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of continuity with last time, Vegas is seeing a big drop in room bookings right
now. Inevitably that's going to translate into cheaper trips for us customers.
The key phrases are 'haggle on the phone' and 'shop around'.
at home, the original Mecca is having troubles of its own. Monaco has gotten
into a big brawl with big sister, France. Prince Rainnier III himself, latest
in the seven centuries of Grimaldi family monarchs, has been making strong
comments to the effect that his square mile of rock should at last become an
independent EU state. Monaco joined the U.N. in 1993 in a show of independence
which upset the French government.
Coupled with their long held grudge
over the tax laws in Monaco, the French government has been looking at ways of
diverting attention from their endless financial scandals implicating public
figures like the current President Chirac and the family of the last one,
Mitterrand. For whatever reason, the Finance and Justice ministries conducted
investigations and found $43 billion in accounts of suspicious origin. The
Prince replied that Chirac 'was jealous of a well run state'.
is out, but the little state is playing a big hand of poker. If it ever gets EU
status, those wishy-washy money laundering laws will have to go.
down to Australia where politics and gambling are the same thing. Ruling
Democrats are struggling to pass a bill to ban Internet gambling for
Australians, but not for overseas gamblers who want to punt on Aussie sites.
Australian citizens will however be able to legally gamble on foreign sites,
something critically opposed by the Labor party who say gambling is an
Australian business. The debate is set to heat up as the one year ban on
Internet gambling is lifted on May 18, 2001.
Back to Vegas and the
fastest growing city in the U.S, 83% from 1990 to 2000, is beginning to feel
the pain of its size. Whilst desperate to attract industries other than
gambling, the city council looked the other way when it came to regulating
emissions. Now the heat haze is turning a yellow brown and lingering all
through the hottest days.
A more immediate problem is the gang war in
North Las Vegas, a poor suburb with 20% unemployment. In one month 8 people
have been killed over drug territory, a church deacon and a teenage girl being
Vegas wouldn't be Vegas though without bizarre
stories and last week a man was killed by a Tiger. He was grooming the 7-year
old Bengal tiger when it turned on him and bit his neck. Boxer David Tua, who
lost a heavyweight title fight with Lennox Lewis last year, rushed from his
training facility next door but could not save the man. The tiger is in
Finally on U.K shores, PaddyPower.co.uk, Ireland's biggest
bookmaker, got into trouble after running a poster add with odds on which of
two zimmer-frame using OAPs would get run down first. Their posters were
defaced but the company defended their campaign as "fun". Also on the Net,
Betswap.com, a site for people to exchange wagers, went the way of Betmart.com
just a few months ago. It closed citing technical problems but customers got
cheques in the post for their account balances.