Many things can effect your local provider of blackjack playing possibilities, casinos are as much at the whims of chance as anyone who sits down at a table to play.

It’s weird the things people think are lucky. You’ll see them playing blackjack trying to exercise proper casino table manners whilst at the same time fingering a ring round their neck like they’ve turned into Golem and might lead the entire gaming floor into Mordor at the drop of an Orc. Just what are those guys that are constantly twiddling their lighters going to do when the anti-smoking mafia finally make all casinos smoke free? Juggle their nicotine patches? And who said it was the punters that needed all the luck anyway?

Punters get a set framework to play within, a set of odds limited by the numbers of packs in the shoe, the cards already dealt and indeed the cards on display, in the world of casinos, on the other hand, just about anything could happen. I doubt the marketing strategy for the casinos in Macau included a crack down by Chinese authorities, young idealists in the streets or their own staff deciding to stage wildcat strikes for better wagers and conditions, and yet…

Blackjack Players Scared Off By Protests

• Protestors have adverse effect on gambling revenues around the world

• Macau, Vegas and Ukraine all effected – Monte Carlo isn’t

• Android slots another feather in its cap as protestors use bluetooth to organize

Not that even this triple whammy of irritations will make much of a dent in revenues from the “Special Administrative Region” of China that is Macau. With revenues that have approached $50 Billion at times it’s not surprising the place is still expanding with even larger and more opulent casino resorts planned, under construction or nearing completion. Of course if there’s one thing that Atlantic City proved it was one shouldn’t put all one’s eggs in the same basket. In Macau 9 out of 10 dollars are spent on gambling, which pretty much means they only have one basket.

The striking staff demonstrating in Macau want better wages and benefits, the young idealists on the streets of Hong Kong want freedom and democracy™. It doesn’t take much of a gambler to know who has the better odds of success in that particular comparison, labor disputes usually end in negotiation, asking the Chinese government for democracy usually ends up in tanks. Not that even China would send in the troops against this soppy bunch of emo students. There’s nothing worse than watching a media studies undergraduate cry.

Casino Staff Strike For Better Pay And Conditions

The casino staff demonstrate their desire for management compliance with their requests by all taking sick days at the same time, leaving the casino short of staff, the young idealists on the other hand demonstrate by politely standing around tweeting to each other waiting to cry on camera as soon as someone shouts nasty words at them, which oddly has begun to leave the casinos short of customers as fools hear the word “demonstration” and equate this large-scale communal sulk to real, dangerous-to-life-and-limb, social unrest. The Chinese crackdown on corruption scared off the high rollers, now the tourists are being scared off by a bunch of inept students.

It says much about this group of student activists, protestors and young people just wanting to be in on the action, that they decided to stage their protest in a district of Hong Kong that goes by the name of Mong Kok. This, depending upon your mood, either sounds like a particularly unintelligent porn star or a 1950s Japanese creature feature that involved a cardboard city being laid to waste by a man in an embarrassing rubber dinosaur suit. The one thing it doesn’t sound like is something you can say on CNN during the lunchtime news.

So much for the tech-savvy younger generation eh? Can figure out how to text message a thousand people the minutiae of their day but didn’t spot the obvious penis joke detrimental to their rightful demands for the political system they were promised – one unencumbered by Chinese involvement. This goal, of course, is as optimistic as betting security won’t spot you using a card counting system if you’re an A-list celebrity playing blackjack in public, as being anyone opening a casino anywhere in the north eastern United States or betting the six deck shoe really will have 25 aces in it this time round.

And the far east is by no means alone in the Ukraine the flourishing casino business, particularly in Kiev, has suffered hugely as the ongoing crisis has both cut it off from its Russian customer base and seen the sort of protests and demonstrations on the streets that have far less of the polite student about them and far more than a whiff of fascist thug in the mix. Of course the situation is likely to stabilize in the Ukraine given time, just as it almost certainly will in Hong Kong… unless we’re all dead.

Demonstrators Die In Vegas

The last week of September saw a demonstration in Las Vegas of 1000 nurses all dressed in red t-shirts who marched en masse through the Planet Hollywood Casino and then, outside the Bellagio, dropped to the floor pretending to be dead. No, they weren’t drawing attention to the harmful effects of problem gambling, or even protesting weird blackjack rule variations, they were drawing attention to the Ebola virus, the one disease that needs a higher media profile right now like a school playground with a hungry tiger in it needs a drone strike.

The nurses feel the US is unprepared for Ebola and felt the Las Vegas strip the best place to stage a demonstration about it, of course getting a 1000 people from all over the place to one specific location for a temporary gathering is precisely the best way to spread Ebola, but I’m sure they meant well. Demonstrators often do mean well until heavy handed police tactics just make them mean instead which the police then use to justify the tactics.

Perhaps then we’re likely to see this protesting spread to other gambling hubs, although it’s quite hard to imagine the streets of Monaco coming to a halt as the staff of the Casino de Monte Carlo demonstrate for higher wages during Grand Prix weekend. Certainly the youth of this Mediterranean tax haven are unlikely to protest unless daddy refuses to buy them a Fortune 500 company for their next birthday, but then it’s Monte Carlo and the average resident is quite rich. Elsewhere the story isn’t so rosy.

It’s isn’t difficult to imagine that Atlantic City, which is rapidly turning into the casino graveyard, will one day be visited by tourists gleefully attracted to the atmosphere of haunting disaster in the same way they are these days to Chernobyl, each of them desperate to get photos of themselves in front of the decaying empty hulks of casinos that cost billions of dollars to build and yet failed after but a couple of years, former staff reduced to staging reenactments of what gambling used to look like on the Broadwalk till the police move them on for passing the hat round. Now there’s something to protest against.