Casino City's Friday Five: The Las Vegas excitement edition
1 Sep 2017
By Abby Messick
By Abby Messick
Another week has come and gone, and the gambling world still turns. For this edition of Casino City's Friday Five, we've got everything from virtual reality excitement to penalty fine firsts.
We've also got quite a bit of news coming out of Las Vegas. Not to spoil the surprise, but everyone's favorite presumed abandoned project in Las Vegas has finally found a new owner.
1. Las Vegas Lights FC official name for pro soccer team
About a month after a unanimous vote to bring a soccer team to Las Vegas, the official team name was announced by Las Vegas Soccer LLC.
The naming process was a team effort in its own right, and saw over 10,000 votes cast by eager fans. Las Vegas Lights FC will play in the 2018 soccer season.
Of course, now they have to pick a logo.
2. MGM Grand to introduce first free-roam virtual reality arena in Las Vegas
The future is most definitely and decidedly here.
MGM Grand Hotel & Casino Las Vegas, partnering with virtual reality experts Zero Latency, will debut a multi-player, free-roam VR experience in the LEVEL UP gaming lounge next week.
Up to eight players will delve into one of three interactive settings, navigating puzzles, blasting baddies and competing in challenges within a 2,000-square-foot arena. Each player will be decked out with a military-grade backpack housing an Alienware PC and a futuristic simulated weapon. We almost feel bad for all the hapless zombies and robots liable to be caught in the crossfire.
3. PokerStars launches software to showcase tournament highlights
The poker giant is finally catering to the narcissist in us all with its latest tech upgrade.
Players who go far enough during the upcoming World Championship of Online Poker at PokerStars.com will have the privilege of celebrating their best tournament moments via video, carefully captured by state-of-the-art software.
These videos can be shared across social media platforms, ensuring that none of your entourage misses your greatest hits.
4. 888 Holdings fined over £7.8 million
888 Poker, the company that runs 888 Casino, has been fined £7.8 million for negligence regarding its self-excluded players.
A glitch in the company's system allowed at-risk and problem gamblers to place bets through the bingo platform, and place bets they did – to the tune of £3.5 million over a period of 13 months.
One player went so far as to steal £55,000 from his employer in order to keep gambling.
If 13 months seems like an insanely long time for this to go unnoticed, you're not the only one who thinks so: 888 itself said in a press release that it will improve its safeguards from here on out.
5. Witkoff acquires Fontainebleau on Las Vegas Strip for $600 million
After 11 years, Carl Icahn has finally unloaded the unfinished property, handing over the reins to real estate developer Witkoff.
Icahn himself obtained the Fontainebleau in 2009 after the previous owner filed for bankruptcy. By that point, over $2 billion had already been sunk into the project, and it has stood unfinished since then, acting as an architectural ghost and cautionary tale to all hubristic entrepreneurs.
It'll take a further $1.2 billion to finish building. That's a tall order, but apparently Witkoff is up to the challenge.