New Circa casino called a ‘game changer’ for downtown Las ...

You know how we keep talking about how nice it would be if more businesses were CF? Well, there's a new hotel opening in Downtown Las Vegas where children ARE NOT allowed! Introducing...The Circa Hotel & Casino! Opening day is October 28th!

Read the article on the Las Vegas Review-Journal website
I'll definitely be checking this place out!
EDITED TO ADD: Thank you for the award! It's my first one ever!!!!
submitted by World_Explorerz to childfree [link] [comments]

Circa Las Vegas. New casino downtown.

Circa Las Vegas. New casino downtown. submitted by asshole702 to Wellthatsucks [link] [comments]

Finally, Some Good News! Downtown Las Vegas' newest 'ground-up' casino being built right now, The Circa, will be Adults Only / 21+ !!

submitted by UncensoredImages to childfree [link] [comments]

Doordash in the News from Dasherland.com 'Best day ever': Gamblers flock to downtown Las Vegas on first night of casino reopeningshttps://www.dasherland.com/best-day-ever-gamblers-flock-to-downtown-las-vegas-on-first-night-of-casino-reopenings-2/?feed_id=1243&_unique_id=5ed9a6a18e10c

Doordash in the News from Dasherland.com 'Best day ever': Gamblers flock to downtown Las Vegas on first night of casino reopeningshttps://www.dasherland.com/best-day-ever-gamblers-flock-to-downtown-las-vegas-on-first-night-of-casino-reopenings-2/?feed_id=1243&_unique_id=5ed9a6a18e10c submitted by RideshareAZ to u/RideshareAZ [link] [comments]

Doordash in the News from Dasherland.com 'Best day ever': Gamblers flock to downtown Las Vegas on first night of casino reopeningshttps://www.dasherland.com/best-day-ever-gamblers-flock-to-downtown-las-vegas-on-first-night-of-casino-reopenings-2/?feed_id=1245&_unique_id=5ed9a6a21a475

Doordash in the News from Dasherland.com 'Best day ever': Gamblers flock to downtown Las Vegas on first night of casino reopeningshttps://www.dasherland.com/best-day-ever-gamblers-flock-to-downtown-las-vegas-on-first-night-of-casino-reopenings-2/?feed_id=1245&_unique_id=5ed9a6a21a475 submitted by RideshareAZ to Dasherland [link] [comments]

[Travel] - New Circa Resort & Casino to open in downtown Las Vegas in 2020 | LA Times

[Travel] - New Circa Resort & Casino to open in downtown Las Vegas in 2020 | LA Times submitted by AutoNewspaperAdmin to AutoNewspaper [link] [comments]

[Travel] - New Circa Resort & Casino to open in downtown Las Vegas in 2020

[Travel] - New Circa Resort & Casino to open in downtown Las Vegas in 2020 submitted by AutoNewsAdmin to LATIMESauto [link] [comments]

Derek Stevens unveils Circa Resort & Casino for downtown Las Vegas to debut in 2020 - Las Vegas Sun News

Derek Stevens unveils Circa Resort & Casino for downtown Las Vegas to debut in 2020 - Las Vegas Sun News submitted by jabba_the_bot to vegas [link] [comments]

@NBCNews: Las Vegas' Strip and downtown casinos face the possibility of a strike by tens of thousands of workers as new contracts have not been reached hours before they are set to expire. https://t.co/PRHG7KIJXN

@NBCNews: Las Vegas' Strip and downtown casinos face the possibility of a strike by tens of thousands of workers as new contracts have not been reached hours before they are set to expire. https://t.co/PRHG7KIJXN submitted by -en- to newsbotbot [link] [comments]

[Business] - Developer plans new hotel, casino for downtown Las Vegas

[Business] - Developer plans new hotel, casino for downtown Las Vegas submitted by AutoNewsAdmin to TWTauto [link] [comments]

[Business] - Developer plans new hotel, casino for downtown Las Vegas

[Business] - Developer plans new hotel, casino for downtown Las Vegas submitted by AutoNewsAdmin to MIAMIHERALDauto [link] [comments]

When the league inevitably expands to 32 teams, here are the ten cities that I think should be considered for the two expansion franchises.

SEATTLE

It goes without saying, but one franchise should definitely end up in Seattle, as the Supersonics of course. It's been quite a letdown for the city that PBC moved the team to OKC after their acquisition of the team. The city is now updating the Climate Pledge Arena, formally known as the KeyArena, (one of the reasons for the team's relocation) with the arrival of the NHL team, the Seattle Kraken. The Sonic fans have been clear and vocal since the move that they could still support an NBA franchise without a doubt.  

KANSAS CITY

The state of Missouri surprisingly does not house an NBA franchise and hasn't since the departure of the Kansas City Kings in 1985. The city seems to support their professional sports franchises and has an arena downtown that could be suitable for the potential NBA team (with some renovating I'd presume - it seems nice but I am not familiar enough with the facility). It seems the market is significant enough to support an NBA franchise so it should be an option.  

CINCINNATI

The city has an MLB and NFL franchise, so it is not inconceivable that they could support an NBA franchise (being that they did up until 1972 with the Cincinnati Royals, before they moved to Kansas City). I'm not sure who the NBA fans in Cincinnati support, but I'm guessing the Cavs aren't popular enough to have strong support across the entire state of Ohio. Kentucky, just south of the city across the Ohio River, has a significant passion for basketball, so that could fortify the market/support for the potential team. A lot has changed since the early seventies but it is still a question whether or not they could fund a new arena in the city or they can just renovate the arena downtown (Heritage Bank Center).  

LAS VEGAS

Las Vegas is clearly a viable option for an additional professional franchise after the city has proven it can support the Golden Knights and, seemingly, the Raiders (who already have a broad fanbase). They have a viable arena to play in and can gain support with tie-ins with the casinos to help occupy the arena with visitors as they develop a local fan base. The NBA already has a presence there with summer league as well so I can see it happening.  

TAMPA BAY

I guess we will get a general idea of how much the city can support an NBA team with the Raptors playing in the city for the upcoming season (obviously without attendance given the circumstances). The Rays have their issues with attendance and the Bucs are perennial losers sans a few years in the late nineties-early 2000s (I've actually been a big Bucs fan since 1997, as I grew up in Los Angeles with out an NFL team at the time), so it is up for debate if they can support an NBA team, especially with Orlando being so close by. It is a significant market and the Lightning seems to garner a lot of support and have a nice arena downtown they could share with the potential NBA franchise (something they'll be doing this year), so it seems feasible.  

SAN DIEGO

This poor city, a city I love and plan on moving to one day, has lost two professional franchises to Los Angeles (and the Rockets to Houston). Both the Chargers and Clippers should still be in SD in my opinion, given their putrid reception in Los Angeles and the significance of the city of San Diego. The Clippers are still not accepted in Los Angeles after all these years and are only there because dumbass Donald Sterling forced the relocation in the 80s. The city has struggled to fund stadiums in the past but it would be great to see an arena downtown, a la Petco Park. Worst case, they renovate the Pechanga Arena (formerly known as the San Diego Sports Arena) but realistically I'm not sure the city wants an NBA franchise, I have no clue.  

VANCOUVER

No reason to think they couldn't support an NBA franchise again. Basketball has grown tremendously in Canada since the days of the Vancouver Grizzlies and the country has produced several high-level players in recent years. The Raptors are the lone team north of the border, so no reason to think a second team isn't viable. Vancouver has Rogers Arena ready to go so there wouldn't be an issue with an arena for the potential team.  

PITTSBURGH

Look, Pittsburgh could barely support the Pipers back in the ABA days (albeit a long time ago), so I'm not sure how popular basketball is in the city. It is not a huge market but the city shows strong support for the Steelers and Penguins (and I'm sure the Pirates to some extent even with their decades-long struggles). I think Pittsburgh is a beautiful, underrated city, with PNC Park being my favorite MLB ballpark. The potential team could share the arena with the Penguins so there wouldn't be an issue having to fund a new arena. Also, I know the city loves the black/yellow color scheme for their franchises so that is one less thing to worry about.  

ST. LOUIS

As mentioned above with Kansas City, it is surprising the entire state of Missouri doesn't have at least one NBA team. St. Louis had the Hawks for 13 years, before they moved to Atlanta, and housed the fabled Spirits of St. Louis of the ABA, so no reason to think the city couldn't support an NBA franchise again. I highly doubt both cities mentioned would get both expansion franchises, so I'm not sure which city is the more viable option. The team could share the Enterprise Center with their NHL team, the Blues, so there wouldn't be an issue funding an arena.  

BALTIMORE

I know it is very close to DC, but if DC and Baltimore can both support an NFL and MLB team, why can't Baltimore support an NBA franchise again, being they had an NBA franchise (that moved to DC, coincidently) in the past. I know the city has had its struggles for some time, but it seems like a possible landing spot to consider. I am not familiar with the condition of the Royal Farms Arena, but the team would ostensibly have a suitable arena to play in.  
 
submitted by cavallom to nba [link] [comments]

Attempted abduction (keyword: ATTEMPTED)

(CW s*x mention, swear words, weight mention, actual encounter details)
Ok. So... I’m a bit intoxicated yet I feel extremely lucid. After many hours of re-entering the world of what used to deeply frighten me, I’m ready to talk “publicly” about what happened to me. I have way too many questions, and I’m hoping I’m in the right place to possibly glean some answers. I feel very sensitive and skittish at this moment in time. I currently live like... a thousand miles away from where this happened but I still somehow feel like I’m being “paid attention to” as I write this and prepare to post it.
This is a long post with a lot of seemingly random details. So I guess, uh... bear with me. Those of you who stick around or have, in the past, read a lot of these stories, may find this interesting or relevant or validating... I don’t know. It’s just long and detailed.
Background:
I am an “empath.” I’ve heard a short group of people describe empaths as “the world’s most narcissistic narcissists.” I think this is their way of trying to demonize me for being Sensitive. I also encounter “ghosts” or spirits or entities, but haven’t since my last successful attempt to escort a spirit out of my friend’s parents’ house last year. I have had many spiritual encounters but they are VERY DIFFERENT from what this story is about. My intuition is very strong. My mother has very strong “feelings”, able to identify dangers before they happen (including knowing that our house would flood in an area that hadn’t flooded in like... 60 years, got insurance and then like 4 days after the insurance kicked in we flooded lolll) and my grandmother on my father’s side was so keen with premonitory shit that she and my grandfather would be just shy of being kicked out of casinos because she would literally clean House in Las Vegas and they would just casino hop and make THOUSANDS off of her ability to predict... whatever. She would make money, never count it, hand it to my grandfather who would go drink and then once the House got slightly sus of her activity, they would bounce, go to the casino next door and rinse, repeat. Like, whatever. But she also was like, blessed with her “spook” as she called it. Once my father got horrrrrrrrible food poisoning (on the west coast, grandmother was on east coast) and was brought into the ER for fluids or whatever. My mother received a call that night, she picked up and it was my paternal grandmother. No “hello” no “what’s going on” just “WHY IS MY BABY IN THE HOSPITAL?”
This seems extraneous but I think, now, it is relevant to what happened to me. Still not sure why but... yeah.
Ok so to the THING the EVENT that happened to me. (It was very sus and I will explain why, I promise. This is a long post but just like... bear with me ok plz.)
I think it was 2011 MAYBE 2010, I was living in a dormitory in my own room (single bedroom, jus me) in downtown Oakland California. I was mentally in a very very bad place, and I believe it was shortly before this encounter that I had a full on hysterical existential crisis where I had called my then-boyfriend (now loving husband) on my cell phone while I was huddled in an exterior portion of an emergency exit doorway alcove at my San Francisco campus, convinced that I had unraveled the secrets of the universe in my sketchbook during my last class of the night. I don’t remember how I got there, I don’t remember my conversation on the phone, I’m pretty sure I blacked it out and I’m also pretty sure my partner blacked it out as well because I was so upset that it was traumatic to us both (and he was literally hundreds and hundreds of miles away and could not physically get to me.) I do remember the infinity symbol being very important in a superficial way, and also that it was so deep that I like... fell in.
So anyway.. somehow I recover from that, my boyfriend is concerned but can’t... do anything, so
One night, I wake up and my dorm room looks different. The only time I had ever seen my room from a similar perspective was when I was standing on my bed hanging up my faery lights around the walls near my bed when I had first moved in. The thing was, my dorm was SMACK DAB in the middle of the city, like... civic center was right fuckin there. Like middle of the city. I was used to the orange glow of the street lights pouring through my dirty and aged blue curtains of my fourth floor window. I was located right at the fire escape, which pleased my father because he knew I could gtfo super fast no matter what the emergency.
The ceilings of my dorm room were VERY high, maybe more than 9 or 10 feet, probably more, but the point is that if I stood straight up on my bed (which was also lifted for storage reasons so I had to climb onto a stool to climb into bed) I still had plenty of clearance between my head and the ceiling.
So
I wake up, and as I look around, I realize my vision is about 5-6 and a half feet above my bed. I didn’t realize this at first because I had a lot of information to take in. My room was dark, but my computer was still on because I would play David Attenborough’s Blue Planet every night to help me fall asleep. The hallway lights were on as always and I could see the light coming through under my door. The thing was, the normal orange streetlight coming through my curtains was a white-blue, and it was soft but filled my whole window. But because the curtains were drawn, it was still rather dark in my room. I saw, in front of me, my door, and the hallway light coming under the door, normal... but when I looked DOWN I saw my feet, and they were ABOVE my bed by like... at least a foot. Maybe more.
I suddenly realize that I am in the air, near the foot of my bed, and I immediately PANIC.
I took a HUGE heaving breath of air, eyes wide, and then suddenly the light went out and I SANK toward the floor as if gravity had been suddenly switched on, and BANG hit the floor. The floors were essentially like this black composite nerf shit, so while my ass felt it, it wasn’t like landing on hardwood. The worst part though was that I hit the floor, saw the room come up (as your environment does when you fall), and since I had been right next to the foot of my bed, I was also very close to the wooden leg post of the bed, which was like... 4 feet tall. I hit the floor and recoiled, my head snapped back and WHAM back of my head hit the bed leg post. I felt my teeth clack in my head from the impact, and I felt and heard the vibration of the floor resonate simultaneously with the impact of my body hitting the floor. I will NEVER forget the rattling of my teeth from that impact.
So: GASP, lights go out, drop, fall, bam hit floor, wham head hit bed leg, teeth clack, and then
wake up suddenly, it’s daylight on my Friday off, and I’m in bed, under the covers.
A few things to point out:
I have vivid dreams. They are usually very awful or completely unremarkable, and they all fade to some degree. This event never faded. The sound of my body striking the floor is still very clear to me. While I’m not sure if it’s related, a few weeks (months?) later a smol portion of my left incisor broke off for basically no reason, and the dentist noticed but didn’t ask questions. Just... announced out loud that I now had different tooth features to the tech who had taken my X-rays for that dental cleaning.
Another note, I have no history in my life of sxual abse. I was raised in a very comfortable home with parents that loved me and cared for me and made sure I did not suffer too much during their divorce when I was 11-12 years younger. I have a very dear friend who suggested I may have been suppressing memories of abse and that this encounter was a possible expression of abse as This Is A Thing That Happens. Not trying to detract from others experiences, this is just like... as far as I know, a known psych thing.
The most important thing:
I was NOT taken out of my dorm room.
I was NOT abducted. I did not SEE any figures or visitors or whatever you want to call them, the only thing I saw that didn’t belong was the blue-white light coming in through my curtains. And also the fucked up perspective provided by being literal inches from the ceiling.
This is why I call this event “my attempted abduction.”
More notes: I have the “ginger gene.” With 3 of my 4 parents being in medical, one of which who was a regular tech in the operating room, I learned that people with the red hair gene are like... less affected by anesthesia and pain relief. People who WAKE UP during surgery often have the red hair gene (either through prominent gene expression of red hair, or a subtle gene expression through a red tint. I have the red tint. I got this from my VERY Irish mother, who HAS woken up during surgery, is less responsive to chemical pain relief, and these features were passed on to me.) I also very distinctly remember undergoing mild but traumatic and frightening dental work, they gave me the gas and while I was unable to speak or move, I felt EVERYTHING and just... tears poured out of my eyes but no one asked me if I was ok. I just suffered, unable to move, and in excruciating pain, tears pouring down my face. Someone told me that gas is supposed to just relax you and not alleviate pain, which is fair, but at the same time, I was very aware of everything I just... couldn’t move or speak up. I mention this because PERHAPS this is why I woke up and came to in the middle of being removed from my room. I have no idea, but it just... seems relevant. I don’t know if they use chemicals, or anesthetics, or anything at all, but I wonder if the reason I woke up partway through this encounter was related to why my mother wakes up during surgery.
Even more notes: for those of you with Deep Lore knowledge, this may actually be relevant, and is a very resent development in my personal knowledge and MAY be important to what happened. After my father did genetic testing recently, he found that he (and therefore I) had a direct ancestor of a very famous Female Viking military leadetactician. You can search “Sweden Viking woman burial genetic testing” and learn about her. I am not directly descended from HER, but she and I share a common ancestor.
Ok
So I had just had this mental breakdown specifically about the futility of existence in The Universe, I wake up floating, gasp for air, lights go out, I hit the floor, blah blah blah, I wake up in bed, and I never have another encounter. Never again to this day even coming up on 10 years later.
About three years after this encounter, i finally told my psychiatrist and she very casually and carefully says “ok so... liiiiiiittle bit of psychosis” and prescribes me an antipsychotic for psychotic features. (Turns out this medication completely messed me up. Made me gain like 150 pounds, and NOT A SINGLE MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL suggested that this particular antipsychotic could be the culprit for like.... ALL of my subsequent medical issues, including NO MORE PERIODS, no sex drive, and dangerous weight gain that basically made me prediabetic. But that’s all another story for another day. Point is I’m taking a different medication now, doing better, mentally and physically happy, still fat but rocking it and loving it.)
Thoughts: why did they stop? I got this overwhelming sense that I wasn’t the only person panicking in the room. I got this feeling that the Ones who came to “pick me up” were just as shocked as I was. When I woke up and gasped for air, I felt panic, but I also felt like... THEY panicked too. Like “BRO SHE WOKE UP WTF DROP HER ABORT ABORT” like that was the feeling I got.
What did I have that they wanted? I was mentally unstable, but still an empath and a lucid/vivid dreamer. I was not exactly prime health specimen though. No congenital situations though, outside depression, anxiety and panic disorder. PTSD came about around the same time but for unrelated reasons. Some people indicate that abductors are interested in sex cells, skin cells, organ samples, etc. I was not necessarily special in that regard. Wtf did they want with me? Was it my brain situation? Did I have an ability or abilities that were valuable?
WHY DID THEY CHOOSE DOWNTOWN FUCKING OAKLAND to try pick a person up? Like that isn’t some classic backroads, back water, in the sticks, in the woods, on some dark road shit, where they could do their stuff without being noticed. this was DOWNTOWN bro. Like if I leaned out my window correctly I could seeeeeeeee the government offices. The neons of the newspaper building lit up my room (that light was red tho, so 100% ruled out to explain the light I saw.) I was NOT in an inconspicuous place where they could do their work without drawing attention.
So I’m left to ask again, wtf did I have that was valuable enough for them to try to take me out of my room in a metropolis downtown area where I was VERY PHYSICALLY CLOSE to other people? through the walls, other people were no more than 15 feet away from me at any given moment of the night.
I feel like...ok. I feel like I’m rambling and providing a LOT of information so if you made it this far through all the details that I HOPE were relevant, I commend you and I THANK you.
I’ve talked to my mother, my now-husband, my best friend, and my (now fired) psychiatrist about this event. Now I am telling You.
I am trusting You with this information because I feel in my heart that this is a place where people won’t call me crazy or whatever.
I don’t know. I’m feeling very shook up trying to sort my thoughts around this, and by typing it up in such a public forum I feel very vulnerable and weird. I also don’t even know if I’m in the right place because I technically was not abducted, I didn’t leave my room, but I stg someone or something tried to take me out of my room.
I don’t know if anyone here has any ideas as to Who the race was that might have been interested in me, or whatever it was I had that they wanted, or whatever. All I know is that it was Really Scary and that I’m glad it hasn’t happened again. My partner is skeptical but very supportive, told me I wasn’t crazy, etc... I don’t know. I know my talking about it spooks him though. but I just can’t ignore it or downplay it anymore.
If you happen to have ANY information that could help me understand my situation, or if you have encounters that were similar or.... anything.
I don’t know..
It’s very very late and I think I need to have a glass of water and try to sleep but I will log after I wake up and see if... ya’ll like... have anything. I don’t know.
I’m just really shook up rn.
Peace, blessed be you and yours, and may the New Year bring joy, comfort, love and good food to you.
Thank you for your time. I really really really appreciate it.
submitted by attemptedabductee to AlienAbduction [link] [comments]

A Cinematic Guide to The Weeknd: Pt 3. My Dear Melancholy and After Hours

A Cinematic Guide to The Weeknd: Pt 3. My Dear Melancholy and After Hours

My Dear Melancholy

Gaspar Noe/Cannes Film Festival
The My Dear Melancholy era notable for being a time when The Weeknd was in proximity to a lot of serious directors. While he’s had a foot in Hollywood for awhile, 2017 through 2019 he was actively engaging with filmmakers like the Safdies Brothers, Gaspar Noe, and Claire Denis, amongst others. While he had been actively courting the Safdies since Good Time was released, he attended the 2018 Cannes Film Festival where he crossed paths Noe, whose film Climax took home a number awards at Cannes. Noe’s Enter the Void had previously served as an inspiration for Kiss Land, and for MDM (and later After Hours) seem to call back to Noe’s other films, like Irreversible and Love, which are both twisted depictions of heartbreak. On the other hand, Climax is about a French dance troupe who accidentally take LSD, and according to Noe is not a “message” movie. It is an audacious psychedelic technical exercise, with numerous long takes and highly choreographed set pieces. The idea for Noe, who had previously captured the feeling of drugs in previous films, was to do the opposite, and present the objectively reality of drugs, watching people high from a sober perspective.
Noe is a rather strong advocate of film, and the opening scene of Climax features VHS boxes of a number of films that have influenced his filmmaking. Two of note are Schizophrenia, otherwise known as Angst, one of Noe’s favorite films which The Weeknd name checked to the Safdies, and Possession, which would go on to be an influence on After Hours (more on this later). He is also said to have sat next to Benicio Del Toro at Cannes, which means he likely caught some of the Un Certain Regard section, where Del Toro served as a jury member. Outside of that section, there were a few other films of interest such as The House That Jack Built from Lars Von Trier (The Weeknd has previously expressed affection for Von Trier’s Antichrist), Mandy from Pastos Costamos, and music video director Romain Gavras’s The World Is Yours, as well as a restoration of 2001: A Space Odyssey, which Noe has referred to as the film that got him into filmmaking.
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Asian Cinema
Later in 2018, The Weeknd continued his globetrotting with a tour of Asia. He once claimed in an interview that whenever visiting a foreign country he only watches films from there. I’ve previously written about the influence of Asian cinema on Kiss Land, and there’s not enough work from the MDM era to glean anything cinematically adjacent to this, but now would be a good time to mention that the "Call Out My Name" video was heavily inspired by the work of famed Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto. The Asian tour poster seems to be a reference to Ichi the Killer, which leads us to Takashi Miike. Though he is notoriously prolific across a number of genres, his most popular works internationally are genre melding blends of horror, comedy and crime, most notably Audition, Ichi the Killer and Gozu. Another film worth mentioning is Perfect Blue, Satoshi Kon’s masterwork about a pop star’s mysterious stalker that The Weeknd posted about on Instagram before. Bloody and haunting, the film was a major influence on Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan and Requiem for a Dream. In Interviews he has also mentioned a number of Korean films, such as The Wailing, I Saw the Devil and Oldboy. While Wong Kar Wai was previously mentioned as an influence on Beauty Behind the Madness, also worth mentioning is the work of John Woo, specifically A Better Tomorrow, well known for the shot of smoking a cigar off money, and Infernal Affairs, Andrew Lau’s crime classic which served has the basis for Scorsese’s The Departed.
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After Hours

Martin Scorsese
While After Hours more so than any other Weeknd album is bursting at the seams with cinematic references, the influence of Martin Scorsese stands above all. Similar to The Weeknd’s body of work, many Scorsese’s are explorations of violence and masculinity, investigating them from a perspective that depending on who you ask (and how they’re feeling) glamorizes, condemns or just simply presents the reality of characters on the fringes of society.
While there are direct references to a number of prominent Scorsese films, what’s interesting is that his influence also reverberates in other films/filmmakers that influence After Hours. Todd Phillips’s Joker is in effect an homage to Scorsese’s loner-centric New York films, and the Safdie Brothers have been putting their own millennial spin on the type of 70s gritty thriller that Scorsese trafficked in (Scorsese was also a producer on Uncut Gems). Specific Scorsese works will be discussed more in depth in the requisite sections, but it is worth mentioning upfront what a prominent role that Scorsese plays in the nucleus of After Hours.
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Urban HorroIsolation
With After Hours, The Weeknd departs from the slicker sounds and influences that permeated Starboy and returns to the cinematic grittiness of Beauty Behind the Madness. While urban horror is a theme that permeates throughout The Weeknd as a project overall, there is a thorough line to be drawn here that follows a number of 70s and 80s cinematic and aesthetic references. For one thing, while the initial bandaged nose was a reference to Chinatown (previously, The Weeknd has a Kiss Land demo titled "Roman Polanski"), the full bandaged face that is so prominently featured throughout the After Hours era is a classic cinematic visual trope that was especially prominent throughout 60s and 80s, though it saw a slight re-emergence in the 2010s. The fully bandaged face is often used to remake someone in the image of another, usually against their will (The Skin I Live In, Eyes Without Face), or as a case of mistaken identity and doppelgängers (Good Night Mommy, Scalpel), themes present throughout much of After Hours. The "Too Late" video acknowledges these references, but instead presents the bandages on two Los Angeles models recovering from plastic surgery, in a nod to a famous Steven Meisel’s photoshoot for Vogue Italia.
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The “masks” people wear is another horror trope that is featured prominently on After Hours, and this is best seen in the red suit character. One important reference in the film is to Brian De Palma’s Dressed To Kill, where a serial killer is targeting the patients of a psychiatrist (any more on this film will veer towards spoiler territory). The Weeknd is on the record as saying Jim Carrey’s The Mask as being a large influence on the Red Suit character, it being one of the first film’s he watched in theaters. One of the more complex references would be to Joker. While it sort of an in-joke that the character of the Joker is commonly overanalyzed and misinterpreted, referencing Todd Phillips’s Joker is more nuanced because it is in essence a full on homage to Martin Scorsese’s New York films, most notably Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy, which focus on eccentric loners, and can both be seen as cautionary tale of urban isolation, a theme explored perhaps in songs like "Faith." The King of Comedy revolves around a would be obsessive stand up Rupert Pupkin haggling his way to perform on late night TV, with The Weeknd’s talk show appearances being a prominent part of the early After Hours marketing, most notably in the “short film”. This idea of isolated and compressed urbanites recurs throughout After Hours and it’s films.
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The idea of urban repression is in the subway scene of the After Hours short film. The entire film itself is something of a reference to the subway scene to Possession (another Gaspar Noe favorite), mimicking the (also subway set) scene in which Isabelle Adjani’s Anna convulses on the subway due to a miscarriage, as well as Jacob’s Ladder, a 90s cult classic horror film starring Tim Robbins as a Vietnam vet (like Taxi Driver’s Travis Bickle) who is experiencing demonic hallucinations, encountering them in the subway and later at a party he attends, splitting the scene into two.
https://preview.redd.it/g53copgmct261.png?width=900&format=png&auto=webp&s=9d29e368ae695d295b36039e86125ccfd7b4eb88
Las Vegas
As always, The Weeknd once again grounds After Hours with a strong sense of place, this time setting the album against a nocturnal odyssey through Las Vegas. One of the most prominent films is Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Terry Gilliam’s adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s book. This is directly referenced in the "Heartless" video, which sees The Weeknd and Metro Boomin in the Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro roles as they tumble through a Las Vegas casino. The Weeknd has gone on the record to state that the famous red suit character was influenced by Sammy Davis Jr.’s character in the film Poor Devil. However, similar red suit has also been sported by a number of Vegas characters, most notably Richard Pryor and Robert De Niro’s Sam Rothstein in Martin Scorsese’s Casino. With the red suit, The Weeknd seems to be playing with the idea of a devil-ish other, another side of his personality that emerges in Las Vegas.
https://preview.redd.it/gjow6hq2dt261.png?width=1992&format=png&auto=webp&s=10a379bc26df54af88064bf64813d5cdd29775d9
While the city lights are the oft discussed part of part of Las Vegas, it should be noted that similar to Beauty Behind the Madness, the desert that surrounds Las Vegas is just as important to the juxtaposition of its beauty. The "Until I Bleed Out" video ends/"Snowchild" video in the desert, similar to the confrontation between Robert De Niro’s and Joe Pesci’s showdown in the desert in Casino, as well as Joe Pesci's death in Goodfellas. The idea of a hedonistic desert playground also bears semblance to Westworld, both the film and the TV show. The desert seems to represent some sort of freedom to The Weeknd, as the "Snowchild" video portrays the desert as a pensive location for reflection, as well as the "In Your Eyes" video showing the girl prominently dancing with the dismembered head out in the open, in reference to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, another prominent desert film.
https://preview.redd.it/98ec10wxct261.png?width=1168&format=png&auto=webp&s=45e29aa361fa41ff74e2a6017e203015bdcbc6c3
New York/The Safdies
Despite it’s Las Vegas setting, After Hours also takes a good amount from films set in New York, most notably Martin Scorsese’s 1983 film After Hours. Besides the title, After Hours is similarly about a twisting and turning nighttime odyssey. The film stars Griffin Dunne as Paul, a working class stiff who heads downtown to rendezvous with a woman he met at a diner earlier that night. Of course, things don’t turn out the way they should, chaos ensues, and Paul is set on a dangerous trek back uptown. Like the film, the album After Hours is set off by a woman (though the album takes more stock in romantic endeavors), seems to be set over a single night (or at least a condensed period of time), and involves similar chaos and misadventures (sirens at night at the end of Faith). Tonally, After Hours the film is more comedic perhaps than After Hours the album, however The Weeknd is on the record as having said that "Heartless" and "Blinding Lights" placement on the album is intended to be somewhat comedic, reflecting exaggerated machismo and ecstasy, respectively (to comedic effect).
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Another of the most prominent filmmakers of After Hours are the Safdies, who featured The Weeknd in Uncut Gems. They also served as a link to Oneohtrix Point Never, who scored their last two films and later worked After Hours. I believe there are three major film tropes (not genres) that inspired After Hours, all of which the Safdies’s have engaged with. There is the one-long-night films, in which a character spends one-long-night on the run from whatever chaos and forces may be that they left in their path. This can be seen in the Good Time, as well as After Hours (the movie). Then, there is the descent-into-madness type, where a character slowly loses grip with reality and ends up in over their head (something like Scarface or Breaking Bad, but for our purposes Jacob’s Ladder can be categorized here as well), which the Safdies did with Uncut Gems. Lastly, but maybe most importantly, the Safdies also explored toxic romance (more on this later) in their less seen film Heaven Knows What, about two heroin addicts and the destructiveness their love brings out in each other, an idea that recurs throughout After Hours on songs like "Until I Bleed Out" and "Nothing Compares." A recurring song throughout Heaven Knows What is Isao Tomita’s synth version of Debussy’s "Claire De Lune", which is featured in some episodes of Memento Mori and bears some resemblance to the start of "Alone Again".
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Obsession/Toxic Romance
While love and lust and the ups and downs with it have been a formative part of The Weeknd’s ideology and themes, I don’t think it would be remiss to say that After Hours is perhaps his most outwardly romantic album. Despite this, one of the major arcs of the album is toxicity that comes with it, which a number of already mentioned films deal with. While "In Your Eyes" is one of the more romantic and accessible songs on the album, a re-assessment of it Ala Sting’s “Every Breathe You Take” could frame it as lonely obsessing, such as Travis Bickle’s infatuation with Jodie Foster’s teenage prostitute Iris, Joker's fixation on Murray Franklin, Rupert Pupkin’s obsession with Jerry Langford. Casino also deals with toxic romance, another prominent theme in After Hours, best seen in the love triangle that forms between Sam, his partner Nicky and his wife Ginger, played by Joe Pesci and Sharon Stone respectively.
https://preview.redd.it/eq1ioijvdt261.png?width=898&format=png&auto=webp&s=f9e4b781ee60762ae767c4dbd92066357ebc24b0
In almost all of the After Hours’s video content, The Weeknd seems to constantly meet his demise at the hands of women. Another interesting reference that may be something of a reach is to Phantom Thread, Paul Thomas Anderson’s film about Reynolds Woodcock, a couture dressmaker loosely based on Cristobal Balenciaga and his muse Alma, played by Daniel Day Lewis and Vicky Krieps, respectively. The film delves into their dysfunctional relationship, with Woodcock berating her and Alma poisoning his tea to keep him dependent on her. One of the highpoint of the film is a New Years Eve Party that bears strong resemblance to the "Until I Bleed Out" video. While the balloons may just be a callback to his earlier work, there is something about the color grading/temperature and the production design of the "Until I Bleed Out" video (as well as parts of the "Blinding Lights" video) that made me immediately think of Phantom Thread. A similar relationship is seen in the German horror film Der Fan, which The Weeknd has mentioned in a recent interview. In Der Fan, a young girl Simone spends her days obsessing over popstar R, until she finally encounters him outside his studio. The film is similar to the aforementioned Takashi Miike’s Audition in its exploration of obsession and idealization. In the film, an older man puts up a fake casting call to search for the perfect girlfriend. While Audition explores these themes from an Eastern perspective of societal pressure, Der Fan explores it through a Western lens of pop idolization and idealization. Both films deal with the idea that despite outward appearances, the perfect partner does not exist, and anyone that claims to be (or has the expectations put on them) is not who they seem.
https://preview.redd.it/3m661q62et261.png?width=1342&format=png&auto=webp&s=c9377018cb53f67cf7ce95b24392afb471e4aec1
One film he has spoken at length about is Trouble Everyday, Claire Denis’s arthouse vampire movie. The film stars Vincent Gallo as Shane, a scientist who travels to Paris under the guise of his honeymoon to track down core, a woman who he was once obsessed with who has now become a vampire. Core is locked up in a basement but sometimes sneaks out to seduce and consume unwilling victims. This seems to be where some of the bloody face stuff comes from, but I believe it’s influence is a little more conceptual. To me, a good companion film to Trouble Everyday is American Psycho, which seems to also have been a thematic influence on After Hours. Both films concern idealized version of masculinity and femininity, both very sexual and physical, but hostile as well. American Psycho ends with Patrick Bateman confessing to the killing of a prostitute, but no one believe him. Trouble Everyday ends with Shane killing Core, but Shane is unable to arouse himself after that except through violence. Koji Wakamatsu, a former Yakuza turned prominent extreme Japanese filmmaker (and a major influence on Gaspar Noe) is quoted as saying “For me, violence, the body and sex are an integral part of life.” Despite being hollow, idealized impressions of the self, a vampire and as a banker (cold, seductive bloodsuckers = monsters), Patrick Bateman and Core represent the Frankenstein-ian relationship between sexuality and violence, which I believe is the main theme of After Hours. Truly, we hurt the ones we love.
https://preview.redd.it/zfllbd83et261.png?width=900&format=png&auto=webp&s=9c048ee98d86d7bbb9db67fa8302d34c36214c4f

Postscript

To cap things off, I would just like to illuminate some key takeaways. As a filmmaker myself, this has been an extremely helpful exercise in understanding other artists process and ideas.
Steeped in the history of the medium…
It’s clear that The Weeknd is not your typical “I’m influenced by cinema” artist but an extremely legit film buff with serious credentials. The Weeknd’s film taste leans towards 70s-00s genre works, mostly horror, drama and thriller, and is well versed in the classics but also has the nose to sniff out deeper cuts and obscurities. The mantra of “good artists borrow, great artists steal” works even better if not many people know where you’re stealing from! What is impressive to me is that he is not just versed in “mainstream” obscurities, but also serious deep cuts. Films like Possession and Phantom of the Paradise may not stick out to the average person on the street but are well known in most film circles. Films like Inland Empire and New Rose Hotel (Der Fan was especially impressive to me, it is one of my favorite films) however are not as well known and it is very impressive to me that he can come across films like that, and really get enough out of it to bring into his own work.
…is able to interpolate contemporary/mainstream films…
This perhaps is one of the most impressive aspects of his integration of film into The Weeknd’s work. It is very easy for film buffs to get lost within their own obscure taste, living in a world where everyone is an idiot for not knowing who Shinya Tsukamoto. Trilogy and Kiss Land had a lot of contemporary obscurities, like Stalker, David Lynch etc., well known but they still existed as artifacts, not of the time we live in. However, perhaps picking something from his work on Fifty Shades of Grey, of late he has kept his finger on the zeitgeist and anticipated/integrated what the filmmakers of today are doing, such as his work on Black Panther and Game of Thrones, general appreciation of Tarantino, the works of Nicolas Winding Refn in Starboy, and his use of the Joker and Uncut Gems on After Hours, both of which came out just a few months before the album. It feels Jackson-esque, and I believe this is one thing that will help him further in his quest for pop stardom.
…while also being fully in tune to the works of modern transgressive auteurs…
In addition to keeping up with the mainstream is in touch with, The Weeknd also makes it a point to seek out and learn from the cutting edge filmmakers of today. While the Safdies were always going to blow up, I don’t doubt that a Weeknd co-sign accelerated their rise. Gaspar Noe is one thing, Enter the Void and Irreversible exist as masterpieces of the mainstream obscurities I’ve been mentioning, but he really truly tries to understand the heart of Noe’s work, even going so far back as to understand Noe’s influences (I sincerely hope he is tuned in to the work of Koji Wakamatsu). But most of all, to be a fan of Claire Denis is one thing, but to seek her out and make her an offer that she ACCEPTED is absolutely astounding to me. Just spitballing but it would be like if Michael Jackson shot a music video with Rainer Werner Fassbinder (who I’d bet good money that The Weeknd was put on to by Noe). We can only PRAY that one day we will be blessed with a David Lynch Weeknd video.
---------------------------
…and that just about does it. Hope you enjoyed this and thanks for being patient with me. I got quite busy after the first two and had my own projects/work going that kept me occupied. As we’re still technically in the After Hours era, I also wanted to wait until a few more videos and interviews came out to aid me in my research.
I also wanted to find enough time to make the Letterboxd for this. I personally don’t love Letterboxd culture, I find the popular culture surrounding the site a bit snobbish and exclusive, but I’ve gotten a number of requests for one and you gotta give the people what they want. Throughout the list are a few films that he hasn’t mentioned but are some of my personal favorites and I believe Weeknd fans will like, I encourage you to accidentally stumble upon things on it. Don't overthink, just pick something and watch!
If you’d like to follow me further, you can find me on Instagram here, where I post about film reviews Letterboxd style. I prefer Instagram so that more average people see it instead of an echo chamber of film snobs. I am also a filmmaker myself, I just recently wrapped this short film and am currently in the process of putting together my next project.
The main reason I did this however, besides a general appreciation of The Weeknd’s work, was to put more people on to the beautiful art form that is cinema. One thing I learned from Scorsese is that one must be an advocate and truly champion your medium. I hope that this encourages to check out more interesting movies than they wouldn’t normally come across, and I hope this will inspire more people to create more as well, whether it be to write, make films, music, anything. If even one person picks up a pencil, a camera or a keyboard because of these posts, I will be satisfied.
Thanks all!
submitted by eve_salmon to TheWeeknd [link] [comments]

New Year's in Las Vegas

A very good friend of mine is getting married in Vegas on New Year's.
He asked me to stand up with him for the ceremony and given the history of our friendship, there's no way I would refuse to go.
It's been over 30 years since I personally have been to Las Vegas.
There are 4 of us in our group and we will be there for 4 days (12/31 - 1/4; Thursday - Monday).
We're all in our 50's age-wise, in decent health (no underlying health conditions) and are fully aware of the Covid spike happening there right now.
While there we will be masking up and following the Covid/Social Distancing protocols.
All of us are staying at a Downtown hotel/casino and don't plan on going to The Strip at all.
For 3 of the 4 days we're there, we will be playing golf, so our group will definitely be practicing Social Distancing by virtue of just being on the golf course. I'm really not interested in seeing any shows even if they're available.
My questions are:
  1. What will we experience at the Downtown casinos as far as table availability and table limits for craps, etc.?
  2. What are the best/can't-miss places for food and/or drinks (it doesn't have to be fine dining for every meal, but we're not going to be eating McDonald's either)?
Andiamo's (if it's even open) is one splurge I'd like to experience unless there is a better steakhouse.
  1. Are there any must-see Downtown attractions/experiences we need to catch?
If it's open, I'm definitely going to do the zipline down Fremont St.
TIA
submitted by Hoobie_Joobie to LasVegas [link] [comments]

2000 Mile Roadtrip from LA to Colorado. First long road trip (Pics) 😊

I never write blogs or long posts but I just went on an amazing trip with my M3 LR RWD and wanted to share. I bought this car 2 years ago and due to work travel and COVID I only have 13K miles on the odometer.
An opportunity arose due to my friend getting married in Colorado and I’ve never been to any of the national parks in the desert south west so I decided to make a rod trip out of it!
I drove from the LA area to Bryce Canyon and stayed a few days, then to Moab UT for a night, then to Durango CO for 3 nights then home through New Mexico & Arizona. Story and Pics follow.
I left around 8am and drove to Bryce. It's a 530 mile trip and took ~9 hours. I roughly mapped out the trip via ABRP with conservative settings to get an idea of the trip and made sure to stay at hotels that had destination chargers. My first and most range anxiety stop was at Primm, NV. The car said from the start I'd arrive at 7%. If you’ve done this drive from LA after Baker there is a large uphill incline followed by a long decline to state line. Going up the hill I had less range than the distance to destination. My wife was super nervous as was I. I drafted behind a semi which BTW I'm not even sure I did properly as I don’t know how to actually draft LOL. Anyway coming down the hill I regen’ed almost the entire way and arrive with 6% and 19m range. I should have just realized and trusted the car from the beginning.
This was a pic during the moments of stress
https://i.imgur.com/lm6SMgG.jpg
So hot…so many fires along the way
https://i.imgur.com/n8OlGTH.jpg
Me charging in Primm, NV at 118 ambient. 130+ Kw
https://imgur.com/0oWgO2J.jpg
We had lunch in the casino and headed on to St George UT. Since my wife was super nervous about range from the prior stop she asked we top off in Vegas so we did. This downtown charger was in a weird place with nothing around. We stopped for only 5 mins since there was nothing around, but it never mattered since we arrived at St George with ~105 of range
https://imgur.com/1iE65bn.jpg
St George, UT was a challenge. It was so hot that day the heading across the NV desert my car registered in at 119F.
https://imgur.com/2Ppo7o4.jpg
When I arrived in St George I had 104 miles and there was a line at the charger. I had to wait 15 mins then realized why there was a line. The car told me to charge for 20 mins but it took over an hour with ~30Kw max charge speed. It wasn’t just me as other cars were there a long as me and the line grew. I guess it was the heat...it was blazing hot although I charged in Primm at 118F and had no problems.
This was the only ‘annoyance’ in charging but we made the best of it and I made it to Bryce which is a large elevation gain with 29% SOC...i guess I waited too long in the St George heat and that slow 30Kw 😊
We stayed at the Bryce Canyon Best Western. They had 4 chargers. No problems although one of them requires you to park in a no parking spot to make the cable reach. Bryce is ~8-9K feet so the temp was cooler. Still hot with highs in the 90s. I’ve didn’t know that any state had an 80mph speed limit but Utah does!
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This is the part where we deviate from the car a bit. Stayed 3 days. Hiked and road horses. Amazing place...breath taking
https://imgur.com/ZZpClbt.jpg
https://imgur.com/TGM6CzI.jpg
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https://imgur.com/oXgFycB.jpg
From Bryce we headed to Moab and stopped at Green River which was a great charging station with a very good local restaurant across the street.
https://i.imgur.com/q9cICow.jpg
Moab was very hot ~110F, but Arches national park was as expected. I figured I’d be able to drive through get out for a few mins, take it in, and get back into the car. I was able to do that. Camp Mode was awesome for this 😊 Yeah yeah I know there are hikes and things I could have done but I wouldn’t be in this trip if it weren’t for the wedding so the time of year and temps were just part of the coincidence of me even having driven here in the first place.
https://i.imgur.com/KHyxV4p.jpg
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In Moab we went to a winery after an amazing drive along the Colorado river. I knew Utah had strict laws on drinking but man this was a let down if you like to relax and have a drink. I knew something was up with the tasting was $1 per person. The drive was amazing though and that’s what matters
https://i.imgur.com/ZuQaPDc.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/Qqhso3T.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/yX6GlSD.jpg
Finally, the wedding! I wish we had more time on Moab but alas we woke up and headed to Durango. In Durango our hotel had 4 destination chargers and no problems finding an open spot. We stayed at the Double Tree which was a amazing hotel on the local river.
https://i.imgur.com/010ACw8.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/5e2mbZc.jpg
Downtown Durango was very cool. Lots of small locals shops and a great Winery named Four Leaves
https://i.imgur.com/QDBTCGX.jpg
This is an Aerial shot of the historic narrow gauge train depot
https://i.imgur.com/aPMQjQZ.jpg
Durango was beautiful and we took this awesome historic train ride from Durango to Silverton. This ride is 9 hours pre-COVID but only 3 now due to 50% capacity and the financial ability of the entire run. It was still amazing.
https://i.imgur.com/ric0c8o.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/ik4KhcT.jpg
Oh and we couriered the bride’s vale all the way to the wedding!
https://i.imgur.com/BWCedu1.jpg
After 3 days in Durango having a great time with friends, we headed home through New Mexico and Arizona. Coming into New Mexico from Colorado put us in the Navajo Indian Reservation. Talk about a depressing place. The landscape was ugly, the roads were bad, and there were “don't drink and drive signs” all over the place including the do not enter signs all over the media separated highway which suggests a lot of people go flying down a divided highway the wrong way.
We stopped to charge in Gallup, NM which is a skip. There is nothing in walking distance at all. That said charging was fast!
https://i.imgur.com/YMrJjet.jpg
We also stopped at Holbrook, AZ. We didn’t need to charge but were hungry an there is a Burger King there. Now off to Flagstaff where we spent a night and hit local bars which was fun as it’s a college town. We charged at the super charger which is in the hotel parking lot we stayed in and then woke up to head home the next day.
On the way home we stopped in Needles, CA just past the border. I suppose I forgot to take a pic because I can’t find one but it’s a good spot at a Dairy Queen which fortunately in this blazing hot place has partial shade on the chargers depending on on time of today you go. I was there about 9:30am
From there we headed to Barstow which requires a solid charge as the elevation gain is ~4K feet and it’s one of the most desolate drives I’ve ever done. There is absolutely nothing out in the Mojave desert except blazing heat and sand. Running out of charge or breaking down out here would suck. It was ~150 miles and I used 250 miles of range to achieve it but I arrived with plenty.
Charging in Barstow was nice. They have 12 stations and shade. There are several places to eat in a short walking distance.
https://i.imgur.com/JNmsVmM.jpg
From there I was home in 90 mins!
This was a great trip and while my wife didn’t really understand why i didn't want to fly for me in addition to seeing these amazing national parks I wanted to see what it was like to drive an EV thousands of miles and frankly as I mentioned at the beginning I’ve had this car 2 years with only 13K miles and I wanted to road trip away from this COVID isolation. The trip was amazing, the car is amazing. A few closing thoughts
1 - Charging is not slower than pumping gas. Yeah filling the tank takes 5 mins, and charging takes 15-30 mins but depending on the situation but after driving for hundreds of miles for multiple hours getting out to get a drink, stretch, grab a bite to eat is what I would have naturally done anyway and the time at the stop felt totally normal.
2 - The issue in St George was an anomaly IMO. It was almost 120 degrees ambient and the charger was busy.
3 - The trip was super smooth and EAP relieves a lot of driving fatigue. I don’t know how to explain it but using EAP makes you far less fatigued than normal driving. I was able to stretch my legs, enjoy some scenery, and overall feel more after each leg of the trip.
4 - Lastly…..it’s amazing to me that we have technology that can hurl me across the desert in 100+ temps at 85mpg for hundreds of miles in luxury all using a battery!! I hope you all enjoyed reading this. I enjoyed writing it.
submitted by Bottomsup99 to TeslaModel3 [link] [comments]

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Unlike most casinos nowadays, Spin Casino uses only Microgaming software for its animated casino games. There’s nothing wrong with this. It’s just that you won’t have the game or graphics variety that you will have at casinos that work with multiple software providers.
Trust us, though; this casino is plenty good enough. Spin Casino offers a little bit of everything here including slots, video poker, and table games.
They have a live dealer casino, too. Their live games come from Evolution and Ezugi, who are heavy hitters in the live gaming space. The result is a robust selection of live games. We’ll look at these later.
The one confusing aspect of their casino is that there are three sections — a casino, live casino, and Vegas (casino). We’re going to list some of their games below, but we’re only going to make a distinction between their animated and live dealer games.
We also noticed that their Vegas casino section doesn’t have any filters. You can’t select the type of games (slots, table games, video poker, etc.) that you want to see. This can make it tough to find the type of game you’re looking for unless you already know what it’s called.
The good news is that most, if not all, of their Vegas games, are also available in their main casino. This means there’s a chance you won’t need to visit the Vegas section at all.
Anyway, that covers the basics. Let’s now jump into each section and look at some specific examples of casino games you can play at Spin Casino.

Table Games

We’re going to start with Spin Casino’s table games. The following is a list of card and poker games that we found during our review.
  • Atlantic City Blackjack
  • Baccarat
  • Roulette
  • 3 Card Poker
  • Card Climber
  • Classic Blackjack
  • Craps
  • Double Exposure Blackjack
  • European Blackjack
  • European Roulette
  • Flip Card
  • High-Speed Poker
  • Hold’em High
  • Vegas Downtown Blackjack
  • Multi Wheel Roulette
  • Red Dog
  • Super Fun 21
  • Vegas Strip Blackjack
  • Spanish Blackjack
  • Triple Pocket Hold’em Poker
  • Cyberstud
  • And more!
There are both pluses and minuses to Spin Casino’s table game section. We’ll start with the downsides.
The most frustrating thing about their table games is that there’s no way to filter for specific games in the Vegas section. This can make it incredibly tough to find the games you want to play unless you already know what they’re called.
Another thing we were sort of unimpressed with is the lack of non-blackjack and roulette games. There are not enough games to offset all the blackjack and roulette options.
However, that brings us to one of the good things about their table game selection. They have lots of blackjack and roulette games.
In fact, you’ll find more than 30 blackjack games and more than 10 roulette games. Some of these are merely high-stakes variants or duplicate titles with improved graphics. Even discounting those, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better selection elsewhere.
Another thing we’re fans of is some of the unique games that you’ll find at Spin Casino that aren’t readily available elsewhere. For example, we can’t think of another casino that offers Triple Pocket Hold’em, Hold’em High, or Card Climber.
That’s always a good thing.
Table Game Testing, Graphics, and Stakes
Once we were done browsing their games, we opened a few of them up to make sure they worked well and to see what their graphics and stakes are like.
The graphics for the games we tested are pretty good. They’re not glossy, overly polished, or even realistic. They look more like animated games. There’s nothing wrong with that, though.
They don’t make it clear the stakes you can play for. We had to manually decrease and increase our bets to figure out the limits. The stakes we found varied from $2/hand or round to as much as $1,000. But keep in mind that this may vary depending on the game you play.
These aren’t bad limits — they’re higher than what many casinos offer. No t only that, but we also anticipated their live dealer casino offering even higher stakes. This means that we’re less concerned about how high the stakes are in this section of their casino.
We’ll look at their live dealer section in a few minutes.

Video Poker

The next section we checked out was Spin Casino’s video poker games. Here are the games we found during our review.
  • Aces & Eights Poker
  • Aces and Faces
  • All Aces Poker
  • Deuces Wild Poker
  • Deuces Wild Bonus Poker
  • Double Double Bonus Poker
  • Jacks or Better Poker
  • All American
  • Bonus Poker
  • Deuces & Joker Poker
  • Joker Poker
  • Louisiana Double Poker
  • Tens or Better Poker
This is an okay selection. On top of this, you’ll find “power,” “multi-hand,” and “Gold Series” variants that you can also choose from. We counted nearly 25 poker games in their main casino.
There are video poker machines in the Vegas section too, but we didn’t find anything different than what’s listed above.
Testing Their Games, Graphics, and Stakes
We tested a couple of their poker games during our review.
The games we played had average graphics, but that’s to be expected with video poker machines. They’re not meant to be fancy. They worked great, though. We experienced no lagging or bugs.
Some of them had neat features, too. For example, the machines we played offered the chance to double your winnings. When you make a winning hand, you can click the “double” button to play a mini-game to see if you can double up. Keep in mind that if you lose this game, you lose everything.
The best feature, though, had to be the automatic hold. Many video poker machines will tell you when you made a winning hand so that you don’t forget to hold those cards. However, one of the machines we played automatically held the best cards according to the common video poker strategy.
Now, we don’t know what strategy these machines are using or how optimal that strategy is. However, they did hold the cards we would have had this feature not existed. This is a neat option if you’re new to video poker and aren’t sure how to play optimally.
As far as stakes go, we found machines that let us play for as little as $0.25 per coin to as much as $50 per round. We recommend you bet the max number of coins, though, which means your minimum bet will be $1.25. This will vary from machine to machine, though.
Overall, we liked Spin Casino’s video poker section. We’d like to see more unique titles to choose from, but our opinion is that this lineup will work for most people reading this.

Slots

Next up is Spin Casino’s slot selection. They have far too many slot machines to list here, but here is a small sample to give you an idea of what you’ll be able to play.
  • 5 Reel Drive
  • Snow & Sable
  • Amazing Aztecs
  • Book of Oz
  • Cashville
  • Cash of Kingdoms
  • Diamond Empire
  • Dolphin Coast
  • Fruit vs Candy
  • Halloween
  • Girls with Guns
  • Game of Thrones
  • Highlander
  • Jurassic World
  • Lady in Red
  • Kings of Cash
  • Hitman
  • Lost Vegas
  • Lucky Koi
  • Oink Country Love
  • Pretty Kitty
  • Moby Dick
  • Monster Wheels
  • Robin of Sherwood
  • Silver Fang
  • So Much Sushi
  • The Great Albini
  • The Phantom of the Opera
  • Tomb Raider
  • Win Sum Dim Sum
  • Fat Lady Sings
  • Jekyll & Hyde
  • Jurassic Park
  • The Legend of Olympus
  • Throne of Egypt
  • Steam Punk Heroes
  • Winning Wizards
  • Untamed Bengal Tiger
  • Old King Cole
  • And more!
You’ll find all these slots in the main casino. There are plenty more where this comes from too. You’ll also find more slots — including unique titles not found in the main casino — inside the Vegas section.
That said, their selection of slots is much smaller than we expected considering that they work with Microgaming. We still can’t complain, though, especially after seeing some of the titles that you can play here.
For example, the slots that stood out to us are the licensed/branded slots. Licensed slots are machines that revolve around IP that other companies own. This includes movies (Jurassic Park), video games (Hitman), TV shows (Game of Thrones), and more.
These are fun to play because it’s highly likely that you’re going to be a fan of whatever the slot machine is about. For example, we like Jurassic Park. This means we get to kill two birds with one stone — play slots about a theme we really like.
Not only that, but you can play many of these slot machines in brick-and-mortar casinos. We’ve played Game of Thrones countless times during our trips to Las Vegas.
And this is just the licensed slots. You still have all the other slots that Spin Casino has to offer. This includes slots with bonus rounds, 3 and 5 reels, progressive jackpots, and features such as free spins, wilds, scatters, and more.
As for stakes, they vary so much that it’s hard to give concrete numbers. That said, we found machines that allowed us to play for as little as $0.10/spin to as much as $200. Most of the machines we looked at maxed out at $30 or less, though. This means that you might have to do some digging to find the machines with higher limits.
Overall, while Spin Casino’s slot section can definitely be bigger given that they’re powered by Microgaming, what they do have will be more than enough for most people.
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Live Dealer Games

Last up is Spin Casino’s live dealer section. Here are the games we found during our review.
  • Dragon Tiger
  • Private Blackjack
  • Shangri La Roulette
  • Dream Catcher
  • Casino Hold’em
  • Baccarat
  • Football Studio
  • Roulette
  • Ultimate Texas Hold’em
  • Lightning Roulette
  • Infinite Blackjack
  • Baccarat Super 6
  • Evolution Party Table
This is a solid selection of live games, especially when compared to other online casinos. But that’s not a surprise since some of these games come from Evolution Gaming, who’s a heavy hitter in the live gaming space.
Once you click on one of these games, you’ll be redirected to a section where you’ll find several tables to choose from (depending on the game). You’ll also find a navigation bar at the top with several filters to help you quickly find the game you want to play.
The lowest stakes we found for these games is $5 for blackjack. This is sort of a bummer since some live blackjack games can be played for as little as $1. However, $5 is pretty standard for a live game, so it’s not something we can hold against them.
You can play some of their other games, like baccarat or roulette, for $0.10-$1 per round.
The highest stakes we found were $5,000 for blackjack, $2,000 for roulette, and as much as $5,000 for everything else. These aren’t th highest stakes online, but they should work for most people.
One of the most impressive things about their games is the camera work. The different angles they use and the close-ups make it look like you’re watching a movie. Depending on the game, you can also change the camera option. For example, the roulette game lets you choose from 3D, immersive, or classic camera angles
The streams were very good considering how good the camera work was. We noticed a few lags, but they didn’t take away from the game much. The resolution was pretty good regardless.
Other features include the option to chat with your tablemates and the dealer, adjust the sound and camera angles, bet behind, and set up automatic actions. You can even multi-table several games at once.
Overall, we’re impressed with the live dealer casino at Spin Casino. You’ll have plenty of games to choose from, stakes, features, and men and women dealers that speak different languages.
We recommend you check it out.
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The Sportsbook

Spin Casino is unique from some of the other casinos under The Palace Group brand in that they also have a sportsbook. It’s called Spin Sports.
Here’s what you can expect to find if you choose to bet here.

Sports, Market, and Betting Options

Spin Sports has an excellent selection of sports that you can bet on. Here’s what we found during our review.
  • Soccer
  • Basketball
  • Tennis
  • Ice Hockey
  • American Football
  • Handball
  • Volleyball
  • Cricket
  • Rugby Union
  • Rugby League
  • Esports
  • Specials
  • Virtual Sports
  • Boxing
  • Gold
  • Badminton
  • Winter Sports
  • MMA
  • Darts
  • Snooker and Pool
  • Baseball
  • Cycling
  • Motor Racing
  • Speedway
  • Floorball
  • Table Tennis
  • Bandy
  • Aussie Rules
  • Surfing
  • Netball
  • Gaelic Football
  • Gaelic Hurling
  • Super Spin Specials
Many of these options have dropdown menus, too.
For example, click on the soccer option, and a dropdown menu containing options such as England, Europe, Spain, Italy, and Germany will appear. This goes for many of the other options, too — you’ll find countries as subcategories. You’ll need to click on these to find the different leagues that play in those countries.
Your betting options will obviously depend on the sport you bet on. We found plenty of choices, though. For example, you can bet outrights or money lines for Europa basketball. You’ll find spread betting, more money lines, oveunder, and outrights for NBA games.
Click on a match, and you’ll find additional markets. For example, we checked out an NBA game and found options to bet on different quarters, total points, team points per quarter or half, overtime, and more.
There are plenty of betting options here, which was a surprise, honestly, considering who’s running this sportsbook.

Live Betting

Spin Sports also offers live sports betting.
When we were there, you could bet on soccer, basketball, tennis, ice hockey, and cricket. We wouldn’t be surprised if they covered more matches than this (when those games are available).
In fact, we know that’s the case since we looked at their Event View and Live Schedule tabs. This is where you’ll see all the sports you can bet on, all the matches, and the number of betting opportunities available for each one.
And that’s about it for their live sportsbook. The one thing we’d really like to see added in the future is the option to watch live streams. It’d make sense to add a racebook too.
Here’s hoping that Spin Sports has both items on their to-do list.
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Final Thoughts

Spin Sports is a much better sportsbook than we expected. It’s hard to expect something this impressive from a company that has been running only casinos for more than a decade.
We’re fans, though. There are plenty of sports and markets to bet on. You also have your standard options for betting in American, fractional, or decimal odds, as well as using the sportsbook in different languages.
That said, there is room for improvement. They could add a racebook, live streaming, and additional features and build out their esports section.
But we think they’ve done a good job so far, and it’ll be more than enough for your typical casino player or recreational bettor.

Banking Options

Something we noticed during our review is that there’s the option to deposit inside both the casino and the sportsbook. As far as we can tell, it looks like you’ll want to deposit to the section you plan to spend your time in.
In other words, if you want to bet sports, you’ll want to deposit to your sportsbook account. If you want to play blackjack or slots, you’ll want to make your deposit to the casino.
The good news is that it looks like the same banking options are accepted in both sections. Find an option that works for you, and you can use it in both places.
When we reviewed Spin Casino, we didn’t find any evidence that suggests they charge fees on their deposits. This is great news. However, it’s not clear whether they charge fees on withdrawals.
As for limits, you can cash out as much as €4,000 per week if the amount you’re trying to cash out is more than 5x the amount that you’ve deposited over the life of your account. Otherwise, it looks like you can cash out as much as £10,000 in a 24-hour period.
This will depend on the banking option you use, of course.
Progressive jackpots are exempt from these rules, which is great to see. It’s no surprise, though, considering that they work with Microgaming.
That wraps up their banking details. The following two sections will list the banking methods you can use to fund and cash out your account.

Deposits

  • Visa
  • Visa Electron
  • Mastercard
  • Maestro
  • Neteller
  • iDebit
  • Trustly
  • Skrill
  • Echeck
  • MuchBetter
  • Paysafecard
  • Instant Banking
  • Neosurf
  • ecoPayz
  • Flexepin
  • Direct Bank Transfer

Withdrawals

  • Credit Card
  • Debit Card
  • PayPal
  • Neteller
  • Skrill
  • Paysafecard
  • ecoCard
  • Citadel
  • Instadebit
  • Direct Bank Transfer
  • Echeck
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Bonus Promotions

You can claim a few promotions as a customer of Spin Casino and Spin Sports. The following sections summarize the offers you can claim and the terms you need to fulfill if you do.

Spin Casino Promotions

The following are offers that you’ll find under the promotions tab on the casino side of things.

New Player Bonus

This is an offer available to first-time customers. Spin Casino is offering a 100% match bonus of up to $1,000. It’s spread out over your first three deposits like this.
  • First Deposit – 100% match up to $400
  • Second Deposit – 100% match up to $300
  • Third Deposit – 100% match up to $300
This is a nice offer because you have multiple opportunities to claim as much as you can. It’s especially helpful for players on a budget who can’t deposit $1,000 in one shot.
You will need to roll over this bonus 50x, though the playthrough will depend on the casino game you play. We recommend reading their terms if you plan to play a game other than slots.
The downside to this offer is that if you do happen to complete the playthrough with money to spare, and you want to withdraw it, cash-outs will be limited to 100 casino credits. You’ll forfeit the rest of the bonus.
That being the case, it might make more sense to play the bonus (and lose money) until you only have 100 credits left. Then make a withdrawal if you want. That way, you can enjoy the bonus money/winnings for as long as possible.
And that’s all they have for bonus offers. Spin Casino does say that they offer bonuses on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. We have no idea what those offers look like, though.
While we were there, we did notice that they have a “bonus wheel.” You spin the wheel, and you can earn prizes, such as bonuses to claim. It looks like you can spin the wheel once every couple of hours.
This is pretty neat.

Loyalty Club

Spin Casino also offers a loyalty club. This is a multi-tier program that awards more perks the higher your status.
This program has six levels.
  • Blue
  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Platinum
  • Diamond
  • Privé
As you ascend, you’ll receive additional perks such as bonus points, more entry points, exclusive tournaments, VIP support, phone support, and exclusive gifts and bonuses.
You can receive monthly bonuses too. Climb the ladder to the very top of their VIP program, and you can receive more than $10,000 every month in bonuses.
Getting to each tier is straightforward — you need to earn so many points to reach a specific status, and then so many points to maintain that status each month. You’ll earn 1 point for every $10 you spend in the casino.
We recommend you read their promotions page to determine for sure if this program will be a good fit for you. But if we understand their points setup and minimum point requirements correctly, then this looks like a good program to use — even for low-stakes players!

Spin Sports Promotions

You’ll need to be in the sportsbook section in order to find their sports betting promotions. The following are the promotions we found during our review, including what you can get and the terms you need to fulfill.
Free Bet – First-time sports bettors will be able to claim a free bet bonus. This is a 100% match up to $200. To claim the offer, deposit at least $10.
This offer has a 5x rollover ($1,000 if you claim the entire $200) before you can withdraw any winnings. We recommend you read their terms and conditions for their other rules, as you’ll need to abide by odd minimums/maximums when you make your bets.
And that’s the only offer we found for sports bettors during our review.
This isn’t a bad offer by any means. That said, it would be great if they had a few other promotions running. It’d be nice to see some kind of cashback or rebate offer or additional bonuses.
But as the saying goes, something is better than nothing.

Mobile Friendliness

Both Spin Casino and Spin Sports are mobile-friendly. You don’t need to download any apps. All you need to do is go to the casino or sportsbook from your phone or tablet and log in. You’ll be able to play all games and make bets from your browser.
It looks like you’ll have the full sportsbook at your disposal. And considering that they work with Microgaming and Evolution Gaming, we wouldn’t be surprised if most or even all of their casino games are available.
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Customer Support

You can use the following options to contact Spin Casino.
The email address above is addressed to the parent company of Spin Casino. The issue with that is they manage several other casinos.
For that reason, we recommend that you make it clear that you’re a Spin Casino customer when you contact them. That way, you eliminate any confusion and reduce the chances of any unnecessary back and forth.
We were disappointed to see that they don’t offer phone support despite saying they do in multiple places throughout their website.
That said, phone support still isn’t a standard communication method offered by online gambling sites. It wouldn’t be fair if we held the lack of phone support against Spin Casino.
Besides, you can contact them 24/7 using the methods above. We sent Spin Casino an email, and we were surprised to receive a response less than two hours later. They answered our questions, too.
That’s better than the average casino for sure. For that reason, we give Spin Casino’s support two virtual thumbs up.
submitted by freespinsmobile to u/freespinsmobile [link] [comments]

A Rose By Any Other Name <10-01-20>

Overview
Background
All characters in this story have extremely long backstories; Tif has been acting weirder and weirder, according to her significant other, the VIP, for the last few months. The VIP believes some kind of malfeasance may be going on at a corporate level and wants this investigated after her legal P.I.s have their equipment destroyed.
Meet
Downtown Seattle, 'THE JERKZ CHYKN SHAACK'
Run
Hx61 lead T6's and profiling attempts on the VIP and the secondary to get a clearer picture of the minor datafiles they had been handed by the J. After checking out some minor hosts around the subjects, the hackers collated with the physical team's reconnaissance efforts. Raptor planted some surveillance drones outside the property line, while Snowflake got a closer look at the property. Located in a AAA corporate park, the property had some nice defense, but the runners waited a little while to check out some of the other linked properties in the neighborhood.
Eventually, simple surveillance and persistence gave them a detailed picture of people entering the property as shapeshifters while the VIP was at work, and the various functionalities of quite a few hosts surrounding the access of these individuals to corporate servers. When Hx summons a guidance spirit, the auguries point towards some sort of astral phenomenon and a possible influencing hand in the situation.
Their deepest fears were realized, however, when the team celebrity - Snowflake - was kidnapped by the Croki and ransomed to a Jarl Fae while attempting to ID her magical signature up close. The rest of the team were unable to provide timely rescue, and refused to make any further physical contact with Snowflake afterward, out of superstition. Snowflake succeeds in not having his brain probed by the Croki before sale to the Jarl, whose immediate sweet-talking and insane desire for a corp SINner attached to the biggest gambling city on the planet were too easy for the Croki to exploit.
After pursuing the seconday influencers, they realized that Horizon corpsec was possibly managing Dawkins mages using shapechange spells to to avoid detection on long term counter-intelligence and contact gathering operations. Hacking the foundation, they found that Horizon had been tuning the foundation's metaphor as a Neil the Ork Barbarian Dungeons & Dragons-esque adventure, and the players took up classic Warrior, Thief, priest, and wizard roles. Slicer luckily started in the archive, keeping movement minimal; once the master node was reached, the team gave themselves beneficial metaphor sculpts, kept their variance low, and got the fuck out as quickly as possibly, planting anchors near the portal node.
Aftermath
Snowflake has acquired a 6/1 contact, a Jarl Fae. Slicer Purchased booster potions from Taka, boosting loyalty with a health tip. Tif will attempted to get extracted by Evo, with dire results. The croki escapes.
Expenses
No expenses over 1k nuyen; casual drugs.
submitted by coy-coyote to NeonAAR [link] [comments]

Royal Vegas Casino 120 free spins on Mega Moolah no depoosit bonus

Royal Vegas Casino 120 free spins on Mega Moolah no depoosit bonus

Royal Vegas Casino Free Spins and Welcome Bonus
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Royal Vegas Casino Review

When a casino operator decides to launch multiple brands, it is unusual for them to launch them all at once; they are typically staggered over a series of years, and sometimes the original site can get a bit stale as the focus shifts to new brands.
The subject of this review, Royal Vegas Casino, is one of the old guards of online casinos. Since its launch, its parent company has gone on to manage 19 other brands; have they put this site out to pasture, or is it still worth your time and money? That is what I plan to find out with this honest, legit review of this casino.

About Royal Vegas Casino

Royal Vegas was one of the flagship sites of the Fortune Lounge Group when it was launched in 2000. It is now one of the 20 brands under the Digimedia Casino umbrella, alongside sister sites such as Casino Epoca, Spin Palace, and Platinum Play. In fact, while I was performing my initial stages of this review, I did notice a significant number of similarities between this casino and Platinum Play. As a result, much of this review may sound the same to many of you; I apologize, but I am going to look behind every corner to find all the differences between the two.
All of the Digimedia casinos have a license from the Malta Gaming Authority. This regulatory board keeps a watchful eye over all of its approved casinos, ensuring that player funds are safe and that the casino is completely above board when it comes to fairness and security.

Software Suppliers

Royal Vegas uses two software partners for the two sides of their online casino. The Live Dealer games are provided by industry-leader Evolution Gaming. We’ll talk more about these games further down this review; they are only available via the Instant Play format. For the remainder of the casino, Royal Vegas is powered by Microgaming, one of the industry’s longest-standing and top providers of games. In fact, Royal Vegas is one of Microgaming’s oldest clients, so this casino has seen all the improvements they have made over the years.
Microgaming’s casino is available in Instant Play format, but if you want all the games and the full casino experience, you are better served downloading the casino client to your desktop.
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The Good Stuff

Progressive Jackpots

When you hit the casino lobby, your eyes track immediately to the ticker which shows how much money is available in progressive jackpots on the site. The total is currently around 2.5 Million USD; almost half of that can be found in the Mega Moolah game. One spin of those reels could win you just over a million dollars! You should spend a couple minutes playing every time you log in; you never know which spin might be the one that changes your life!

A Clear Opt-Out Option

Wow. You don’t see this very often at a casino. Right there with an overview of the promotions and the rewards is a tab named Unsolicited Communications, where they outline how to opt-out of emails, and their policy to not just spam their players. Well done, Royal Vegas – this is most impressive.

The Bad Stuff

So Much Is the Same

One thing about operating many casinos is that sometimes it is easy to just copy and paste one site into another. From a games standpoint, that is exactly what has happened with Royal Vegas. If you are already a player with Platinum Play, you probably don’t need to play here; the casino lobby is exactly the same.

Quick Points Expiry

You will read a little later on how important a Comp Program is in my eyes; not only do I like to be able to redeem the points for cash, but I also like to try to move up VIP levels as quickly as possible. I noticed that the points at Royal Vegas have an expiry of 60 days; that is significantly faster than the industry standard of 90 days. This is a little disheartening considering you need to accumulate 5,000 to convert them. In my opinion, one of those rules needs to be adjusted.
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Royal Vegas Casino Game Selection

Slots

Even though you can see these games at many of the Digimedia Casinos, it is entirely possible that this is your first time seeing Microgaming in action. If so, you are in for a real treat. The slots catalog is bursting at the seams with titles for you to choose from; at last count, there were well over 300 slot machines in the casino lobby.
What I particularly enjoy are all the games that feature brands I know from other walks of life; you will see many of those along with other in-house content that I have enjoyed playing from the list below:
  • Around The World
  • Avalon
  • Battlestar Galactica
  • BrideZilla
  • Bubble Bonanza
  • Cashanova
  • CashOccino
  • Cash Splash – 3 Reel
  • Cash Splash – 5 Reel
  • Classic 243
  • Cool Buck 5 reel
  • Cool Wolf
  • Cosmic Cat
  • Dance of the Masai
  • Doctor Love 20-Line
  • Dogfather
  • Double Magic MegaSpin
  • Double O Cash
  • Double Wammy
  • Watts Up
  • Eagle’s Wings
  • Electric Diva
  • Elementals
  • Fantastic 7’s
  • Fantastic 7’s MegaSpin
  • Fruit Fiesta – 5 Reel
  • Fruit Salad
  • Fruit Slots
  • Fruit Candy
  • Game of Thrones
  • Game of Thrones 15-Line
  • Girls With Guns – Frozen Dawn
  • Girls With Guns – Jungle Heat
  • Gladiator 50-line
  • Golden Goose Winning Wizards
  • Jurassic Jackpot Big Reel
  • Jurassic Park
  • Lion’s Pride
  • Lions Share
  • Liquid Gold
  • Little Chief Big Cash
  • Living in Luxury
  • Loaded
  • Loose Cannon
  • Lost Vegas
  • Lotsaloot – 3 Reel
  • Lotsaloot – 5 Reel
  • Lucky Leprechaun
  • Lucky Leprechaun’s Loot
  • Lucky News Network
  • Major Millions
  • Major Millions 3 Reel
  • Major Millions MegaSpin
  • Mardi Gras
  • Mardi Gras Fever
  • Mark of Medusa
  • Max Damage
  • Max Damage and the Alien Attack
  • Mayan Princess
  • Mega Money Multiplier
  • Mega Moolah
  • Mega Moolah 5 Reel Drive
  • Mega Moolah Isis
  • Mega Moolah Summertime
  • Mermaids Millions
  • Mermaids Millions Multi-Player
  • Mocha Orange
  • Rhyming Reels – Georgie Porgie
  • Rhyming Reels – Hearts & Tarts
  • Rhyming Reels – Jack & Jill
  • Sahara’s Secret
  • Samurai 7’s
  • Sonic Boom
  • Sugar Mama
  • Sugar Parade
  • Sultans Sevens
  • Summer Holiday
  • Summertime
  • SunQuest
  • Tarzan
  • Terminator 2
  • The Adventures of Galactic Gopher
  • The Argyle Open
  • The Dark Knight
  • The Dark Knight Rises
  • The Finer Reels of Life
  • Tomb Raider
  • Tomb Raider – Secret of the Sword
  • Totem Treasure
  • Treasure Nile
  • Treasure Palace
  • Triangulation
  • Tribal Treasure
  • Wheel of Wealth Special Edition
  • Wheel of Wealth Special Edition Multiplayer
  • White Buffalo

Live Dealer Games

I mentioned earlier how much I love the Live Dealer games from Evolution. Truth be told, I enjoy live casino games form virtually any supplier. The pace of these games is much different than the traditional online casino; I also love watching the dealers on the live stream having to deal those oversized cards!
At Royal Vegas, you can find the Live Casino games in the “Tables” tab of the lobby, and from there you can choose from the following games:
  • Caribbean Stud Poker
  • Dream Catcher
  • Blackjack
  • Roulette
  • Casino Hold’em

Video Poker

I am sure I am one of the craziest video poker nuts I know. Sometimes, I will find myself at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas, playing at one of the machines at the bar while also playing a game on my phone at one of the online casinos I have reviewed. Yes, that may be considered extreme behavior, but I can’t help it – I love these games!
When it comes to the selection at Royal Vegas, you will find a significant number of machines and pay tables. It is important to look at the pay tables before playing a game; you want to make sure the variant you are playing gives you the best return for your betting style. Also, you may find the multi-hand versions of the games exciting; there is nothing better than a Royal Flush except maybe 4 of them on the same hand!
Check out the types of video poker games you can play at this casino:
  • All Aces
  • Jacks or Better
  • All American
  • Aces & Faces
  • Double Bonus
  • Bonus Deuces Wild
  • Tens or Better
  • Aces & Eights
  • Deuces & Joker
  • Double Double Bonus
  • Joker Poker (kings or better)
  • Bonus Poker Deluxe
  • Double Joker
  • Deuces Wild
  • Louisiana Double

Table Games

For this casino review, I decided to do something different when testing the Table Games. I chose to play a game I don’t play very often and give it a full 45 minutes session. This time I decided on 3 Card Poker; this is a game I tend to play only with my friends after way too many drinks in Vegas, so I thought I would try it in the comfort of my own home. The end result? Well, I am still not sure if I like the game as much as I do other Table Games; thankfully there is a full complement of those at Royal Vegas:
  • 3 Card Poker
  • Atlantic City Blackjack
  • Atlantic City Gold Blackjack
  • Bonus Blackjack
  • Classic Blackjack
  • Craps
  • Crown and Anchor
  • Cyberstud Poker
  • Double Exposure
  • European Blackjack Redeal
  • European Gold Blackjack
  • Hi-Lo 13 European Blackjack
  • Keno
  • Pai Gow Poker
  • Premier High Streak Blackjack
  • Poker Pursuit
  • Red Dog
  • Roulette
  • Sic Bo
  • Spanish Blackjack
  • Vegas Downtown Blackjack
  • Vegas single deck Blackjack
  • Vegas Strip Blackjack

Specialty Games

Now, the honest truth here: I did not test any of these “Casual Games” in reviewing Royal Vegas. While many of you may love to play these games, I consider them nothing more than a time-filler, and a costly one at that. However, should you get the itch to try one of them out, here are all the options you have to choose from:
  • Monkey Keno
  • Six Shooter Looter Gold
  • Pharaoh’s Gems
  • Spingo
  • Keno
  • Hexaline
  • Four By Four
  • Triangulation
  • Germinator
  • Max Damage and the Alien Attack
  • Whack a Jackpot
  • Super Bonus Bingo
  • Pharaoh Bingo
  • Three Wheeler
  • Electro Bingo
  • Samba Bingo
  • Mayan Bingo
  • Bubble Bonanza
  • Pick ‘n Switch
  • Beer Fest
  • Crown and Anchor
  • Ballistic Bingo
  • Bunny Boiler Gold
  • Premier Trotting
  • Kashatoa
  • Bunny Boiler
  • Space Evader Gold
  • Premier Racing
  • Crypt Crusade Gold
  • Space Evader
  • Hand to Hand Combat
  • Crypt Crusade
  • Six Shooter Looter
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Royal Vegas Casino Promotions

While the casino lobby can look the same, where I am hoping to find some differences between this casino and its sister properties is in the promotional area. I am going to have a look at two promotions in detail here in this review:

Welcome Bonus

This offer for first-time depositing players is eerily similar to the one being offered by Platinum Play, but this one is just a little bit sweeter. They are offering you up to $1,200 in bonuses and 120 Free Spins in their Welcome Bonus, along the following lines:
  • On your first deposit: a 100% deposit match up to $/€250 plus unlock 30 Free Spins on Dragon Dance-a minimum deposit of $/€10 is required to receive your Spins
  • On your second deposit: a 25% deposit match up to $/€200 plus unlock 40 Free Spins on Wild Orient
  • On your third deposit: 50% deposit match up to $/€750 plus unlock 50 Free Spins on the SunTide
So, this is definitely different than the other casino; first off, it is more money. Also, it is only spread over three deposits (all of which must be made within 7 days).
I was able to access the Terms and Conditions page and found there that the wagering requirement for this bonus (and all other bonuses) is 40x the bonus amount; that is a competitive rate, so it’s definitely worth giving this bonus a shot.

Wild Wins Wheel

This is a great ongoing promotion that by the sounds of things has been run before at this casino. It is a time-sensitive offer (this one looks to be about three weeks long), and has straightforward rules:
  • Play your favorite games to earn Rewards points
  • Your Rewards points will fill up the progress bar
  • Each time you reach 100%, you’ll get a spin on the jungle wheel
  • Prizes on the wheel include Free Spins, Rewards points and a Bonus Round for even bigger prizes!
  • You can try and spin the jungle wheel as many times as possible to win your share of €300,000 in instant prizes
I like that the casino has offers like this available for players; the sense of urgency to play games before the promo ends provides motivation to play more often, which is obviously good for the casino.
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Banking

Getting your money to this site is not going to be a problem. As you will see below, the number of payment methods offered is staggering. Also, if you have a problem with the first method you choose, as I did, the casino works fast to ensure you are still on the hook. I received a Live Chat message as soon as my deposit was rejected, followed by being walked through another method which ended up being successful. That is an excellent way to keep players interested.

Deposit Methods

  • Abaqoos
  • Bank Wire
  • Boleto
  • CartaSi
  • ClickandBuy
  • Delta
  • Diners Club International
  • eChecks
  • EcoPayz
  • eKonto
  • Entropay
  • EPS
  • Euteller
  • ewire
  • EZIPay
  • GiroPay
  • iDEAL
  • instaDebit
  • JCB
  • Lobanet
  • Maestro
  • MasterCard
  • Moneta
  • Multibanco
  • Neosurf
  • Neteller
  • Nordea
  • Paysafecard
  • POLi
  • Postepay
  • Przelewy24
  • Skrill
  • Sofortuberwaisung
  • Solo
  • Switch
  • Teleingreso
  • Ticket Premium
  • Trustly
  • Ukash
  • UseMyFunds
  • Visa
  • Visa Electron

Withdrawal Methods

  • CartaSi
  • Check
  • ClickandBuy
  • Diners Club International
  • ECO Card
  • Entropay
  • EPS
  • EZIPay
  • instaDebit
  • Maestro
  • Neteller
  • Nordea
  • Postepay
  • Skrill

Royal Vegas Casino VIP Program

Along with the Comp Program, all real money players are entered into Royal Vegas’s VIP Program. This program has two parts to it; an in-house tiered program that rewards players from the second they make a deposit, and access for higher-level players to the Fortune Lounge VIP program, where you can find yourself being invited to some of the most exclusive parties and events in the online casino world.

Would I Play at Royal Vegas Casino?

Well, here’s the thing: I have a real money account at Platinum Play and have used the Welcome Bonus, so I am not even sure I will be able to take advantage of the superior offer from Royal Vegas. If you haven’t opened an account at either, I would suggest you do so at Royal Vegas first, then see what happens after you clear the bonus.
The site itself is great: an excellent selection of games, a great comp and VIP program, and a whole host of ways to contact the casino in real-time if you have any issues. I have no problem recommending this casino to anyone- time has not passed Royal Vegas by, and they remain one of the flagship brands of the Digimedia Casino group!
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What a USL D1 league might look like

TL;DR: Man with too much time on his hands goes deep down the rabbit hole on a concept this sub already didn’t seem that enthusiastic about. If you really want to skip ahead, CTRL+F “verdict” and it’ll get you there.
Two days ago, u/MrPhillyj2wns made a post asking whether USL should launch a D1 league in order to compete in Concacaf. From the top voted replies, it appears this made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
But I’ve been at home for eight weeks and I am terribly, terribly bored.
So, I present to you this overview of what the USL pyramid might look like if Jake Edwards got a head of steam and attempted to establish a USSF-sanctioned first division. This is by no means an endorsement of such a proposal or even a suggestion that USL SHOULD do such a thing. It is merely an examination of whether they COULD.
Welcome to the Thunderdome USL Premiership
First, there are some base-level assumptions we must make in this exercise, because it makes me feel more scientific and not like a guy who wrote this on Sunday while watching the Belarusian Premier League (Go BATE Borisov!).
  1. All D1 teams must comply with known USSF requirements for D1 leagues (more on that later).
  2. MLS, not liking this move, will immediately remove all directly-owned affiliate clubs from the USL structure (this does not include hybrid ownerships, like San Antonio FC – NYCFC). This removes all MLS2 teams but will not affect Colorado Springs, Reno, RGVFC and San Antonio.
  3. The USL will attempt to maintain both the USL Championship and USL League One, with an eventual mind toward creating the pro/rel paradise that is promised in Relegations 3:16.
  4. All of my research regarding facility size and ownership net worth is correct – this is probably the biggest leap of faith we have to make, since googling “NAME net worth” and “CITY richest people” doesn’t seem guaranteed to return accurate results.
  5. The most a club can increase its available seating capacity to meet D1 requirements in a current stadium is no more than 1,500 seats (10% of the required 15,000). If they need to add more, they’ll need a new facility.
  6. Let’s pretend that people are VERY willing to sell. It’s commonly acknowledged that the USL is a more financially feasible route to owning a soccer club than in MLS (c.f. MLS-Charlotte’s reported $325 million expansion fee) and the USSF has some very strict requirements for D1 sanctioning. It becomes pretty apparent when googling a lot of team’s owners that this requirement isn’t met, so let’s assume everyone that can’t sells to people who meet the requirements.
(Known) USSF D1 league requirements:
- League must have 12 teams to apply and 14 teams by year three
- Majority owner must have a net worth of $40 million, and the ownership group must have a total net worth of $70 million. The value of an owned stadium is not considered when calculating this value.
- Must have teams located in the Eastern, Central and Pacific time zones
- 75% of league’s teams must be based in markets with at a metro population of at least 1 million people.
- All league stadiums must have a capacity of at least 15,000
The ideal club candidate for the USL Premiership will meet the population and capacity requirements in its current ground, which will have a grass playing surface. Of the USL Championship’s 27 independent/hybrid affiliate clubs, I did not find one club that meets all these criteria as they currently stand.
Regarding turf fields, the USSF does not have a formal policy regarding the ideal playing surface but it is generally acknowledged that grass is superior to turf. 6 of 26 MLS stadiums utilize turf, or roughly 23% of stadiums. We’ll hold a similar restriction for our top flight, so 2-3 of our top flight clubs can have turf fields. Seem fair?
Capacity is going to be the biggest issue, since the disparity between current requirements for the second-tier (5,000) and the first tier (15,000) is a pretty massive gap. Nice club you have there, triple your capacity and you’re onto something. As a result, I have taken the liberty of relocating certain (read: nearly all) clubs to new grounds, trying my utmost to keep those clubs in their current markets and –importantly--, ensure they play on grass surfaces.
So, let’s do a case-by-case evaluation and see if we can put together 12-14 teams that meet the potential requirements, because what else do you have to do?
For each club’s breakdown, anything that represents a chance from what is currently true will be underlined.
Candidate: Birmingham Legion FC
Location (Metro population): Birmingham, Ala. (1,151,801)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Legion Field (FieldTurf, 71,594)
Potential owner: Stephens Family (reported net worth $4 billion)
Notes: Birmingham has a pretty strong candidacy. Having ditched the 5,000-seater BBVA Field for Legion Field, which sits 2.4 miles away, they’ve tapped into the city’s soccer history. Legion Field hosted portions of both the men’s and women’s tournaments at the 1996 Olympics, including a 3-1 U.S. loss to Argentina that saw 83,183 pack the house. The Harbert family seemed like strong ownership contenders, but since the death of matriarch Marguerite Harbert in 2015, it’s unclear where the wealth in the family is concentrated, so the Stephens seem like a better candidate. The only real knock that I can think of is that we really want to avoid having clubs play on turf, so I’d say they’re on the bubble of our platonic ideal USL Prem.
Candidate: Charleston Battery
Location (Metro population): Charleston, S.C. (713,000)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Johnson Hagood Stadium (Grass, ~14,700)
Potential owner: Anita Zucker (reported net worth $3 billion)
Notes: Charleston’s candidacy isn’t looking great. Already disadvantaged due to its undersized metro population, a move across the Cooper River to Johnson Hagood Stadium is cutting it close in terms of capacity. The stadium, home to The Citadel’s football team, used to seat 21,000, before 9,300 seats on the eastern grandstand were torn down in 2017 to deal with lead paint that had been used in their construction. Renovation plans include adding 3,000 seats back in, which could hit 15,000 if they bumped it to 3,300, but throw in a required sale by HCFC, LLC (led by content-creation platform founder Rob Salvatore) to chemical magnate Anita Zucker, and you’ll see there’s a lot of ifs and ands in this proposal.
Candidate: Charlotte Independence
Location (Metro population): Charlotte, N.C. (2,569, 213)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Jerry Richardson Stadium (Turf, 15,314)
Potential owner: James Goodnight (reported net worth $9.1 billion)
Notes: Charlotte ticks a lot of the boxes. A move from the Sportsplex at Matthews to UNC-Charlotte’s Jerry Richardson stadium meets capacity requirements, but puts them on to the dreaded turf. Regrettably, nearby American Legion Memorial Stadium only seats 10,500, despite a grass playing surface. With a sizeable metro population (sixth-largest in the USL Championship) and a possible owner in software billionaire James Goodnight, you’ve got some options here. The biggest problem likely lies in direct competition for market share against a much better-funded MLS Charlotte side due to join the league in 2021.
Candidate: Hartford Athletic
Location (Metro population): Hartford, Conn. (1,214,295)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Pratt & Whitney Stadium (Grass, 38,066)
Potential owner: Ray Dalio (reported net worth $18.4 billion)
Notes: Okay, I cheated a bit here, having to relocate Hartford to Pratt & Whitney Stadium, which is technically in East Hartford, Conn. I don’t know enough about the area to know if there’s some kind of massive beef between the two cities, but the club has history there, having played seven games in 2019 while Dillon Stadium underwent renovations. If the group of local businessmen that currently own the club manage to attract Dalio to the table, we’re on to something.
Candidate: Indy Eleven
Location (Metro population): Indianapolis, Ind. (2,048,703)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Lucas Oil Stadium (Turf, 62,421)
Potential owner: Jim Irsay (reported net worth of $3 billion)
Notes: Indy Eleven are a club that are SO CLOSE to being an ideal candidate – if it weren’t for Lucas Oil Stadium’s turf playing surface. Still, there’s a lot to like in this bid. I’m not going to lie, I have no idea what current owner and founder Ersal Ozdemir is worth, but it seems like there might be cause for concern. A sale to Irsay, who also owns the NFL Indianapolis (nee Baltimore) Colts, seems likely to keep the franchise there, rather than make a half-mile move to 14,230 capacity Victory Field where the AAA Indianapolis Indians play and expand from there.
Candidate: Louisville City FC
Location (Metro population): Louisville, Ky. (1,297,310)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Lynn Family Stadium (Grass, 14,000, possibly expandable to 20,000)
Potential owner: Wayne Hughes (reported net worth $2.8 billion)
Notes: I’m stretching things a bit here. Lynn Family stadium is currently listed as having 11,700 capacity that’s expandable to 14,000, but they’ve said that the ground could hold as many as 20,000 with additional construction, which might be enough to grant them a temporary waiver from USSF. If the stadium is a no-go, then there’s always Cardinal Stadium, home to the University of Louisville’s football team, which seats 65,000 but is turf. Either way, it seems like a sale to someone like Public Storage founder Wayne Hughes will be necessary to ensure the club has enough capital.
Candidate: Memphis 901 FC
Location (Metro population): Memphis, Tenn. (1,348,260)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Liberty Bowl Stadium (Turf, 58,325)
Potential owner: Fred Smith (reported net worth $3 billion)
Notes: Unfortunately for Memphis, AutoZone Park’s 10,000 seats won’t cut it at the D1 level. With its urban location, it would likely prove tough to renovate, as well. Liberty Bowl Stadium more than meets the need, but will involve the use of the dreaded turf. As far as an owner goes, FedEx founder Fred Smith seems like a good local option.
Candidate: Miami FC, “The”
Location (Metro population): Miami, Fla. (6,158,824)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Riccardo Silva Stadium (FieldTurf, 20,000)
Potential owner: Riccardo Silva (reported net worth $1 billion)
Notes: Well, well, well, Silva might get his wish for top-flight soccer, after all. He’s got the money, he’s got the metro, and his ground has the capacity. There is the nagging issue of the turf, though. Hard Rock Stadium might present a solution, including a capacity of 64,767 and a grass playing surface. It is worth noting, however, that this is the first profile where I didn’t have to find a new potential owner for a club.
Candidate: North Carolina FC
Location (Metro population): Durham, N.C. (1,214,516 in The Triangle)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Carter-Finley Stadium (Grass/Turf, 57,583)
Potential owner: Steve Malik (precise net worth unknown) / Dennis Gillings (reported net worth of $1.7 billion)
Notes: We have our first “relocation” in North Carolina FC, who were forced to trade Cary’s 10,000-seat WakeMed Soccer Park for Carter-Finley Stadium in Durham, home of the NC State Wolfpack and 57,583 of their closest friends. The move is a whopping 3.1 miles, thanks to the close-knit hub that exists between Cary, Durham and Raleigh. Carter-Finley might be my favorite of the stadium moves in this exercise. The field is grass, but the sidelines are artificial turf. Weird, right? Either way, it was good enough for Juventus to play a friendly against Chivas de Guadalajara there in 2011. Maybe the move would be pushed for by new owner and medical magnate Dennis Gillings, whose British roots might inspire him to get involved in the Beautiful Game. Straight up, though, I couldn’t find a net worth for current owner Steve Malik, though he did sell his company MedFusion for $91 million in 2010, then bought it back for an undisclosed amount and sold it again for $43 million last November. I don’t know if Malik has the juice to meet D1 requirements, but I suspect he’s close.
Candidate: Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Location (Metro population): Pittsburgh, Penn. (2,362,453)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Heinz Field (Grass, 64,450)
Potential owner: Henry Hillman (reported net worth $2.5 billion)
Notes: I don’t know a ton about the Riverhounds, but this move in particular feels like depriving a pretty blue-collar club from its roots. Highmark Stadium is a no-go from a seating perspective, but the Steelers’ home stadium at Heinz Field would more than meet the requirements and have a grass surface that was large enough to be sanctioned for a FIFA friendly between the U.S. WNT and Costa Rica in 2015. As for an owner, Tuffy Shallenberger (first ballot owner name HOF) doesn’t seem to fit the USSF bill, but legendary Pittsburgh industrialist Henry Hillman might. I’m sure you’re asking, why not the Rooney Family, if they’ll play at Heinz Field? I’ll tell you: I honestly can’t seem to pin down a value for the family. The Steelers are valued at a little over a billion and rumors persist that Dan Rooney is worth $500 million, but I’m not sure. I guess the Rooneys would work too, but it’s a definite departure from an owner in Shallenberger who was described by one journalist as a guy who “wears boots, jeans, a sweater and a trucker hat.”
Candidate: Saint Louis FC
Location (Metro population): St. Louis, Mo. (2,807,338)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Busch Stadium (Grass, 45,494)
Potential owner: William DeWitt Jr. (reported net worth $4 billion)
Notes: Saint Louis has some weirdness in making the jump to D1. Current CEO Jim Kavanaugh is an owner of the MLS side that will begin play in 2022. The club’s current ground at West Community Stadium isn’t big enough, but perhaps a timely sale to Cardinals owner William DeWitt Jr. could see the club playing games at Busch Stadium, which has a well established history of hosting other sports like hockey, college football and soccer (most recently a U.S. WNT friendly against New Zealand in 2019). The competition with another MLS franchise wouldn’t be ideal, like Charlotte, but with a big enough population and cross marketing from the Cardinals, maybe there’s a winner here. Wacko idea: If Busch doesn’t pan out, send them to The Dome. Sure, it’s a 60k turf closed-in stadium, but we can go for that retro NASL feel and pay homage to our nation’s soccer history.
Candidate: Tampa Bay Rowdies
Location (Metro population): Tampa, Fla. (3,068,511)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Raymond James Stadium (Grass, 65,518)
Potential owner: Edward DeBartolo Jr. (reported net worth $3 billion)
Notes: This one makes me sad. Despite having never been there, I see Al Lang Stadium as an iconic part of the Rowdies experience. Current owner Bill Edwards proposed an expansion to 18,000 seats in 2016, but the move seems to have stalled out. Frustrated with the city’s lack of action, Edwards sells to one-time San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr., who uses his old NFL connections to secure a cushy lease at the home of the Buccaneers in Ray Jay, the site of a 3-1 thrashing of Antigua and Barbuda during the United States’ 2014 World Cup Qualifying campaign.
Breather. Hey, we finished the Eastern Conference teams. Why are you still reading this? Why am I still writing it? Time is a meaningless construct in 2020 my friends, we are adrift in the void, fueled only by brief flashes of what once was and what may yet still be.
Candidate: Austin Bold FC
Location (Metro population): Austin, Texas (2,168,316)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Darrel K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium (FieldTurf, 95,594)
Potential owner: Michael Dell (reported net worth of $32.3 billion)
Notes: Anthony Precourt’s Austin FC has some unexpected competition and it comes in the form of tech magnate Michael Dell. Dell, were he to buy the club, would be one of the richest owners on our list and could flash his cash in the new first division. Would he have enough to convince Darrel K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium (I’m not kidding, that’s its actual name) to go back to a grass surface, like it did from ’96-’08? That’s between Dell and nearly 100,000 UT football fans, but everything can be had for the right price.
Candidate: Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
Location (Metro population): Colorado Springs, Colo. (738,939)
Time zone: Mountain
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Falcon Stadium (FieldTurf, 46,692)
Potential owner: Charles Ergen (reported net worth $10.8 billion)
Notes: Welcome to Colorado Springs. We have hurdles. For the first time in 12 candidates, we’re back below the desired 1 million metro population mark. Colorado Springs actually plans to build a $35 million, 8,000 seat venue downtown that will be perfect for soccer, but in our timeline that’s 7,000 seats short. Enter Falcon Stadium, home of the Air Force Academy Falcons football team. Seems perfect except for the turf, right? Well, the tricky thing is that Falcon Stadium is technically on an active military base and is (I believe) government property. Challenges to getting in and out of the ground aside, the military tends to have a pretty grim view of government property being used by for-profit enterprises. Maybe Charles Ergen, founder and chairman of Dish Network, would be able to grease the right wheels, but you can go ahead and throw this into the “doubtful” category. It’s a shame, too. 6,035 feet of elevation is one hell of a home-field advantage.
Candidate: El Paso Locomotive FC
Location: El Paso, Texas
Time zone: Mountain
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Sun Bowl (FieldTurf, 51,500)
Potential owner: Paul Foster (reported net worth $1.7 billion)
Notes: God bless Texas. When compiling this list, I found so many of the theoretical stadium replacements were nearly serviceable by high school football fields. That’s insane, right? Anyway, Locomotive don’t have to settle for one of those, they’ve got the Sun Bowl, which had its capacity reduced in 2001 to a paltry 51,500 (from 52,000) specifically to accommodate soccer. Sure, it’s a turf surface, but what does new owner Paul Foster (who is only the 1,477th wealthiest man in the world, per Forbes) care, he’s got a team in a top league. Side note: Did you know that the Sun Bowl college football game is officially, through sponsorship, the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl? Why is it not the Frosted Flakes Sun Bowl? Why is the cereal mascot the promotional name of the football game? What are you doing, Kellogg’s?
Candidate: Las Vegas Lights FC
Location: Las Vegas, Nev. (2,227,053)
Time zone: Pacific
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Allegiant Stadium (Grass, 61,000)
Potential owner: Sheldon Adelson (reported net worth $37.7 billion)
Notes: Sin City. You had to know that the club that once signed Freddy Adu because “why not” was going to go all out in our flashy hypothetical proposal. Thanks to my narrative control of this whole thing, they have. Adelson is the second-richest owner in the league and has decided to do everything first class. That includes using the new Raiders stadium in nearby unincorporated Paradise, Nevada, and spending boatloads on high profile transfers. Zlatan is coming back to the U.S., confirmed.
Candidate: New Mexico United
Location: Albuquerque, N.M.
Time zone: Mountain
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Isotopes Park – officially Rio Grande Credit Union Field at Isotopes Park (Grass, 13,500 – 15,000 with expansion)
Potential owner: Maloof Family (reported net worth $1 billion)
Notes: New Mexico from its inception went deep on the community vibe, and I’ve tried to replicate that in this bid. The home field of Rio Grande Cr---I’m not typing out the whole thing—Isotopes Park falls just within the expansion rules we set to make it to 15,000 (weird, right?) and they’ve found a great local ownership group in the Lebanese-American Maloof (formerly Maalouf) family from Las Vegas. The only thing to worry about would be the metro population, but overall, this could be one of the gems of USL Prem.
Candidate: Oklahoma City Energy FC
Location: Oklahoma City, Okla. (1,396,445)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (Grass, 13,066)
Potential owner: Harold Hamm (reported net worth $14.2 billion)
Notes: There’s a bright golden haze on the meadow and it says it’s time to change stadiums and owners to make it to D1. A sale to oil magnate Harold Hamm would give the club the finances it needs, but Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (home of the OKC Dodgers) actually falls outside of the boundary of what would meet capacity if 1,500 seats were added. Could the club pull off a move to Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma – home of the Oklahoma Sooners? Maybe, but at 20 miles, this would be a reach.
Candidate: Orange County SC
Location: Irvine, Calif. (3,176, 000 in Orange County)
Time zone: Pacific
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Angels Stadium of Anaheim (Grass, 43,250)
Potential owner: Arte Moreno (reported net worth $3.3 billion)
Notes: You’ll never convince me that Rangers didn’t choose to partner with Orange County based primarily on its name. Either way, a sale to MLB Angels owner Arte Moreno produces a fruitful partnership, with the owner choosing to play his newest club out of the existing Angels stadium in OC. Another baseball conversion, sure, but with a metro population of over 3 million and the closest thing this hypothetical league has to an LA market, who’s complaining?
Candidate: Phoenix Rising FC
Location: Phoenix, Ariz. (4,857,962)
Time zone: Arizona
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): State Farm Stadium (Grass, 63,400)
Potential owner: Ernest Garcia II (reported net worth $5.7 billion)
Notes: We’re keeping it local with new owner and used car guru Ernest Garcia II. His dad owned a liquor store and he dropped out of college, which is making me feel amazing about my life choices right now. Casino Arizona Field is great, but State Farm Stadium is a grass surface that hosted the 2019 Gold Cup semifinal, so it’s a clear winner. Throw in Phoenix’s massive metro population and this one looks like a lock.
Candidate: Reno 1868 FC
Location: Reno, Nev. (425,417)
Time zone: Pacific
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Mackay Stadium (FieldTurf, 30,000)
Potential owner: Nancy Walton Laurie (reported net worth $7.1 billion)
Notes: The Biggest Little City on Earth has some serious barriers to overcome, thanks to its low metro population. A sale to Walmart heiress Nancy Walton Laurie and 1.6 mile-move to Mackay Stadium to split space with the University of Nevada, Reno makes this bid competitive, but the turf surface is another knock against it.
Candidate: Rio Grande Valley FC
Location: Edinburg, Texas (900,304)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): McAllen Memorial Stadium (FieldTurf, 13,500 – 15,000 with expansion)
Potential owner: Alice Louise Walton (reported net worth $45 billion)
Notes: Yes, I have a second straight Walmart heiress on the list. She was the first thing that popped up when I googled “McAllen Texas richest people.” The family rivalry has spurred Walton to buy a club as well, moving them 10 miles to McAllen Memorial Stadium which, as I alluded to earlier, is a straight up high school football stadium with a full color scoreboard. Toss in an additional 1,500 seats and you’ve met the minimum, despite the turf playing surface.
Candidate: San Antonio FC
Location: San Antonio, Texas (2,550,960)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Alamodome (FieldTurf, 64,000)
Potential owner: Red McCombs (reported net worth $1.6 billion)
Notes: I wanted to keep SAFC in the Spurs family, since the franchise is valued at $1.8 billion. That said, I didn’t let the Rooneys own the Riverhounds based on the Steelers’ value and it felt wrong to change the rules, so bring on Clear Channel co-founder Red McCombs. Toyota Field isn’t viable in the first division, but for the Alamodome, which was built in 1993 in hopes of attracting an NFL franchise (and never did), San Antonio can finally claim having *a* national football league team in its town (contingent on your definition of football). Now if only we could do something about that turf…
Candidate: San Diego Loyal SC
Location: San Diego, Calif. (3,317,749)
Time zone: Pacific
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): SDCCU Stadium (formerly Qualcomm) (Grass, 70,561)
Potential owner: Phil Mickelson (reported net worth $91 million)
Notes: Yes, golf’s Phil Mickelson. The existing ownership group didn’t seem to have the wherewithal to meet requirements, and Phil seemed to slot right in. As an athlete himself, he might be interesting in the new challenges of a top flight soccer team. Toss in a move to the former home of the chargers and you might have a basis for tremendous community support.
Candidate: FC Tulsa
Location: Tulsa, Okla. (991,561)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Skelly Field at H.A. Chapman Stadium (FieldTurf, 30,000)
Potential owner: George Kaiser ($10 billion)
Notes: I’m a fan of FC Tulsa’s rebrand, but if they want to make the first division, more changes are necessary. A sale to Tulsa native and one of the 100 richest men in the world George Kaiser means that funding is guaranteed. A move to Chapman Stadium would provide the necessary seats, despite the turf field. While the undersize population might be an issue at first glance, it’s hard to imagine U.S. Soccer not granting a waiver over a less than a 10k miss from the mark.
And that’s it! You made it. Those are all of the independent/hybrid affiliates in the USL Championship, which means that it’s time for our…
VERDICT: As an expert who has studied this issue for almost an entire day now, I am prepared to pronounce which USL Championships could be most ‘ready” for a jump to the USL Prem. A reminder that of the 27 clubs surveyed, 0 of them met our ideal criteria (proper ownership $, metro population, 15,000+ stadium with grass field).
Two of them, however, met almost all of those criteria: Indy Eleven and Miami FC. Those two clubs may use up two of our three available turf fields right from the outset, but the other factors they hit (particularly Silva’s ownership of Miami) makes them difficult, if not impossible to ignore for the top flight.
But who fill in the rest of the slots? Meet the entire 14-team USL Premier League:
Hartford Athletic
Indy Eleven
Louisville City FC
Miami FC
North Carolina FC
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Tampa Bay Rowdies
Saint Louis FC
San Antonio FC
New Mexico United
Phoenix Rising FC
Las Vegas Lights FC
Orange County SC
San Diego Loyal SC
Now, I shall provide my expert rationale for each club’s inclusion/exclusion, which can be roughly broken down into four categories.
Firm “yes”
Hartford Athletic: It’s a good market size with a solid stadium. With a decent investor and good community support, you’ve got potential here.
Indy Eleven: The turf at Lucas Oil Stadium is no reason to turn down a 62,421 venue and a metro population of over 2 million.
Louisville City FC: Why doesn’t the 2017 & 2018 USL Cup champion deserve a crack at the top flight? They have the market size, and with a bit of expansion have the stadium at their own SSS. LCFC, you’re in.
Miami FC, “The”: Our other blue-chip recruit on the basis of ownership value, market size and stadium capacity. Yes, that field is turf, but how could you snub Silva’s chance to claim victory as the first division 1 club soccer team to play in Miami?
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC: Pittsburgh sacrificed a lot to be here (according to my arbitrary calculations). Their market size and the potential boon of soccer at Heinz Field is an important inclusion to the league.
Saint Louis FC: Willie hears your “Busch League” jokes, Willie don’t care. A huge market size, combined with the absence of an NFL franchise creates opportunity. Competition with the MLS side, sure, but St. Louis has serious soccer history and we’re willing to bet it can support two clubs.
Tampa Bay Rowdies: With a huge population and a massive stadium waiting nearby, Tampa Bay seems like too good of an opportunity to pass up for the USL Prem.
Las Vegas Lights FC: Ostentatious, massive and well-financed, Las Vegas Lights FC is everything that the USL Premier League would need to assert that it didn’t intend to play second fiddle to MLS. Players will need to be kept on a short leash, but this is a hard market to pass up on.
Phoenix Rising FC: Huge population, big grass field available nearby and a solid history of success in recent years. No brainer.
San Diego Loyal SC: New club? Yes, massive population in a market that recently lost an absolutely huge sports presence? Also yes. This could be the USL Prem’s Seattle.
Cautious “yes”
New Mexico United: You have to take a chance on New Mexico United. The club set the league on fire with its social media presence and its weight in the community when it entered the league last season. The market may be slightly under USSF’s desired 1 million, but fervent support (and the ability to continue to use Isotopes Park) shouldn’t be discounted.
North Carolina FC: Carter-Finley’s mixed grass/turf surface is a barrier, to be sure, but the 57,000+ seats it offers (and being enough to offset other fully-turf offerings) is enough to put it in the black.
Orange County SC: It’s a top-tier club playing in a MLB stadium. I know it seems unlikely that USSF would approve something like that, but believe me when I say “it could happen.” Orange County is a massive market and California likely needs two clubs in the top flight.
San Antonio FC: Our third and only voluntary inclusion to the turf fields in the first division, we’re counting on San Antonio’s size and massive potential stadium to see it through.
Cautious “no”
Birmingham Legion FC: The town has solid soccer history and a huge potential venue, but the turf playing surface puts it on the outside looking in.
Memphis 901 FC: Like Birmingham, not much to dislike here outside of the turf playing surface at the larger playing venue.
Austin Bold FC: See the other two above.
FC Tulsa: Everything’s just a little bit off with this one. Market’s slightly too small, stadium has turf. Just not enough to put it over the top.
Firm “no”
Charleston Battery: Small metro and a small potential new stadium? It’s tough to say yes to the risk.
Charlotte Independence: A small new stadium and the possibility of having to compete with an organization that just paid over $300 million to join MLS means it’s best for this club to remain in the USL Championship.
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC: When a club’s best chance to meet a capacity requirement is to host games at a venue controlled by the military, that doesn’t speak well to a club’s chances.
El Paso Locomotive FC: An undersized market and a turf field that meets capacity requirements is the death knell for this one.
Oklahoma City Energy FC: Having to expand a baseball field to meet requirements is a bad start. Having to potentially play 20 miles away from your main market is even worse.
Reno 1868 FC: Population nearly a half-million short of the federation’s requirements AND a turf field at the hypothetical new stadium makes impossible to say yes to this bid.
Rio Grande Valley FC: All the seat expansions in the world can’t hide the fact that McAllen Memorial Stadium is a high school stadium through and through.
Here’s who’s left in the 11-team Championship:
Birmingham Legion FC
Charleston Battery
Charlotte Independence
Memphis 901 FC
Austin Bold FC
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
El Paso Locomotive FC
Oklahoma City Energy FC
Reno 1868 FC
Rio Grande Valley FC
FC Tulsa
With MLS folding the six affiliates it has in USL League One, the league is a little bit thin (especially considering USSF’s requirements for 8 teams for lower level leagues), but seems definitely able to expand up to the necessary numbers with Edwards’ allusions to five new additions this year:
Chattanooga Red Wolves SC
Forward Madison FC
Greenville Triumph SC
Union Omaha
Richmond Kickers
South Georgia Tormenta
FC Tucson
Format of Assorted Leagues – This (like everything in this post) is pure conjecture on my part, but here are my thoughts on how these leagues might function in a first year while waiting for additional expansion.
USL Premier – We’ll steal from the 12-team Scottish Premiership. Each club plays the other 11 clubs 3 times, with either one or two home matches against each side. When each club has played 33 matches, the top six and bottom six separate, with every club playing an additional five matches (against each other team in its group). The top club wins the league. The bottom club is automatically relegated. The second-bottom club will enter a two-legged playoff against someone (see below) from the championship playoffs.
USL Championship -- 11 clubs is a challenge to schedule for. How about every club plays everyone else three times (either one or two home matches against each side)? Top four clubs make the playoffs, which are decided by two-legged playoffs. The winner automatically goes up. I need feedback on the second part – is it better to have the runner-up from the playoffs face the second-bottom club from the Premiership, or should the winner of the third-place match-up get the chance to face them to keep drama going in both playoff series? As for relegation, we can clearly only send down the last place club while the third division is so small.
USL League One – While the league is so small, it doesn’t seem reasonable to have the clubs play as many matches as the higher divisions. Each club could play the other six clubs four times – twice at home and twice away – for a very equitable 24-match regular season, which would help restrict costs and still provide a chance to determine a clear winner. Whoever finishes top of the table goes up.
And there you have it, a hypothetical look at how the USL could build a D1 league right now. All it would take is a new stadium for almost the entire league and new owners for all but one of the 27 clubs, who wouldn’t feel that their property would be massively devalued if they got relegated.
Well that’s our show. I’m curious to see what you think of all of this, especially anything that you think I may have overlooked (I’m sure there’s plenty). Anyway, I hope you’re all staying safe and well.
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