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VMA vignettes: Awards show gambles on Vegas

Tales of blackjack, a $200 T-shirt, and an electrifying performance
/ Source: The Associated Press

Not much ever gets in the way of the gambling in Las Vegas, but MTV and its Video Music Awards elbowed it aside for a while Sunday night at the Palms Casino.

The casino removed dozens of gaming tables and about 400 slot machines to make room for the award show’s red carpet. People seen gambling directly behind the red carpet were cast by MTV and not playing with real chips.

George Maloof Jr., who runs the Maloof family’s $915 million resort was slightly thrown by the sight of pseudo gambling in his casino. He joked: “I’ve lost all control.”

“This is part of the whole show,” said Maloof Jr. “It’s one of the props.”

Don’t be concerned about the real gambling money the hotel had to pass on. The show served as a giant advertisement for the Palms Hotel and Casino, which Maloof Jr. said outweighed any lost gambling revenue.

“You’ve got to look at the big picture,” he said. “We took out a lot of our machines and our tables, but it is what it is. We’re just happy to have the opportunity.”

$200 for a white T-shirt?
Nelly was wearing a very expensive white T-shirt as he got ready to hit the red carpet at the MTV Awards Video Music Awards Sunday night.

“It’s a two-hundred-dollar white T,” Nelly said. “It’s got to be the most expensive white T I’ve ever had in my whole life.”

“I’ll be sure not to spill anything on it.”

Rolling the diceA giant casino and hundreds of partying celebrities might seem like a combustible mix. At MTV’s Video Music Awards, though, some guests resisted the gambling urge despite the surrounding Palms Casino.

“I don’t gamble,” said rapper Lil Wayne. “I got other things to spend my money on” — as he flashed a smile of diamond-studded teeth.

His only bet, Lil Wayne said, was a single quarter in a slot machine, from which he immediately walked away: “I probably won and I don’t even know it.”

Former “American Idol” contestant Chris Daughtry said he hadn’t gambled as of the beginning of the VMAs, but planned to.

“I hope to pay for my wife’s dress,” said Daughtry.

Comedian Sarah Silverman bragged that she’s a good gambler because she knows when to quit.

“I play blackjack,” said Silverman. “The second I triple my money, I go back to my room and watch movies.”

Electrifying incident50 Cent’s poolside performance at the Hard Rock Hotel almost turned deadly.

The rapper ended his show early after part of his stage — and its attached lights — sagged dangerously close to the water Saturday night.

“Back up,” he yelled. “You’re going to get electrocuted.”

The trouble started when 50 threw a fistful of dollars into the air and fans swarmed to collect the cash. They leaned on the stage and it started to give way.

When the cash-seeking swimmers failed to heed his warning, 50 called it a night and walked off stage.