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CNBC Profiles The Big Business of Illegal Gambling

By Chuckmonster on Wednesday, 6th January 2010 5:53pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 5

   

I'll bet you ten bucks that you don't know what the next post to VegasTripping will be... if you took the bet, you just participated in a little something called 'illegal gambling.'

The brain trust over at CNBC has sikked former 'energy' reporter Melissa Francis on the illegal gambling industry where she brought back an hour long investigative report on the myriad ways people gamble illegally. Included are interviews with down n' outers, a sportsbook middle man, the guys who cracked the Absolute Poker scam, CEO of an old school internet sportsbook and a handful of other gambling personalities... and NONE of the usual Travel Channel talking heads.

The show debuted the same night ARIA opened (which explains why I had no idea it was on, or posted about it until now) but has been doing replays this week. If you like gamblin' - and who doesn't - its worth your time.

There is a website: CNBC: The Big Business of Illegal Gambling, which contains a real bummer of an ad placement for a great deal from Wynn. Wynn + Illegal Gambing = Rooms at $159/nt and a $100 resort credit!

Wynn



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Comments & Discussion:

I downloaded and watched it a while back. It's pretty standard stuff - play threatening-sounding music and talk about how illegal gambling is bad because, like, it's illegal. Show some guy whose life was ruined by gambling debts. Mention the online poker cheating bit for 30 seconds (sheesh, even 60 minutes gave it more than that).

The piece is just there to get peoples' attention and appear to cover something important, then give nothing solid and nothing to take away from it. I must be getting more cynical as time goes on, since I finished watching it frustrated but unsurprised.

I had some similar reactions, including screaming at the TV. The Jetsons Las Venus episode was way better.

CNBC doles out these assignments (pot, prostitution, cruise industry, porn) to their lightweight female reporters to build up their resumes and make them feel good about their career. Nothing new or especially insightful ever comes out.

I was interviewed for this, but apparently my material ended up on the cutting room floor. From the looks of it, my take on illegal gambling--it exists, we don't know exactly how big it is, and it will probably always exist--wouldn't have fit with the style of the program.

I'm very surprised that they didn't cover the "video poker machines" (They're actually more of less video slot machines.) you see at convenience stores, bars, and other businesses. While these businesses cover their asses with signs saying "For Amusement Only", they do in fact pay winners off with cash in violation of the law. If they were "For Amusement Only", why are there "jackpot" dollar amounts shown on the machines, in some cases, in LED lights like on a machine in a legal casino. In some cases, these machines are actually in a back room away from prying eyes, which definitely does give the impression that something illegal is going on.



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