Tag Archives: Gambling

Singapore gov’t fails at yet another commercial

Oh Singapore, you’ve definitely given us a lot of material to work with over the years. In this latest case of good-intentions-gone-wrong, the government produced this commercial in order to get people to kick their gambling habits. Now that the island city-state has a casino (it opened its first one in 2010), it’s upping its local efforts to convince its citizens about the ills of gambling.

Maybe they should’ve waited until after the game was over, because the sad boy in the commercial who talked about his father gambling all his savings away on Germany, should now be a very happy boy after Germany’s win on Tuesday. One YouTuber commented, “His dad is probably like, “WHAT I TELL YA BITCH!?”

Sumo wrestling: is this the end?

I’m interested to see what the outcome will be for the recent Sumo backlash — with their reputation being ruined by tales of marijuana, gambling, and being bedfellows with the yakuza or Japanese mob. The AP describes Sumo as “more than a sport to Japan. It’s like a religion, a bastion of traditional culture and a matter of national pride.” However, the sport is not as respected as it once was, especially after the latest dirty revelation of the wrestlers using the services of Japanese gangsters to do illegal betting on professional baseball games.

sumo

Fans are angry with their beloved sport’s tarnished reputation, and the reaction has been extreme. NHK, Japan’s national broadcasting channel, has decided not to give the tournament live television coverage, the first time since 1953.

In Japan, what Americans would consider as minor offenses can tarnish your reputation and ruin your career. That’s what happened in 2007 with artiste Erika Sawaraji, who was caught saying, “Oh, shit!” by the paparazzi and gave short answers during a press conference to which reporters spun as rude. Sawaraji was a promising young star who at that time was the only singer in 39 years to have her first two singles ranked number one on the charts. She never managed to make a comeback.

This is such a contrast with America, where most of the times scandals can become a blessing in disguise. Here, sex tapes a la Paris Hilton can rocket you to celebrity stardom and give you the power to trademark such phrases as “That’s hot.” And, not to mention that cheating politicians have their sordid stories turned into movies.

Will Sumo wrestlers still be chick magnets after all this?

(Thanks, DTP!)

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Don’t fall off the cliff of this 650ft high swimming pool

Move over, Vegas — looks like my hometown is gunning to be the next gambling hotspot.  Check out these seriously stunning poolside views from Singapore’s newest luxury casino, and the world’s most expensive hotel, the Marina Bay Sands.  The “infinity” pool is 150 meters long, which is three times the length of an Olympic sized pool, and sits 55 floors high.  Don’t worry, though – it’s not actually a sheer drop.  The water spills into a catchment area, where the water gets pumped back up into the main pool.

Now if only I had $530 a night to burn…

singapore swimming pool marina bay sands

singapore marina bay sands

marina bay sands singapore

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(Thanks, mom!)

Cardstacker breaks world record with 35-ft replica of Macau casino

Bryan Berg, a 34-year old American, just broke his own record for the highest free-standing card structure.  His latest masterpiece?  A 35-foot replica of the Venetian Macau Resort Hotel.  The real hotel spans 1.2 million square-feet and is the world’s largest resort hotel.  Berg spent 44 days stacking 218,792 cards to create the elaborate structure.  Impressive, but talk about having too much time on your hands.

Trained as an architect, Berg has a master’s degree from Harvard Graduate School of Design and told CBS News that he’s taken enough structural engineering “to be dangerous.”  It seems as though he just can’t help figuring out how to build things, even when he’s just playing around with cards.

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Singapore opens its first casino on Chinese New Year

casino_opening_eventsHappy Chinese New Year!  And what better way to spend your red packet money than to blow it on blackjack, poker and slot machines?  Well, that’s what Singapore’s first casino hopes.  After much anticipation, the Resorts World Sentosa’s opening date was scheduled on Chinese New Year, and it welcomed its first customer at the auspicious time of 12.18 p.m. In Cantonese, “twelve eighteen” sounds just like “Sure easy, sure money.”

Singapore, already home to the highest density of millionaires in the world, is banking on the casinos to boost economic growth through increased tourism revenue.  The second casino, which is being built by Las Vegas Sands, will open later this year.

In order to prevent Singaporeans from turning into gambling addicts, the casinos have instituted a $71 entrance fee for Singaporean citizens and PR residents. I guess this is when holding two passports come in handy!

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In a growing Thanksgiving tradition, Chinese trade turkey for poker

“Thanksgiving doesn’t mean a lot to us; it’s a vacation,” said Chan Juan Zhou, a 21-year-old college student who lives in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, to the NY Times.  While many families in America celebrate the holiday with turkey, pumpkin pie and mashed potatoes, Chan Juan began her Thanksgiving weekend with her friends on Wednesday night in Chinatown, jammed on a bus headed to Mohegan Sun Casino.

Mohegan Sun Casino

It isn’t the most traditional way of celebrating the holiday, but it seems heading to casinos for Thanksgiving is nonetheless becoming a tradition of its own, at least for Chinese people. Starting decades ago, the Thanksgiving casino pilgrimage gained popularity among Chinese immigrants because it was one of the only days that Chinese restaurants are closed, or at least run by a skeleton staff.

For casinos, this means big business. “On any other day, 50 buses might run between Mohegan Sun and New York’s Chinatown, Flushing and Brooklyn; on Thanksgiving, there are 100,” writes the NY Times.  Mohegan Sun even lines up a Chinese pop star to perform every year—this year, they got Taiwanese singer Show Luo to perform.  Smart marketing, since Chinese people filled the casino’s 1,200 hotel rooms by Wednesday, ready to bet big bucks on Chinese games like Pai Gow tiles and Pai Gow poker.

I suppose there’s nothing like being thankful for a big money weekend.

Read the NY Times front page article here.