(griffin's 2005 BotCon adventure)


The Casino night & Charity Auction was in a different room to the Dealer Room and Panel Room, so they were able to set it up without having to clear out anything else.

It started at 7pm, but I managed to get this photo an hour or two before it started, showing the tables set up.  The rows of chairs and stage over to the left was the bidding area at 10pm.

This was a little after 7pm, after the room had filled.

Apparently Casino Gambling for money is illegal in Texas (at this time), but since we were playing with fake money that couldn't be cashed back, it was considered non-return entertainment.
The fake money was to go towards the charity auction later in the evening.  Whatever you had earned or had left by the end of the Casino hours, became your bidding dollars.
Each registered attendee got a voucher for a small amount of bidding dollars, and you could also buy extra bidding dollars for playing in the "casino" or for keeping for the Auction.

The games on offer were...
- Blackjack
- Roulette
- Slot machines
- Poker tables (a few varieties of poker)
- Craps
- (possibly bingo)
- (possibly balloon pop - you buy a balloon for $20, and you get a voucher for bidding dollars and a mystery prize inside the balloon, winning either more bidding dollars or a toy prize)

After the "casino" closed at around 9.30pm, people needed to "cash out" their bidding dollars onto a bidding card, and gather at the bidding area by 10pm for the auction.
I ended up going back to the room by about 8.30pm, as I had run out of bidding dollars in the "casino", and I didn't want to spend more of my limited dealer-room funds.  Considering the massive amount of items at the charity auction, I probably should have, as a lot of them must have gone very cheap. (missing this was another thing I regret from this BotCon)

These were the items on offer in the charity auction... which was a lot for this first year, and probably more items than there were bidders.


These items leaning against the table were donated by Hasbro (along with a few other promotional items), and were attached to the truck that was on display at the SDCC convention in July, that was covered in a massive sheet and promoting/announcing the 2007 Movie. These items were "mudflaps" and "hubcaps" on that truck.

It took a few years for the Charity Auction to take on, as the first 4 or 5 would result in very good bargains... but in the last 5 years, the items were fewer and more fans were joining in (bidding) as word got around.
I remember getting a number of items at 2009, but from 2011 it was impossible for most people to compete with earnings that would have bought a fair bit a few years earlier (I haven't won anything since 2009, and yet I've had more bidding dollars in some of those years than I had in 2009).

This is what I mean... this was the small number of people this year, and at least half would have been spectators. (images from FunPub's website)

Brian (with his zombie eyes) being the auctioneer, with help from Hasbro people behind him. (image from FunPub's website)

Since I wasn't present for the auction, I don't know how long it went for... but from other years, it would have been about 60-90 minutes.

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***All pictures in this convention report are mine unless noted. Any that are borrowed, have the source credited/noted.  If you want to use/borrow any of my photos, please credit the source as well. I try to take as many of my own photos as possible, and usually only resort to using others if I failed to get something, or my photo wasn't clear enough.

OZFORMERS - The Australian (and Asia) Transformers Fansite for News and Interaction (started way back in 1996)
BotCon website - The official Collector Club and Convention website
To contact me --> griffin @ otca.com.au