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Casino City's Friday Five: Virtual reality edition

9 Feb 2018

By Abby Messick
This week, as we continued our perilous and inevitable journey into the future, virtual reality suddenly became A Thing, and there was nothing any of us could do to stop it. Not only that, but a big-name gambling brand decided to take the plunge into iGaming. Oh, and you can win a few million dollars with PokerStarsby playing online. Is the future now, or what? 5. Harrah's Las Vegas completes $140 million renovation Where I'm from, construction projects often take forever, trapped in limbo like flies in amber and cluttering up the landscape, so you can imagine how surprised I am when projects like these – multimillion-dollar undertakings – are actually completed. I guess it goes to show that Las Vegas has a more pressing agenda than Western Massachusetts. Harrah's Las Vegas Casino & Hotel now boasts a little over 1,600 new guest rooms and suites in its Valley Tower, all of which feature modern, stylish décor and rain showers, something that never fails to impress. Notably, Penthouses feature "pops of color," our favorite circa-2002 HGTV term. 4. PokerStars Turbo Series offers $15 million in guarantees Since this is a gambling news site, we believe it's important to talk about an amazing amount of money at least once per feature. PokerStars was obliging enough to help us with our compulsive need by offering a pretty astounding $15 million in guarantees for its rebranded Turbo Series. This update to the popular Turbo Championship of Online Poker will run from mid-February to early March, featuring 74 events. A couple of Platinum Passes are also up for grabs, so if you've been angling for one, now's your chance. 3. Hard Rock International plans online casino Hard Rock International is the latest company to jump onto the digitization bandwagon, teaming up with the Gaming Innovation Group to plan a new online casino. All we know right now is that the casino should be opening sometime this year and that Hard Rock plans to take the iGaming industry by storm, becoming "a global leader in the international online gaming space." That's a tall order; let's see how they do. 2. NetEnt demonstrates advances in virtual reality Popular gaming solution provider NetEnt combined live casinos and virtual reality last week with the reveal of an operator-ready VR version of one of its slots, Gonzo's Quest. Gonzo's Quest VR takes players directly into the action, immersing them in a fully 3-D environment. Astonishingly enough, you need only a web browser or mobile device to play the game – no fancy apps or software needed. (Other than a VR headset, of course.) Look for it this summer. 1. Mr Green launches 'Live Beyond Live' casino Mr Green (along with NetEnt, a company that seems increasingly committed to staying at the forefront of technological advances) has developed an immersive, fully 3-D live casino. The "Live Beyond Live" casino puts players at Mr. Green's own swanky Los Angeles penthouse, where he apparently runs a table gaming operation. (Suspect, or no? We'll leave it up to you.) Choose from roulette and blackjack, then sit back and enjoy the live casino experience.
 
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