Gambling Gameboys

Published on: April 27, 2008 

Gamblers who hate to be away from the action may not have to worry about walking away from the games any longer.  Currently the Venetian Casino and Resort in Las Vegas is testing out a new gambling device that is reminiscent of a child’s game boy handheld game and there are stacks of them sitting on the countertops on the casino’s floor.  This mobile gaming device has undergone years of research and design planning.  Since receiving regulatory approval, it has appeared at the Venetian for testing.

A miniaturized gaming parlor, the ‘gamer’ has a touch pad screen that allows the user to place bets on the game of his or her choice no matter where they are within the casino.  Currently their range is limited for testing, only operating within the high-limit slots lounge.  Users can pick up one the ‘gamers’ at the slot lounge counter after signing up for a slot club membership.  They are loaded up with however much money the users wishes – from $20 or higher – and the user is then given a flexible plastic gold-colored tracking bracelet that helps the casino managers ensure that the device is still with the gambler as they move around the casino.  While in the high-slot lounge, gamblers can place bets on other table games, such as blackjack.

The Venetian is the only casino in Las Vegas that has these ‘gamers’ and state regulators are monitoring how they are being used.  Te ‘gamer’ has been five years in the making by Cantor Gaming, and has gone through two and half years of testing in slot laboratories.  The Venetian was chosen for field testing trials and over the next three months of research, regulators will be looking to see how the ‘gamer’ performs.  The ‘gamer’ can take low-limit bets and if it works as the developers and regulators are hoping, users will be able to place bets while shopping, lounging at the pool, or eating dinner.  Users cannot take them off of the casino’s property and they will not be allowed or usable in the hotel rooms.

Users who have tried the ‘gamer’ so far have commented that it is easy to use and navigate through.  It offers betting options, whether or not a play should bet or stand, and other tips that make it easy to bet.  It has plenty of on-screen suggestions and it takes a lot of the strategic thinking away from the user.  In a sense, using this portable ‘gamer’ is very similar to playing at an online Internet casino.

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