David G. Schwartz, the Director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, has been named one of the field’s most notable emerging leaders by Global Gaming Business magazine. An Atlantic City native with a Ph.D. in U.S. History from UCLA and hands-on experience in the gaming industry, Schwartz has been at UNLV since 2001. He studies the history of gambling, the current state of the casino gaming industry, and related issues.
In addition to his duties at UNLV, Schwartz enjoys writing. He is the Gaming and Hospitality Editor for Vegas Seven, writing the regular “Green Felt Journal” column and features for the magazine, and has written several books, including Grandissimo: The First Emperor of Las Vegas.
Schwartz earned his bachelor’s degree (a double major in anthropology and history) as well as his master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania before earning his doctorate in US History from UCLA. His dissertation, Suburban Xanadu, charted the evolution of the casino industry on the Las Vegas Strip from 1945-1978. It is now a published book, the first of many currently available. After completing his graduate studies, Schwartz worked in the surveillance department of an Atlantic City casino resort and taught casino history, communications, and hospitality courses as an adjunct professor. He is also a sought-after conference and special event speaker.
Since 2001, Schwartz has been in charge of the Center for Gaming Research within Special Collections in UNLV’s Lied Library. In addition to running the center’s administration and overseeing the holdings of the Gaming Collection, Schwartz designed and maintains the university’s gaming studies portal, http://gaming.unlv.edu.
Schwartz lives in Las Vegas.
Dr. Schwartz has written and edited several books.
Grandissimo: The First Emperor of Las Vegas tells the true story of Jay Sarno, the casino impresario who built Caesars Palace and Circus Circus, changing Las Vegas forever.
Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling tells the story of gambling from its origins to the 21st century. The currently-available Casino Edition, released in early 2013, features new material about the gaming industry’s wild ride since 2005, and its expansion into Asia and online.
Cutting the Wire: Gaming Prohibition and the Internet explores the long legal battle over remote gambling that culminated in 1961’s Wire Act and explores the impact of that battle on advent of Internet gambling since the 1990s.
Suburban Xanadu: The Casino Resort on the Las Vegas Resort and Beyond traces the development of the modern casino resort as an adaptation to the conditions of postwar Las Vegas.
Schwartz edited and contributed a chapter to Frontiers in Chance: Gaming Research Across the Disciplines, a collection of essays culled from the Occasional Paper Series of the Center for Gaming Research at UNLV.
With Pauliina Raento, Schwartz edited Gambling, Space, and Time: Shifting Boundaries and Cultures, a collection of essays exploring manifestations of gambling across the world.
On a more regular basis, Schwartz writes the bi-weekly “Green Felt Journal” column for Vegas Seven magazine, sharing news about the latest developments in Las Vegas gaming and tourism; he also writes regular news and feature pieces for the magazine. for seven years, he wrote biweekly opinion columns for the Las Vegas Business Press. From 2002 to 2010, he wrote features about Atlantic City history for Casino Connection magazine; an archive of those pieces can be found here.
Schwartz is a member of the Vegas Gang podcast, and has been quoted by writers for the Associated Press, UPI, Reuters, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Wired, Congressional Quarterly Weekly, Indianapolis Star, Philadelphia Inquirer, New Orleans Times-Picayune, International Gaming and Wagering Business, Player, San Francisco Chronicle, Crane’s Business, Los Angeles Times, Reno Gazette Journal, Las Vegas Sun, Las Vegas Review-Journal, and many other newspapers and magazines.
He has appeared in news stories about Las Vegas and gaming on CNN, CNBC, Speigel TV (Germany), Court TV, National Public Radio’s Marketplace, The Savvy Traveler, All Things Considered, and Morning Edition, CBC Radio, Swiss National Radio, CNN Radio, and on local news programs in Las Vegas, San Diego, Philadelphia, Lake Charles, Louisiana, and New York City.
He’s also been in several documentaries, including “Ten Things You Don’t Know About Las Vegas,” “All In: the Poker Movie,” “Secrets of the Palms,” “Secrets of New York New York,” “Vegas Whales Tales” (Travel Channel); “The History of Poker,” “Modern Marvels: Casino Technology,” and “Anything to Win” (History Channel). He has served as an off-screen consultant for these and several other programs.