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.
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:
When Derek Stevens started accepting Bitcoin at The D and Golden Gate, I became curious: How did he make the decision to do this, and why? The result of my curiosity is this week’s Green Felt Journal:
Sometimes a story about newfangled technology doubles as one about old-fashioned neighborhood gumption. When The D and the Golden Gate became the first casinos to accept Bitcoin albeit only for non-gaming purchases it was a sign of the way Downtown Las Vegas, by dint of geography and necessity, is pushing the boundaries of innovation in the casino business.
via What Does Bitcoin’s Downtown Presence Say About Las Vegas—and the Future? | Vegas Seven.
Since the gaming industry handles so much money, any alternate form of payment should be of interest. We will have to see how Bitcoin develops.
In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I take a look at the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement’s decision to release less information about gaming win. I think it’s a bad thing:
The industry is often misunderstood, partially because many people don’t grasp the nature of casino math. Some confuse the amount of money gambled with the amount the casino keeps. Others confuse revenue what casinos take in with profits what’s left over after they have paid their bills. Real numbers can clear up these misunderstandings.
via Numbers, Transparency, and the Health of Gaming | Vegas Seven.
With what I do, the more numbers the better. I’d like to think that having better information really does serve the public.
In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I take a look at the resurgent American Gaming Association and what it means for Las Vegas:
In the past few months, the American Gaming Association has almost completely regenerated itself. Even though the gaming industry’s chief lobbying group has the same name and offices, it has a renewed mission under new President and CEO Geoff Freeman: to promote the overall positive community impact of gaming, urge a streamlined regulatory process and underline the reality that online gaming is not going away.
via The American Gaming Association Takes a Smart New Direction | Vegas Seven.
I think this is one of stories to watch–a changing AGA might lead the industry into directions that none of us foresee.
Here is my final Green Felt Journal of 2013. It’s perhaps appropriate that it looks ahead to 2014:
While 2013 was mostly a year of building and transition, Las Vegas should definitively enter the post-recession era in 2014. That won’t mean a return to pre-recession prosperity, but rather a shift in how casinos approach visitors. In fact, it may turn out that the restaurants, retail and entertainment of the Linq will mark the biggest change on the Las Vegas Strip since the county began installing pedestrian overpasses in the 1990s.
via The Action, for Resorts, Is on the Street | Vegas Seven.
As I mention in the column, I think that the ultimate transformation that the inside-out model will bring hasn’t been fully considered, and it may bring some changes that are unexpected.
In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I take a look at one of the entrepreneurs who is shaking things up on the Strip:
Jonathan Fine is a case in point. Fine—who operates some of the Strip’s hottest midmarket nightspots—comes from one of the most illustrious families in Las Vegas: His grandfather, Hank Greenspun, founder of the Las Vegas Sun, was one of the community’s pre-eminent leaders. His father, developer Mark Fine, was instrumental in the growth of Green Valley and Summerlin. And his brother, Jeffrey, is involved in numerous enterprises, including Fifth Street Gaming, operator of the recently opened Downtown Grand and other gaming locations.
via Rockhouse, PBR Rock Bar Owner Just a Local Kid on the Strip | Vegas Seven.
I think fine has done some interesting things, and I’m eager to see what he does next.