Saturday, August 30, 2008

Support for US Online Gambling Continues reports on a recent poll conducted by the Las Vegas site. As the post title suggests, the poll shows that support for legalized online gambling remains. This poll was more detailed in that the answers available were more than a yes or no. Respondents were allowed choices that nuanced their yes or no positions.

Of the approximately 4,800 votes, the yes/no split was 68%/32%. Being an open, online poll, the result is unscientific but since the poll was conducted on a site that has a Vegas bias, it is still interesting. If any locale would be opposed to widespread online gambling, it would be Vegas.

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Ultimate Fantasy Football Magazine

As discussed in a previous post, this is the time of year where fantasy football touts flood the magazine racks with their wisdom, claiming that they are the gospel leading you to fantasy glory or redemption, as your case may be.

The magazines are basically the same. They offer the same core product content:
  • How to play
  • Fantasy league schedule
  • Pro (or college) schedule
  • "Experts" picks
  • Performance projections/player analysis
  • "Cheat sheet"/ranking (for a particular scoring methodology)
  • Page to write down your draft selections
  • Advertising for other fantasy football offerings

All this for $5.99 - $7.99! (US dollars)

Not to plug a particular vendor, but I did get a copy of's "Just Cheat Sheets." This magazine has player rankings based on about a half a dozen different scoring schemes. It is very light on projections and analysis, but it is true to its word as a cheat sheet publication.

But what if you could combine this with some of the standard fantasy football magazine content? Now, that would likely be something you could see paying $10.00 - $12.00 for. With a magazine like this, you wouldn't need to make sure you had two magazines to refer to during a draft preparation or the draft. One magazine you could roll up and stick in your pocket (assuming you wear cargo pants). That, a pen and highlighter, and you're ready! The only thing you would need to worry about is the accuracy of the projections. Over time, the better prognosticators would (hopefully) be able to document their accuracy.

On a separate topic, I have changed my opinion on experts. At first, I enjoyed looking to see where experts viewed players. Over time, I noticed that generally there were few times where the experts radically disagreed, so just like political pundits, they all say pretty much the same thing. I suppose experts picks can be used to make you feel better if you made an early round choice that fizzled. You could point to the experts and say, "see, they all had this guy going in the second round." Forget experts unless the experts were winners of high-stakes contests where they put up their own money to compete. No more experts where they are merely guys who blog (like me) or work for these same publications they want you to buy. If you laid $1,000 of your good money down and won $100,000, I would be interested in your opinions.

If I was starting up a competing magazine, or wanted to increase my magazine's popularity, I might take a hard look at this format and price point. Having several scoring methodology player rankings helps as not every league operates the same. Make it easy for customers to determine your magazine is a good fit for their league, informational and hopefully entertaining. Charge more than a typical magazine, but less than if you purchased two.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Casinos Should Stick to Knitting

Online Casino Advisory has an interesting article describing how the dip in Las Vegas casino revenues may be linked to the venue's deviation away from gaming as the primary source of revenue. In other words, Las Vegas' attempt to diversify away from gaming to help recession-proof itself may have had the opposite effect.

Recently, Las Vegas is struggling while Macao is strong. Each venue is at different ends of the spectrum with regard to diversification. Las Vegas casinos has a substantial majority of their revenue come from non-gaming activities. Macao has a substantial majority of their revenue from gaming -- like Las Vegas used to be.

If Las Vegas wanted to go back to basics, it will be difficult. There's been so much money spent to make Vegas a destination resort, it would take much more pain than this to force a sea change. However, some of the smaller off-strip properties, downtown and second-tier Strip properties might be able to adjust and try a return to the "good old days."

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