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Daily Archives: February 5, 2020
STAAR Surgical to Report Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year Results on February 26, 2020 – Financialbuzz.com
Posted: February 5, 2020 at 7:52 am
STAAR Surgical Company (NASDAQ: STAA), a leading developer, manufacturer and marketer of implantable lenses and companion delivery systems for the eye, today announced that it will release financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended January 3, 2020 on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 after the market close.
STAAR will host a conference call and webcast on Wednesday, February 26 at 4:30 p.m. Eastern / 1:30 p.m. Pacific to discuss its financial results and operational progress. To access the conference call (Conference ID 5411518), please dial 866-209-9722 for domestic participants and 825-312-2235 for international participants. The live webcast can be accessed from the investor relations section of the STAAR website at http://www.staar.com.
A taped replay of the conference call (Conference ID 5411518) will be available beginning approximately one hour after the calls conclusion for seven days. This replay can be accessed by dialing 800-585-8367 for domestic callers and 416-621-4642 for international callers. An archived webcast will also be available at http://www.staar.com.
About STAAR Surgical
STAAR, which has been dedicated solely to ophthalmic surgery for over 30 years, designs, develops, manufactures and markets implantable lenses for the eye with companion delivery systems. These lenses are intended to provide visual freedom for patients, lessening or eliminating the reliance on glasses or contact lenses. All of these lenses are foldable, which permits the surgeon to insert them through a small incision. STAARs lens used in refractive surgery is called an Implantable Collamer Lens or ICL, which includes the EVO Visian ICL product line. More than 1,000,000 Visian ICLs have been implanted to date and STAAR markets these lenses in over 75 countries. To learn more about the ICL go to: http://www.discovericl.com. Headquartered in Lake Forest, CA, the company operates manufacturing and packaging facilities in Aliso Viejo, CA, Monrovia, CA and Nidau, Switzerland. For more information, please visit the Companys website at http://www.staar.com.
View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200205005138/en/
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Posted: at 7:52 am
As Iowa Democrats prepare to pick their partys first winner in the presidential primary, the candidates approach to health care remains one of the most substantial and potentially divisive issues voters will have to face. Heres a brief review of where the candidates stand on Medicare for All, the proposed sweeping overhaul of the U.S. health-care system that has served as a point of contention during the campaign:
Bernie Sanders: The Vermont senator is the most vocal supporter of Medicare for All, which he says would end up saving money for the country overall, despite its enormous price tag. Sanders wants to ban private insurance and eliminate out-of-pocket spending for patients, while covering a wider array of services than the current Medicare system. The ambitious proposal would cost more than $30 trillion over 10 years, according to independent analyses, Reuters Joseph Ax writes.
Elizabeth Warren: The Massachusetts senator also supports Medicare for All and has released a detailed plan for financing it. Facing pushback on her proposal, Warren released a transition plan for moving to a single-payer system more gradually over several years. That proposal drew some criticism from the left, with Sanders supporters claiming she had backed down from her Medicare for All stance, Ax says. Warren has said she remains committed to Medicare for All and that her plan would provide more coverage to more Americans in a shorter time frame.
Joe Biden: The former vice president says he wants to expand the Affordable Care Act by offering a public option for insurance. His healthcare plan, estimated to cost $750 billion over 10 years and paid for partly by higher taxes on the wealthy, would let people enroll in a paid government healthcare plan as an alternative to private insurance, Ax writes.
Michael Bloomberg: The former mayor of New York City says Medicare for All is unaffordable and proposes to offer a public option for insurance that exists alongside the current employment-based system. His plan would cost $1 trillion over 10 years.
Pete Buttigieg: The former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has proposed a public option he describes as Medicare for all who want it. Buttigieg says that over time, that option would result in a single-payer system as more Americans sign up for cheaper and more efficient Medicare. His plan would cost $1.5 trillion over 10 years.
Amy Klobuchar: The centrist Minnesota senator says that Medicare for All is a pipe dream, and would instead offer a public option through either Medicare or Medicaid, paid for in part by raising taxes on the wealthy.
Andrew Yang: The tech entrepreneur says he supports the spirit of Medicare for All and wants to provide a public option to give people the freedom to leave their jobs. However, he does not want to ban private insurers.
Tom Steyer: The finance billionaire has proposed a public option that would cost $1.5 trillion over 10 years.
Posted: at 7:52 am
Treasure Coast Newspapers Published 4:00 a.m. ET Feb. 5, 2020
After many complaints, the city of Port St. Lucie will do nothing about the roaming coyotes in Eastport. Why can't they be sedated and relocated? They howl all night and prowl looking for any small animal. No action is taken by Animal Control. Coyotes were not native to Florida. Are city officials going to wait until a child is attacked?
Anne OHear, Port St. Lucie
President Donald Trump waves as he and first lady Melania Trump walk to Marine One before departing from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Jan. 31, 2020.(Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds, AFP via Getty Images)
As a lifelong Republican, I feel like a Republican in the wilderness. As long as I have been an adult, with my first vote for Ronald Reagan in 1980, the Republicans have publicly stood for conservative values and fiscal restraint. Whether they lived up to this is another matter. Republicans have nearly always received my vote.
With our current president and Congress, Republican leadership seems to have lost its moral and fiscal compass. Following our current divisive president and our Republican members of Congress into the abyss has been head-spinning. While I have many Democrat friends, I have never related to the Democratic Party. I now find so much of the Republican electorate blindly following our Republican leadership toward political disaster. Few, if any, of our Republicans in Congress or the electorate hold this president to task for his reprehensible behavior as President and I dont see many Republican voters holding the Republicans in Congress to task either.
In 2020, I will find it difficult to vote for a Democrat. It will be equally difficult to vote for a Republican. One thing is for sure: I cant vote for this president again.
Randy Green, Port St. Lucie
The /cartoonist's homepage,https://www.courier-journal.com(Photo: Marc Murphy, (Louisville, Ky.) Courier Journal)
I received a mailer from the American Action Network recently. They state on their website: The American Action Network is a 501(c)(4) action tank that will create, encourage and promote center-right policies based on the principles of freedom, limited government, American exceptionalism, and strong national security.
The front of the mailer states: Congressman Brian Mast Supports H.R. 19, The Lower Costs, More Cures Act, calling it A Bipartisan, Commonsense Solution.
With a little help from the congress.gov website, I learned there are 145 co-sponsors for this bill. The bipartisan makeup is 145 Republican co-sponsors and 0, none, zippo, Democrats.
The mailer goes on to say I should Call Congressman Mast and Thank him for his bipartisan plan to lower prescription drug costs.
His bipartisan plan?
Brian Mast isnt even one of the 145 Republicans who did sign on as a co-sponsor. He didnt put his name on the bill.
ButMast isnt the main character in this letter, the mailer is.
Theyre soon to descend on us. How many of us are going to take the time and make the effort to find the truth? How many of us have been taking that time and making that effort lately?
Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it.
Harvey Glatt, Port St. Lucie
I am astonished that the Republican senators are so terrified of their president that they are willing to sell their souls to the devil rather than do their job and live up to the oaths they took. They are willing to kneel, kiss his ring and call him master.
That is the reason we left and started the United States of America, so one man would not have the ultimate power. That is why our forefathers looked out for us, so we could be free of a dictator.
What is the difference in what Biden did and what Trump is doing by having his family profit off his being president? Now is the time for term limits for those who make a living off government jobs. Have you ever wondered why a millionaire would want to spend so much money to get a job and get constant vacations, wonderful retirements, and great health care? Its amazing to me. Its sickening to me that the people are willing to close their eyes to presidents unlawfulness, yet guns kill our schoolchildren without qualms about it. Pray for our country and hope that we regain respect again in this world.
Helen Leone, Port St. Lucie
I hope the voters remember Jan. 31 when they vote in November. How could 51 Republican senators not vote their conscience? What has President Trump done to this country that he has gotten most Republican legislators so scared? He is acting like Putin or the other dictators he espouses as great men. What is happening to this country that in a trial, no witnesses are called?
When, in the future, books will be written showing that Trump did most of the impeachable things the Democrats have claimed he did, it will be too late I fear. I love this country, and I'm heartsick that our president is a dictator, and not an American who believes in the Constitution. All Trump seems to do is go to rallies where he speaks to his base, only. What does he do with his time in the White House (besides tweeting)? America deserves better than Trump and the present Republican senators.
Rita Wolper, Palm City
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Posted: at 7:52 am
New Delhi: How does one rate Budget 2020, the second season of the Nirmala Sitharaman show in just seven months?
In the past, every budget was judged both for its form, influenced solely by the FM, and its substance. However, over the past few decades, commensurate with the rise of the private sector, the budget has ceased to be the only force multiplier, diminishing the substance the annual exercise can offer.
Yet, it did not prevent the build-up of hype, especially with Prime Minister Narendra Modi publicly investing his social capital in the effort. In short, Sitharaman was expected to, like a magician, conjure a rabbit out of the hat as it were. Measured against these rather unfair expectations, the budget, at least going by the initial response of the stock markets, seems to have disappointed. Indeed, while this may be a justified first impression, it would be a mistake to dismiss it thus. Here are four reasons why:
To begin with the first budget of this decade was an honest effort from Sitharaman in extremely inclement economic circumstances. She had the unenviable task of stretching the cloth to accommodate interests all aroundin this case, as she pointed out in the post-budget interview to Mint, it included both Bharat and India. She could have, like previous incumbents, buried the bad news and window dressed the fiscal numbers.
Instead, the FM chose to come clean. She has now made it the norm to disclose off balance sheet debta bone of contention with analysts and rating agencies; and projected a fiscal slippage in 2020-21.
Second, the budget makes a very formal play for market forces. To its credit, the Bharatiya Janata Party, which leads the coalition government, is probably the most pro-business political regime ever; to avoid being dubbed a suit-boot Sarkar", they have tagged pro-poor to their pro-business credentials. This is most evident in the fiscal choices by Sitharaman. She has not used the fiscal space to undertake more directed spending; instead, the money has been deployed in tax giveaways. The income tax sops transfer money to individuals who, in turn, can spend it on their discretion. The freedom to choose is a fundamental of market economics.
Third, flowing from the above, with this budget, the NDA has reiterated that the public sector is no longer sacred to the national economic mantra. Just days after Air India was again put on the block, the FM has more than tripled the disinvestment target to 2.1 trillion; and included even Life Insurance Corporation of India, the most iconic symbol of security for the common man. Reformwallahs will presumably take succour from this ideological commitment to privatization.
Fourth, this Union budget has signalled that the government has reached the limits of its fiscal abilities. Accordingly in future, states will have to be fiscal stakeholders in development projects being undertaken jointly. How fiscally strapped states will generate the resources is another matter, though. This is exactly why states and the Union governmentif they share the vision of India First"will have to walk the talk on cooperative federalism.
Finally, where this budget falls short is not simply that projections of some of the budget targets are up in the air. Instead, it has missed the opportunity to genuinely seek to streamline direct taxes. A flawed model, with myriad slabs and rates, has all but buried the singular tax reform: goods and services tax.
A similar slip-up seems to have afflicted the rejig of income tax rates undertaken in the budget. While the move to a low tax rate regime shorn of deductions is most welcome, the budget lost the script by actually creating more tax slabsclassic overkill by zealous bureaucrats, who like Cold War warriors, believe everyone should be distrusted. A similar overreach has brought NRIs into the tax net, opening a potential political front against the government.
In the final analysis, it is clear that the budget is long in vision. The attempt to be all- encompassing may have buried them, though. Worryingly though, the budget risks being overwhelmed by avoidable self-goals. As the old adage goes, for the want of a nail, the kingdom was lost.
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Posted: at 7:52 am
The day after the annual budget speech is disconcerting for an Indian economist. After being generally ignored for most of the year, suddenly friends and strangers seek opinions and ask for clarifications, explanations, etc. This is perhaps one of the occupational hazards of being an economist.
Requests to decode the budget reminded me of this lovely exchange Sherlock Holmes has with inspector Gregory in the The Adventure OfSilver Blaze, which chronicles the disappearance of racehorse Silver Blaze and the murder of its trainer:
Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"
To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."
The dog did nothing in the night-time."
That was the curious incident," remarked Sherlock Holmes.
That the dog didnt bark helps Holmes solve the case.
The key to decoding this years budget is similar to the curious incident of the dog that didnt bark. Listening to this years speech was a surreal experience because it seemed like the finance ministers generally upbeat and buoyant attitude was referring to some other economy. In the longest budget speech ever, not once did she mention the word slowdown" or reference slowing growth rates, or a growth slumpphrases now recurring in the nightmares of economists and investors focused on India.
Instead, the finance ministers mood was oddly self-congratulatory. She said: We have moved on from a growth rate of just over 4% in 1950s to 6% in 1980s and 1990s. However, during 2014-19 we clocked growth of 7.4% on average with inflation, averaging around 4.5%. It is worthwhile to note that inflation was close to 9% in the last two decades of the last millennium and ranged 10.5% during 2009-14." She seemed pleased about a 4.5% growth rate, and completely skipped the high-growth period of 2001-2011, perhaps to avoid even the slightest comparison.
This lack of recognition by the government of any kind of slowdown is the key to understanding the 2020 budget. The rest, as they say, is just numbers. The missing acknowledgement of the current state of Indias economy suggests that the government is asleep at the wheel. Either because there is a genuine lack of understanding of the working of the economy, or because, despite some understanding of the slump, controlling the narrative takes priority, which is also a signal to the market.
So far, the former seems more likely, though markets will react similarly to both. A number of blunders have accompanied the most recent silence on the slump. Key government members have bragged that Indian growth rates are higher than Chinas and the USseconomies at a completely different stage of development. They have blamed sectoral slowdowns on millennials spending patterns. And, who can forget the chaos caused by misleading gross domestic product (GDP) and growth rate numbers with virtually no explanation from the government?
Aside from blunders, the government has done little to reveal its understanding of the economy and its plans for the future. Few are aware of its views on the reasons for the slump. The banking sector and its non-performing asset crisis sat like an elephant in the room as Indian poetry was cited. Nothing in the budget speech mirrored the warning signs in the Economic Survey tabled in Parliament. Major themes of the surveyexpanding economic freedom in India and increasing the faith placed in the private sectorwere left unaddressed. Not a single major sector of the economy has been liberalized or reformed towards greater economic freedom. This makes one wonder if the government is listening even to economists on its own payroll.
In a scenario where the government is fiscally constrained and cannot unleash a fiscal stimulus, the burden of any such stimulus, if there is to be one, falls on the states. Similarly, if the government cannot kick-start investment, there is a heightened reliance on private investment. A budget that does not explicitly address the growth slowdown and does not call upon the states and the private sector to work with the Union government on arresting downtrends is telling.
The big move to unleash some spending, especially in infrastructure, is to woo foreign sovereign funds to invest in India by giving tax exemptions and abolishing the dividend distribution tax. But these sovereign funds have teams of macroeconomists studying India and, like Sherlock Holmes, will notice the dog that did not bark. In the absence of a coherent narrative by the government on its fiscal policy over the next few years, and its plans to use other tools to address economic growth, investors usually assume the worst.
The Sensex and Nifty saw their biggest single-day fall in five years. Contrary to popular opinion, this was not because the government was fiscally conservative, for markets would have also reacted badly if it had been fiscally profligate. The reason for the fall is twofold. The government did not acknowledge that the situation is dire and that it cannot spend its way out of the current slowdown. The second cause was its lack of communication on a responsible way forward in these circumstances.
The finance minister spent much time speaking of aspirational India, economic development and a caring society". But the house is on fire, and the lack of urgency or acknowledgement only makes it seem like naive daydreaming.
Shruti Rajagopalan is a senior research fellow with the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, US
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Posted: at 7:50 am
LUCERNE, Switzerland, Feb. 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Each year, the pioneers of the gaming industry are named at the Global Gaming Awards. The prestigious nomination is highly coveted. Those who make it onto the shortlist can count themselves among the industry's best for excellence in quality, innovation and trust. Grand Casino Luzern was the first Swiss casino to make it onto the shortlist for the 'Casino' category. But Switzerland's success didn't stop there: Paf, the platform partner of the Swiss online casino mycasino.ch, won first place in the 'Responsible Gaming' category.
3 February was the day of the gaming industry's most important awards ceremony. A jury of more than 50 industry experts selected the casino world's most outstanding companies at the Global Gaming Awards in London. Particularly noteworthy: Grand Casino Luzern was the first Swiss casino to secure itself a place on the coveted shortlist for the 'Casino' category. In addition to this, the long-established Finnish company Paf the platform partner of the online casino mycasino.ch, operated by Grand Casino Luzern was awarded first place in the 'Responsible Gaming' category for excellence in responsible gambling.
Although Grand Casino Luzern itself walked away from the awards ceremony empty-handed, CEO Wolfgang Bliem is still extremely pleased: "The Global Gaming Award is the highest distinction in the gaming industry. The fact that we were the first Swiss casino to make it onto the shortlist is a personal incentive for us to keep on increasing the quality of our services. We're especially proud of the fact that our platform partner Paf achieved first place. Its award-winning standards for responsible gambling are also in effect in our online casino mycasino.ch, guaranteeing an exceptional level of player protection," he said.
Only 10 casinos made it onto the shortlist for the 'Casino' category. These included Grand Casino Luzern and the Casin di Venezia, officially known as the oldest casino in the world. The award was won by the renowned Casino de Monte-Carlo, which is well-known for its appearance in numerous James Bond films.
Grand Casino Luzern offers a mix between the glitzy casino scene in Monaco and the vibrant Las Vegas casino strip.Grand Casino Luzern's mycasino.choffers Switzerland's largest and most innovative range of online casino games. All games are certified according to strict standards and approved by the Swiss Federal Gaming Board. Customers benefit from numerous secure payment methods such as Twint and Postfinance, in addition to an expert customer service team directly from Grand Casino Luzern.
Mr Philipp Albrecht, CMO at Grand Casino Luzern, is happy to answer any questions you may have. He can be reached via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone at (+41)-041-418- 56-56.
- Picture is available at AP Images (http://www.apimages.com) -
SOURCE Grand Casino Luzern AG
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Posted: at 7:50 am
The best Chromebooks tend to be low-cost machines that can handle simple computing tasks, although there are some premium machines. One thing they all have in common is basic, integrated graphics, but that might change with the arrival of a gaming Chromebook with dedicated graphics, according to a new leak.
A Chromebook spotted by Chrome Unboxed, which is codenamed 'Mushu' and which may be part of Intel's Project Athena program that aims to shape the next generation of thin, light and powerful laptops, appears to include a dedicated graphics processor. It's not clear which chipmaker is behind the GPU, but AMD and Nvidia are likely candidates.
This would be a first for Chromebooks, and would enable such machines to deliver new levels of performance in some applications, one of which would be gaming.
The idea of a Chromebook getting a discrete graphics processor may seem a bit out there or at least it would have seemed that way a year ago.
Editing spreadsheets, streaming Netflix, writing up documents, and browsing the web are typical tasks for a Chromebook. What they all have in common is a lack of any need for a powerful, dedicated graphics processor; they don't even need a very beefy CPU.
There's still a market for powerful Chromebooks such as the original Pixelbook and the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook, though. And that's the side of the market where we could see a dedicated graphics processor show up.
Photo and video editing could benefit from an upgrade over integrated graphics, as could gaming. Considering that Valve and Google are working to bring Steam to Chromebooks, a dedicated graphics processor starts to make a lot more sense.
Existing Chromebooks, even on the premium end of the spectrum, will only be able to run a small number of games from the already reduced library of Steam games readily supported on Linux, and that would change with the arrival of a dedicated graphics processor.
And, depending on how well Valve and Google get Steam and its library working on ChromeOS, we could be looking at our first gaming Chromebook this year we don't expect it will be anything close to the best gaming laptops, though.
Posted: at 7:50 am
We're only just cracking 2020 open, but that doesn't mean that it's too early to start looking at the best games of 2020. After all, this is a hugely important year for gaming. Not only are we going to see games take full advantage of everything PS4 and Xbox One have to offer in their twilight years, but we're also getting the PS5 and Xbox Series X.
At the end of every month, we comb through all our recent reviews to find the two games that qualify as must-plays, slowly amassing a list of the best games of 2019. Consider these to be the highlights of the year thus far - and if you're looking for something to play while you wait for the othernew games of 2020(and beyond), these standout titles are a sure bet.
Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC, and Nintendo Switch
Seven years in the making, Kentucky Route Zero is one of those rare games that people don't mind waiting for. Such long stints between episode releases could have been its downfall, but now with the TV Edition, everyone can experience why it was worth waiting for. This magical, surreal point-and-click narrative adventure will take you on quite the journey, seeing you collect a gaggle a group of lost souls together, including a rickety old dog. But unlike most point-and-click games, there are no puzzles. There are choices to make, but they are presented as thematic dialogue options, allowing you to co-author your own story. Because of that, it never quite plays out how you'd expect, keeping you clicking for more story until the whole thing unravels beautifully. Sam Loveridge
Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, and PCGamesRadar+ review score:4/5 Stars
As its name suggests, Journey to the Savage Planet is about a planet, its savage, you journey there. But while that all sounds very serious, there's a much more lighthearted adventure here. A gentle cartoony, semi-open world that plays like a linear, comedic take on No Mans Skys ideas. You explore a strange part of the universe, unravelling the mysteries of ancient alien structures and cataloguing the local wildlife. That alone is fun, with a great progression system that unlocks things like jetpacks and grapple devices to help you explore. What really makes it a success, though, is the humour that undercuts it all - from ridiculous creature designs, to in game adverts for sentient blob sexlines, and a GlaDOS style computer that hasnt quite got the hang of tact. Its an always enjoyable space romp thats laugh-out-loud funny in places and doesnt overstay its welcome, but gives you plenty to do if youre enjoying your visit. Leon Hurley
Posted: at 7:50 am
Last week Asmodee Digital confirmed three of its digital board games would hit the Epic Games Store on February 20: Ticket to Ride, Carcassonne and Pandemic. In the lead up to that datebetween February 6 and 13all three of those would be available to download for free, in keeping with Epic's habit of giving stuff away.
But that's no longer the case with Pandemic. In a statement, Epic Games has confirmed that Pandemic will no longer be free during that period. "We've shifted the release of Pandemic as a free game in our store schedule to a later date," the statement reads. "Ticket to Ride and Carcassonne will still be available as the free games of the week from February 6 - February 13."
Meanwhile, the Pandemic game page on the Epic Games Store has either been removed or is down, while the pages for Ticket to Ride and Carcassonne remain intact. Pandemic remains available on Steam.
No reason is provided for the Pandemic no-show, though it's easy to speculate that it's due to sensitivities arising from the coronavirus emergency. According to Al Jazeera the current death toll is 425. A swathe of gaming related cancellations have been attributed to it, including the Taipei Game Show and China-based Overwatch League matches.
And in case it wasn't clear from the title, Pandemic is a game about "four deadly diseases spreading across the world", and it's the players job to contain them.
Posted: at 7:50 am
COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - Loonies offer fun for all in a newly expanded location in Post Oak Mall.
Before its recent expansion and move within Post Oak Mall, Loonies only offered items like vintage and novelty gifts and canvas art, according to Loonies owner, Evona Clayton.
Loonies is now located by JC Penny and Melrose and still features their original gifts and candy, but now has new activities.
[Balloon dart and squirt gun] painting and all the activities are what we added on, said Clayton. The main thing would be the virtual reality headsets. Its a whole lot of fun. Its something new and out there.
The other activities Loonies offers are Xbox, ping pong table, foosball, air hockey, Golfpool, Legos, photography, and a projector that you can play video games on, according to Clayton.
According to Clayton, she saw a need for a store like Loonies in the Bryan/College Station community.
I realized there wasnt a whole lot of things to do for all ages that was going to be indoors, said Clayton.
Admission starts at $5 per hour per child if you want to do one activity or just the floor and table games, said Clayton. If you want to do everything, it would basically top out at $25 an hour thats without the virtual reality, so its very affordable!
Loonies is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. till 9 p.m. and on Sundays from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
For more information on Loonies, see the related links section.
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