What Does Being LGBT (Or Wanting to Get Gay Married) Have to Do with Gambling?

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Like GLAAD promoting a telecom merger, the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force has wound up in the dubious position of weighing in on gambling, a not terribly LGBT-specific issue.

Chris Geidner at BuzzFeed has been beating down the path of a fascinating story over this past week, exploring how and why the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force has gotten involved with the issue of gambling in Maryland. His latest post reports that an anonymous source funded a gaming mailer sent to Maryland Democrats on behalf of the task force's lobbying arm.

We feel like we've been to this rodeo before. In our Voice Pride Issue feature, we asked, "What does a telecom merger have to do with fighting gay defamation?" as we reflected upon how and why the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) supported a proposed AT&T merge with T-Mobile. And now, we must ask, what does being LGBT have to do with gambling in Maryland?

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Pippin Barr, Man Behind the Marina Abramovic Video Game, Weighs In On His Creation

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Last year, artist Marina Abramovic's "The Artist is Present" exhibit at MoMA became the biggest performance art exhibition in the museum's history. Abramovic sat in a chair for a total of 760 hours and 30 minutes over the course of a couple months and people were invited to stare at her, inspiring the Marina Abramovic Made Me Cry tumblr.

Now, more than a year after the exhibit closed, you can revisit "The Artist Is Present" with a video game, of all things. The game mimics the experience of Abramovic's work almost exactly; there are long lines and you can't play during hours when the museum is closed. Runnin' Scared tried to play today but had to wait in line too long. This afternoon we got in touch with the game's creator, a Kiwi academic and programmer living in Denmark named Pippin Barr.

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Chris Christie, New Jersey Governor, Calls for Atlantic City Makeover

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Watch out, Vegas, Atlantic City might get all done up like a fresh-faced showgirl (oxymoron?) if legislatures agree with a proposal to spruce up the still kinda gritty boardwalk-clad gambling city with a state-controlled plan. At a press conference today, Christie stood firmly behind the proposals issued in a report by the New Jersey Gaming, Sports and Entertainment Advisory Commission to add both gaming and non-gaming attractions that will draw a crowd to the South Jersey locale.

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Paul the Octopus Has a New Enemy in Kazakh Bookies, Taiwanese Sparrows

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Paul the Octopus, who is, by German accounts, retired but still not allowed to take a little Spanish vacay to celebrate, is now on the shit list of the Kazakhstan Association of Bookmakers, who believe that he has cut into their proceeds. According to the Telegraph, they made just half the profits expected this year. Paul, better watch your kneecaps. Meanwhile, fortune tellers in Taiwan claim that their psychic sparrows pecked at the Spanish flag way before Paul ate a tidbit from the Spanish container in his tank, but they didn't have the attention of the international media the way he did. Oh, everybody's a psychic now. [JDoll]

Finding Mr. Right in Two Easy Steps

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Number 22: Cute, but no Mr. Right. (Actually, I think this was my real estate broker. M -- Call me!)
Hey, single ladies!

According to the latest in top-notch U.K.-based research, your average woman dates more than 24 men and spends £2,000 or more (that's $3,077.43-plus) before getting so tired and debt-ridden that she falls into bed with whatever borderline passable dude is in the bar (or at the Navy dance) that night, ends up preggers, and forces him to marry her, after which she spends the rest of her life wondering what exactly happened there.

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Aqueduct Racino Group Goosed Numbers to Win Contract (Updated)

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The Aqueduct documents are out -- some released by Governor Paterson, some by the winners of the Aqueduct racino contract, AEG -- and it appears that, during the bidding process, AEG kept goosing its upfront payment offer and predicted profitability until it qualified for the win.

"Our previous WPU numbers were very conservative and were baseline for budgeting purposes," says one AEG document from September. "We believe these [new] numbers more accurately reflect the market conditions and revenue potential that our group can bring to the State."

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EA Will Go Ahead with Tiger Woods Videogame, Hopefully with Some Modifications

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Tiger Woods had a terrible holiday season, and has been dropped in recent weeks by AT&T, Accenture, and Gillette. But Electronic Arts isn't giving up on him, and say they'll release the "Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online" game in beta this month.

Woods is "still one of the greatest athletes in history," explained EA Sports President Peter Moore. It seems the logical move. Technically Incorrect makes the point that "it's not as though a Phil Mickelson video game would sell quite as well."

We hope there's more to it than that, though, and that Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online will take on some Grand Theft Auto elements. Golf's fun, but add chicks and car crashes and you've got a triathlon that should go over well.

Crime Beat: NBA's Crooked Ref Won't Stop Blowing Whistle, Cites Iverson Fix

Just days before yet another replay of its major betting scandal, NBA officials — the league's executives, not the refs — must be running like mad up and down the hallways of their Fifth Avenue headquarters.

Crooked ref Tim Donaghy has revealed what he says was a concerted effort to get back at querulous guard Allen Iverson. At the same time, of course, Donaghy now says that he gave info to mob gamblers because he feared they would come after his family. He's going to give details of this supposed stuff on 60 Minutes this Sunday. As this morning's Post puts it, back in 2007, "he exploited his knowledge of how other referees liked -- or hated -- certain players, like Philadelphia 76er Allen Iverson." Oh, those nasty Gambinos. They forced the poor ref into such crap.

Now Iverson, who has the biggest heart in basketball, is back on the Sixers, penitent and honestly teary-eyed. We'll see on Sunday whether Donaghy will shed crocodile tears.

Maybe it would be better for the league to re-hire Donaghy and have him fix one of the New Jersey Nets' games so they could finally win one. Brooklyn still loves the Bums, but not these bums and is warning Bruce Ratner not to bring them to the borough.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Premiere at Union Square

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The video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 -- in which, after the fall of Russian strongman Imran Zakhaev, "a new leader named Vladimir Makarov has risen to power, and an elite international task force (the player included) must pursue him" -- debuted at Union Square tonight in a tent erected for that purpose. Registrants were given a chance to play the game on large-screen monitors, and to buy it prior to its official release at midnight. Also, Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels was scheduled to lead a multiplayer team against Nick Swisher and Jerry Hairston of the Yankees. DJ Jazzy Jeff and Ice T were also in attendance....

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