, it has been left to Reid and Boehner.
They can’t bring up new topics in conference. But they can negotiate deals around topics that already are in the bills.
That’s why the placeholder is potentially critical — if a poker placeholder is in even just one version of any Senate or House bill, Reid and Boehner can hash out a deal and deliver it back to the House and Senate for part-and-parcel approval.
But, Krone maintained, it would only work if the Senate went first.
“You guys would need to go first,” Krone said Jackson told him.
A spokesman for Boehner’s office was not able to confirm Tuesday whether Jackson ever did make that deal.
But Heller doesn’t agree that Senate-first is the way forward.
Heller wants to take advantage of the conference process, too. But he thinks that instead of insisting that the Senate lead the way with placeholder language, the House should be allowed to pass a bill getting rid of all online gaming. Then Reid and company can use the conference process to get special dispensation for poker.
“As discussed, it would be beneficial for the House of Representatives to first address this issue and then proceed with Senate action,” Heller wrote in a letter to Reid on Sept. 10.
Click to enlarge photo
Sens. Dean Heller, left, and Harry Reid attend a Memorial Day ceremony in Boulder City on May 30, 2011. They are at odds over how to push online poker legislation in Congress.
On the one hand, he has a point. The Senate already tried once this year to get an Internet gaming placeholder inserted into larger legislation: the Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill.
Emails between Krone and Heller’s former Chief of Staff Mac Abrams document how lawmakers tried, but ultimately failed, to do just that.
But on the other, in Heller’s scenario, getting the two sides into a conference room potentially is much harder — and much riskier for Nevada’s most important industry.
Heller’s scenario would allow House Republicans a tantalizing opportunity to vent their spleen by voting to outlaw all forms of Internet gaming while also taking jabs at three of their favorite targets: President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder and Reid.
The result — a bill with no poker carve-out — would be catastrophic for Nevada, unless Reid is able to counter with a pro-poker answer from the Senate, which would force the all-important conference to take place.
But right now, no one is sure they have the votes to guarantee that outcome.
Reid and Heller have been unable thus far to put together the 60 senators needed to give online poker clear sailing — a fact for which Reid publicly blames Heller and his inability to come up with 15 Republicans willing to vote for a poker-only bill.
But Krone admitted Friday that Reid isn’t entirely sure of their 45 votes either, as they have yet to conduct a whip count or put names to paper. That means that proponents of web poker cannot be sure their interests would be safe under Heller’s scenario. Reid would need a solid coalition of at least 40 to guarantee that any bill coming from the House would be dead on arrival in the Senate — and then 60 to get a bill of his own through.
Krone said it would be tough to get any poker bill — placeholder or otherwise — through Congress during the post-election lame duck period. At this point, the very public flaps about online poker have put lawmakers who are opposed to legalizing the practice on high alert.
If the Senate goes first, the most likely vehicle for poker legislation will be a high-profile tax bill Congress must consider by year’s end.
But if not, Reid said last Friday that he wasn't opposed to the House going first in principle.
“But let them pass the damn thing!" Reid told reporters. "They’ve been waiting for a year.”

Harry Reid Raises the Poker Stakes | Australian online Poker - OzPoker

Harry Reid Raises the Poker Stakes | Australian online Poker - OzPoker


Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has raised the stakes in the battle to legalize online poker. He attempted to brand Senator Dean Heller a failure by stating that passing an online poker bill was “the most important issue facing Nevada since the Yucca Mountain”. By saying such, he has elevated the legislation to a defining part of his own legacy – as significant, in his mind, as freeing the state of a nuclear waste repository.
Is the legislation so important? The effort to legalize online poker whilst still banning all other forms of online gambling is a difficult one, and if Reid fails in the effort, it could seriously impact on the state’s gaming revenue as fewer Americans head to the state to experience real life games.
Casino executives are banking on Reid’s ability to deliver – in their own words, if he doesn’t, they’re ruined. Reid is facing a struggle rounding up enough votes to push the bill, however, and has come under attack for his difficulties. Kristen Orthman said of Reid’s attempt, “Let’s be clear, Sen. Reid has lived up to his part of the agreement and has the votes on his side in support of this bill. the premise of the questions speaks more to the ineffectiveness of those tasked with whipping up the Republican votes. Time and again no one fights harder for Nevada than Sen. Reid and he has the record to back it up.”

Nevada News Bureau » Blog Archive » Heller Says Online Gaming Bill Should Not Be Political Football In Run-up To General Election

Nevada News Bureau » Blog Archive » Heller Says Online Gaming Bill Should Not Be Political Football In Run-up To General Election


CARSON CITY – U.S. Sen. Dean Heller today said online gaming legislation critical to the future of Nevada’s economy should be removed from the world of politics so partisan fights don’t “poison the water” for the bill’s future in Congress.
Heller, interviewed on the Nevada NewsMakers television program, said the legislation is too important to be subjected to political fights between himself and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid between now and the Nov. 6 general election.
U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev.
Reid earlier this month blamed Heller for failing to line up Republican support in the Senate for the measure.
Heller, R-Nev., is locked in a fierce battle with Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., to retain his Senate seat.
“So I believe at the end of the day, we’ll have the 10-15 (GOP) votes that we’re going to need in order to get a bill like this passed,” Heller said. “But we don’t need the politics playing in it today. And we don’t need to poison the water on this also.
“Let’s get the politics out of this,” he said. “Let’s put an important issue like Internet poker to the sidelines during this campaign because it isn’t helping the process. And unfortunately in this case, the process is just as important as the bill itself.”
Heller predicted that after the election, he and Reid will again work together on the Internet poker bill.
“The Internet poker bill was never going to pass before the election,” he said. “It’s going to happen. And I’m still committed, as is Sen. Reid, to get a bill passed.
“When this is all said and done, both sides are going to come together and say, ‘OK, let’s do what’s best for Nevada,’ ” Heller said.
Berkley also criticized Heller on the online gaming issue in a statement released earlier this month: “Once again, Senator Dean Heller has failed to deliver for Nevada’s hardworking families who were counting on online poker legislation to boost the state’s struggling economy and to create thousands of good paying jobs.
“Perhaps Senator Heller shouldn’t have spent so much time cozying up to Wall Street special interests by protecting tax breaks for corporations that ship American jobs overseas and more time doing what Nevada families expect of their elected leaders: putting people back to work,” she said.
During the interview, Heller also criticized Berkley for not spending more time in Northern Nevada in her Senate race, including failing to make any recent appearances on the NewsMakers program. Her last appearance was on Feb. 1, 2011.
“Well, as much time as I spend in Southern Nevada I think she should be spending some time up here in Northern Nevada,” he said.
Berkley has made several campaign appearances in Northern and rural Nevada, including stops in Churchill County over the Labor Day weekend. She also attended an event in Reno on Saturday.
When asked about Berkley’s ongoing ethics problems regarding the preservation of a kidney transplant program in Southern Nevada and whether her actions inappropriately benefited her physician husband, Heller did not hesitate to weigh in.
“She was ethically challenged before,” he said. “She was counsel, she was a lawyer, and she told her boss at this point that you’ve got to buy off county commissioners, you’ve got to buy off judges, you’ve got to hire their children into your business in order to get favorable treatment from those judges and from those county commissioners.
“Now she’s in the United States Congress and her activity hasn’t changed,” Heller said.
Heller was referencing a memo written by Berkley to her then Las Vegas Sands Inc. boss Sheldon Adelson that first surfaced in 1998 during her first bid for Congress. The memo has been the subject of a political ad critical of Berkley in her Senate race.
In response to the Crossroads GPS ad, the Berkley campaign told the Las Vegas Review-Journal in August that the episode was old news and has been overshadowed by Berkley winning re-election six times.
“Leave it to George W. Bush’s political director, Karl Rove, to dredge up something from two decades ago that voters made a judgment on during Shelley’s very first campaign for Congress,” campaign spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa, told the newspaper.
In the NewsMakers interview, Heller described her activities when working for Adelson as “trying to bribe judges and county commissioners” and the current controversy as “lining her own pockets as a member of the United States Congress.”
Heller was asked why he accepted $10,000 from Republican Sen. David Vitter, R-La., who is on Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington’s annual list of the “most corrupt members” of Congress as is Berkley with a “dishonorable mention” for a second year in a row.
Heller sidestepped the question, responding by saying, “how hard do you have to work to be on the most corrupt list two years in a row?”
-
Audio clips:
Sen. Dean Heller says the Internet poker legislation is too important to be a political football in the November election:
Heller says Berkley’s ethics problems go back many years:

New Illinois Gambling Expansion Could Come Next Year « CBS St. Louis

New Illinois Gambling Expansion Could Come Next Year « CBS St. Louis


SPRINGFIELD, IL (IRN) - There could be a deal on gambling expansion just days into the New Year.
Gov. Pat Quinn is confident lawmakers will take up gambling expansion and a deal should be in place before new lawmakers are sworn in on Jan. 9, 2013.
“I really feel we will address this issue and hopefully resolve it by the 9th of January, which is the deadline for this session of the General Assembly,” Quinn says. He says any bill must include strong ethics and oversight.
The governor also believes there should be dedicated funding from gambling proceeds for education.
“When I vetoed the legislation before, it did not have dedicated earmarked money for education and I think that’s absolutely required, imperative if we are going to do this,” Quinn said.
Legislation Quinn vetoed would have allowed fiv

NIGC Approves Extension of Butler National - Stables Casino Management Agreement

NIGC Approves Extension of Butler National - Stables Casino Management Agreement


NIGC Approves Extension of Butler National - Stables Casino Management Agreement

OLATHE, Kan.Sept. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Butler National Corporation (OTC Bulletin Board "BUKS") a recognized provider of professional management services in the gaming industry, announces that the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) has approved a fourth five-year term of management agreement between the Modoc Tribe of Oklahoma and Butler National Service Corporation for The Stables casino. The approval continues Butler National as manager of The Stables into 2018. The Stables opened for business inSeptember 1998.

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and the regulations of the NIGC require the NIGC Chairperson to approve changes to management contracts for all gaming operations on Indian lands. The change to the management contract extended the contract term.

The Stables casino is a Class III gaming establishment in Miami, Oklahomaowned by the Modoc Tribe. The Stables features Class III games permitted under the Compact with the State of Oklahoma and Bingo games permitted under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. The Class III games include Las Vegas-style electronic games and table games. The Stables draws many of its customers from the local communities in ArkansasKansasMissouri and Oklahoma, tourists traveling Interstate 44, as well as tourists attending the Branson, Missouriattractions.

Clark Stewart, President and Chief Executive Officer of Butler National Corporation said, "We are extremely pleased to receive this contract extension. We have a great working relationship with the Modoc Tribe and the NIGC. Northeast Oklahoma has become a tourist destination with the help of Indian gaming. The benefits to the tribes and local community from gaming have been very positive. The past fourteen years have been, and we fully expect will continue to be, a successful and profitable relationship for the Modoc Tribe and Butler. We look forward to the challenges and growth opportunities that lie ahead with Indian Gaming."
Our Business:
Butler National Corporation operates in the Aerospace and Services business segments. The Aerospace segment focuses on the manufacturing of support systems for "Classic" commercial and military aircraft including the Butler National TSD for the Boeing 737 and 747 Classic aircraft, switching equipment for Boeing McDonnell Douglas Aircraft, weapon control systems for Boeing Helicopter and performance enhancement structural modifications for Learjet, Cessna, Dassault and Beechcraft business aircraft. Services include electronic monitoring of water pumping stations, temporary employee services, gaming services and administrative management services.

Forward-Looking Information:
The information set forth above includes "forward-looking statements" as outlined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Words such as "anticipate," "estimate," "expect," "project," "intend," "may," "plan," "predict," "believe," "should" and similar words or expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, and the Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements reflect the present expectation of future events of our management and are subject to a number of important factors, risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. These factors and risks include, but are not limited to the Cautionary Statements and Risk Factors, filed as Exhibit 99 and Section 1A to the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K, incorporated herein by reference. Investors are specifically referred to such Cautionary Statements and Risk Factors for discussion of factors, which could affect the Company's operations, and forward-looking statements contained herein.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Reign Strategy and Investment Group
Ph  (914) 479-9060
Lou Albert Rodriguez

lou.albert@reigninvestment.com

www.reigninvestment.com



Jim Drewitz, Public Relations
Ph  (830) 669-2466
jim@jdcreativeoptions.com

www.jdcreativeoptions.com

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

N.J. Casino Expansion Is Opposed - WSJ.com

N.J. Casino Expansion Is Opposed - WSJ.com


ATLANTIC CITY—Most New Jerseyans oppose expanding casino gambling beyond Atlantic City, and also oppose granting state tax breaks to casino companies, according to a poll released Monday.
The Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind Poll shows 56 percent of voters surveyed are opposed to casinos anywhere else but in Atlantic City. Thirty-five percent say casinos should be added elsewhere in the state.
"The appetite to expand casino gambling options beyond Atlantic City for New Jerseyans is not there yet," said Krista Jenkins, director of PublicMind and a professor of political science at the university.
With Atlantic City mired in a 5½-year slump brought on by the opening of new casinos in states all around it, the drumbeat to allow casinos in the Meadowlands sports complex and at the state's four horse racing tracks is growing louder, particularly among northern New Jersey politicians and the horse racing industry.
But the New Jersey casino industry, backed strongly by southern New Jersey politicians and Gov. Chris Christie, says allowing casinos in other places could decimate Atlantic City's multibillion-dollar casino market. Mr. Christie says the resort needs at least five years to enable reforms he proposed and were implemented by the legislature to have a chance to succeed.
Tony Rodio, president of the Tropicana Casino and Resort and head of the Casino Association of New Jersey, said he is encouraged by the poll numbers.
"It supports the position that the Casino Association and the governor have taken, that we need to focus on Atlantic City and not expand to other parts of the state," Mr. Rodio said. "The majority of people in New Jersey feel that way, and it's the exact right course of action."
But Assemblyman Ralph Caputo, a Democrat from northern New Jersey, is trying to get a Constitutional amendment on the ballot next year that would allow casino gambling in the Meadowlands and other areas.

‘Online games involving betting not legal’ | The Asian Age

‘Online games involving betting not legal’ | The Asian Age


A city court has said that online games involving money cannot be held to be legal and websites hosting them cannot be given any protection under the Constitution. The court said that websites hosting online games involving betting and charging a part of the winning prize from participants is “illegal” in states which prohibit gambling and banks can refuse services to such websites.
Additional district judge (ADJ) Ina Malhotra said, “Betting on games of skill played in the physical form has been opined as legal by the apex court. However, all these games... conducted by gaming sites offering prize money and partaking a slice of winning hand are illegal in states which prohibit gambling.”
“The online gaming, even pertaining to the games of skill, offered by websites involving money cannot be held to be legal and therefore banks can refuse to provide normal banking services to such websites.”
The order came on a petition filed by a firm, an Internet startup company founded by an IIT-Delhi alumni and some others.
The company, in its petition, said that it is proposing to launch a website offering six games — chess, billiards, rummy, poker, bridge and snooker.
The court also dealt with the queries posed by the petitioner firm regarding protection under Article 19 (1)(g) of the Constitution which deals with right to practice any profession and carry out any trade or business. “Sports betting is an offence in India and bookies earning money from bets laid on games of skill cannot be granted protection under Article 19(1)(g) of the Indian Constitution,” it said.

City hires lobbyist to push for Indian gaming casino | gaming, hires, indian - Desert Dispatch

City hires lobbyist to push for Indian gaming casino | gaming, hires, indian - Desert Dispatch


BARSTOW • For more than a decade, the city has been pursuing an Indian gaming casino with hopes to spur economic development and add more than 1,000 jobs to the area.

The Barstow City Council approved a $4,000 per month state lobbyist contract with Joe A. Gonsalves & Son to push for support of Barstow Casino and Resort at the state Legislature.
The proposed $160 million Los Coyotes Barstow development is expected to create more than 1,000 permanent jobs and 1,065 construction jobs to Barstow and its surrounding areas, said Assistant City Manager Oliver Chi in an email.

“More recently, it became apparent that the city needed a more proactive presence in the state capital,” Chi said. “In addition to the Indian gaming casino project, issues such as the dissolution of redevelopment agencies and the passage of unfunded local mandates created the need for Barstow to be more involved in Sacramento.”

The city will monitor legislation that would impact Barstow, such as working with the State Water Resources Control Board on wastewater treatment plant and flood control improvements, Chi said.

Barstow has budgeted $50,000 from its general fund for the contract, which may be terminated with 30 days notice at any time.

Seneca Indian and state of New York dispute may be resolved :: GamingToday.com

Seneca Indian and state of New York dispute may be resolved :: GamingToday.com


It has been a dozen years since the Seneca Indian Nation elected to withhold gambling revenue payments to the state of New York and local communities from its casino operations.
Now, with an agreement between the state and the tribe, the dispute involving some $460 million may be resolved. The two sides have agreed to submit the dispute to a three-member board to arbitrate the disagreement.
Named to the board were Court of Appeals Chief Judge Judith Kaye, University of Arkansas Law School Dean Stacy Leeds, and N.Y. City lawyer Henry Gutman.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for early October.
Ray Poirier is the longtime executive editor at GamingToday.

Google Says Gamers Are Searching For Their Favorite Titles More, And Earlier, Than Ever | TechCrunch

Google Says Gamers Are Searching For Their Favorite Titles More, And Earlier, Than Ever | TechCrunch


posted yesterday
game search volume
Google just released a research paper with the grandiose title “Understanding the Modern Gamer,” which looks at search and purchase activity around blockbuster video game titles. The conclusion: Gamers are doing more searching than ever related to their favorite games, and they’re doing it over the space of a full year year.
The subtext: Hey video game publishers, maybe you should buy some ads from Google, especially in the months before a game launches.
Google says the data is based on “the hundreds of millions of video game searches” (both desktop and mobile) that occurred around the top 20 selling games of 2010 and 2011. The company found that desktop searches increased 20 percent year-over-year, while mobile searches increased 168 percent.
There’s a lifecycle to a gaming launch, and Google looked at search volume over that period. For 2011 titles, on average, 40 percent of searches took place in the six months before the launch, 28 percent took place in the month before, and 32 percent took place in the three months afterwards.
“Users are planning, researching, and considering their video game purchases a lot earlier (6 months), and continuing to engage with the game – by downloading reviews, discussing game strategies and purchasing extra game features online, for about 4 months after their initial purchase,” the company says in a blog post summarizing the research.
google video game chart 1
Regarding those first six months, Google writes, “For marketers, this longer, more engaged research phase is a key moment to influence users’ purchase decisions.” It points approvingly to EA for taking out ads alongside search results and in YouTube to promote its game trailers during this period.
As you can tell from the growth numbers, mobile is an increasingly important part of the equation, now accounting for one in five “purchase-related searches” and one in four “tips-related searches.” That last part makes sense if you imagine someone playing a game on their TV, then looking for hints and walkthroughs on their phones when they get stuck.
And yes, those ads seem to be related to actual sales (which isn’t quite the same as establishing that the ads caused the sales). Google says that 84 percent of game sales were predicted by ad clicks during the 10 months surrounding the launch. For example, if a game’s ads get 250,000 clicks during that period, it will probably sell between 2 and 4 million copies in the first four months.
Update: Apparently Google’s blog post with the research paper isn’t live yet. Once it is, I’ll update this post with a link. Here’s the Google post.

Venetian launched the plush new Sands Poker Room :: GamingToday.com

Venetian launched the plush new Sands Poker Room :: GamingToday.com



Venetian launched the plush new Sands Poker RoomSeptember 25, 2012 3:01 AM by H. Scot Krause
Just last week, The Venetian Las Vegas launched the plush new Sands Poker Room inside the grandiose hotel, delivering a new experience to players seeking both value and atmosphere on the Las Vegas Strip.
As a part of a total refresh of the casino floor, the new poker room is both elegant and expansive. At more than 14,000 square feet, housing 59 tables and accommodating up to 600 players, it is the largest poker room on the Strip and set to become one of the world’s favorite card rooms.
“The new Sands Poker Room at The Venetian is a player’s room in every way,” comments Kathy Raymond, Venetian executive director of poker operations, an avid poker player who was recently inducted into the Women in Poker Hall of Fame.
“We have carefully integrated new poker room features and services – keeping poker player needs front-of-mind. We believe the atmosphere and addition of innovative and value-centered promotions and tournaments will give players of all levels a poker experience like no other.”
The original Venetian poker room opened in 2006 and quickly became one of the most popular venues on the Las Vegas Strip. The newly expanded room provides a fresh design, new furniture, new player services, and a new name – a nod to parent company Las Vegas Sands and to the original Sands Hotel that was a favorite of gamblers for more than four decades.
To further celebrate its launch, The Venetian is introducing a host of new promotions for the Sands Poker Room including:
• Poker Happy Hour. The all-new program gives players the opportunity to take advantage of amazing daily rake-free periods, from 10-11 a.m. and from 5-6 p.m., Sunday through Thursday.
• Point conversion: A Las Vegas first! To celebrate the opening of the new room, all poker cash game comps that are currently issued to Grazie card holders can now be converted into payment or discount for poker tournament buy-ins. Grazie is the loyalty program (traditionally known as a slot club card) for The Venetian and The Palazzo, which rewards guests with the ease and usability of just one card and one program.
• Bad Beat Jackpots: Part of the daily schedule. The jackpot fund starts at $5,000 and will be paid out when Quad Tens are beaten in any daily tournament, but it doesn’t stop there. Every other week the poker room staff will add $1,000 to the jackpot and reduce the qualifying criteria from Quad Tens, to Nines, Eights and so on. Once the jackpot has been hit it will automatically re-seed to $5,000.
For more information about the new Sands Poker Room at The Venetian, and the upcoming promotions and grand opening events, go to www.sandspokerroom.com.
Binion’s
The Gambling Hall touts “good whiskey and a good gamble” and the poker room upholds that tradition. Current promotions in the legendary home of the original World Series of Poker offers a Free Rake from 9 a.m. until noon Monday through Friday.
On Monday nights during the NFL season, you’ll find a High Hand Promotion. The top three hands of the night from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. during Monday Night’s game collect first prize of $300. Second is worth $200, and third collects $100 on a minimum flush or better to qualify.
Also offered are bonus payouts for straight flushes and royal flushes during all poker games and daily tournaments held at 10 a.m., 2 p.m., and 8 p.m. For more information call  702-366-7361.
May the “nuts” be with you.
Contact Scot Krause at ScotKrause@GamingToday.com