Casinos Court the Newest Generation of Gamblers – Vegas Seven

In my latest Green Felt Journal, I consider how chasing millennials will change Las Vegas casinos. It’s already started:

Sit in at any gaming conference and you’re bound to hear despairing talk of millennials and gambling. Capturing the millennial market, the thinking goes, is the key to success for Las Vegas casinos in the near future.

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I talk about the Lavo Casino Club and the upcoming Encore Player’s Club here. If they are successful, I’d expect to see everyone getting in on this trend.


How Howard Hughes Changed Las Vegas Forever – Vegas Seven

In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I consider the changes that swept Las Vegas thanks to an arrival over Thanksgiving weekend, 1966.

For the weekend, though, it was business as usual. That Friday, 5,000 doctors arrived for an American Medical Association convention. Don Rickles could be seen at the Sahara’s Casbar lounge. And a young stand-up comedian named Woody Allen made his Las Vegas debut at Caesars Palace’s Circus Maximus showroom.

Down the boulevard at the Desert Inn, a guest who would change Las Vegas forever checked in—Howard Hughes.

How Howard Hughes Changed Las Vegas Forever – Vegas Seven

The basic explanation that you hear is that Hughes chased out the mob, brought in the corporations, and made Las Vegas respectable. I take a more nuanced look at his impact here, but mostly I wanted people to consider how one person’s arrival can shuffle the deck.


Mob Protégé Bernie Sindler Tells All – Vegas Seven

In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I introduce you to Bernie Sindler, Meyer Lansky’s one-time protege and a new author.

When card games were dealt in clubs and private homes, when the mob ran most American gambling and when Las Vegas was barely an idea, Bernie Sindler was there. Read More

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Bernie’s got quite a story to tell. He’s a guy who first came to town in 1946 and knew just about everyone. Fascinating.


Get to Know the 442nd Regimental Combat Team – Vegas Seven

In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I talk about a truly amazing group that recently visited Las Vegas:

The men gathered in this room, however, are extraordinary. They are members of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the most decorated unit for its size and length of service in the history of the United States military.

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It really was an honor to meet this group of Nisei veterans. I spoke with Lawson Sakai for about 45 minutes. Being as enthusiastic about history as I am, it was an unbelievable experience for me. Mr. Sakai is not just an eyewitness to history, he made history. I’m going to be sharing what he told me with students for a very long time.


Old-School Is New Again at the Global Gaming Expo – Vegas Seven

In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I consider what I found on the G2E expo floor:

It was clear that the big question asked last year at the expo—how to appeal to a new generation of gamblers—has not been fully answered, but we got several tantalizing glimpses of the future.

Old-School Is New Again at the Global Gaming Expo – Vegas Seven

I think there is a desire and need for new kinds of games. Of course slot machines still make billions each year, but past changes in gambling have shown that all that can change. People didn’t stop playing faro or start playing slots overnight. Is “social” or “skill” going to replace slots next year? No. In twenty years? It’s possibly that something will.



bp_150The day has arrived: Boardwalk Playground, my latest book, is now available for purchase via Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

This book started as a series of columns for Casino Connection magazine, and I have edited, updated, and supplemented those original columns to bring the story up to date. Unlike my earlier books, this one isn’t just about gambling or casinos–there are 124 years of non-casino history in Atlantic City that take up most of the book.

You can visit the Boardwalk Playground site to read more about the book, or just head over to Amazon, which will have more info and, hopefully soon, some customer reviews.

The book is also available for Kindle, and will be on other ebook platforms (iBook, Nook, Kobo) in a few months. This time, I’m trying out the Kindle Select program, which requires that the ebook be exclusive to Kindle. Once the Kindle version is well established, I will make it available on other platforms.

I’d like to thank everyone who got the book this far, particularly my Kickstarter backers. Thank you for helping me do what I love.


Gaming Hall’s Class of ’15 in Vegas Seven

In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I talk about the latest inductees into the Gaming Hall of Fame:

The American Gaming Association recently announced three new inductees entering the Gaming Hall of Fame this fall: bookmaking pioneer Victor Salerno, tribal gaming advocate Lynn Valbuena and longtime industry executive Larry Woolf. Let’s get to know the class of 2015. Read More

Gaming Hall’s Class of ’15 – Vegas Seven

It has been interesting watching the Hall evolve alongside the industry the past few years. I wonder who will be inducted in 2025?


The Revival of Casino History in Vegas Seven

In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I look at the comeback of history in Downtown Las Vegas:

On the heels of the Las Vegas Club’s closing comes news that a revived interest in casino history is spreading on Fremont Street.

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I like this development–Las Vegas has a wonderful history, and more people appreciating it is a great thing.


Thank you for supporting BOARDWALK PLAYGROUND

After 28 days, my Kickstarter campaign to publish Boardwalk Playground has wrapped up. Thanks to the generosity and support of 58 backers, I raised the funds I needed to cover the production costs of my next book.

What’s next? I have had the book proofread, and have laid out the photos. Right now it is being indexed while I do another round of proofing. If things go according to plan, I will be able to upload a print-ready file within 3 weeks, so that I will be able to meet my October publication date. There should be plenty of books available at VIMFP on October 17.

Thank you to everyone who has helped me get this far. I wish I had the words to express just how much your support means to me right now–it means a lot.


Las Vegas Club’s End Marks a New Beginning – Vegas Seven

In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I consider the last hours and legacy of the just-closed Las Vegas Club, which is likely destined for better things.

It is a name—a generic one, but a name nonetheless—that has been part of Nevada history even before the 1931 relegalization of commercial gaming. In early April of that year, Las Vegas Club, then at 21 and 23 Fremont Street, received a license to offer games of chance from the Las Vegas City Commission. Earlier this month, that gambling hall—located on the opposite side of Fremont since 1949—closed its doors.

Source: Las Vegas Club’s End Marks a New Beginning – Vegas Seven

I’ve heard some very interesting speculation about what might happen at the former Las Vegas Club, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the Stevens brothers create.