Monday, February 3, 2014

ADVENTURES IN INTERNET GAMBLING, PART 1

As you may or may not know, real-money online gambling has been legal in New Jersey for a few months now. While I would not say that I am a heavy gambler, I do periodically enjoy a trip to the casino, so I was certainly intrigued by the idea of playing at home. And I can honestly say that I have always thought that not being allowed to do so seemed more than a little silly. As such I decided to give it a go. The Borgata is one of my favorite casinos in Atlantic City, so I headed to their site first [http://casino.theborgata.com/]. As luck would have it, they give out $20 in slot play just for signing up, which gave me even more incentive to give it a spin. After finishing up the registration process, which asks for quite a lot of information, I looked through the other available promotions, and instantly wound up winning another $10 in free slot play because it was Chinese New Year. That all being wrapped up, I took the $30 of house money and headed off to the slots.

There is a fairly decent selection of slot "machines" to pick from, although many of them don't sound particularly inspiring. Unfortunately, on January 31, I was unable to get a single one of them to actually work. Initially I was attempting to use the site through my browser, but since that was getting me nowhere I went ahead and downloaded their app onto my computer. That part went fine and so I again tried to play a slot machine. The first time I received a message saying that the particular game I was attempting to play was not installed on my PC and asking if I would like to install it. Upon allowing it to install, I would then receive no action at all in response to my attempting to open it. After around 10 minutes of messing around with all that I gave up and played Skyrim instead.

Today, I thought I would give it another try before my free slot play credits expired. This time when I attempted to launch a game it would open another window, indicating that something was happening, but that window would remain black and empty. Repeated attempts at relaunching a slot machine resulted in the same result until finally I decided to just click a random spot in the dark void and see what happened. Sure enough that made the window load and I was off to a game, finally. Alas, those next attempts were also not to be, as I was promptly greeted by error messages several times, until finally, I got one to actually work. Unfortunately, I found the graphic design of it to be exceptionally displeasing and promptly left to find another machine.



I next settled on a Monopoly themed slot machine, which was much more professional looking. The machines all seem to be penny slots for now, so there weren't any large payouts, but it did keep giving enough small ones to slow the stream of money from my account, and it was entertaining enough. When I was down to only a few remaining dollars I decided to mix things up and try another machine. This time I went with one that featured a weird mix of Leonardo DaVinci's works and jewels. While not designed with quite as much sheen as the Monopoly one, it proved to be exponentially more entertaining, and much kinder with doling out small rewards. After playing for awhile I actually found myself back up over $10, and since that was now my money and no longer the free credits I decided to call it a day. All in all it was a fun experience, although they are going to need to do some work on the vast technical issues. Anyone in New Jersey who wants to give it a go and doesn't mind the potential frustration should definitely check it out. Just remember not to gamble away your rent money. Sure I wound up ever so slightly wealthier than I started, but that is certainly not the norm. The house always wins, even when it's your house.