The Future of Gambling?

I just received a press release regarding a wireless ‘bet-work’ that the Venetian is beta testing:

While spending every second of your Vegas vacation gambling sounds terrific, everyone knows a room-service club sandwich can properly be enjoyed only in your room. Take your crippling addiction mobile, with the eDeck, now test-running at the Venetian.

After five years of development and regulatory approval, LV-based Cantor Gaming’s unleashed a wi-fi’d PSP-like device that lets you play for real money on-the-go, free from obnoxious fellow players and dealers so deep in your head you can’t even get your drink order right. Just set up an account with an attendant, log in with your player’s card/PIN, roam around and get your game on; later, assuming you don’t accidentally send your winnings to voicemail, press a cashout button to retrieve your e-lucre from the cashier. Current fun includes blackjack, baccarat, slots, video poker, and roulette (American or European); future offerings will include live-action poker, sportsbook parlays, and proprietary games like the one Cantor’s creating based on characters from Heavy Metal magazine — so instead of losing money to a shifty guy in a bow tie, you can lose it to a busty space valkyrie.

During the prelim trial, the eDeck’ll only work in the Venetian’s high-stakes slots lounge, but assuming all goes well, you’ll soon be able to use it throughout the hotel: at the pool, in the club, and in your room — where, feasting and betting, you’ll utter that fateful line, “This club sandwich will pay for itself”.

For poker players, who already sit in the cafe in the Venetian and play online poker on their laptops, this will not be very useful. However, the casual (and sometimes not so casual) gamblers, who don’t bring their laptops on vacation, will probably dig this convenience. I think it takes a bit of the fun out of actually gambling in Vegas, the chips, the free drinks, the smoke, the dealers – and certainly introduces the ‘digital tilt’ factor to people who will have to learn the hard way it is much easier to click away a $1000 than actually bet it on the tables.

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