Golden Palace: The Best In Online Casino Stunts
I’m sure we all remember a few years back when Golden Palace first burst onto the online casino scene. Boasting some of the craziest stunts ever seen in marketing, let alone online gambling, Golden Palace has been sorely missed since their software provider, Playtech, cut ties with its US links. Be that as it may, the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe can still enjoy the casino’s antics, so let’s take a look back on some of the great moments in Golden Casino’s early days.
When we think about companies sponsoring events or festivals, the first things that usually come to mind are popular sporting matches, or summer music festivals. Well, Golden Palace didn’t exactly think of sponsorship in the same light.
One of the most prominent sponsorship deals that hit the headlines was Golden Palace making a deal with a pregnant woman; who wouldn’t want their unborn baby to be sponsored by such a big name in online casinos? Elise Harp was the lucky lady who had GoldenPalace.com emblazoned across her pregnant belly after selling it on eBay for advertising space. After visiting Daytona 500 with the company, Golden Palace ended up sponsoring the entire birth – not bad for simply writing Golden Palace across your stomach.
Another sponsorship that Golden Palace had their hands in was the infamous Dennis Rodman event. Rodman took part in the 2004 Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, and Golden Palace jumped in to sponsor the former NBA star as part of a fundraiser for several multiple sclerosis charities.
Another hilarious event that Golden Palace managed to sponsor was the World Championship Grilled Cheese Eating competition. In a likely throwback to the $28,000 Virgin Mary sandwich that the company had previously purchased in a high profile sale, Golden Palace sponsored a champion eater to take on comedian Andy Dick.
There are plenty of odd and interesting names around these days, but GoldenPalace.com certainly takes the cake for the strangest. The first renaming started in Knoxville, Tennessee when a woman sold the legal rights to change her name to the online casino. For $15,199.00, the woman formerly known as "Terri" would have her official name changed for life.
In another naming episode, Melissa Heuschkel from Connecticut sold her unborn child’s name on eBay, with Golden Palace landing the winning bid of $15,500. When the little bundle of joy arrived, Melissa obligingly named her Golden Palace Benedetto. Known as Goldie nowadays, the youngster now has more than $15k sitting in her college fund.
Golden Palace may be well known for its sponsorship of the craziest events, such as the Human Spider-Man’s climbing escapades in Australia, or the 2006 Air Guitar Championships, but what really sets the online casino’s stunts apart from the rest is the sheer strangeness of some of their purchases.
Things started off fairly routinely, but over time the auctions started to get more and more unusual. Initially, Golden Palace made headlines after buying the football that David Beckham kicked in his infamous missed penalty kick. The auction hit an incredible €28,500 as the company placed its winning bid.
Not four months later and Golden Palace were back at it again. This time, they were responsible for the massive media hubbub over a grilled cheese sandwich that displayed what looked to be an image of the Virgin Mary. The online casino paid an incredible $28,000 for the item – not bad for an afternoon snack.
It wasn’t until 2005 that the hilarious purchases started seeping to the surface. In March of that year, Golden Palace paid a staggering $650,000 to officially name a recently discovered species of monkey. With its scientific name being Callicebus aureipalatii, with aureipalatii literally meaning " of the golden palace", the GoldenPalace.com Monkey is now free to roam the Bolivian wild.
After the death of John Paul II, there was a huge following of the latest Pope, Joseph Ratzinger. When a VW Golf car the Cardinal previously owned was placed on eBay.de, it became the most viewed item of all time on the site. Golden Palace, always lurking around the corner for interesting buys, eventually won the car for $244,524.73.
Hurricane Katrina charities also played a big role in Golden Palace’s more recent purchases. In 2005, the online casino paid $51,000 for Robby Gordon’s NASCAR helmet, which he had thrown at Michael Waltrip during a season race. All of the funds went to victims who had been displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
Similarly, only a few months later, Golden Palace bought William Shatner’s kidney stone – you read correctly – for $75,000. The money raised, coupled with $20,000 from Shatner and his Boston Legal colleagues, provided enough to purchase a home for a victim of Katrina.
But perhaps the most incredible, and off-putting, item ever procured by the Golden Palace folks was an odd sculpture that you may not have heard of. "Suri Cruise’s Bronzed Baby Poop" was the title of the work of art, and it is pretty self-explanatory. Cast in a bronze finish and mounted on a base with the name "Suri" engraved on it, the $10,000 purchase now sits happily somewhere in the Golden Palace offices.
While Golden Palace may have drifted out of the US online gambling scene, their antics are still with us today. Streakers, kidney stones, and even forehead tattoos all conjure up memories of the years the that Golden Palace attempted to one-up themselves with the latest jaw-dropping stunt or ridiculous online purchase. Luckily for European casino players, you can still enjoy everything that Golden Palace has to offer today.