The Culinary Arts – Casinos That Create World Class Food

When most of us think about casinos we think high rollers, slot machines, felt card tables and slots. But, there’s more to these lavish establishments than a good game of poker. Here are some of the best casinos to indulge your fine-dining experience.

Café Martinique – Chef Jean Georges Vongerichten – Atlantis, Bahamas

Image Via Flickr User Pato Barragán

Located in the beautiful Bahamian Atlantis casino, Café Martinique gives you the fine dining experience with an intoxicating air of relaxed, island hospitality. The restaurant itself is decorated with beautiful dark woods, wrought-iron birdcage elevators and a fabulous glass-etching artwork. The cuisine is predominantly French which is indeed Chef Jean Georges Vongerichten’s specialty.

Bobby Flay Steak – Chef Bobby Flay – Borgata Hotel Casino, Atlantic City

The name “Bobby Flay” is common among foodies and lovers of fine cuisine. So, it’s no wonder people flock to his restaurant in Atlantic City to catch a taste of fine lobster and decadent steaks. The atmosphere is elegant with a relaxed and comfortable demeanor; the perfect place to take a load off and enjoy your evening.

The Picasso Restaurant – Chef Julian Serrano – Bellagio, Las Vegas

Elegant, elaborate and full of entertaining thralls, the Bellagio is one of the most famous casinos in the world. It is known for its decadent structures and beautiful fountains, as well as, it’s astounding Picasso Restaurant. Adorned with authentic Picasso paintings, this restaurant has its fair share of exorbitant dishes with inspirations from both the Spanish and French European regions. The décor also resembles a classic French restaurant with open areas of fluid lighting and meticulous seating.

Besh Steak – Chef John Besh – Harrah’s, New Orleans

New Orleans has more to offer than its trademark Jazz, incredible city-wide parties and mysterious history. It’s also home to some of the most refined and mouthwatering dishes known to modern man. Chef John Besh is known for both his astounding knowledge around a good cut of steak as well as his ability to create the most decadent desserts. From Père Roux’s Cake to their handsome array of articulate wines, Besh Steak is sure to carve out a large place in your heart.

Waku Ghin – Chef Tetsuya Wakuda – Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

The Waku Ghin is located at the beautiful Marina Bay Sands casino in Singapore. The atmosphere is close and intimate, lending itself to a simple and relaxed dining experience. Their succulent dining delicacies range from their artful marinated Botan Shrimp with a sea urchin bowl, topped with Oscietra caviar to their astounding Waku Ghin Gimlet (beverage). Each dish is perfectly crafted and arranged for you to enjoy as both a taste of authentic, high-end Asian cuisine as well as a delicate work of art.

If you’re a foodie by nature or just a connoisseur of fine and delectable foods, these dishes, chefs and casinos have something for everyone. Each of these restaurants has a bit of flair and brings a different spin on both classic and exotic dishes to the table. Each of these chefs have put their hearts and souls into creating a dining experience that will resonate in your mind for years to come.

How to Develop a Winning Mentality

Developing a winning mentality is something that can be important throughout someone’s entire lifetime. Many people might think that they have a winner’s mentality when in actuality they are only confident. There are some particular things that one can do to help develop an attitude of those who win on a consistent basis. The following are just a few things that can help you get into a winning mindset next time you are playing a sport or sitting down for a game of poker.

Image Via Flickr User World Poker Tour

Put Your Foot Down And Make A Decision To Be A Winner

First you need to make a definitive decision to that you’re going to win, and win all the time. It sounds easier than it really is, conquering self doubt and working self esteem is a very tough thing to do and is something many people struggle with.  It’s easy to have negative thoughts creep their way into your mind, the goal is crush and completely ignore these thoughts, erase them from your mind.

In order to have a winning mentality, you need to have the positivity and confidence to you know you’re going to win. But of course, changing your mindset to a positive, winning one, won’t automatically make you start winning everything all at once. The confidence that you build  in your mind will, gradually bring more wins. Making the decision to think positive and like a winner is your first step.

Take Risks And Don’t Be Afraid To Fail

Risks and failure are scary. However with great risks come either great reward or great failure. Don’t think of these as failures though, they’re learning advancements. It’s what you have to do to make the right adjustments, so the next time you take a risk, you have a better chance of coming out a winner. The biggest winners in the world have failed a countless amount of times. If your business fails, learn what and why it failed, make the adjustments, learn from your mistakes and try again. You must fail to become a winner, the differences between losers and winners, is that winner learn, get back up and don’t quit.

Get Rid Of Negative Influences

Negative energy can be detrimental to a person’s life in many ways. Negative influences are the main culprit when it comes to people not having control of their life and leaving what happens to them up to chance even when they can control the outcome. Negative influences can come in the form of people who do not believe in you or respect you. These are not always the easiest to spot, some negative influences, especially people, may have been around your entire life. Asking the people to stop being negative is an easy fix but if they do not abide by this then cutting them out of your life might be the only option.

Find A Mentor

Having someone help you change your mentality not only is a good support system but can also be great motivation. Pick a mentor with a positive outlook, perhaps one that had made the transition from a losing mentality to a winning mentality, as you’ll learn from their experiences. Find someone you admire and respect for the positive and confident outlook in life. Whether it’s a friend, colleague, family member or someone you seek out, being able to trust and confide in them is an important characteristic for them to have.

Staying confident in yourself and believing in yourself is the core of all of these tips and is crucial to becoming a winner. This may not be the handbook to developing a winning mentality, but it’s a great place to start when trying to make a change. What are some tips that you think should be on the list?

The Gender Wars: Which Sex is Better At Gambling

When it comes to gambling, there are plenty of statistics on almost everything under the sun, but we’re here today to tackle one of the more contentious, and less talked about questions that everyone has asked at least once in their life: “Are women better than men at gambling?”

No matter what side of the argument you come out on, it’s an extremely interesting debate. Not only has science shown that there are plenty of differences between the way men and women think about gambling as an activity, but there has been plenty of bad science that has tried to ‘prove’ the link between one gender’s ability to gamble using inference. We’re going to dispel with all of that and get down to the facts, answering the age old question: Which sex is better at gambling?

Who Gambles More?

Image Via Flickr User Zdenko Zivkovic

One of the most common arguments used when this topic is brought up in a discussion is the idea that men tend to gamble more, so they must have a better chance of winning on average given their greater familiarity with the games that they are playing. This makes sense generally, since most skill activities become easier over time, but this argument has one fatal flaw when it comes to gambling – while casino gaming is much more heavily male dominated, online gaming is almost a 50/50 split, with some female-only casinos opening up online to cater to this increased feminine clientele, meaning that there is a fairly high familiarity with gambling in either camp.

What makes it even harder to use this analogy is the fact that women and men tend to play different games as well, especially when it comes to more aggressive games (like those played against other players or against a dealer), which are still generally male dominated. Less aggressive games, namely slots, enjoy a much higher female player pool. This is a huge factor, and it leads us to our next point.

Brain Chemistry: Or Why We Gamble In The First Place

Image Via Flickr User uci.research

The biggest problem when it comes to the great ‘better gambler’ debate is the fact that women and men tend to think differently about gambling, which comes down to questions of how their brains process the information, joy, and frustration that comes from actually sitting down and gambling. Not only do men and women think differently about gambling, they actually end up going to a casino (or going online) to gamble for different reasons. This is directly tied to differences in how the brain processes gambling in men and women. According to the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) study, men tended to do better on the first set of gambling tasks they were given, and on top of that showed a higher rate of learning how to improve when they repeated the task in a second trial. This was directly tied to their brain activity as well, where men showed a much better ability to utilize the Orbitofrontal cortex (the part of the brain that directly affects decision making) over the women who were given the same test.

While this test would lead you to immediately believe that men are the best gamblers, it isn’t that clear cut. While the IGT study specifically looked at men versus women on a task that was created as to be closely related to gambling, a Harvard study came out recently which focused on real life gambling in over 40 thousand people and it tells a different story. What they learned was that women were actually much better at some types of betting, one specific instance being sports betting, with a 15% greater win-rate on average. The difficult factor for many is that while women tend to be better, on average, they also have less interest in sports betting so there are fewer women taking advantage of that edge.

One key factor that muddies the waters in these studies is the fact that people (and as it turns out genders) will gamble for different reasons. Men tend to be looking to win money, leading to a higher level of risk taking (gambling is also positively correlated with testosterone) when they are gambling. Women, on the other hand, still want to win money but look more as gambling as a release from their day to day lives and any stress that they are feeling. Their brain is rewarding them every time they go and gamble, just for being there, while men are trying to experience the ‘thrill of the chase’, that reward they get when they win big at a game. It may seem strange for a guy to look at women who are only interested in playing ‘a few spins’ at slots and then going to the bar, but for them it’s much more of a way to get out and be social rather than to win a huge amount of money, and at that they’ve succeeded.

Interestingly, this means that most conversations will end in a tie, as women might be the better decision makers and win out on average, but they end up not really being interested in playing those games where they have an edge, instead they end up moving toward more entertainment and socially-oriented games like slots. This is borne out in a broader study from Debi LaPlante at Harvard, who looked at problem gamblers by gender to see if she could come up with a few details to add to the conversation about how gamblers differ in their focus. Out of the 12 games that she looked at, the ones that women disproportionately spent time on over men were bingo and slots, both games that are generally played with friends or as a group.

Why It’s Different For Women Online

Image Via Flickr User JohnSeb

In the first section, you realized that casinos are a terrible representation of the ‘average’ gambler, as most women tend to go online and far fewer go to the casino. In the second section, you learned that women tend to see gambling as more of an entertainment option (like going to the movies) and about socializing, rather than about the actual money being won or lost. This is even true when they have a statistical edge in a particular gambling type; instead of following through and exploiting it, they end up gravitating toward the more enjoyable (albeit less profitable) options. The biggest question is though, is it different for women online? Again, the answer has to do more with how the genders are using gambling than where they are doing it.

For women, the idea of gambling online is incredibly appealing. When they have the ability to log on for a few minutes (or hours) and blow off some steam by doing some gambling online, they get all of the entertainment of going to a casino without actually taking a trip anywhere. Men, on the other hand, tend to focus on going to a casino for a purpose (to win money), meaning that they are more likely to spend large chunks of time at the casino, so a trip doesn’t add much to their overall time commitment.

Additionally, the idea of winning money can translate much more easily when you actually get to see a payout in actual currency at the end of a big night. This shows in the details as well, with more women spending many small chunks of time gambling (due to the high percentage of female players online) while men will end up spending fewer, larger chunks of time gambling, and often at casinos.

The other interesting aspect that draws women to online gambling is the fact that the always-on, low-stakes nature of an online casino means that they can take their first steps into gaming in an environment that allows for small bets, making it a much lower risk proposition for those women who don’t fully understand the rules right away.

On top of the lower stakes, having the anonymity of a username instead of using your own name or face means that any upsides and downsides of being a particular gender are eliminated. This can be a major benefit to women especially, as the downsides of trying to break into a largely male gambling contingent in an offline casino can be daunting. Given the huge growth in female gamblers (a vast majority of which are online) over the past few years, these trends seem poised to continue into the future.

So Who’s The Best When It Comes To Gambling?

While our answer might frustrate a few people reading this, the truth is that both genders are equally good at gambling, since they are doing it for different reasons. Men tend to want the money, while women want more of the social and entertainment value of gaming (and it probably doesn’t hurt that they can drag their male friends along with them). This is one of the few situations that you’ll find where both sides can honestly say that they win.

The most important thing is that both men and women can also learn something about each other from this article. Men, it’s fun to win big, but looking at gambling also as a way to just blow off some steam and enjoy some time away from the rest of your life can make those big wins even better and those tough losses hurt a little less. Women, you can learn no matter how much joy you get out of just playing the game, knowing how to strategize and figure out the systems to help you win more often can improve your entertainment value (by giving you more playing time with the same investment), and it can even result in a big, potentially life-changing win

 

The 5 Best Casino Movies Ever

Since movies came onto the scene, people have been obsessed with creating an atmosphere that could suck audiences into the magical world of casino nights and gambling delights. What better way to dive into the exciting world of Blackjack and Roulette than to explore these top five casino movies.

Casino Royale (2006)

Daniel Craig’s first, beautifully crafted shot at creating his version of the iconic MI6 agent, James Bond, Casino Royale follows the green 00 agent into the throes of a ridiculous and obscenely high-stakes poker game. Bond must find a way to beat the conniving weapons dealer, Le Chiffre (Mads Mickelson), in order to complete his mission. Casino Royale grossed $167,007,184 and led to three more sequels in the new Bond franchise.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)

Following the twisted, hallucinogenic adventures of Raoul Duke (Johnny Depp) and Dr. Gonzo (Benicio Del Toro), Fear and Loathing in Last Vegas puts a whole new spin on what it means to gamble through dazzling rose colored glasses. While these two wanted to get their hands on riches, it seems that Lady Luck may have had a different path for them to take in the long run, though not altogether bad. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas grossed $10,680,275 in the US.

Ocean’s Eleven (1960/2001)

Filmed in 1960 then remade in 2001, Ocean’s Eleven follows the mischievous antics of Danny Ocean (Frank Sinatra/George Clooney) and his misguided band of friends as they try to rob several Las Vegas casinos all at once. In the original version of the film, Danny Ocean pulled off five casino robberies while the remake only had him and his team pull off three. Granted, it’s still an impressive feat, one does wonder why the change. The original film grossed $12,317,000 in the US while the remake grossed $183,405,771 in the US. The remake also featured a cast of newcomers, one of which being Brad Pitt’s hilarious “Rusty Ryan.”

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)

Guy Ritchie’s brain child, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels delves into the world of the tyrannical East End mobsters, conniving street thugs and a whole heap of gambler’s woes. Starring a knockout cast including Jason Statham, Nick Moran, Dexter Fletcher and Jason Flemyng, Ritchie’s masterpiece took home a humble $3,650,677 in the US. The film had better luck in the UK but quickly grew to be one of the top cult classics among US viewership.

Rain Man (1988)

Starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman, Rain Man brings in a slew of feelings as Cruise and Hoffman romp over to the west coast, but not before making a pit stop at a beautiful casino. While Cruise’s character, Charlie, doesn’t feel like he can connect to Hoffman’s “Raymond”, he quickly learns just how wrong he is and just how good Raymond is when it comes to winning in Lady Luck’s house. Pulling in almost seven times its budget, Rain Man grossed $172,825,435 in the US and still remains one of the top rated gambling movies of all time.

In the mood to gamble? Try your luck at one of these amazing, bonus offering casinos! Who knows, you may end up like a few of these rich blokes!

7 BlackJack Tips Casinos Don’t Want You To Know

There are many tips when it comes to gambling and the game of blackjack is no different. There are experts at the game who have won millions of dollars over their lifetime. The casinos do not want the common gambler to know some of the golden rules of blackjack as casinos make quite a lot of money from unexperienced gamblers. The following will be some tips to incorporate into your next stay at the blackjack table that the casino doesn’t want you to know.

When To Hit

There are specific situations in which you should hit.

Use the following rules to determine when to hit, according to your hand and the dealer’s face up card.

-If the dealer’s face up card is 7, 8, 9, 10 or Ace, and your hand totals 8 or 12 through 16, Hit.
-If the dealer’s face up card is Ace, and your hand totals 11, Hit.
-If the dealer’s face up card is 10, or your hand totals 10, Hit.
-If the dealer’s face up card is 7, 8 or 9, and your hand totals 9, Hit.

When To Stand

This is something that many new blackjack players do not understand. When you stand you are taking the chance that the other person has a higher hand than you. If you have a 17 or over then you should stand under all circumstances. If the dealers face card is a 6 or under then you should stand if your hand exceeds 13. These are simple tips that can help keep someone from busting by going over 21 when they already have a winning hand.

Card Counting

Card counting is a system of counting the cards in a deck hoping to increase the chances of winning, by knowing how many of each cards. There are patterns and an equation that helps a player do this. Card counting is very frowned upon so practicing quite a lot is important as to not be detected by the security of the casino as you can be banned for counting cards.

Never Do The Following

Split 5s or 10s.

Never stand with a total of 12 to 16 if the dealer is showing a 7 or higher.

Hit on 17 or higher.

Stay Away From The Booze

People tend to gamble more sloppily when drinking so lay off the booze when playing cards. Making dumb bets is something that inebriated players make believing their luck will change.

Don’t Sit At The Table Too Long

It is easy to stay at the blackjack table for hours on end. Getting up to use the restroom or get a snack is a great way to stretch out. The casino will try sending you drinks to keep you in place but moving around makes it easier to leave the casino at a point when up and about.

Stick With 5 Decks

Play at a table with 5 decks, this gives the player an advantage versus 6 or 8 deck tables. These help avoid cheating and while it’s only tenths of a percent of an advantage, all players know any slight percentages advantage can help a lot.

As you can see, a lot of Blackjack tips involve being able to think on your feet and adhere to certain rules to make sure you aren’t losing the big next time you go to the casino. Once you incorporate these tips into your strategy then you will be able to watch your blackjack performance increase.

Gambling: An Examination Into Gaming Addiction

Gambling is everywhere. Lottery tickets, casinos, poker tournaments, online gaming, and sports betting. As a society we are inundated with opportunity to take a chance, spin the wheel, roll the dice, and perhaps win big; or just as likely, lose big. In fact, recent surveys have shown that in the United States alone, 80% of adults 21 and older have engaged in some type of gambling activity. With the growth of the gaming industry, the advent on online casinos, and other online gaming sites, more and more people are introduced to gambling at a younger age. With the popularity of Celebrity Poker tours and televised tournaments appearing on mainstream TV, gaming seems to be everywhere, and everyone seems to be doing it.

Gambling is part of American culture. For most, it is simply an enjoyable pastime. Based on a study by the National Council on Problem Gambling, for up to 3% of the population of the United States however, gambling is no longer hobby. The fun for these folks ended long ago. The NCPG estimates that for 7.5 million Americans, gambling has become problematic, perhaps a full-blown addiction, with an additional 5,000,000 Americans considered “at-risk” for addiction, as gambling continues to exist as part of mainstream American culture.

Gambling as an Addiction

Addiction is a word used liberally in today’s culture. The idea that one can be addicted to drugs or alcohol is nothing new, but in recent years, there have been a realization that it isn’t simply chemicals that cause addictive behaviors. Today, our understanding of compulsion and addiction extend to a variety of activities, such as overeating, sex, and of course, gambling. As our understanding of addictions has changed from a defect of character to that of an actual disease of mind and body, addiction medicine has moved out from behind the shadows, and into mainstream culture. New studies on addiction continue to offer insight as addiction is recognized as a brain disease, not simply a behavioral disorder. Clear differences can be seen when examining the addicted brain under Magnetic Resonance Imaging when compared to its non-addicted counterpart.

The Action Gambler

Image Via Flickr Thomas Hawk

Experts in addiction have seen a dramatic increase in the number of gambling addicts since the advent of online gambling. Additionally, the face of gambling addiction is changing. Years ago, there was one profile of the gambling addict. The late middle aged man, domineering, controlling and extremely manipulative; often extremely charming. While this typical gambling addict saw himself as energetic, assertive and persuasive, his apparent confidence belied a deep insecurity and low self-esteem. Gambling seemed the perfect antidote. The composite gambling addict of yesteryear is now called the “Action Gambler”.
Action gamblers prefer games of “skill”; games that appear to have player influence, such as poker, blackjack, and other card games. These are games where the Action gambler can compete against other players or a “house” casino. Action gamblers, once they hit a problem stage, truly feel they can develop a system to beat the house, or their playing counterparts. Counting cards, reading of player “tells”, the action gambler feels everything is under his control. This helps build his self-esteem, and the daily issues of life that may seem overwhelming at times, simply melt away while he sits at the card table, or rolls the dice on a craps game.
Today, action gamblers are still most often men, but more and more, as casinos have increased in popularity, and gambling has become more mainstream, women are beginning to reach the same point of no return. Rehab centers and 12 step groups report dramatic increase in the number of women and teens seeking treatment as gambling has become interwoven into American culture, and the stigma of the seedy pool halls and back room card games has disappeared.

Stages of Addiction-Action gambler
With action gamblers, there are 4 stages of addiction. The first stage, or the Winning Stage, followed by the Losing Stage. Once the addiction grows more serious, the addict enters the Desperation stage, and then finally, tragically, the Hopeless stage. Typically, with action gamblers, it can take anywhere from 10 to 30 years to completely reach the point of hopelessness that defines the final stage of addiction. It’s a long, hard road, filled with many ups and downs, wins and losses, until finally the gambler loses almost everything.

The Winning Stage

The Winning Stage of addiction is at the beginning. The new gambler is enamored with his or her new pastime, is performing well, winning games, and appreciates those wins. He is able to walk away from the table ahead of the game, with more money than he started with. Gambling addicts often reminisce about this stage, when all was well and the games were excitable and enjoyable. The gambler feels powerful, a winner! Gambling becomes a way to ease the feelings of discontentment with themselves, their life. Unfortunately, this stage doesn’t last long, typically from 3-5 years. It is quickly and sometimes brutally followed by the Losing stage.

The Losing Stage
The Losing stage is the when the first inkling of a problem becomes evident. Often during this period, the gambler can’t seem to quit at the right time. The big win is right around the corner, the next hand, or the next roll of the dice. During each hand of cards, the gambler feels a rush of endorphins, similar to what a drug user may feel when snorting a line of cocaine. The heart rate increases, and the player may begin to sweat slightly. His head spins as he watches the cards intently. His world shrinks dramatically, to include only the cards on the table, and the other players. As he continues the game, his emotions change each time the cards are dealt. From the highest high, to despair, the gambler can feel both, and everywhere in between, during one game of cards. During the losing phase, the gamer may still have some control on occasion but more often will simply stay and play until his money is gone. Oblivious to the true nature of the problem, he feels his luck has changed, and if he simply gets the “right” cards, he will be back on top again.

Stage of Desperation
The addict then enters the Desperation stage. Now the gambler is regularly lying about the money and time spent gambling. Most of his playing is now done in secret. He may miss out on important family events, or days at work, due to his gambling. He makes promises and bargains with himself about his gambling, insisting he will only spent a set amount of money. Maybe he will attempt to quit playing altogether. Somehow, beyond his own understanding, and with all the best of intentions, he continues to play while losing more and more. He may begin to steal during this stage, or engage in illegal behavior to support his habit. He loves gambling, but hates it at the same time. Many addicts see the problem but are powerless to make a change at this point. Many gamblers may have issues maintaining employment. Others experience massive panic attacks, insomnia, and periods of great remorse. They are stuck in the cycle of abuse and can’t seem to do anything to help themselves.

The Stage of Hopelessness
Finally, the Hopeless stage, the final stage of addiction, become the gamblers reality. At this point, they no longer get any pleasure from gaming, but they don’t know what else to do. They know they are addicted and have spent years trying to stop, but to no avail. Once they reach this final stage, many gamblers consider suicide. Financial difficulties have become commonplace, and often the gambler sees no other way out. For those who don’t get help, death or jail seems to be the last stop on the pathway of addiction. Only when the gambler feels totally helpless, will he consider treatment.

The Escape Gambler

Image Via Flickr Images Of Money

Over the years, a new kind of gambler has emerged from the casinos, the bingo halls, and the lottery lines. The Escape gambler is a relatively new phenomenon in gambling addiction. Often they are women, or retirees. The primary motivation, unlike the Action gambler, is not to necessarily win money, but to have fun and escape from the pressures of daily life. Studies have shown that most often, escape gamblers report a sense of numbness when they gamble. Some describe the feeling as sedating, like having several alcoholic drinks in a row, or taking a Valium or other sedative. Winning, to these addicts, is unimportant. They are playing for the sense of relief from day to day boredom or pressure they may feel in their “normal” life. They are gambling for the feeling, not the money.

The stages of addiction – Escape gambler
The stages of addiction are similar, but rather than the Winning and Losing stages, Escape gamblers experience an Introductory stage, when they realize how playing makes them feel. They enjoy the escape and seek it out regularly. At first, they are responsible with finances, but as the draw of the games becomes too strong, they enter the Chasing stage. At this point, the escape gambler often loses more money they intend to. The relief they feel when engaging in gambling activities proves so appealing that money becomes secondary. When they realize the depth of their losses, they begin to gamble more, chasing their bets, trying to get their money back. As they continue to lose control, they too, reach the stages of Desperation and finally, Hopelessness.
Studies from various groups, such as Gamblers Anonymous and treatment centers state that Escape gamblers typically seek treatment earlier and are more responsive to treatment, but even so, the success rate is very low for all gambling addicts. Only 15% of all addicts will ever seek treatment, and the success rate for the first year after treatment is less than 10%, as indicated by a report by the United States Council on Problem gambling. Additionally, 80% of all gambling addicts consider suicide, and 2/3 commit crimes or engage in fraudulent activities.

Gambling and the brain

Image Via Flickr PinkPersimon

Why is gambling addiction so difficult to treat? As with other addictions, we are learning that there may be biologic factors at work in cases of addiction. A study performed at Mass General Hospital by Dr. Hans Breiter showed clear difference in the brain pattern of 12 men who were studied by Magnetic Resonance imaging. As the gamblers played, the brain release dopamine in larger and larger amounts as the players were winning. The blood flow in the brain was consistent with what one sees from a morphine or cocaine user. Chemicals such as serotonin and Dopamine become unbalanced in the brain, then stores of these “feel good” chemicals are depleted, causing depression and anxiety as the gambler’s brain fails to function normally.

Treating gambling addiction
As we continue to learn more about gambling addiction, and as addicts come into treatment at younger and younger ages, studies are being done on medications used to treat Alcoholics and Opiate addicts, such as Naltrexone, which may also benefit the gambling addict. While initial studies are promising, additional research is necessary before medication can become an approved treatment. The 12-step model of addiction treatment seems to be the most effective treatment plan available to gamblers today, though hardly perfect. Many people have difficulties with the spiritual concepts with the GA model and others simply cannot self-manage their behavior well enough over time to be successful.

As gambling becomes more and more a part of mainstream society, along with easier access through the internet, the popularity of gaming continues to increase, we as a society are going to be faced with higher numbers of gambling addicts, at younger and younger ages. Clearly, this has become an area of concern for addiction specialists across the country and around the world, and experts are continuing to search for better ways to manage the problem. As gambling continues to be a popular pastime, it appears that the problem of gambling addiction is here to stay.

Grand Opening of GTA 5’s New Casino

Grand Theft Auto 5 is one of the most popular and bestselling games of all time. It makes sense that there is a huge buzz over the new DLC maps and missions coming out. There is an agent mode as well as a new casino in town. For all GTA fans the casino heist has been long awaited. The following will go over what to expect from the new casino and challenges. This downloadable content has been long awaited as people who have been playing GTA 5 have seen the vacant casino with hopes of being able to get in one day.

What Will Be New?

There isn’t just a new level coming out and place to pillage in the casino but there are also new items. There will be the introduction of 3 new cars which include the Detonator, Tampa, and Feroci. The Detonator and Feroci are going to have parts that can be customizable. The Tampa is the game changer, according to iDigitalTimes.com “the Tampa will offer unique upgrades including the hood, spoiler, exhaust, wheels, and roll-cage. The last upgrade is particularly revealing, as a roll-cage is only necessary in racecars. The roll-cage is enough evidence to suggest that the Tampa will be quite a fun car to drive.”

There are some new weapons as well as an airplane that can be bought. This DLC helps indulge some of the fancier tastes with an airplane that costs nearly 2 million dollars.

What Can You Do In The Casino?

Besides trying to pull off of epic heists in the casino, it will also offer gambling in it as well, to help the player gain some capital. There are all of the classic casino games which include everything from poker to blackjack as well as slots and roulette. If none of these appeal to you then there is horse betting and a new lottery system. Buying an airplane with your winnings is more than possible especially with the copious amounts of money able to be won at the casino.

The Heist

The heist of the casino is the main course for gamers who play single player predominantly. There are around 40 to 50 new missions involved with the casino. The heist even has a variety of ways to pull it off which is up to the player. One of the many ways that a heist can be pulled off is the player and his crew pretend to be a fire fighting team to gain access to the casino’s fortunes. Another more classic way to penetrate the casino is by unsuspectingly gaining access from the rooftop and making your way down in several different ways, that are up to you . The casino opens up a plethora of different business options for the player.

The introduction of downloadable content keeps gamers enthralled even when they have seemingly beaten the game. GTA 5 is no different as this new downloadable content can seem like a brand new game. From all of the reviews and rumors GTA 5 has not disappointed with their new DLC. The casino is one of the most anticipated DLCs in recent memory as there has been rumors since September 2014.

 

Image via Flickr Colony Of Gamers

The 5 Most Extravagant Casinos Worldwide

Casinos generate billions of dollars a year all over the world. The amount of money spent at a casino per year is astronomical and it shows when casinos build some of the most extravagant buildings in the world. These buildings include penthouses and 5 star restaurants as well as ceilings and decorations that seemingly go on for miles. The following are some of the most extravagant casinos around the world and some could be considered some of the most extravagant buildings not just casinos in the world.

The Bellagio, Las Vegas

The main attraction is actually outside of the casino with the fountains that are in front of the Bellagio on the Las Vegas strip. The fountains are on a schedule and they provide a show on a schedule for all to enjoy. The casino itself has 2400 slot machines and 4 times the casino employees that a regular casino has. For this reason there are giant poker tournaments held at the Bellagio each year.

Monte Carlo Casino, Monaco

Monaco is a destination for the rich and famous and their casino the Monte Carlo is no different. It is a hotspot for the rich and the very famous. The casino has marble pavement which in itself it worth a fortune. The casino also boasts some famous works of art and golden ornaments throughout the building.

Sun City Resort, South Africa

This casino has 4 exclusive hotels in it and it is just amazing to look at as it stands out in the plains of South Africa. The casino even has a famous water park Valley of the Waves which has a wave pool in it with artificially created waves. There is a high stakes poker room where players routinely bet small fortunes on single hands. This is a great place to take the children as they can be entertained by the water park or a myriad of other attractions.

Sands Macao, China

For what the Monte Carlo in Monaco is to Europe the Sands Macao is to China. Macau is not just the most popular destination to gamble in Asia but it has surpassed Las Vegas in gambling revenue in the last 10 years. The Sands Macao is a great place to take a vacation as it has great shopping as well as shows for entertainment if the poker tables aren’t too kind.

Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

There aren’t words to describe how over the top in the decadence department the Marina Bay Sands casino is.  The infinity pool overlooking the city is something that everyone should take a look at. There is a theater in the casino which has high end Broadway type productions with some of theaters most famous titles. The gambling area has more than 2300 slots and 500 gaming tables. It is easy to imagine yourself staying at this casino for an extended period of time.

10 Biggest Gambling Wins of All Time

Gambling generates a lot of money and can make somebody rich in a matter of seconds. There have been people who have won such a large sum of cash that they never have to work again. The biggest gambling wins of all time have the winners winning an astronomical amount of money.

10. Cynthia Jay

Cynthia won the jackpot on a slot machine that had been rolling over the dollars for a long time. She hit the jackpot and won close to 35 million dollars which is one of the biggest slot payouts in history.

9. Archie Karas

Archie turned his $50 into $40 million in one day and is known as one of the luckiest men in history. Archie should have walked away but ended up losing every single dollar. Quitting while you are ahead is the best lesson to be learned here.

8. Online Gambler “Peter”

A man known only as Peter online hit the largest online gambling jackpot in history. He won around $38 million dollars but his true identity still isn’t known.

7. Elmer Sherwin

Elmer hit a couple of large jackpots in his life. Elmer won two jackpots over a million dollars with a $5 million and $21 million jackpots won.

6. Mike Ashley

Mike won over a million dollars at the roulette table and happily walked out. However, he also lost over a million dollars on another occasion in 2011.

5. Charlie Wells

This is the oldest winning on this list as it happened in 1892. Charlie won over a million dollars and became known as “the man who broke the bank at the Monte Carlo”.

4. Patricia Demauro

Patricia stepped up to the craps table for the 2nd time in her life in 2009. She then won on 154 consecutive throws but never revealed how much money she won. This is a great example of beginner’s luck at its best!

3. MIT Students

There has been a movie named 21 about the MIT students who won millions of dollars while taking part in an elaborate blackjack counting cards system. The students made so much money that they needed an investment company to help with their winnings.

2. Don Johnson

Don won $15 million over a course of six months in Atlantic City. Don did this by frequenting the casinos with the most favorable rules and a favorable number of decks. Unlike the MIT students, Don did not count cards. Don now claims that he isn’t welcome to many casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic city because of his success gambling.

1. Thomas Austin Preston

This card shark won the World Series of Poker is 1974. His craziest bet isn’t the largest on this list but it is the bravest. Thomas once bet $10 thousand on a single ping pong match, he won the match by a large margin.

As you can see, with the placing of a bet you can win or lose a large amount of money. Remember though that the casino has the advantage and doesn’t generate amazing amounts of money because the gambler wins more than the house does.

 

Image via Flickr  user  JezKerwin

How to Play Online Craps Like a Pro

If you’ve been a little timid about playing online craps, there’s no reason you should be! To ensure you place the best bets so you win like a pro, here are some top tips.

Understanding Craps

How to play craps online like a seasoned pro

Image via Flickr by Lisa Brewster

The game begins with a shooter who is also one of the players at the table. The shooter and players bet the table minimum on the pass line or the don’t pass line. The shooter then rolls the dice. This move is called the comeout roll or the point.

Every craps game is played in rounds. If the shooter throws a 2, 3 or 12, the round is immediately finished and the next shooter steps up. This is called “crapping out.” If the shooter throws a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10, this becomes what is known as the “point.” The shooter and players continue to place bets until the shooter rolls a seven.

Best Bets to Place

Best bets to place to win at online craps

Image via Flickr by cliff1066™

If you want to play online craps in your favorite no deposit casino, because there are over 40 betting combinations in craps, you’ll want to ensure you are placing the most profitable bets.

  • Pass & Don’t Pass Bets – The pass line bet is where players bet on the “point,” meaning they are betting the shooter will throw a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 before a seven is rolled. This bet is an initial safe bet for most players. If you place a bet on the don’t pass line, you are betting the shooter will throw a number other than the point. Betting both of these bets are considered safe bets.
  • Back Up or Odds Bets – Another best bet in the game of craps is placing a back-up or odds bet. These bets must be placed after initial bets on the pass line. Say you bet $10 on the pass line to win. You can also back up the bet or place an “odds” bet that the shooter will roll the point. If you win, casinos will match your back-up odds bet. How much you can place on a back-up or odds bet depends on the rules at each online casino—some allow 2x, and others allow up to 20x your bet.
  • Field Bets – If you place a bet on the craps table on the “field” or where the 2, 3 4, 9, 10, 11 or 12 appear you are betting one of those numbers will hit before a seven. They are 1:1 bets mean if you bet $10 on the field bet area and win, you win $10. Some casinos will pay 2x on if a 2 or 12 is rolled.

Risker Bets

Craps bets to avoid in online casinos

Image via Flickr by Smoobs

Just as there are safe bets, there are also risker bets including:

  • The Come Bet – If you place a bet in the “come” area, you are betting a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 are rolled. Most casinos will pay 1:1 odds on a come bet. For example, if you bet $10 on 8 and the shooter rolls an 8, you will win $10. Because come bets require you to choose one number to win, these bets riskier.
  • Betting the Entire Line – Avoid placing bets on the entire come line (4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10). The shooter will only roll one number so you may win, but the bets placed on the wrong come numbers are automatic losers. If the shooter rolls a 7, you win nothing.
  • Non-Line Numbers – Just as it’s risky to bet the entire come line, it’s also not a good idea to bet the entire line of non-numbers or field numbers—the 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 or 12. Again the chances of winning one may be in your favor but you’ll lose all your other bets. If a 7 is rolled, you lose all your money.

Playing online craps can be very rewarding if you stick to the safer bets and then take on the risky bets once you feel comfortable.