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Abby Messick

Abby served as an associate editor for the Casino City editorial team for three years, between 2015 and 2018.

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Casino City's Friday Five: Court rulings edition

23 Feb 2018

By Abby Messick
This week, justice has been served, and boy is it "perfectly seared steak" juicy. The EU continued to work admirably to regulate its online gambling infrastructure, William Hill executed a series of big mistakes over a long period of time, and a Maryland casino proudly announced an outdoor addition. Plus, a look into the lives of some big spenders.

5. Live! Casino to open Maryland's first outdoor gaming area
The Orchid Gaming & Smoking Patio at Live! Casino & Hotel is Maryland's first outdoor gaming area where one can, ostensibly, game and smoke on a patio. Set for a mid-April opening, the 8,500-square-foot space will feature slots, table games and another state first: Ticket In/Ticket Out systems that will allow players to move seamlessly between games without the added burden of carrying chips around.

And it won't be a puny selection of games, either: Table games are to include 12 "live action" games such as blackjack, baccarat and roulette, plus 28 electronic table positions and bar-top terminals. More than 150 of the hottest slot machines – and video poker – will be offered in denominations ranging from one cent to $10.

And, obviously, you can smoke there, a luxury forbidden inside Maryland casinos.

4. Poker Central produces "Super High Roller Club" series
"Living vicariously through someone who's filthy rich" has always been a valid TV genre. "Super High Roller Club," produced by Poker Central in partnership with New York-based Believe Entertainment Group, will take a leaf from those popular reality TV shows, following our favorite big names in poker as they live their lives off the felt.

Sam Simmons, vice president of content at Poker Central, says we'll follow characters such as Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth as they "experience the finest pursuits that Vegas has to offer, from sports and fashion to fine dining." Now the question is whether they're as interesting away from the tables as they are at them. (We already know that Hellmuth, at least, has a penchant for generating news.)

3. EU Court of Justice OKs European Commission's consumer protection guidelines
The European Court of Justice ruled this week that when the European Commission issued guidelines to member states on how to protect players from shady online gambling services, it was well within its rights to do so. Published in 2014, the guidelines put forth recommendations for high-quality consumer protections, including methods to prevent minors from gambling online. Sounds well and good, right? The Belgian Government clearly didn't think so, as it soon claimed that the document stepped on the toes of member states' sovereignty. (Keep in mind that this document goes no farther than encouraging member states to adopt safe practices – no hard-and-fast rules to be found. Like we said, seems good, right?)

But the court has spoken, the guidelines stand, and the European Gaming and Betting Association has thrown its support behind the ruling. Case closed.

2. William Hill fined £6.2 million by UK Gambling Commission
Gaming powerhouse William Hill has been fined £6.2 million after an investigation by the U.K. Gambling Commission revealed that between November 2014 and August 2016 the company was not trying very hard at all to "mitigate risks" and "ensure their anti-money laundering and social responsibility processes were effective," as the official release says. A total of 10 customers deposited and bet large amounts of money, resulting in a £1.2 million gain for William Hill. Worse, the investigation found that William Hill wasn't all that diligent about confirming the sources of the money and looking into whether these players were problem gamblers. (Hint: They almost certainly were.)

To be honest, we're feeling a little embarrassed on William Hill's behalf, as this seems to be a pretty big series of gaffes, which included not just a case of a player embezzling funds in order to place bets, but three cases wherein the company grossly mishandled problem gambling reviews.

We're sure there's at least one morality tale about not being greedy in there.

1. Caesars Entertainment adopts Picsolve technology
New technology crops up faster than weeds these days. Caesars Entertainment has adopted tech from digital content creator Picsolve. Caesars property visitors will be able to use Picsolve's capture installations to create and share photos on the fly. Additionally, digital photographers will be on hand to capture some artistic candids of you and your friends.

It probably won't replace the tried-and-true selfie any time soon, but it's a neat feature.

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