Here are a few items that made the news over the past week.
From the ‘watch where you bet’ files: A U.S. teenager has agreed to return some of the $900,000 he allegedly made running an online sports betting scam.
Federal securities regulators in the States believe the 17-year-old bilked investors of more than $1 million through his Invest Better 2001 web site and bulletin board.
The teen promised risk-free investments for people who gave him their savings, and guaranteed returns of 125 percent to 2,500 percent. This money was then bet on sporting events through a Costa Rican sports betting site.
Down in the South Pacific, Vanuatu Internet Data Centre has announced that it will be launching a Sammy Davis Jr.-branded online casino.
Davis, who was a member of the legendary Rat Pack, died in 1990 but his wife signed a licensing agreement with marketers The LaRoda Group and Gaming & Entertainment Technology Inc. that allows them to use his likeness for the site.
The casino is expected to open in March. U.S. residents will not be able to make real-money bets, but will be able to collect points redeemable for Sammy Davis Jr. memorabilia.
The big news of the past week was William Hill’s decision to block U.S. customers from making bets on its sportsbook after January 31.
The company has said that it will no longer be taking sports bets from America because of the 1961 Wire Act’s ban on placing these types of wagers over telephone lines.
U.S. players will be able to withdraw money from their Togel Hongkong accounts after January 31 but will not be able to place bets or deposit money. They will, however, still be able to make bets at the William Hill online casino. Bettors in other parts of the world remain unaffected.
Is Your Box Big Enough?
Casino TechWe did an article on what it takes to run online casino software about a year and a half ago. But that’s the same as forever when it comes to life on the web, so we’ll take another look at the hardware and software demands of today’s multimedia games.
I’m fortunate in that I get to play casino games both as part of my job and as recreation. It just so happens that my home computer is rather different than my work machine, and this affords a great opportunity to compare the two in terms of how they perform.
For the technologically inclined, let’s look at the specs on the two different computers:
Box A – the home computer: A Celeron 400-based PC with 64 Meg of RAM, a 4 Gig hard drive and an obsolete graphics card. I bought it a little over 3 years ago. A system like this would go for about 200 bucks these days. Look in your community newspaper for someone trying to dump one if you’re interested.
Box B – the office computer: A comparatively new Pentium III 933 with 512 Meg of RAM, over 40 Gig of hard drive and a reasonable –though generic– graphics subsystem. This system is well under the $1000 mark, and is probably closer to $750.
Back in 1999, Box A was more than enough to drive the casino software of the day. In fact, it smoked! Chuck used to ask me how this or that game played for me at home ’cause his office computer kept choking. I loved it!
But that was then and this is now. These days, the high-end Internet gambling software is being defined by games with a 3D look-and-feel, games using avatars and extensive sound libraries. These games are resource hogs in no uncertain terms and they’re starting to bring Box A to its knees.
Before anyone gets too excited, though, it’s worth noting that most games play fine on Box A. It’s only the latest and greatest software versions that give it trouble. I know I’m stating the obvious, but this will get worse with time.
Box B on the other hand has proven more than enough to handle the current generation of casino games. In fact, it’s probably overkill. No casino game I’ve played has given it a single problem. I think we can draw a few conclusions from that experience:
- The casinos are fond of claiming that you can run their games on a mouse-powered shoebox with no more memory than your car alarm beeper. Don’t believe it! A decent computer — Box B would be at the higher end of that group — makes a real difference when you play the latest games.
- If you don’t care about the latest high-end games, don’t sweat it. The majority of software providers are not in the business of selling computers so they’ll be reluctant to push the technology envelope too far. They want as many players as possible playing their games and that will mean they’ll target average (i.e. Box A-level) computers.
- Chasing technology is a loosing game, and today’s killer computer is tomorrow’s boat anchor. Sad, but true. The thing to do is decide what you want to do, and that will determine where on the technology curve your computer needs lie.
For what it’s worth peripherals like your monitor, CD drive, mouse, and keyboard are more a matter of personal taste than specific requirement. Anything available today will do the job, so buy what suits you and what you can afford.