Charlie and the casino shake-down

This doesn’t really have anything to do with either the Johnny Depp or Gene Wilder versions of Roald Dahl’s books about Charlie Bucket and Oompa-Loompas, but something about this story seems positively Wonka-esque. Someone tried to blackmail Sydney’s Star City casino with chocolate. Seriously.
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Gambling cat?

Yesterday, I suggested that gambling may be able to predict the future…as long as the future’s already been written in a book and people are able to bet on it. This site has yet another example of gambling gone wild:

Stuff On My Cat � Smokey has a bit of an issue

Just when you think you’ve seen it all.

Also, the interview on is up now. If you haven’t checked that great Vegas site out yet, here’s your chance.

Harry Potter spoiled…thanks to gambling

The latest Harry Potter book sold something like 7 million copies on its first day, as readers were eager to find out which “major character” dies or something like that. I haven’t read the books, so I’m not sure what that’s all about, but here’s an interesting story: two months ago, newspaper reports gave away the spoiler, thanks to betting. Don’t read the rest of the story unless you want to read the spoiler.
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Nowhere, PA

Some people think that the perfect place to live does not exist. They’re wrong–it’s Moorestown, NJ, according to Money magazine. With average SAT scores of over 1150, students there, I’m sure, will have no problem overcoming the stigma of being from New Jersey.

It’s a stigma, to be sure. As a native of Atlantic City, New Jersey, I’m doubly stigmatized. If I tell people I’m from New Jersey, they inevitably say something stupid like, “Oh, you’re from JOISEY!” I just look at them and say yeah, but I don’t talk like that because I’m from South Jersey, so I have more of a Philadelphia/Baltimore accent. On the other hand, if I say that I’m from Atlantic City, they usually laugh and then are nice enough to spend the next five minutes explaining to me what a total shithole it is because “I saw something on TV a few years ago that said there was still a lot of problems there.”

Nice move, buster–you’ve just managed to, within mintues of meeting someone, insult the place that his family has called home for three generations. You might want to look up the definition of tact.

Anyway, the real news here is that the best place to live in the US is no mirage, the 28th best is. Really.
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Canadian gaming illegal?

Today, nearly every nation or state grants some sort of gambling franchise, usually in the name of revenue enhancement, i.e., cash. With the police cracking down on illegal rivals, these gambling monopolies are usually pretty lucrative for everyone involved. In Canada, though, the authors of a new report believe that Ontario’s state-sanctioned gaming industry may be illegal.
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