Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Ups New York’s Times Square Casino Ante With Educational Ad Campaign


Despite the New York State Gaming Commission being scheduled to award three highly prized New York casino licenses later this year at the earliest, the Times Square bid group of Caesars, SL Green, and Jay-Z’s Roc Nation are not resting on their laurels.

Jay-Z’s world-famous entertainment agency Roc Nation stated it had launched the educational advertising campaign in response to an attempt by “conflicted parties [to] spread misinformation.”

The Brooklyn-born music and entertainment icon’s firm took to Twitter with a letter addressed directly to New Yorkers outlining the pros of a Caesars Palace Times Square casino.

Roc Nation also ran costly full-page ads in the New York Post, the New York Daily News, and Amsterdam News as it drew significant first blood in what is sure to be an increasingly visible publicity war.

The Caesars, SL Green, and Roc Nation bid is, so far, easily the most visible and engaging pitch. Strategically embracing New York culture from the get go, Jay-Z said in December that Caesars Palace Times Square would be a destination “at the heart of the true crossroads of the word.”

the casino “will benefit all of New York”

On Thursday, Roc Nation went a step further, saying the casino “will benefit all of New York—the hotel and restaurant workers in the area, retailers and surrounding neighborhoods.” The letter also stated the Times Square bid commits $115m for “diverse theater programs that include daycare for Broadway workers and their families.”

The post Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Ups New York’s Times Square Casino Ante With Educational Ad Campaign appeared first on VegasSlotsOnline News.

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Opinion: Micro-Betting Comes With Great Power and Great Responsibility

Man betting on his phone and laptop

The next hot topic

Industry leaders met at SBC Summit North America to discuss a variety of topics within the world of gaming, one of them being micro-betting. 

could generate a $20bn annual betting handle by 2027

Micro-betting is a form of gambling that involves predicting smaller actions within a game, such as if the next three-pointer will be made or missed, or on which pitch a batter will get on base. There are estimates that this particular form of gambling could generate a $20bn annual betting handle by 2027.

But for all of the optimism and potential growth for micro-betting, there are also very real risks of problem gambling and addiction.

Micro-betting brings bettors closer

Most traditional sports fans enjoy grabbing their favorite snack, putting on their lucky jersey, and tuning in to two-three hours of their favorite team. Some people decide to take it a step further and take in the game at a local sports bar and restaurant, or even make the journey to the stadium to be part of the gameday experience.

Sports betting allowed even the most casual of fans to increase the intimacy of a traditional day of sports viewership. Placing bets on teams and players made it so that the stakes were even higher than they were before, both on the field and the bettor’s sense of pride.

find out the results in a matter of minutes, or even seconds

Micro-betting is taking that to a new level. Rather than leaving fans to wait on the edge of their seat to find out how their bets perform, they can find out the results in a matter of minutes, or even seconds. 

Pitch number one is a ball? Check. Pitch two a strike? Correct again. 

Although this undeniably increases the coverage and interest of sports games, its unrelenting and uninterrupted presence for gamblers also presents an opportunity for addiction. Essentially, the direct connection between the bettor, their online wallet, and the chance to bet isn’t shut off until the game is over.

The mere-exposure effect shows that people develop an affinity for something simply because they are closer or more aware of it. This theory can be applied to micro-betting to show that the more opportunities to place bets that gamblers are around, the more fondly they will think of the opportunity to do so.

With the impending growth and availability of micro-betting, bettors could be put in a situation where they are psychologically programmed to fire off more wagers. And it’s a slippery slope from there.

Understanding context

For context, micro-betting is still very new to the American market. It started with the September 2022 launch of Betr, the nation’s first direct-to-consumer micro-betting-focused platform, co-founded by internet star Jake Paul and gaming industry veteran Joey Levy.

There is an arms race in terms of technology, visibility, and opportunity that is occurring in sports betting. Micro-betting has the opportunity to take it to a much higher level if it grows into the behemoth that the SBC experts projected.

Betr is already combatting problem gambling by outlawing credit card deposits. But whereas mobile apps from companies such as FanDuel, BetMGM, and others send “take a break” warnings to customers that have been logged in for prolonged amounts of time, that would be expected of micro-bettors.

a hit of dopamine every few seconds

“That heavy frequency is associated with gambling problems,” said executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling, Keith Whyte. “You can get a hit of dopamine every few seconds; it’s more akin to playing a slot machine than betting on sports.”

According to the National Council on Problem Gaming, two million Americans meet the criteria for severely addictive gambling habits. An additional four-six million are said to have moderate problem gambling habits. 

States have tried to combat the negative effects of problem gambling by allocating portions of tax revenue to preventive and treatment programs. But a world in which micro-betting is a household commonality, well, that would be like dropping a recovering alcoholic into a liquor store.

Betr is only available in two states, Ohio and Massachusetts, and there is still lots of time to regulate and prepare for the rumored rise of micro-betting. But the potential for extreme peril exists—especially for the at-risk crowd.

The post Opinion: Micro-Betting Comes With Great Power and Great Responsibility appeared first on VegasSlotsOnline News.

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The Story of Diego Maradona: The Napoli Legend Who Won Titles and Did Coke With the Mafia

Diego Maradona statue

Who is Diego Maradona?

Italian soccer side Napoli mathematically clinched the Serie A league title five games before the end of the season, ending a 33-year titleless drought since Diego Maradona last led them to glory.

The Napoli fans stormed the pitch after the final whistle blew in the title-clinching 1-1 draw with Udinese and have spent the days since walking up and down the street in their favorite garb, lighting pyrotechnics, and filling the city with songs of glory.

But while the Napolitanos are basking in the joy of modern triumph, they will never forget Maradona’s legend on and off the pitch, from cocaine parties with the mafia to becoming one of the greatest athletes to ever play the sport.

This is the story of Diego Maradona, hero of Napoli and icon of the game.

Early life

Maradona was born in Dique Luján, Argentina on October 30, 1960. He was born into a poor family on the outskirts of the capital city Bueno Aires where he, his four sisters (all older), and two brothers (both younger) lived with both parents. 

Maradona’s parents gave him a soccer ball as a gift for his third birthday. The decision set him down a path committed to the game and ended up changing their lives forever.

At eight years old, the young Argentine was spotted by a youth coach Francisco Cornejo while playing for his team Estrella Roja. He was soon referred to the Argentinos Juniors, one of the biggest teams in South America.

although he had the physique of a child, he played like an adult”

“When Diego came to Argentinos Juniors for trials, I was really struck by his talent and couldn’t believe he was only eight years old,” said Cornejo. “In fact, we asked him for his ID card so we could check it, but he told us he didn’t have it on him. We were sure he was having us on because, although he had the physique of a child, he played like an adult. When we discovered he’d been telling us the truth, we decided to devote ourselves purely to him.”

It didn’t take long for Maradona, who only grew to be five feet five inches tall, to become a hit at his new club. His silky footwork even led to him being trotted out to perform different skills as entertainment during halftime of matches.

In 1973 and 1974, the young prodigy led his team, now considered one of the best youth squads ever, to 141 consecutive undefeated matches. He ascended through the ranks so quickly that ten days before his 16th birthday, he was called into the starting lineup for Argentinos Juniors’ first-division team.

Rising through the ranks

Maradona’s debut became iconized by a nutmeg of an opposing defender. It was viewed as a depiction of the talent that his youth coach and so many others had seen for the almost-16-year-old. 

He spent five years with the club, scoring 116 goals in 166 matches from the attacking midfield position. During this time, he also led his under-20 team to World Cup glory over defending champions Russia, scoring six times in the competition.

He was then transferred to Boca Juniors, another influential Argentine side, where he netted another 28 times in 40 matches. He was only there during the 1981-82 seasons because of a weak relationship with the manager, but he managed to make the most of his time and win the league title.

In the summer of 1982, Maradona accepted a then-world record transfer of £5m ($6.26m) to Spanish giant Barcelona. His time in Spain was ultimately filled with memorable ups and downs both on and off the pitch.

On the pitch, Maradona fit right into Barcelona’s attack. He won the Copa del Rey, Spanish League Cup, and Spanish Super Cup, justifying his hefty price tag. One of his most iconic moments in a Barcelona shirt came in El Clásico against rivals Real Madrid. He burst past the opposing keeper and then sat down a recovering defender before slotting the ball into the back of the net. 

The goal was so brilliant that the home Madrid fans could do nothing but clap. To this day, he is one of three Barcelona players to ever be applauded by Madrid fans in the Santiago Bernabéu.

Career-defining moment

Despite the on-field success, Maradona also struggled with illnesses, including hepatitis, and a broken ankle he suffered during a match against Athletic Bilbao. 

Maradona’s final match for Barcelona came in 1984 against Bilbao. During the match, the same player that broke his ankle gave him a rugged challenge and then taunted him with xenophobic terms pertaining to his father’s heritage. 

kneed another in the head and knocked him unconscious

At full-time, Maradona and Bilbao player Miguel Sola confronted one another. Sola, buoyed by his team’s 1-0 win, again fired xenophobic terms and gestures at Maradona, but rather than keep it as a war of words, Maradona headbutted Sola and knocked him to the ground. He elbowed another nearby Bilbao player and then kneed another in the head, knocking him unconscious.

The rest of the players from both sides darted over and engaged in a full-fledged brawl, all in front of Spanish King Juan Carlos and 10,000 other game-attending fans. Over half of Spain was also tuned into the match.

By the time it was all said and done, there were 60 injuries to personnel from both teams. An executive said that there was no way back for Maradona and sold him to Napoli for another world-record fee of £6.9m ($7.51m).

Whereas many players never recover from controversy, the best years of Maradona’s career came in Italy, where Napoli’s stadium is now named after him.

Diego Maradona: Napoli hero

Maradona was a pillar of hope for the people of Naples. Italian soccer was dominated by Juventus, AC Milan, Inter Milan, and Roma, and the economic disparity between the north and south of Italy was vast. But despite that, there was faith that Maradona, seen as other-worldly, could lead them to glory.

​​”[No] mayor, houses, schools, buses, employment and sanitation, none of this matters because we have Maradona,” said the newspaper.

That newspaper could not have been more on the mark. Maradona quickly received the captain’s armband and, in 1987, led Napoli to its first-ever league title. The streets of Naples were flooded with carnival-like celebrations and round-the-clock choruses of triumphant songs.

The short Argentine was a hero once again in 1990, when, after finishing as runner-up in each of the previous seasons, Napoli won their second league title, beating out AC Milan by two points. 

But while all of this was going on, Maradona was developing a robust nightlife. He frequently attended private parties of local mafia members to get high on cocaine and stay out until the sun came out. On nights he wasn’t at parties, he was at nightclubs with his entourage. 

“Diego, in terms of his cocaine use, was getting into serious abuse and his nightlife was becoming legendary,’ said Jimmy Burns, who later made a documentary on Maradona’s life called Hand of God. “He loved that kind of lifestyle, parties that lasted a long time. He’s a charmer, everybody wanted to be around him, he was god on earth.”

Maradona was so active that he would often disappear on days between games, but somehow, he would be the best player on the pitch on match-day. 

Fall from glory

At nearly 4am one morning in 1991, Maradona called a mafia member and asked to be connected to a prostitute, as he frequently did during his time in Naples. While speaking to the woman on the phone, she asked him to talk to her young son, a Napoli fan that was enamored with Maradona. He obliged in a strange but fitting representation of his status as a larger-than-life figure in the city.

federal agents were listening to the conversation through a wiretap

What Maradona didn’t know was that while he was making the young boy’s dreams come true – and also finding his muse for the night – federal agents were listening to the conversation through a wiretap. They used that as evidence of cocaine possession and distribution since he used the drug as payment for prostitutes. 

In April, he failed a substance test that found traces of cocaine in his system. He was given a 15-month ban from soccer and fled for Argentina. He was put under constant surveillance and harassment and eventually thrown in jail back in his homeland. 

Maradona played 61 games for Sevilla, Newell’s Old Boys, and Boca Juniors over the following years before stepping away in 1997. He dove into full-time management in 2008 and even spent a few years in charge of the Argentina national team but did not find steady success.

He died in 2020 at 60 years old after suffering a cardiac arrest. His body was beaten up from years of drug use, late nights, and overwhelming stress. 

Diego Maradona is remembered as one of the greatest soccer players of all time and the best to suit up for Napoli.

He was immortalized in Italian history in 2020 by the renaming of what is now Diego Armando Maradona Stadium, home to Napoli.

The post The Story of Diego Maradona: The Napoli Legend Who Won Titles and Did Coke With the Mafia appeared first on VegasSlotsOnline News.

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Play’n GO new Mexican-themed Video Slot Luchamigos

play'n go

Play’n GO strikes again! Now, the players will be able to learn more about Mexican wrestling and even step into the ring to try their strength against strong opponents. The luchadores are ready for the fight!

Luchamigos – the story of friendship:

In Luchamigos, a new video slot from Play’n GO’s studio, three friends, Gran Chico, Roco Elastico, and Muchos Salvajes, are trying to win the Lucha Libre championship. However, they have one problem: they are too weak to even compete. Luckily, they find a solution – magical chili that gives them the strength and abilities required to compete and perhaps even win the tournament.

Lucha Libre is very famous in Mexico. The participants are known for their colorful, vivid masks and phenomenal acrobatics. The whole experience is entertaining and inspiring, and this 5×4 slot is the same.

Symbols are vibrant and colorful – as well as the whole theme and the background. The cherry on top is fantastic features that increase the chances of winning and improve the overall player experience, such as Power Chilli Spins, the Ultimate Hot Spin, and indispensable Wild symbol bonuses that every character can get.

During the base game, the player should try to trigger these features. If the Chili Scatter land, the best thing would be to see the Wild symbol next to it since it will allow the Luchador to show its strength in the form of a stacked reel of Wilds, a 2×2 Mega Wild, or even four Wilds that can appear anywhere on the board.

The Ultimate meter is supposed to be filled as much as possible. When it is filled, many additional features will be triggered. Among them is the Ultimate Hot Spin, which grants additional Free Spin and the Wild win to the player. The strongest Wild will be used as a parameter of winning, so great prizes await!

High expectations:

George Olekszy, a Head of Game Retention at Play’nGO, said: “We’re really looking forward to seeing fans try their hand at this thrilling new addition to the Play’n GO portfolio. Luchamigos offers players some brilliant bonus features, all the while maintaining the chaotic and active themes that naturally come with Mexican wrestling. The Ultimate Hot Spin feature in Luchamigos, has been designed to be very accessible, keeping players motivated to fill that Ultimate meter until the bell rings. So, prepare yourselves for a spicy spectacle – and remember, it’s not just these chili peppers that pack a punch!”

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