First London gambling club

The first London (semi-private) club devoted mostly to gambling, White’s, opened in 1697. These clubs were an outgrowth of earlier coffee and chocolate houses, where like-minded Londoners gathered to get refreshed, gossip, and do business. It was only a matter of time before some of them agreed that cards and dice were the best business going and formed their own club.

You can read more about London gambling clubs in Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling

Go here to read an excerpt from the book, or learn where to buy your copy.

LV Strip’s 1st Gourmet Casino Dining

For the first 20 or so years, Las Vegas Strip casino restaurants were strictly loss leaders, with the fare passable but nothing to write home about.

Chester Simms, general manager of the Flamingo, changed that when he opened the Candlelight Room, the Strip’s first real gourmet restaurants, in 1961. Today we’re used to casinos sourcing seafood from all over the world, but flying in fresh Maine lobsters daily was innovative fifty years ago.

You can read much more about the Flamingo and other casinos, in Las Vegas and around the world, in Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling

Go here to read an excerpt from the book, or learn where to buy your copy.

Three excerpts from Roll the Bones


Today I’ve added three excerpts from Roll the Bones to the site to give you a little flavor of the book if you haven’t picked up a copy already. Enjoy!

1. Author’s Note/Prologue

This is the introductory overview to the book, giving an idea of its scope—and the changes in the Casino Edition.

2. Why the Mob won Vegas

This excerpt, from chapter 10, “A Place in the Sun,” explains how the Mob carved out influence on the Las Vegas Strip in the 1950s and 1960s, and why it was so dominant.


3. The Rise of Atlantic City

The opening pages of chapter 12, “America’s Playground…Again” discuss the rebirth and rise to (brief) dominance of Atlantic City’s casinos in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

To learn where you can buy Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling, please visit here

The Rise of Chinese New Year in Vegas Seven

In today’s Green Felt Journal in Vegas Seven, I’ve got a piece about Chinese New Year’s impact on Las Vegas: Some people might consider the massive New Year’s Eve celebration—“America’s Party”—the ultimate night for Las Vegas casinos. True, that bash attracts more than 300,000 people each year. But ask the people charged with making money … Read more

2/24 UNLV Gaming Research Colloquium: Professor Darryl A. Smith

I’m pretty excited about the upcoming Gaming Research Colloquium talk that we’re hosting at UNLV: Please join us at 12:15 PM, Thursday, Feb. 24, as February Gaming Research Fellow Darryl A. Smith delivers a Gaming Research Colloquium talk titled “’Dark with Excessive Bright:’ Gambling Tells and the Gaming Taboo.” Smith, an assistant professor of religious … Read more

Ho’s wife’s maid wins the lottery

This story’s only tangentially about gambling, but it’s interesting in a quirky sort of way. From the Malaysian Star: A Malaysian maid working in Hong Kong has reportedly won over HK$30mil RM12mil in a local lottery, China Press reported.The middle-aged woman is a helper at the mansion of Angela Leong, the fourth wife of casino … Read more

New Occasional Paper at UNLV

Hey everyone, I’ve just posted a new occasional paper over at http://gaming.unlv.edu. It’s part of a bigger study of locals sports books by recent UNLV sociology Ph.D. Fred Krauss: Fred Krauss. “Taking the Points: The Socialization Process of a Sports Book Regular.” Patrons of a casino sports book use the environment for much more than … Read more