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The Bear Growls

By LVBear

Long-time Las Vegas-based advantage player, casino critic, and frequent and BJ Insider contributor LVBear offers his opinions on things that sometimes go wrong in the world of casinos.  Current and past growls can be read and comments posted at LVBear's website,

The Bear Growls:   Former Nevada Governor Kenny Guinn attempting to join MGM Grand board of directors

If anyone somehow still had any doubt that casinos are the de facto government of Nevada, that doubt can now be put to rest.   The former governor, out of office because of term limits, is now sleeping with dogs.  Unethical dogs at that.  I hope he gets fleas.  Another embarrassment for Nevada.  Shame on Governor Guinn.

Link to news article

He said he chose MGM Mirage because of the company's reputation and his relationships with higher-ups. "It's a very, very fine company, well run, with excellent management and a very fine board," he said. "I've known many of those people for many, many years."

The folks whose money the MGM Grand has attempted to delay payment of or outright steal might not agree with Governor Guinn's assessment of the MGM Grand.

Links to information about some of MGM's Grand's previous unethical behavior:

MGM Grand and Gaming Control Board conspire to harass patron trying to cashing chips

Regulators side with gamblers in cases of confiscated chips

The Bear Growls:   Ridiculous rip-off of suckers by Hollywood Casino in Aurora, Illinois, apparently targeting sick, addicted gamblers

Link to article

...  Last week, the property began offering a service called Reservation Blackjack. It allows gamblers to phone ahead to reserve a seat at a $5 minimum table. There's a price to pay: $20 per person for each hour of play. This fact complicates the economic dynamics of the game for serious players who, depending on their level of skill, can keep the theoretical house advantage on blackjack down to around one and a half percent or less.

The idea of a tiny-stakes player being asked to pay twenty dollars for the "privilege" of losing his or her money at a casino that, according to
Current Blackjack News is not even offering a reasonable game of blackjack is repugnant. Hollywood’s red-chip tables have horrible eight-deck games with bad rules and awful penetration.  This is taking such advantage of suckers ("good casino customers") that it's nauseating, even by the low standards usually set by casinos. 

This rip-off reaches a disgusting new low for piggish greed by the casino bosses.  I am disgusted that the Illinois Gaming Commission, which sometimes actually takes some meaningful action in cases of casino wrongdoing (unlike its worthless counterpart in Nevada), allows this.   What a scam!

I am all for free enterprise; the suckers simply have to say NO to this appalling bit of casino greed.  But the holders of a privileged license should be held to some minimum standards of decency and good taste.  This scam falls way, way below what those standards should be. No rational tiny-stakes player would pay this fee.  The casino is obviously trying to attract the sick, addicted gamblers with this scam.  Shame on Hollywood Aurora.

Note:  Hollywood Aurora did not respond to a request for comment.


The Bear Growls:  Did the U.S. government bully Neteller out of Canada?

Neteller’s announcement that it was ceasing doing business with Canadians makes no sense from a business perspective.  The only plausible explanation that comes to mind is that the U.S. Department of Justice, as part of its taxpayer money-wasting witch hunt against online sportsbook and casino operators, pressured Neteller into making this decision. 

The gall of the bloated, self-important windbags in the Department of Justice of interfering with an honest, efficient business operating legally under the laws of the countries it is based in is an embarrassment to public officials everywhere.  I am still wondering who is really behind this absurd attack on online casinos and the various businesses that serve them and their patrons.  I hope someday we will find out, and the creeps responsible for this interference with commerce will be brought to justice.


  The Bear Growls: Fox guarding henhouse — casino attorney to head committee on how to "improve" Nevada’s judicial system

News article

MGM Mirage Senior Vice President Paula Gentile will lead the 33-member commission that is charged with improving Nevada’s judicial system.

I don’t know Ms. Gentile and have no reason to believe she is anything but ethical, honorable, and an outstanding citizen. But the idea of having this committee chaired by counsel for one of the big players in an industry that has done more to corrupt Nevada government than all others industries combined strikes me as absurd. Did the folks making this appointment really not see the obvious conflict of interest?

It would be almost funny if it wasn’t so sad.

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