Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Entries Tagged as 'gambling'

The Jueteng Economy, Cont’d

September 18th, 2012 · No Comments

Nearly two years ago, I wrote about the Philippines’ futile efforts to stamp out jueteng, an illegal lottery analogous to the mob-run numbers games of yore. At that time, the government was about to launch legal lotteries that would offer higher payouts than their underground counterparts—the same strategy that states in the U.S. used to […]

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Poetry Lives!

May 29th, 2012 · No Comments

I spent part of the long holiday weekend catching up with Evan Osnos’s account of Macau’s casino scene, a story gorgeously stuffed with details of nouveau riche excess. The mind reels at the thought that Macau’s high rollers require stools upon which to place their handbags, or that they rock $12,000 mobile phones. But the […]

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Spot the Obscenity

March 16th, 2012 · No Comments

It has been far too long since I have cast Microkhan’s spotlight on Papua New Guinea, one of this project’s most beloved topics of conversation. The troubled country has an election due this summer, one that could well be delayed by a government desperate to cling to power. In the meantime, that government is wrestling […]

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The Unsung Hero of Slots

July 19th, 2011 · 8 Comments

After a gestation period that lasted nearly a year, my latest Wired story is finally out. It’s a tough one to summarize, but the tale centers on a Cuban-Latvian engineer who figured out a way to replicate the slot machines manufactured by International Game Technology (IGT), the S&P 500 company that has long dominated the […]

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A Perfect System, Soaked in Blood

November 1st, 2010 · 1 Comment

Though my gambling amounts to little more than the occasional hand of $5 blackjack while in Vegas, I’m fascinated by the work of oddsmaking. It takes a special kind of genius to create a system in which the house will always win in the long run, though by just enough to preserve the game’s entertainment […]

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Beautiful Minds at the Fronton

October 13th, 2010 · 1 Comment

My heart goes out to contemporary jai-alai players who must constantly answer a rather irritating question from casual observers: “Isn’t your sport fixed?” The stars of the circuit have gone to great lengths to assure the public of jai-alai’s credibility, but it’s still tough to overcome some of the extreme shadiness that dogged the sport […]

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The Jueteng Economy

October 6th, 2010 · 3 Comments

Filipinos can certaily be forgiven for having mixed feelings about jueteng, their nation’s equivalent of the ol’ numbers racket that used to flourish on these shores. After all, jueteng helped bring down the government of former President Joseph Estrada, who was later convicted of having close ties with the underworld characters who operate the lotteries. […]

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An Especially Tricky Lot

January 4th, 2010 · 3 Comments

Back during our days writing Slate‘s “Explainer” column, we were once asked to tackle a statistically tricky question: Could self-styled moral watchdog William Bennett really have, as he claimed, broken even playing high-stakes slot machines for over a decade? (Quickie answer: Almost certainly not, unless the man is blessed with Ashley Albright levels of luck.) […]

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The Mathletes’ Revenge

December 9th, 2009 · 8 Comments

We’re eternally fascinated by athletes whose skills are so spectacular, the powers-that-be of their respective sports feel compelled to change the ground rules in order to preserve some modicum of fairness. (See: Wilt Chamberlain and the widening of the lane, the recent “Tiger Proofing” of golf courses.) Now something similar is going on in the […]

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Microtribe

May 27th, 2009 · No Comments

Today’s New York Times features a fascinating account of the Shinnecock Indians’ three-decade quest for federal recognition—a quest that should finally be resolved this year, at least according to an Interior Department promise. At stake is the tribe’s right to build a casino, as well as its potential to lay claim to large swaths of […]

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A Mathematician’s Revenge

May 22nd, 2009 · 1 Comment

Delaware’s future as the new Vega$ East may well hinge on the microstate’s supreme court. A “sports lottery” law was recently passed, but the specifics of how it’ll work are still unclear. Yesterday, the Home of Tax-Free Shopping’s most learned judges heard arguments from two parties: Those in favor of single-game betting, and those who […]

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