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I live in a small mining town in the mountains of Colorado. Someone is building a massive casino nearby, Pictures Included

I grew up in a small mountain town named Eureka. It was founded in the late 1800s during the gold rush, but after the mines dried up the town began its slow descent into decay. Half the houses are empty or abandoned now.
You can see a picture of the kind of houses here in Eureka:
First house
Second house
When a massive construction project began nearby, it was the talk of the town for weeks. Why would they build something in a sleepy dying town like Eureka? It wasn’t until my sister Selene talked to a few construction workers that we discovered they were building a casino.
A casino up in the mountains, over two hours away from Denver. None of us could understand why they’d chosen here of all places. After a few months of work, the casino was done.
I took a picture of the town with the completed casino in the background to the right. The ten-story-structure sticks out like a sore thumb off in the distance.
Town+Casino
After the casino opened, they hired a few dozen members of the town, offering high paying jobs to work as dealers or cleaning staff. I was already employed as a firefighter, but my sister Selene got a job as a blackjack dealer. She’s a widow with two young kids, so the paycheck was a real lifesaver.
Still, something about the situation seemed too good to be true. The jobs over there paid far too well, and the management was far too accommodating. The fire station where I work is located high on a hill overlooking the town, so I began watching the casino from a distance each day.
I had initially thought that the casino was located in a terrible location, but I was apparently wrong. True, Eureka was hours from any major city, but despite that, a bus full of people arrived every morning and left every evening.
One night I was over at my parent’s house and had dinner with Selene and her kids. I asked her about her experience as a dealer.
“It’s Ok,” she said. “Just a little boring I guess.”
“Boring?” I asked. “I’m surprised you don’t have your hands full.”
“Why’s that?” she asked. “It’s like you said, Eureka’s too small. I never have people playing cards. The casino is almost always completely empty.”
I wasn’t sure what to make of that. If the place was always empty, what happened to the people who I’d seen arriving on buses? “I’ve been keeping an eye on the building,” I said. “A bus full of people typically arrives around 9 AM every day.”
“Really?” she asked, looking confused. “If that’s true, I’ve never seen them.
“I can see it from the fire station,” I said. “If you head out for a smoke break at 9 AM, you’ll probably see them arriving.”
“Interesting,” she said. “I’ll do that. If they’re being processed for their organs or something, I’ll let you know.” She laughed.
“Har har,” I said sarcastically.
The next night she sent me a text calling me over. When I arrived, she was nearly breathless with excitement.
“Orin, You were right,” she said. “A big group of people did arrive, but they didn’t walk into my part of the casino. Instead, they all walked into an elevator at the back of the building. I’m not sure where that goes.” She looked thoughtful. “It was weird. They looked… How can I say it? Desperate? Something about the whole situation was very off. I’m gonna check out the elevator tomorrow.”
I told her to be careful, though, to be honest, I was excited to hear about what she discovered. When I visited my parent’s house the next night, I found her two kids there alone. They told me that Selene had never returned from work.
I called all her friends, then all our neighbors, but no one had seen her since she left for work that morning. Our conversations regarding the casino flooded my mind, then a plan began to form.
Early the next morning I walked across town in my nicest pair of jeans and a button-up shirt. I pushed through the door to the casino and saw that Selene wasn’t lying. The place was all but deserted. Three dozen slot machines crowded the walls surrounding a few tables interspersed throughout the floor of the casino. The only players in the whole building were Bob and Donald, two locals.
I walked up to a nearby table where Bridget, a girl I’d gone to high school with, was shuffling cards. She broke into a grin when she saw me. “Hey Orin, you here for a few rounds of blackjack?”
“I wish,” I said. “No, I’m here to ask about Selene. She never made it home last night.”
Bridget’s expression darkened. “Really? Have you asked around?”
“I already called around. Have you seen her?”
She shook her head. “No, our schedules rarely line up. I’ll be sure to let you know if I--” Her eyes focused on something behind me, and she cut herself off.
I turned around to see the casino’s pit boss watching us both. He was a tall thin man in an impeccably clean black suit. When I turned back towards Bridget, she was looking down at the table and shuffling cards absent-mindedly.
“Well, if you hear anything, let me know,” I said.
She nodded, so I turned around and headed for the pit boss. I stuck out my hand. The temperature of his hand was so hot that I had to pull my hand away after a few seconds.
“Have… have you seen my sister Selene?” I asked. “She hasn’t been seen since her shift here yesterday.”
He smiled. “Sir, this floor is for players. You’re more than welcome to head to the tellers for chips, but barring that I’m afraid I’ll have to ask you to leave.”
I stared at him for a long second before stalking towards the door. When I looked back, he was talking with Bridget.
I checked my watch. 8:55 AM, just as I’d planned. I walked around the back of the building and waited as the morning bus pulled around the building. I waited for the telltale hiss of the opening doors and the sound of people descending before I rounded the corner and joined the crowd. None of them paid any particular attention to me as I walked with them into the casino.
The crowd walked through a side door down a hallway to an elevator. Small groups of people entered the elevator as the rest of us waited for our turn. I shot a glance at the casino patrons, surprised at their diversity. There seemed to be people from all different countries and ethnicities. I heard one speaking Japanese and another speaking what sounded like an African language.
My turn came along with a few other patrons in the elevator. A sickly woman hobbled into the elevator beside me carrying an IV that was still connected to one of her veins. We piled in and rode up to the top.
The elevator rose for a few long seconds. I wasn’t sure what I would find, but I steeled myself for something horrible. The elevator’s speaker let out a TING, then the doors opened.
We all walked out onto what looked like a standard casino. Another few dozen slot machines ringed the walls, but on this floor, they were almost all occupied by customers. I took in the scene, confused at why they’d have a ground floor that was almost completely empty when this place was almost--
Selene was dealing cards at a nearby table.
I jogged over and sat down at an open seat. None of the players around me paid me much attention.
“Selene!” I said. “Are you OK? Did you spend the night here last night?”
Her eyes were glassy and confused. She looked up at me with a dumb expression and didn’t respond to my question.
“Selene?” I asked.
“What’s your bet?” she asked me. “This table is for blackjack players only.”
“I…” I trailed off, looking at the players around me. None of them were betting with chips of any kind. “What’s the minimum bet?” I asked.
“Three years,” she responded.
“Three years then,” I said, not knowing what that referred to.
Selene nodded, then began dealing cards. I shot a look down at my hand. King and a 9. Selene dealt out cards for herself, showing a 9. I stood, then leaned forward again. “Should I call the police? Are you--”
“Congratulations,” she said tonelessly.
An almost impossibly warm hand grabbed my shoulder. I spun to see the pit boss I’d spoken to earlier. He gave an impressed smile. “Orin, was it? I’m impressed, truly. Would you mind if I had a word with you?”
I shot a look back at Selene who was dealing the next round of cards. Then I got to my feet, balling my hands into fists. “What did you do to her?”
The pit boss clasped his hands behind his back. “Nothing more, and nothing less than what I’m going to do to you. That is, offer you the chance to play.”
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”
The pit boss nodded his head towards a nearby slot machine. A woman in a wheelchair pulled a lever and watched the flashing numbers spin. They exploded in a cacophony of sirens and flashing lights. “WINNER WINNER WINNER!” The machine screeched.
The woman in the wheelchair put her feet on the ground and stood up on a pair of wobbly legs that had clearly never been used before.
“As in any other casino,” the pit boss said, “you must wager for the chance to win.”
“She... won the use of her legs?” I asked, feeling light-headed. “Wait,” I said. “I played blackjack just now. ‘Three years,’ Selene told me. What does ‘three years’ mean?” I asked.
“Three years of life, of course. Did you win?”
My mouth felt dry. “I-- Yes, I won.”
He smiled warmly. “Congratulations. I hope you enjoy them. I can tell you from personal experience that watching the decades pass is a bore. Give it some time and you’ll be back to spend them.”
I watched the pit boss’s face. He couldn’t have been more than a few years older than me, and I was in my early thirties. I looked around at the casino. No one was playing with chips of any kind. “So what?” I asked. “I won years of life. That woman won the use of her legs. What else can a person win here?”
“Oh, almost anything. They can win almost anything you can imagine.”
A cold feeling settled in my stomach. “And what do they wager?”
His eyes flashed with greed. “Almost anything. They can wager almost anything you can possibly imagine. Anything equal in value to the item they want in return.” He nodded towards a nearby roulette table.
A man stood by the table, cradling his hands. “Another finger,” he called out. He only had three fingers remaining on his left hand. As I watched, the ball came to a stop, and another finger disappeared from his left hand.
The pit boss extended his hands. “Feel free to try any of our games. Bet and win whatever you’d like.” He reached out and snatched my hand. A feeling of intense warmth passed up my arm to my chest. “There,” he said. “I’ve even given you some house money to get you started. An extra decade of life, on me.”
I ripped my hand away, staring at him in horror. Then I looked back at Selene. Something clicked in my mind. “You offered her the chance to play. What did she want?” I asked.
“Her husband,” the pit boss said. “Quite the sad story. He died two years ago. She wanted him brought back to her.”
“What did she wager?” I asked.
“She wanted the chance to win a soul, the most valuable object in existence. I’m sure you can imagine what she needed to wager for the chance to win it. What she wagered is unimportant. The important question is: What do you want, Orin?”
I stared at Selene with a flat expression. “I’m sure you can imagine.”
His eyes flashed with greed again. “How wonderful. The casino could always make use of another dealer. Feel free to make your wager at any one of our games; I’ll be eagerly awaiting the results of your night. Oh, and do take advantage of our waitresses. We always supply food and drink for ‘high rollers’.” He walked away.
I spent the next few hours trying to decide which game to play. I was going to be wagering my soul, so I wanted the highest chance possible. Slots and roulette were out. I’d done some reading online about counting cards, so I figured that blackjack gave me the best odds.
I walked up to Selene’s table and sat down. “Bet?” she asked with that same toneless voice. “Three years,” I said.
I spent the next hour or so doing my best to remember how to count cards. I knew that low cards added one to my count and high cards decreased it by one, but the casino used three decks. I had read something about how that was supposed to change my calculation, but I couldn’t quite remember how.
Every time I won a hand, I cursed myself for not putting everything on the line. Every time I lost, I breathed a prayer of thanks that I’d waited. And all the while, I kept track of the count.
I had lost fifteen years of life when the count finally reached +5.
“Bet?” Selene asked.
“I wager my soul so you can be free,” I said.
The table around me fell silent. Selene’s eyes flickered, but she showed no other emotion as she dealt the cards. I watched my first card, punching the air in excitement when I saw a Jack. My excitement turned to ash when my second card was a four. Fourteen.
I looked at her hand. One card was facedown, but the faceup card was a King. I swore loudly, staring down at my hands.
“Hit?” she asked. The entire table was silently watching me.
“Hit,” I said, not looking down. The table erupted in cheers. I looked down to see a 7 atop my two other cards. 21. Blackjack.
I looked at Selene who flipped over her facedown card to reveal a 9. 19. I won.
The glassy look left her eyes immediately. She looked around in surprise, then her eyes locked on mine. “Orin?” she asked, then almost immediately began to cry. The entire casino broke out in cheers.
I grabbed her hand and headed for the elevator. The doors had begun to close when the pit boss reached out with a hand to stop them.
“Congratulations,” he said, beaming. He seemed to be honestly excited.
“Shouldn’t you be upset?” I asked.
“Not at all. Casinos love it when we have big winners. It inspires the other players to make larger bets. I imagine I’ll gain two or three dealers before the night is through from your performance.”
“Great,” I said flatly. “Now let us go.”
“Not yet,” he said. “You didn’t just win, Orin. You got a blackjack. And blackjack pays out 1.5 times your bet. You won your sister’s soul and more.”
I stared, not sure what to say. “What are you saying? I won half a soul extra?”
The pit boss grinned wildly. “Just remember what I said. You’ll find living for decades and decades to be a boring experience. After a few centuries, you’ll be back to gamble that half a soul away. Congratulations!”
He removed his hand, and the elevator doors slammed shut.
I helped Selene back to her house. Her children were relieved. I watched them cry, then moved into the kitchen to start making dinner.
It’s been a few days since that experience. The casino is still out there, and buses full of people still arrive. I… I cut my hand pretty bad a few days later. When I checked it an hour later, it had already healed, no scar or anything. I’m not sure exactly what I won at that casino, but there’s no way I’m ever going back.
X
submitted by Worchester_St to nosleep [link] [comments]

Stories from 12 years of Casino Industry

I was asked to make a post about some stories within the Casino grounds so I thought I'd share. I have many so I'll do my best to pick the better ones.
Some back information: I've been a Casino Dealer for 11 years, I've been a supervisor for five years, and I've been a Surveillance Operator for one year. I've worked at three properties, none of which are connected or owned by the same company. I've worked on : Government/Private/Native American owned casinos.
  1. From Hero to Zero.
At my first Casino, I was one of the first group of people who were trained to deal Roulette . After 4 weeks of working 6PM-3AM then doing roulette training from 3AM-8AM (Not paid) , I actually really enjoyed the game and after about six months I became extremely quick at the number game and the pace of the action was steady with very low margin of errors. Young man walks in, cashes in for $500. He buys in for $2 chips and just loads the board. After a few spins and pretty decent hits, he then changes his chips from $2 to 5$ then to $10 and racks his winnings up to $10,000. It was then, five spins in a row, he loaded the board with some pretty gross bets, and every spin I would hit the ONE number with either NO CHIPS on it, or maybe 1 chip , He lost all $10,000 in a matter of minutes. He leaves , and I go on break. After my break I was going back to the same table and wouldn't you know it, the same young man walks in and cashes in another $500. He tells me he just sold his car outside and this is all that he had left. So we do the same deal, buys in for $2 chips, then slowly starts betting $5 chips, $10, $25...and he makes $10,000 AGAIN. Within the next 25 minutes it was straight agony. Every spin, same thing, he would bet $2500 in chips, and win only $250, $400, and after about a half hour he lost it all . Never saw the guy again.
2) Man down
At this property, we are 24 hours for table games. It's currently 5AM , and I'm dealing some $25 Blackjack to this guy. He's probably early thirties , heavy guy. He's sober as can be, but right away I can tell he's been losing. We know how much you've bought in for, how much your down, or up, and I could see he was down $2000+. After about twenty minutes of pure losing, his temper starts to flare.At this point I now have two other guests at my table. Drinking coffee, not saying a word, just losing their money. After losing hand, after hand, this guy looks me straight in the eye, seized up, starts shaking, he can't move. He tries to punch towards me and smashes his stack of chips all over the place and falls backwards to the floor. I call for security, we cannot touch him due to liability . I can't move from my table because, well, liability / casino cash property, all I can do is try to talk to him. As I'm doing so, these other two woman who are sitting at my table just look at me and one says "OK, dealer, cmon lets go " as she taps the table telling me to start dealing and forget about the guy having a stroke on the floor. As security takes him to the ambulance out front, I had to stay behind for a couple minutes and give a statement. I go on break. I come back, and 45 minutes later, he comes right back in with a oxygen tank and keeps gambling for the remainder of the morning.
3) You get a dildo, and YOU get a dildo!
On a late summer Saturday night, we had a large event for these massive muscle guys/strongman competition type thing. After their show, I'm at the roulette table , and five of these boys come over to play. They were absolutely hilarious. They were feeling pretty good, cashed in somewhat large amounts and I could tell this was going to be a fun time. After about a hour of dealing to these guys, it's almost midnight, everybody is pretty hammered , I spin the ball, and all five of these guys take out these god damn (what I can only tell was) two feet purple dildos from inside their pants, and wiping them around in the air. The ladies were just loving it, one of the dildos landed in the roulette wheel and we had to shut the table down to re-calibrate the wheel to make sure nothing had been changed. I just remember that night was so much damn fun, I couldn't believe what I was seeing and I would never forget it.
4) Full Moon
On this day, I was actually training dealers / supervising them on small games like Three Card poker. We opened the table at 10AM, and this older man came and sat down . He played all day. The jackpot was $21,000 and that was pretty high for this table. He played, and played and played. He's one of the players where you know he's wearing a diaper because he's been drinking coffee/pop all day and hasn't moved in eight hours. As the day went on, this man never moved from his chair. Getting closer to midnight, he was aggravated and said "I need to go have a smoke, I'm getting killed in here". He left, and the very next hand, the lady beside him was dealt the jackpot . He didn't say much, but you could just tell he just hated life at that very moment because had he not gotten up, it would of been his hand. The man calmly took his cane , his hat, jacket, coffee, and left. The next morning I found out when he did leave he drove his car straight through his bank and was arrested.
5) Slick Robber
I actually give props to people who can actually pull this off. This story may confuse you so I'll try and explain things as best as possible. A lot of casinos have machines as soon as you walk through the front doors. A man walks up to one of these machines and sticks in HIS $100 bill. He doesn't gamble it, instead he hits the cash out button and gets a $100 TITO ticket where he then takes the ticket to the ATM machine to get his $100. Now remember, his Original $100 is in the slot machine. He then takes the $100 from the ATM and goes back to the same machine, and repeats this process over a hundred times. Essentially he's taking money from the ATM, and loading up the Slot Machine . Now he knows he can't do it too much because if the slot machine gets full of money, the machine will shut down and the slow attendant will have to take all the cash out. So he deposits over $10,000 , then has a small crowbar, he cracks the machine open and makes a run out the front door. To my knowledge he was never caught . But damn, that was pretty smart .
EDIT:
6) Mental Health is a thing.
10PM man walks in to play some high limit BlackJack. This guy knows the game and played well. Dressed nice, drank juice/tea , a little bit of a attitude, cashed in over $10,000. When this man was half way down his buy in, he said something a long the lines of "If I don't win here tonight, I'm going to go set myself on fire." I wasn't sure if he was serious because when people are down, they tend to say a lot of nonsense. I actually left early that night, and from a third party was told he did exactly that in the parking lot. The next day it was clear something terrible had gone wrong in the parking lot .
EDIT:
7) Nothing good happens after midnight
After a busy Saturday night, I was dealing a mix of games, and during this story I was in the middle of Blackjack. I had one young kid (probably 19) sitting in the middle, one older male probably in his later 40's sitting beside him on his right, and I had a really nice couple in their 20's sitting together at the other side. This young kid wasn't playing just sort of watching, and ever time the old man won he would give this young guy some of his winnings. The older man, was a wine drinker, and he had black between all of his teeth, I'll never forget. He's a little drunk but nothing terrible. As the night goes on, the older man goes and uses the washroom, at which point the couple asked the young guy "Oh was that your dad?" and the young guy says "Hah, no I wish!". The couple and I just looked at each other. This old guy, was in complete control over this kid. Absolutely disgusting. The night ends, and I find out the couple called a few of their friends, and they all waited outside by this old mans truck and beat the living hell out of him. 40 years old, sleeping with a 19 year old, completely brain washed . Very weird.
8) That one co-worker where you just wish they would quit.
One of our co-workers, nice guy but had a very big ego and we as employees just sorta left him alone. One day he had enough of the atmosphere and quit. Now usually when you quit, you cannot come back until you paperwork is finalized. How ever, HR was in that day, and he was given the paperwork the very next day. He came in, cashed in $1000, and made $50,000 in about a hour at the Baccarat table. My manager, was extremely annoyed, because now this guy is just mocking the casino and having the time of his life (Thanks for the big tip by the way :) ) and so he decides to call it quits. He wants to ban himself and he wants $50,000 in cash. The casino says Nope, we are going to give you a cheque. Now here's the thing, most business people will take the cheque, how ever you CANT CASH the cheque until the following monday because it's on that day where the funds are available. The casino on the other hand will cash their own check in anytime , because they want you to play. So this guy pretty much said go to hell I want my cash, and he called the police. Police show up, and management promptly gave him the cash.I though it was absolutely hilarious .

9) No good deed goes un punished
I was dealing Three Card Poker, and the jackpot was around $17,000. This old man (a regular) was sitting there all day grinding it out. Super nice guy, always a pleasure to deal to. Well, after hours of playing, he stands up and says "Hey john!, can you come here for a minute?" so his buddy John comes over. He says to John "I need to go take a piss real quick, can you play my card until I get back?" John agrees . John takes the chips and I stop him and explain he can't play his friends chips, he needs to cash in and play his own. And he does. Welp, second hand out and bam, doesn't he win it. The old man comes back and is so happy, he can't believe it. John, took his $17,000, didn't say a word to his "buddy" and walked away. I never felt so much hatred in all my life. Didn't give him a dollar, not a thank you, nothing. The old man sits back down again, the progressive resets to $2500, and he sat there grinding away again.
10) The Top Knot
I had this player , young guy, who was born into a fortune. One of his relatives passed away and left him a pretty big sizable amount of money, so he played poker every single day for the rest of his days. I will add, he IS a good player. I did not enjoy his company just because of the "Know-it-All" attitude, but he was good. We'll call him John. John is 5'10, and well build, with muscle. John also decided today was the day to show off his Top Knot. (google top knot if you're not sure what I mean) So he sits down, and he's absolutely KILLING the table. Every hand, after hand, after hand. And because he's in such a good mood, he's playing any two cards, calling any $500 bet, and he's just dominating. This one guy at the table decided he had enough. He got up, without saying a word and left. A moment later, he comes back in, walks behind John, and takes a pair of scissors , and cuts off his Top Knot. I for one couldn't believe it, dying laughing inside, and it just turned into one big brawl. That was a good day.
11) That one bad seed
One of my best friends who I haven't seen in YEARS ended up being part of the crew. Was kind of nice to catch up. We never really got along as we grew up because he has a very high picture of himself . He wanted that 10/10 woman. A mansion, and a new Corvette. So every month or so we would all go up to the other casino to play. I myself would bring no more than $500, but I couldn't understand how this guy (we'll call him Kyle) was spending THOUSANDS of dollars at the tables. So this wen on for a few months. Well, one day, as we're closing the casino, he and I are in the High Limit room and we're getting ready to close the tables. We are told to take the chips out, count them, put them back, sign this piece of paper and that's it. Well as the supervisor was locking the tray, the piece of paper fell to the floor, so she asked Kyle to grab the piece of paper. As he bends over, a great big $500 chip falls right out of his sock. Kyle was fired immediately , but it all made sense. They offered Kyle a deal where if he replaced all the stolen chips they would not make it public. Not sure how that turned out.
12) If I ever decide to write a book, this will be the last chapter: <3
After working at my first Casino for five years, I met a Indian woman who was visiting from another part of the country. During this time I was explaining a game to her, which honestly I don't think she even cared. She explained she was visiting and sight seeing , and that was that.Well, two years later I ended up moving to the other side of the country and transferred casinos, and low and behold she worked there as a Dealer. We got married , and it's been 5 years.
13) The Tip
One of our tables that we've had for a couple years had a progressive jackpot that had reached $100,000. The dealer at the table was sitting pretty lonely. Nobody really played the game because people knew it was extremely difficult to win the jackpot. My memory is a tad foggy, but you somehow needed to flop the royal flush. This young guy sits down and says to the dealer, we'll call him John. "John, if you pay me that jackpot, I will tip you $10,000" Well John started dealing, and about a half hour into his shift, he F*cking did it. He dealt him the royal. And you know something?This young lad, kept his word, and he made sure there was a audience, and he tipped exactly $10,000. That was a moment right there. That pay cheque was real nice. I think we all got about $500 more than usual. The moment that jackpot was awarded they got rid of the table because the money it was making was not near what the casino wanted. I'm sure there have been bigger tips at other casinos, but that was something special .
14) The Lawsuit
Now this story I'm going to have to beat around the bush a bit due to the nature of what happened. I can't won't answer any questions that you may have on this topic other than what I have to say because it had a lot of publicity . The waitresses at this casino had to wear very thin sexy clothes. Not borderline legal, but it was noticed. One day they called all the waitresses to come in and explained they were changing their outfit to something even more sexier. Now these new dresses were very very borderline legal . The staff said No way. We're not wearing that.So , friday night comes, and the staff work their whole shift, then at the end of their shift were called into a meeting and were all fired. Welp, one of those ladies father was a pretty big time lawyer. Brough the casino to court and won. They won big. Good for them. We had no waitresses for a couple days haha.
Thanks for reading along, I have many more I can add as the day goes on, those were just some off the top of my head. Feel free to ask any questions of the Casino industry. I don't really have many stories about the surveillance department because that's the one area where I can't really say a whole lot due to its privacy and contracts I was and still am under.
submitted by viodox0259 to TalesFromTheFrontDesk [link] [comments]

20 Overlooked Single Player Indie Games

We're all familiar with the Hotline Miami's, Hollow Knight's, and Celeste's of the world. These are some of the indie games that hit the big time. Of course, for every one of these games, there's 100 other indie games that have been glossed over, relegated to a spot in a digital store few people will ever find themselves in. I wanted to bring attention to some of these lesser known indie games.
I'm going to order them according to Metacritic Critic Ratings. Some of the games at the bottom have pretty low critic ratings. I personally disagree with the low scores of these games, but it's only fair that you hear from more than just me. Keep in mind that games with only one or two User Ratings on Metacritic will not show the score. A game needs at least three User Ratings on Metacritic before the score will be shown. This is not the case for Critic Reviews.
Price will contain the U.S. PlayStation Store link to the game.
1. Hayfever
2. Valfaris
3. Four Sided Fantasy
4. Bleep Bloop
5. Horizon Shift ‘81
6. Daggerhood
7. Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight
8. Ultra Hat Dimension
9. Remothered: Tormented Fathers
10. Reverie
11. Inertial Drift
12. Cursed Castilla (Maldita Castilla EX)
13. Pato Box
14. The Count Lucanor
15. The Bunker
16. A Tale of Paper
17. Late Shift
18. SINNER: Sacrifice for Redemption
19. Verlet Swing
20. Neon Drive
Conclusion
My top 5 on the list in order would be the following: (1.) Hayfever, (2.) Valfaris, (3.) Cursed Castilla: (Maldita Castilla EX), (4.) Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight, and (5.) Bleep Bloop.
Have you played any of these games? What are some other overlooked single player indie games?
If you’re looking for more indie games to play, see my post here:
submitted by Underwhere_Overthere to PS5 [link] [comments]

Another 10 Overlooked Single Player Indie Games

There are also some links within the first link that discuss indie local multiplayer games as well.
Introduction
We're all familiar with the Hotline Miami's, Hollow Knight's, and Celeste's of the world. These are some of the indie games that hit the big time. Of course, for every one of these games, there's 100 other indie games that have been glossed over, relegated to a spot in a digital store few people will ever find themselves in. I wanted to bring attention to some of these lesser known indie games once again.
Details About the List
I'm going to order them according to Metacritic Critic Ratings. Steam is the only one on the list with all 10 games featured (Steam has 10 of them, Switch has 9 of them, PlayStation 4 has 7 of them, and Xbox One has 5 of them), but the Switch gets more reviews than the other platforms, so I will it use the Switch version of all the games for their review scores, except #8, where I will use the Steam version, since that’s the only version of it available. The two bottom games have pretty low critic ratings (60% with 1 Critic Review and 53% with 2 Critic Reviews). I personally disagree with the low scores of these two games, but it's only fair that you hear from more than just me. Keep in mind that games with only one or two User Ratings on Metacritic will not show the score. A game needs at least three User Ratings on Metacritic before the score will be shown. This is not the case for Critic Reviews.
Currently 9 of the games are on sale on Steam right now, and 5 of them are on sale on Switch. None of them are on sale on the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One at the moment.
For the purpose of this post, I’m just going to stick with saying “achievements” and “getting all achievements” instead of “trophies” and “platinum trophy” since Steam has all 10 games on the list. You can basically substitute these with “trophies” and “platinum trophy” if you’re a PlayStation gamer. I will make mention of the two games on here that don’t include a platinum trophy however.
Platforms will include a link to the U.S. store page of the game for each platform. Price is in U.S. dollars.
1. Ultra Hat Dimension
2. Bot Vice
3. Valfaris
4. Inertial Drift
5. Golf Peaks
6. Horizon Shift ‘81
7. Pato Box
8. Primal Light
9. Tamashii
10. Neon Drive
Special shoutout to Valfaris which is my favorite game on the list and, again, one my favorite 2D run & guns ever.
Have you played any of these games? What are some other overlooked single player indie games?
submitted by Underwhere_Overthere to Games [link] [comments]

DraftKings (NASDAQ: DKNG) - Deep Dive Research - Part 1

TL:DR
Hello, welcome to my first deep dive write up.
My name’s Mark and I’m an accountant with a passion for investing. About two years ago, I used to work as an auditor at a public accounting firm and have been behind the scenes at many different publicly traded and privately held companies in the U.S. My goal is to bring my unique perspective from that past experience, my current experience working in a new role at a large corporation, and my understanding of accounting to help break down some of the most exciting growth stocks on the market today.
I’m a long-term investor. I am focused on finding great companies and holding them for a long time. I’m willing to endure volatility, crazy price drops, and everything that comes with this approach as long as the facts that led me to originally invest and believe in that company have not changed. If you want to learn more about this approach. I recommend reading the book “100 Baggers” by Chris Mayer.
Introduction
I think it’s fitting that my first stock pick has to do with sports. Sports has been a part of my life since I could walk at the age of 2. First with baseball and soccer, and then later in my childhood with golf. I’ve always played American football and basketball for fun as well and have always been an avid fan of all the major sports in the US.
I started playing fantasy sports (mostly just fantasy football) about 6 years ago and have always enjoyed it. Traditionally, with fantasy football you draft a team at the beginning of the year and those are your players for the rest of the season. If you have a bad draft, oh well. You can try to improve your team with trades and free agent additions but it is tough. Leagues usually consist of 10-14 teams (each managed by an individual) and there’s obviously only one winner at the end of the season (about 4 months after the draft). This can lead to the managers of the lower performing teams losing interest as the season wanes on. I believe DraftKings’ (DK) founders saw this issue and saw an opportunity. Enter, daily fantasy sports. Now, with the DK platform you can draft a new team every week. Or if you want, every day. This allows fans of fantasy sports to engage at whichever point of the season they want and at varying financial stakes.
The Thesis Statement
For every stock pick I make, I want to provide a quick thesis statement that can serve as a reminder for why I’m buying and holding that stock for the long term. I’ll always aim to make it just a few sentences long so it can easily be remembered and internalized. This helps during times when the price may sporadically drop and you need to remember why you’re holding this position.
The thesis statement I have come up with for DK is as follows:
“DraftKings: The leader in allowing fans to engage financially with their favorite sports, teams, and players. Having money at stake makes the game a lot more interesting to watch. The era of daily fantasy sports games, online sports betting, and online betting (outside of sports), is just getting started and DK is as well positioned (or better positioned) than anyone to capitalize off of this trend.”
Notice how I said “allowing fans to engage financially” as the first sentence and not necessarily “allowing fans to gamble”. There’s a reason for that. According to US Federal Law, Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) contests have specifically been exempted from the prohibitions of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). DK has always been, and I believe will continue to be DFS contests 1st, sports betting 2nd, and other forms of gambling/entertainment 3rd. It is noteworthy that states at an individual level can still deem DFS contests illegal if they so wish, but as of this writing (11/26/20), 43 of the 50 US States allow DFS contests and DK, accordingly, is offering DFS contests in all 43 of those US States.
I’ll try to clarify the difference between DFS contests and sports betting real quick:
DFS Contest – Pay a pre-set entry fee to enter a contest. All entry fees go towards “The Pot”. “Draft” 9 players to be on your “Team” for 1 week. Enter your “Roster” into a contest with other players (could range from 1 other person to 1,000s of people, the DK user can choose). Whichever “Roster” amasses the most points for that week out of all contestants wins. The winner will get the highest payout, and depending on the nature of the contest, other top finishers will receive smaller payouts as well.
Sports Gambling – Team A is considered a 10 point favorite to defeat Team B. This means that Team A is expected, by the professional gambling line setters, to outscore Team B by 10 points. This is known as a point spread. You can bet on the underdog or the favorite. If you bet on the favorite, they have to win by more than 10 points for you to win the bet. If you bet on the underdog, you will win the bet as long as the underdog keeps the game within less than a 10 point defeat.
These are just a couple simple examples to help you see the difference. Sports Gambling (the 2nd priority of DK) is a very lucrative market just as the DFS contests are. However, in the US, Federal Laws and regulations are a lot stricter on Sports Gambling than they are on DFS. As of this writing (11/27/20), 22 states (including the District of Columbia) out of 51 possible allow sports gambling.
DK is still in the infancy stages of getting their sports gambling business going. In the 22 states where they could potentially operate, they currently have a sports gambling offering in 11 of those states. The sports gambling business model for DK can be broken into two main offerings – mobile sports betting, and retail sports betting. Mobile sports betting means you can place a sports bet online from the comfort of your own home, while retail sports betting means you must go to a casino and place a bet with the sportsbook in person. I personally believe mobile sports betting is the real potential cash cow for DK out of the two types of sports betting offerings due to the convenience and ease of access. DK is currently working on and encouraging customers to lobby their state lawmakers to legalize sports gambling in more states.
How DK makes money
At the very least, before you invest in a company, you better understand how they make money. In Chris Mayers’ excellent book, 100 Baggers, that I mentioned above, he continually references top line revenue growth as one of the main common indicators of a possible 100 Bagger. This isn’t to tell you that any stock I pick will be a 100 Bagger just because it has great top line revenue growth, but if I am looking at a growth stock to hold for the long term, revenue growth is one of the first things I look at.
For DK, their means of making money is quite simple. I already went into detail above about DFS Contests and Sports Gambling. In DK’s latest 10-Q filing with the SEC (filed 11/13/20), revenue is broken out into two main streams: Online Gaming and Gaming Software.
Online Gaming (82% of Total Revenue for 9 months ended 9/30/20):
Online gaming is the true core business of DK and includes the aforementioned DFS Contests, Sports Gambling and additional gambling (non-sports) opportunities. DK refers to their additional gambling (non-sports) as “iGaming” or “online casino”.
For the 9 months ended 9/30/20, Online Gaming revenue totaled $239M, up 30% YoY from $184M in the same prior year period. Keep in mind, that this is an increase that happened during a COVID-19 global pandemic that delayed and shortened many professional sports seasons.
Online gaming revenue is earned in a few ways that are slightly different, but very similar overall. In order to enter a DFS contest, a customer must pay an entry fee. DFS revenue is generated from these entry fees collected, net of prize payouts and customer incentives awarded to users. In order to place a sports bet (sports gambling), a customer places a wager with a DK Sportsbook. The DK Sportsbook sets odds for each wager that builds in a theoretical margin allowing DK to profit. Sports gambling revenue is generated from wagers collected from customers, net of payouts and incentives awarded to winning customers. The last form of online gaming revenue is earned in similar fashion to a land-based casino, offering online versions of casino games such as blackjack, roulette, and slot machines.
Gaming Software (18% of Total Revenue for 9 months ended 9/30/20):
While the Online Gaming revenue stream mentioned above is a Business to Consumer (B2C) model, the Gaming Software revenue stream is a Business to Business (B2B) model. The Gaming Software side of the business was born out of the acquisition of SBTech, a company from the Isle of Man (near the UK) founded in 2007 that has 12+ years of experience providing online sports betting platforms to clients all over the world. The acquisition occurred as part of the SPAC driven IPO in April of 2020 that combined “the old DK company” with SBTech so that they now are “the new DK company” listed as DKNG on the NASDAQ. SBTech is a far more important part of the story than just being 18% of today’s revenue. The reason for this is because DK will eventually (planned mid-late 2021) be migrating all of their DFS and gambling offerings onto SBTech’s online platforms. Currently, for DFS, DK uses their own proprietary platform but that will move to SBTech with the migration. Currently, for online gambling, DK uses Kambi, the same online gambling platform that services Penn Gaming (PENN), a DK rival. But that’s enough about the software migration for now, back to the Gaming Software revenue.
The Gaming Software revenue stream for DK is essentially a continuation of SBTechs’ B2B business model. DK contracts with business customers to provide sports and casino betting software solutions. DK typically enters two different type of arrangements with B2B customers when selling the gaming software:
  1. Direct Customer Contract Revenue: In this type of transaction, the software is sold directly to a business (casino for example) that wants to use the software for their own gambling operations. This revenue is generally calculated as a percentage of the wagering revenue generated by the business customer using DK’s software and is recognized in the periods in which those wagering and related activities conclude.
  2. Reseller Arrangement Revenue: In this type of transaction, DK provides distributors with the right to resell DK’s software-as-a-service offering to their clients, using their own infrastructure. In reseller arrangements, revenue is generally calculated via a fixed monthly fee and an additional monthly fee which varies based on the number of gaming operators to whom each reseller sub-licenses DK’s software.
As mentioned above, SBTech was an international company based in the Isle of Man before being acquired by DK. Thus, the majority of their business in their first 12 years of operating independently has always been international and outside of the United States. This has helped DK, which has historically been US focused, expand it’s international reach.
A perfect example of expanding this international reach occurred recently during October (technically Q4) in which DK’s B2B technology (powered by SBTech) helped enable the launch of “PalaceBet”, a new mobile and online sportsbook offering from Peermont, a South Africa based resort and casino company. The deal was headed by DK’s new Chief International Officer, Shay Berka, who previously spent 10 years working for SBTech as CFO and General Manager. Mr. Berka took on the role of DK’s Chief International Officer upon the merger in April earlier this year. I think this deal shows that DK has integrated SBTech and it’s business very well into the larger business as a whole. They are not wasting any time using their newly acquired resources to expand their reach and bring in new sources of revenue.
This is the end of my first article about DK. My goal is to drop Part 2 later this week. The focus of Part 2 will be an in depth answer of the question – “Can we 10x from here?”
Disclosure: I am/we are long DKNG. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.
submitted by Historical-Comment36 to SecurityAnalysis [link] [comments]

DraftKings (NASDAQ: DKNG) - Deep Dive Research - Part 1

TL:DR
Hello, welcome to my first deep dive write up.
My name’s Mark and I’m an accountant with a passion for investing. About two years ago, I used to work as an auditor at a public accounting firm and have been behind the scenes at many different publicly traded and privately held companies in the U.S. My goal is to bring my unique perspective from that past experience, my current experience working in a new role at a large corporation, and my understanding of accounting to help break down some of the most exciting growth stocks on the market today.
I’m a long-term investor. I am focused on finding great companies and holding them for a long time. I’m willing to endure volatility, crazy price drops, and everything that comes with this approach as long as the facts that led me to originally invest and believe in that company have not changed. If you want to learn more about this approach. I recommend reading the book “100 Baggers” by Chris Mayer.
Introduction
I think it’s fitting that my first stock pick has to do with sports. Sports has been a part of my life since I could walk at the age of 2. First with baseball and soccer, and then later in my childhood with golf. I’ve always played American football and basketball for fun as well and have always been an avid fan of all the major sports in the US.
I started playing fantasy sports (mostly just fantasy football) about 6 years ago and have always enjoyed it. Traditionally, with fantasy football you draft a team at the beginning of the year and those are your players for the rest of the season. If you have a bad draft, oh well. You can try to improve your team with trades and free agent additions but it is tough. Leagues usually consist of 10-14 teams (each managed by an individual) and there’s obviously only one winner at the end of the season (about 4 months after the draft). This can lead to the managers of the lower performing teams losing interest as the season wanes on. I believe DraftKings’ (DK) founders saw this issue and saw an opportunity. Enter, daily fantasy sports. Now, with the DK platform you can draft a new team every week. Or if you want, every day. This allows fans of fantasy sports to engage at whichever point of the season they want and at varying financial stakes.
The Thesis Statement
For every stock pick I make, I want to provide a quick thesis statement that can serve as a reminder for why I’m buying and holding that stock for the long term. I’ll always aim to make it just a few sentences long so it can easily be remembered and internalized. This helps during times when the price may sporadically drop and you need to remember why you’re holding this position.
The thesis statement I have come up with for DK is as follows:
“DraftKings: The leader in allowing fans to engage financially with their favorite sports, teams, and players. Having money at stake makes the game a lot more interesting to watch. The era of daily fantasy sports games, online sports betting, and online betting (outside of sports), is just getting started and DK is as well positioned (or better positioned) than anyone to capitalize off of this trend.”
Notice how I said “allowing fans to engage financially” as the first sentence and not necessarily “allowing fans to gamble”. There’s a reason for that. According to US Federal Law, Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) contests have specifically been exempted from the prohibitions of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). DK has always been, and I believe will continue to be DFS contests 1st, sports betting 2nd, and other forms of gambling/entertainment 3rd. It is noteworthy that states at an individual level can still deem DFS contests illegal if they so wish, but as of this writing (11/26/20), 43 of the 50 US States allow DFS contests and DK, accordingly, is offering DFS contests in all 43 of those US States.
I’ll try to clarify the difference between DFS contests and sports betting real quick:
DFS Contest – Pay a pre-set entry fee to enter a contest. All entry fees go towards “The Pot”. “Draft” 9 players to be on your “Team” for 1 week. Enter your “Roster” into a contest with other players (could range from 1 other person to 1,000s of people, the DK user can choose). Whichever “Roster” amasses the most points for that week out of all contestants wins. The winner will get the highest payout, and depending on the nature of the contest, other top finishers will receive smaller payouts as well.
Sports Gambling – Team A is considered a 10 point favorite to defeat Team B. This means that Team A is expected, by the professional gambling line setters, to outscore Team B by 10 points. This is known as a point spread. You can bet on the underdog or the favorite. If you bet on the favorite, they have to win by more than 10 points for you to win the bet. If you bet on the underdog, you will win the bet as long as the underdog keeps the game within less than a 10 point defeat.
These are just a couple simple examples to help you see the difference. Sports Gambling (the 2nd priority of DK) is a very lucrative market just as the DFS contests are. However, in the US, Federal Laws and regulations are a lot stricter on Sports Gambling than they are on DFS. As of this writing (11/27/20), 22 states (including the District of Columbia) out of 51 possible allow sports gambling.
DK is still in the infancy stages of getting their sports gambling business going. In the 22 states where they could potentially operate, they currently have a sports gambling offering in 11 of those states. The sports gambling business model for DK can be broken into two main offerings – mobile sports betting, and retail sports betting. Mobile sports betting means you can place a sports bet online from the comfort of your own home, while retail sports betting means you must go to a casino and place a bet with the sportsbook in person. I personally believe mobile sports betting is the real potential cash cow for DK out of the two types of sports betting offerings due to the convenience and ease of access. DK is currently working on and encouraging customers to lobby their state lawmakers to legalize sports gambling in more states.
How DK makes money
At the very least, before you invest in a company, you better understand how they make money. In Chris Mayers’ excellent book, 100 Baggers, that I mentioned above, he continually references top line revenue growth as one of the main common indicators of a possible 100 Bagger. This isn’t to tell you that any stock I pick will be a 100 Bagger just because it has great top line revenue growth, but if I am looking at a growth stock to hold for the long term, revenue growth is one of the first things I look at.
For DK, their means of making money is quite simple. I already went into detail above about DFS Contests and Sports Gambling. In DK’s latest 10-Q filing with the SEC (filed 11/13/20), revenue is broken out into two main streams: Online Gaming and Gaming Software.
Online Gaming (82% of Total Revenue for 9 months ended 9/30/20):
Online gaming is the true core business of DK and includes the aforementioned DFS Contests, Sports Gambling and additional gambling (non-sports) opportunities. DK refers to their additional gambling (non-sports) as “iGaming” or “online casino”.
For the 9 months ended 9/30/20, Online Gaming revenue totaled $239M, up 30% YoY from $184M in the same prior year period. Keep in mind, that this is an increase that happened during a COVID-19 global pandemic that delayed and shortened many professional sports seasons.
Online gaming revenue is earned in a few ways that are slightly different, but very similar overall. In order to enter a DFS contest, a customer must pay an entry fee. DFS revenue is generated from these entry fees collected, net of prize payouts and customer incentives awarded to users. In order to place a sports bet (sports gambling), a customer places a wager with a DK Sportsbook. The DK Sportsbook sets odds for each wager that builds in a theoretical margin allowing DK to profit. Sports gambling revenue is generated from wagers collected from customers, net of payouts and incentives awarded to winning customers. The last form of online gaming revenue is earned in similar fashion to a land-based casino, offering online versions of casino games such as blackjack, roulette, and slot machines.
Gaming Software (18% of Total Revenue for 9 months ended 9/30/20):
While the Online Gaming revenue stream mentioned above is a Business to Consumer (B2C) model, the Gaming Software revenue stream is a Business to Business (B2B) model. The Gaming Software side of the business was born out of the acquisition of SBTech, a company from the Isle of Man (near the UK) founded in 2007 that has 12+ years of experience providing online sports betting platforms to clients all over the world. The acquisition occurred as part of the SPAC driven IPO in April of 2020 that combined “the old DK company” with SBTech so that they now are “the new DK company” listed as DKNG on the NASDAQ. SBTech is a far more important part of the story than just being 18% of today’s revenue. The reason for this is because DK will eventually (planned mid-late 2021) be migrating all of their DFS and gambling offerings onto SBTech’s online platforms. Currently, for DFS, DK uses their own proprietary platform but that will move to SBTech with the migration. Currently, for online gambling, DK uses Kambi, the same online gambling platform that services Penn Gaming (PENN), a DK rival. But that’s enough about the software migration for now, back to the Gaming Software revenue.
The Gaming Software revenue stream for DK is essentially a continuation of SBTechs’ B2B business model. DK contracts with business customers to provide sports and casino betting software solutions. DK typically enters two different type of arrangements with B2B customers when selling the gaming software:

  1. Direct Customer Contract Revenue: In this type of transaction, the software is sold directly to a business (casino for example) that wants to use the software for their own gambling operations. This revenue is generally calculated as a percentage of the wagering revenue generated by the business customer using DK’s software and is recognized in the periods in which those wagering and related activities conclude.
  2. Reseller Arrangement Revenue: In this type of transaction, DK provides distributors with the right to resell DK’s software-as-a-service offering to their clients, using their own infrastructure. In reseller arrangements, revenue is generally calculated via a fixed monthly fee and an additional monthly fee which varies based on the number of gaming operators to whom each reseller sub-licenses DK’s software.
As mentioned above, SBTech was an international company based in the Isle of Man before being acquired by DK. Thus, the majority of their business in their first 12 years of operating independently has always been international and outside of the United States. This has helped DK, which has historically been US focused, expand it’s international reach.
A perfect example of expanding this international reach occurred recently during October (technically Q4) in which DK’s B2B technology (powered by SBTech) helped enable the launch of “PalaceBet”, a new mobile and online sportsbook offering from Peermont, a South Africa based resort and casino company. The deal was headed by DK’s new Chief International Officer, Shay Berka, who previously spent 10 years working for SBTech as CFO and General Manager. Mr. Berka took on the role of DK’s Chief International Officer upon the merger in April earlier this year. I think this deal shows that DK has integrated SBTech and it’s business very well into the larger business as a whole. They are not wasting any time using their newly acquired resources to expand their reach and bring in new sources of revenue.
This is the end of my first article about DK. My goal is to drop Part 2 later this week. The focus of Part 2 will be an in depth answer of the question – “Can we 10x from here?”
Disclosure: I am/we are long DKNG. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.
submitted by Historical-Comment36 to investing [link] [comments]

I live in a small mining town in the mountains of Colorado. Someone is building a massive casino nearby, Pictures Included

I grew up in a small mountain town named Eureka. It was founded in the late 1800s during the gold rush, but after the mines dried up the town began its slow descent into decay. Half the houses are empty or abandoned now.
You can see a picture of the kind of houses here in Eureka:
Abandoned House
Non-abandoned House
When a massive construction project began nearby, it was the talk of the town for weeks. Why would they build something in a sleepy dying town like Eureka? It wasn’t until my sister Selene talked to a few construction workers that we discovered they were building a casino.
A casino up in the mountains, over two hours away from Denver. None of us could understand why they’d chosen here of all places. After a few months of work, the casino was done.
I took a picture of the town with the completed casino in the background to the right. The ten-story-structure sticks out like a sore thumb off in the distance.
Town+Casino
After the casino opened, they hired a few dozen members of the town, offering high paying jobs to work as dealers or cleaning staff. I was already employed as a firefighter, but my sister Selene got a job as a blackjack dealer. She’s a widow with two young kids, so the paycheck was a real lifesaver.
Still, something about the situation seemed too good to be true. The jobs over there paid far too well, and the management was far too accommodating. The fire station where I work is located high on a hill overlooking the town, so I began watching the casino from a distance each day.
I had initially thought that the casino was located in a terrible location, but I was apparently wrong. True, Eureka was hours from any major city, but despite that, a bus full of people arrived every morning and left every evening.
One night I was over at my parent’s house and had dinner with Selene and her kids. I asked her about her experience as a dealer.
“It’s Ok,” she said. “Just a little boring I guess.”
“Boring?” I asked. “I’m surprised you don’t have your hands full.”
“Why’s that?” she asked. “It’s like you said, Eureka’s too small. I never have people playing cards. The casino is almost always completely empty.”
I wasn’t sure what to make of that. If the place was always empty, what happened to the people who I’d seen arriving on buses? “I’ve been keeping an eye on the building,” I said. “A bus full of people typically arrives around 9 AM every day.”
“Really?” she asked, looking confused. “If that’s true, I’ve never seen them.
“I can see it from the fire station,” I said. “If you head out for a smoke break at 9 AM, you’ll probably see them arriving.”
“Interesting,” she said. “I’ll do that. If they’re being processed for their organs or something, I’ll let you know.” She laughed.
“Har har,” I said sarcastically.
The next night she sent me a text calling me over. When I arrived, she was nearly breathless with excitement.
“Orin, You were right,” she said. “A big group of people did arrive, but they didn’t walk into my part of the casino. Instead, they all walked into an elevator at the back of the building. I’m not sure where that goes.” She looked thoughtful. “It was weird. They looked… How can I say it? Desperate? Something about the whole situation was very off. I’m gonna check out the elevator tomorrow.”
I told her to be careful, though, to be honest, I was excited to hear about what she discovered. When I visited my parent’s house the next night, I found her two kids there alone. They told me that Selene had never returned from work.
I called all her friends, then all our neighbors, but no one had seen her since she left for work that morning. Our conversations regarding the casino flooded my mind, then a plan began to form.
Early the next morning I walked across town in my nicest pair of jeans and a button-up shirt. I pushed through the door to the casino and saw that Selene wasn’t lying. The place was all but deserted. Three dozen slot machines crowded the walls surrounding a few tables interspersed throughout the floor of the casino. The only players in the whole building were Bob and Donald, two locals.
I walked up to a nearby table where Bridget, a girl I’d gone to high school with, was shuffling cards. She broke into a grin when she saw me. “Hey Orin, you here for a few rounds of blackjack?”
“I wish,” I said. “No, I’m here to ask about Selene. She never made it home last night.”
Bridget’s expression darkened. “Really? Have you asked around?”
“I already called around. Have you seen her?”
She shook her head. “No, our schedules rarely line up. I’ll be sure to let you know if I--” Her eyes focused on something behind me, and she cut herself off.
I turned around to see the casino’s pit boss watching us both. He was a tall thin man in an impeccably clean black suit. When I turned back towards Bridget, she was looking down at the table and shuffling cards absent-mindedly.
“Well, if you hear anything, let me know,” I said.
She nodded, so I turned around and headed for the pit boss. I stuck out my hand. The temperature of his hand was so hot that I had to pull my hand away after a few seconds.
“Have… have you seen my sister Selene?” I asked. “She hasn’t been seen since her shift here yesterday.”
He smiled. “Sir, this floor is for players. You’re more than welcome to head to the tellers for chips, but barring that I’m afraid I’ll have to ask you to leave.”
I stared at him for a long second before stalking towards the door. When I looked back, he was talking with Bridget.
I checked my watch. 8:55 AM, just as I’d planned. I walked around the back of the building and waited as the morning bus pulled around the building. I waited for the telltale hiss of the opening doors and the sound of people descending before I rounded the corner and joined the crowd. None of them paid any particular attention to me as I walked with them into the casino.
The crowd walked through a side door down a hallway to an elevator. Small groups of people entered the elevator as the rest of us waited for our turn. I shot a glance at the casino patrons, surprised at their diversity. There seemed to be people from all different countries and ethnicities. I heard one speaking Japanese and another speaking what sounded like an African language.
My turn came along with a few other patrons in the elevator. A sickly woman hobbled into the elevator beside me carrying an IV that was still connected to one of her veins. We piled in and rode up to the top.
The elevator rose for a few long seconds. I wasn’t sure what I would find, but I steeled myself for something horrible. The elevator’s speaker let out a TING, then the doors opened.
We all walked out onto what looked like a standard casino. Another few dozen slot machines ringed the walls, but on this floor, they were almost all occupied by customers. I took in the scene, confused at why they’d have a ground floor that was almost completely empty when this place was almost--
Selene was dealing cards at a nearby table.
I jogged over and sat down at an open seat. None of the players around me paid me much attention.
“Selene!” I said. “Are you OK? Did you spend the night here last night?”
Her eyes were glassy and confused. She looked up at me with a dumb expression and didn’t respond to my question.
“Selene?” I asked.
“What’s your bet?” she asked me. “This table is for blackjack players only.”
“I…” I trailed off, looking at the players around me. None of them were betting with chips of any kind. “What’s the minimum bet?” I asked.
“Three years,” she responded.
“Three years then,” I said, not knowing what that referred to.
Selene nodded, then began dealing cards. I shot a look down at my hand. King and a 9. Selene dealt out cards for herself, showing a 9. I stood, then leaned forward again. “Should I call the police? Are you--”
“Congratulations,” she said tonelessly.
An almost impossibly warm hand grabbed my shoulder. I spun to see the pit boss I’d spoken to earlier. He gave an impressed smile. “Orin, was it? I’m impressed, truly. Would you mind if I had a word with you?”
I shot a look back at Selene who was dealing the next round of cards. Then I got to my feet, balling my hands into fists. “What did you do to her?”
The pit boss clasped his hands behind his back. “Nothing more, and nothing less than what I’m going to do to you. That is, offer you the chance to play.”
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”
The pit boss nodded his head towards a nearby slot machine. A woman in a wheelchair pulled a lever and watched the flashing numbers spin. They exploded in a cacophony of sirens and flashing lights. “WINNER WINNER WINNER!” The machine screeched.
The woman in the wheelchair put her feet on the ground and stood up on a pair of wobbly legs that had clearly never been used before.
“As in any other casino,” the pit boss said, “you must wager for the chance to win.”
“She... won the use of her legs?” I asked, feeling light-headed. “Wait,” I said. “I played blackjack just now. ‘Three years,’ Selene told me. What does ‘three years’ mean?” I asked.
“Three years of life, of course. Did you win?”
My mouth felt dry. “I-- Yes, I won.”
He smiled warmly. “Congratulations. I hope you enjoy them. I can tell you from personal experience that watching the decades pass is a bore. Give it some time and you’ll be back to spend them.”
I watched the pit boss’s face. He couldn’t have been more than a few years older than me, and I was in my early thirties. I looked around at the casino. No one was playing with chips of any kind. “So what?” I asked. “I won years of life. That woman won the use of her legs. What else can a person win here?”
“Oh, almost anything. They can win almost anything you can imagine.”
A cold feeling settled in my stomach. “And what do they wager?”
His eyes flashed with greed. “Almost anything. They can wager almost anything you can possibly imagine. Anything equal in value to the item they want in return.” He nodded towards a nearby roulette table.
A man stood by the table, cradling his hands. “Another finger,” he called out. He only had three fingers remaining on his left hand. As I watched, the ball came to a stop, and another finger disappeared from his left hand.
The pit boss extended his hands. “Feel free to try any of our games. Bet and win whatever you’d like.” He reached out and snatched my hand. A feeling of intense warmth passed up my arm to my chest. “There,” he said. “I’ve even given you some house money to get you started. An extra decade of life, on me.”
I ripped my hand away, staring at him in horror. Then I looked back at Selene. Something clicked in my mind. “You offered her the chance to play. What did she want?” I asked.
“Her husband,” the pit boss said. “Quite the sad story. He died two years ago. She wanted him brought back to her.”
“What did she wager?” I asked.
“She wanted the chance to win a soul, the most valuable object in existence. I’m sure you can imagine what she needed to wager for the chance to win it. What she wagered is unimportant. The important question is: What do you want, Orin?”
I stared at Selene with a flat expression. “I’m sure you can imagine.”
His eyes flashed with greed again. “How wonderful. The casino could always make use of another dealer. Feel free to make your wager at any one of our games; I’ll be eagerly awaiting the results of your night. Oh, and do take advantage of our waitresses. We always supply food and drink for ‘high rollers’.” He walked away.
I spent the next few hours trying to decide which game to play. I was going to be wagering my soul, so I wanted the highest chance possible. Slots and roulette were out. I’d done some reading online about counting cards, so I figured that blackjack gave me the best odds.
I walked up to Selene’s table and sat down. “Bet?” she asked with that same toneless voice. “Three years,” I said.
I spent the next hour or so doing my best to remember how to count cards. I knew that low cards added one to my count and high cards decreased it by one, but the casino used three decks. I had read something about how that was supposed to change my calculation, but I couldn’t quite remember how.
Every time I won a hand, I cursed myself for not putting everything on the line. Every time I lost, I breathed a prayer of thanks that I’d waited. And all the while, I kept track of the count.
I had lost fifteen years of life when the count finally reached +5.
“Bet?” Selene asked.
“I wager my soul so you can be free,” I said.
The table around me fell silent. Selene’s eyes flickered, but she showed no other emotion as she dealt the cards. I watched my first card, punching the air in excitement when I saw a Jack. My excitement turned to ash when my second card was a four. Fourteen.
I looked at her hand. One card was facedown, but the faceup card was a King. I swore loudly, staring down at my hands.
“Hit?” she asked. The entire table was silently watching me.
“Hit,” I said, not looking down. The table erupted in cheers. I looked down to see a 7 atop my two other cards. 21. Blackjack.
I looked at Selene who flipped over her facedown card to reveal a 9. 19. I won.
The glassy look left her eyes immediately. She looked around in surprise, then her eyes locked on mine. “Orin?” she asked, then almost immediately began to cry. The entire casino broke out in cheers.
I grabbed her hand and headed for the elevator. The doors had begun to close when the pit boss reached out with a hand to stop them.
“Congratulations,” he said, beaming. He seemed to be honestly excited.
“Shouldn’t you be upset?” I asked.
“Not at all. Casinos love it when we have big winners. It inspires the other players to make larger bets. I imagine I’ll gain two or three dealers before the night is through from your performance.”
“Great,” I said flatly. “Now let us go.”
“Not yet,” he said. “You didn’t just win, Orin. You got a blackjack. And blackjack pays out 1.5 times your bet. You won your sister’s soul and more.”
I stared, not sure what to say. “What are you saying? I won half a soul extra?”
The pit boss grinned wildly. “Just remember what I said. You’ll find living for decades and decades to be a boring experience. After a few centuries, you’ll be back to gamble that half a soul away. Congratulations!”
He removed his hand, and the elevator doors slammed shut.
I helped Selene back to her house. Her children were relieved. I watched them cry, then moved into the kitchen to start making dinner.
It’s been a few days since that experience. The casino is still out there, and buses full of people still arrive. I… I cut my hand pretty bad a few days later. When I checked it an hour later, it had already healed, no scar or anything. I’m not sure exactly what I won at that casino, but there’s no way I’m ever going back.
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2k business model is immoral...

If online difficulty was HOF it would eliminate most the BS... But people would boycott the game. Look at shooting mechanics. Added a feature to make shooting more unique per person. Less than 20% actually use it and half of them are using modded controllers. People threatened to boycott the game because they expect to green consistently... GREEN MACHINE is one of the worst badges, perpetuating this nonsense.
2k is like a slot machine at a casino. It rewards bad behavior consistently enough to keep the illusion alive. It's a mental addiction dealing with the reward center of the brain. Takeover meter does this as well. You are being rewarded for obsessive compulsive behavior, not free will and creativity. Then there are only so many awards in a given time (limited available points and thus ability to raise average ppg) so teammates compete for those resources as well... Creating factions inside the team. Singling out individuals to be starved and bullied.
STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT!!! They are giving people who have had little power in their life the ability to have control over others... Feel like a subject matter expert, when their expertise doesn't translate to the real world game attempting to be simulated. 2k toxicity is the result. This is a social experiment that has lasting mental effects on a lot of people. They ain't ready for that conversation tho. May even be open to a lawsuit. It's mental manipulation at a mass scale with disregard for the negative results, all for corporate greed.
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