Online Gambling in Atlantic City

For better or for worse, online gambling is coming to New Jersey.

In late February, Chris Christie officially signed into law a bill that legalized internet gambling in Atlantic City.

Initially the bill was vetoed by the Governor because of issues surrounding transparency and taxes. Lawmakers adjusted the text and the amended bill passed by an overwhelming majority in the legislature and earned Christie’s seal of approval.

Here are the basics of the bill:

- Casinos located in Atlantic City will be able to apply for a license to offer online gambling. Only the twelve official Atlantic City casinos will be eligible for the license. No other organizations can offer internet gambling, and face stiff fines if they do. All facilities used for the operation of internet gambling must be located within city limits; only bets that are received by a server in Atlantic City will be legal.

- Players must be “physically present” in New Jersey to place wagers. In the future, New Jersey may develop agreements with other states where internet gambling is legal to permit out-of-state gambling. The casino’s equipment must verify players’ locations before accepting wagers.

- Any games available to play in the casinos can be played online. (For comparison, Nevada only allows poker.) As of now, sports betting will not be protected by this bill, although the state of New Jersey is trying to fight the federal statute barring the legalization of sports betting.

- The bill has all kinds of provisions to keep gambling addiction at bay, such as requiring the prominent display of the 1-800-GAMBLER hotline number, a way to set maximum bets and losses over a certain period of time, and tracking player losses to identify and limit users who may demonstrate addictive gambling behavior.

- Revenue from online gambling will carry a 15% tax. The Christie administration states that about $180 million in revenue for the state will be generated from this tax, but some analysts think this number is seriously overestimated.

The official regulations, which the bill required the Division of Gaming Enforcement to produce, were released on June 3, and are subject to a “public comment period” until August 2 before being finalized. These rules include details such as how a casino acquires the appropriate licenses and procedures for maintaining network security on gambling sites.

So, will online gambling actually benefit the state?

The Good

Revenues from Atlantic City casinos have been on the decline for the past seven years, and online gambling could be what saves the failing casinos. Since 2006, casino revenue has dropped from $5.2 billion to around $3 billion. Online gambling could be a $500 million to $1 billion industry in New Jersey, which may be enough to keep struggling casinos afloat and save jobs in Atlantic City. Further, even though estimates of tax revenue are all over the map, there is potential for online gambling to be a considerably valuable source of money for the state. The casinos will also have to pay a tax to the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, which will provide further assistance to struggling casinos in Atlantic City.

For the player, low overhead costs mean better prizes and more opportunities to play. Casinos can incent players with free “chips” that have minimal costs for them but give players more opportunities to play and win. The convenience of gambling online allows players to play more with less travel.

BAD:

One of the goals of the bill is supposedly to attract more people to visit the brick-and-mortar casinos, but it is hard to say if online gambling will actually lead to this outcome. One could speculate it could even cause people to go to the casinos less (However, this seems unlikely; the social element and the free drinks are lost in online gambling. Also, research indicates that, at least with poker, internet gaming does not reduce casino gaming.) Advertising for the host casino will be allowed on the online gambling sites, which could possibly encourage people to visit the casino but could also be annoying for players.

Online gambling could be seriously devastating for people who have gambling addictions, or even cause people to develop them, raising financial and moral concerns. Even with all the preventative steps the bill requires, it will definitely be much harder to cut off compulsive gamblers if they can place bets anywhere with an internet connection.

Regardless, it is going to be a while before the casinos can actually kick off their online gambling offerings. The regulations need to be finalized and casinos need to apply for licensure and develop their gambling websites. This means the casinos will not be enjoying this new source of revenue during the 2013 summer season, which could be Atlantic City’s toughest season ever following recovery from Hurricane Sandy.

Free Browser Games – New Browser Games

Facebook Games – List of all social games on Facebook network | Free Browser Games – New Browser Games

Restaurant City is a 2D social restaurant management game that allows players to start and run their own restaurant from the ground up. Re-arrange and design your new restaurant with a variety of decorations. Hire a complete staff made up of friends, set the daily menu, gather ingredients, and keep the customers happy. Although comparable to other games like CafĂ© World and Pet Society where players can cook up savory meals in Restaurant City it’s all about the ingredients. Players buy, earn, trade, and even grow necessary recipe ingredients to create meals. Work with or compete against neighbors for the position of the top restaurant on the block.

Starting Your Own Restaurant, the Gameplay

In Restaurant City players are in charge of their own fully functioning restaurant. Each player starts out small with several tables, chairs, and stoves. Before the game can begin users have to hire some of their Facebook friends to work for them. A quick click on their avatar and then desired job will accomplish this task. Once all of the waiters, chefs, and janitors have been assigned players are ready for business. Restaurant City has a helpful Open Hours feature that allows players to choose opening and closing hours to fit into their playing schedule. This option prevents users from having to rush and log back in simply to check on their restaurant. There are various shifts available for managers to choose from. Each shift has a coin fee. Shorter shifts earn more profits since they’re cheaper. Players can schedule their employees to work any length of time from 30 minutes to 24 hours. Employees complete tasks automatically following their assigned duties. Janitors clean up spills, waiters serve meals, and chefs stay busy behind the stoves cooking. Players take on more of a managerial role so the gameplay is fairly slow paced. Coins and XP are earned through leveling dishes, serving customers, and visiting neighbors. Players spend most of their time using strategy to boost their rank, collecting necessary ingredients, and decorating. Each restaurant has a popularity number. The more satisfied customers the higher the rating will go up. Users have to figure out how to balance the staff in a way that will serve all of the incoming customers in a timely manner. Customers who have to wait too long will walk out and decrease the restaurant’s popularity rating.

The Ingredient Hunt

Restaurant City has a very diverse menu. It’s divided into four categories consisting of a starter, main, dessert, and drink. Players can serve customers Tuna Steak with Vegetables, Russian Cappuccino, Lobster, Hamburger and Fries, Pink Lemonade, Mango Pudding, Pork and Apple Chops, Chocolate Cake, Beef Enchilada, or Strawberry Milkshake. In order to cook a variety of meals, ingredients are needed. The ingredient market is limited and very expensive. There are only three items are on sale per day for coins. The rest of the ingredients require Playfish Cash to purchase. If a player doesn’t want to spend real money for common items like water, ice, bread, butter, flour, sugar, cheese, and eggs than they have to rely on their neighbors and other methods to obtain them. Players can receive ingredients daily for free by logging in and correctly be answering the Food Quiz. The questions often vary from real life cooking techniques to food trivia. It’s quite challenging. This is a unique feature in the game that educates players in a fun way. In Restaurant City an option to a garden is available similar to the game Pet Society. Players can grow their own fresh ingredients. The garden lot expands as a user levels up. Although it’s a nice touch there is no choice in the type of seeds that you can plant. A mysterious bag of unmarked seeds will produce random spices, vegetables, or fruit when ripe. New dishes can be learned and leveled up to increase XP when all the required ingredients have been collected. Neighbors can assist in the hunt for ingredients as well.

Checking Out the Competition

In Restaurant City friendly competition and friendship work hand in hand. Players can visit their friends’ restaurants to help out or take a trip to a random street to see how other restaurant moguls businesses are operating. Visiting neighbors can earn coins, XP, and a free ingredient. Remove trash from their floor like spilled soda cans, discarded pizza slices, and banana peels by clicking on them. Sometimes their restaurant may have a nasty leak, a blazing fire, a penguin invasion, a sleeping bear scaring away customers, or giant mushrooms in the garden that requires immediate attention. The first time a player visits a new neighbor they earn one free ingredient. This makes neighbors an essential part of gameplay. Users must rely on friends to earn a significant amount of XP to level up and to receive ingredients which can be tedious at times. Players can also trade ingredients with each other by clicking the Ingredient Trade icon. For some players who do not like to depend on their friends to advance in games constantly joining neighbor adds lists and bargaining for ingredients can be exhausting. All neighboring restaurants on the street are ranked in order by popularity. This system lets players know exactly how their restaurant measures up when compared to their buddies. Restaurant City takes full advantage of its multiplayer aspects allowing users to travel to random streets with players who are not neighbors and rate their restaurants.

Everything but the Kitchen Sink

The customization in Restaurant City is exceptional. Everything can be personalized from a player’s avatar to the minuscule details in the building’s exterior. Users have the option of keeping their avatar basic or personalizing it. Give your avatar a rock star Mohawk, a Princess Leila hairdo, villain attire, or cool shades. The game has dozens of various themes to choose from including a Roadside Diner, Saloon, Moroccan, Medieval, Eastern, Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, Psychedelic 60s, and Victorian style. There are also some fun unexpected designs like the UFO, Zombie, Ghost, Anime, and Princess available. It’s possible for players to create any kind of restaurant they want. The necessary basics like chairs, tables, stoves, toilets, and even drink dispensers come in an assortment of customized styles. Depending on the theme or desired look users have hundreds of items that they can add to renovate their restaurant. Click and drag new patterned tile floors, colored wallpaper, arcade machines, dividers, walls, aquariums, stereos, and arcade machines. The outside of the restaurant can be redesigned also. Change the building size from a small size to a behemoth building base. Attach various roofs or use decorations like a roving spotlight, balloons, lanterns, flags, flowers, canopy, menu signs, bouncer, benches, robot chef, and a magical unicorn. A very cool feature in Restaurant City is the music player that can be customized as well. Users can change the default elevator melody that plays over and over again to a catchier tune. Choose from the classic Pineapple Overture, upbeat My Irish Heart, Asian-inspired Delicate Spring, Latin Fiesta Brothers, or the cool mellow Lounge Lizard Slide.

Final Verdict: Great

Players participate in a competitive world overcrowded with restaurants all vying for top rank. In Restaurant City users have endless possibilities for customization. There are also some very cool features that keep the game entertaining. Explore the virtual streets in search for ingredients, listen to the music player while menu planning, message friends, or test your knowledge as a foodie in one their quizzes. It goes beyond other similar games like Cafe World or Pet Society by adding more social multiplayer options like the ingredient neighbor trade system. The slower paced gameplay with the Open Hours setting for scheduling play makes it perfect for busy gamers.

Trying the Free Online Game of Medievia

If you have not heard of it there is a game called Medievia which is an online game for people to play. The game is what people call a MUD which is short for Multi-User Dungeon or in a short a large online multi player RPG. Generally speaking these games are text based and Medievia fits this perfectly. A simple way to put is probably a pure text based version of a game such as World of Warcaft or the online version of dungeons and dragons. The game dates back several years all the way back to 1991 and people have played it ever since then.

The game is very simple being in the same vein as dungeons and dragons or a similar game you simply choose a class at the start of the game. Your choices are Thief, Warrior, mage and Cleric. It plays like your standard RPG game except everything is done completely by text. It’s rather difficult to expand on the true depth of the game but I’ll try to give a basic idea. At the start you do your usual things in most RPG games. You explore dungeons, kill monsters, level up and collect gold. However once you begin to level up the number of things which you can do increases rather dramatically.

So far the only class I have played in depth is the Cleric which I’ve managed to level all the way up to upper twenties, your max level is thirty two. Some of the reasons why the game can get so in depth and complex is because once you reach level thirty two things aren’t actually over, just like any good multiplayer RPG. Once you reach this level you have the option to become level one, keep all your old skills or magic, and begin all over again as a new class which essentially allows you to multiclass. On top of this there are a new endless number of dungeons, zones, towns and cities to explore all which have NPC characters who are a part of the story of the area.

They can give you quests which can reward you with experience gold or other things. There are dozens of clans you can join to network and play with other players or you can even do things such as buy items and take them in a caravan to sell at other towns. You can ride horses, dragons, buy a home, get married to start your own blood line and have children, these children then become playable characters which you can give to other people and you can do other things such as buy your own ship or start your own business. So it’s hard to truly put in perspective everything which you can do in this game. I’ll be honest that I haven’t personally gone as deep into this game as you can or as other people have. However I have been playing the game on and off for several years now.

I’ve been in lots of dungeons and zones, gone on trade routes, joined clans and overall just had a lot of fun. The nice thing about this game is that it’s very much no pressure if you choose to do it that way. Like I said I’ve been playing the game on and off for years now and I’ve never had to worry about my account being deleted no matter how long I left it idle. The game is very intuitive with most commands being what you would expect, typing S makes you move south, N makes you move North, rest makes you sit down and rest, etc. As you can guess since it is a game it is somewhat limited on what you can do but the game creators have expanded it so much that there are very few limits on everything. As an RPG it plays extremely well giving you all of the usual stats which such a game needs.

You have health (HP) mana for magic, stamina for movement, vitality which you need to sleep to restore and you need to eat when you’re hungry and drink when you’re thirsty. The game has a huge player base many of which are very active and the more active clans are usually looking to have new members join and they are more than willing to help you out. MUDs in general are good games and this one is a very good example of a well done MUD. Being so large and in depth the fact that they keep it completely free for anyone with an internet connection to play is nice.

You can play it in a browser but the free application which you can download and install to play it works much better. For people who have extra money they do have the option to donate money which results in special items which can help give you an edge in the game. The game also has simple maps to help give you a small visual idea of what you’re playing which almost makes it feel like a nice text based game/story. The thing which I like most is how you can be a regular player or a more casual player like I am.

This is nice for me because when I’m in the mood I’ll play the game and when the mood passes I’ll let it be. I know that my account will always be there for me when I come back and there’s no requirements for how often I need to be around. If you really like RPG games, something which you can play with your friends, and you are looking for something which is completely free then I would try out this game. The fact that you can play it on something as simple as a dial-up connection is nice as well. So if you have the interest and time I would suggest checking out the online game of Medievia.