In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I propose a possible solution to the current schism between pro- and anti-online gaming forces in Congress (and the gaming industry):
With both sides ratcheting up their lobbying, though, it seems that Congress is painting itself into a corner without a way forward or compromise that will satisfy everyone.
But maybe there is.
via The Online Gaming Debate: Not So Fast, Congress | Vegas Seven.
I think this column could have been a few thousand words if I had the print space available (I don’t). The more I think about it, the more sensible another national look at gambling’s impact seems.
What’s more, this study could also include credit play (and collection of credit) which is another issue currently in the news thanks to FinCEN’s proposal to force casino to vet the sources of high rollers’ funds. (For more about FinCEN, see my previous Green Felt Journal.)
The nature of gambling in the United States has changed remarkably since National Gambling Impact Study wrapped up in 1999. Online gaming is the most obvious difference, but the shift in where Las Vegas casinos make their money (increasingly, it’s international high rollers) is another change that has profound implications.
Everyone debating the nature of gambling today has something to gain from an in-depth study. With no clear direction presenting itself to Congress and a crying need for solid information, a new national study commission makes perfect sense.
I was honored to take part in the first Local Authors Panel as part of the big collection launch at the Paseo Verde Library on March 8. The panel was a fun, hour-long conversation about writing and Las Vegas.
If you weren’t part of the crowd, you can now see it in its entirety right here (sorry, I couldn’t find an embed option).
It was a good time had by all, and I’m hoping to take part in more events in the future.
In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I take a look at FinCEN, the federal bureau that, I think is going to make a big impact on Las Vegas in the near future:
Would-be high-rollers, take note: If you ever have a transaction of more than $10,000 at a casino, the staff there will gather information from you and file a report with the federal Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. You probably haven’t heard of FinCEN, but it’s a major player in our city’s biggest industry.
via Needs of High Rollers, Government Leave Casinos in a Bind | Vegas Seven.
As I suggest in the article, the tension between federal reporting guidelines and traditional credit practices has the potential to become a huge issue for Las Vegas.
In a little experiment on price sensitivity in the ebook format, I’ve decided to slash the price of the e-version of Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling by nearly 20%. The list price for all versions of the RTB ebook is now $7.99. You can learn more or buy it at your favorite ebook retailer:
If you missed your chance to get a signed copy of Grandissimo at one of the many events that I’ve been at lately, I have good news: there are several signed copies available for purchase at the Barnes and Noble on 567 N. Stephanie (info and directions). And here’s a picture of me signing one of them:
Thanks to everyone at the store who made this happen. I was very happy to hear that the book is selling well.
If you can’t find Grandissimo at your favorite bookseller yet, please ask them to stock it. Thanks!
The Sarno Roundtable event went off on Sunday at Lied Library. It was a tremendous experience, but don’t take my word for it. Here’s what KSNV has to say:
You can access that report here if the embedded video isn’t happening: Biography profiles Caesars Palace developer Jay Sarno
The Las Vegas Sun also covered the event:
David Schwartz, director of UNLV’s Center for Gaming, moderated the panel through discussions of Sarno’s life in Las Vegas during the 1960s. The panel members talked about Sarno’s court battles with the FBI, his legacy on the Strip and his eccentric lifestyle that made him a divisive figure in Las Vegas.
“There was nobody in Las Vegas who was neutral on the subject of Jay Sarno,” Schwartz said. “People loved him and people couldn’t stand him. There was no middle.”
Jay Sarno remembered for doing ‘something nobody had ever done before’
But you don’t have to take their word for it—you can listen to the entire roundtable right here, since it’s now a UNLV Gaming Podcast.
I’d like to thank everyone from Lied Library who helped plan and run the event, all of the panelists for showing up and being so candid, and everyone who attended. It was truly a great night, and a sign of just how important Jay Sarno was to the development of Las Vegas.
On Friday, Jay Sarno’s daughter September was the guest on KSNV’s Ralston Reports, in advance of the March 2 event at Lied Library:
It’s a great glimpse into Sarno’s life, and a chance to hear what one of his children thinks of the book.
It’s always encouraging to see positive reviews, so I was happy to see that New England gambling blog NETime Gambling gave Grandissimo a nice write-up:
The book is a wonderful read. Whether you are a fan of Vegas or gambling history , or even if you enjoy reading about larger-than-life characters, this book will be a tough one to put down once started. The background of the self-made man who built Caesars is just the beginning of a roller-coaster ride through Jay Sarno’s life
Another Must-Read from Dr. David Schwartz
The reviewer does a good job of summarizing the book, so if you’re on the fence about reading it and want an outside opinion, you might want to click over and see what he has to say.