21
Jun

Returning to the moon…from the Flamingo

Decades after the last humans walked on the moon, people still want to go back. I can’t say I blame them. You might think that those planning lunar colonies would be holed up in labratories in Boston or Northern California, but, for the third weekend in July anyway, you’d be wrong. They’ll be at the Flamingo Las Vegas.
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17
Jun

Carpet watch

Sorry if you’ve been having trouble with the site. Boingboing.net featured the carpet gallery and the ensuing rush of visitors exceeded my bandwidth. Thanks to Rus at VAserv, I’ve got more bandwidth and am back on track.

I’ve gotten so many emails from people interested in this that I’m seriously thinking about doing more work in this area. I predicted months ago when I started this site that my book reviews wouldn’t really be read, and that a few people might find the posts interesting, but not too many. “If I put in pictures of casino carpets, though,” I said, “People will visit the site.” And I was right. So you might see a casino carpet book some day. Maybe it’ll be my next project after Roll the Bones is finished.

While you’re here, please check out the reviews and definitely the stuff about my own writing. According to amazon.com, you need at least a college junior’s education to read Suburban Xanadu, but I think that anyone with a dictionary can do it. BTW, amazon is overcharging you for the book: the actual retail price is $24.95.

And if you’ve got a convention group in the Las Vegas area and want a fun speaker who can talk about the history of casinos, casino operations, or casino carpet, consider hiring me. I’ll even do tours if I have the time.

15
Jun

Eric Monkkonen

Those of you who are familiar with urban history and crime history should know the name of Eric Monkkonen, who was a giant in the field. He was also my dissertation committee chair, and someone without whom I wouldn’t have gotten my degree. he recently passed away, and I think that this obituary sums up his influence, though it only give a hint of what a great mentor he was.
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14
Jun

Bad days for cockfighters

Eastern Tennessee cockfighters received a shock when a recent cocking main was raided by over 100 state and federal police. Cockfighting might not be as popular as it was back in the 18th century, but it is definitely going strong in Eastern Tennessee.
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13
Jun

Double exposure

Transitioning a property from a name its had for over fifty years is never easy. When Harrah’s bought the Horseshoe name and brand from the downtown Binion’s Horseshoe casino, the actual property was left with an identity crisis: it was always the Horseshoe first and Binion’s second.

They’ve changed the sign and relaunched the website, but for a short time you can see the present and past co-existing. Check it out:
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13
Jun

The dark side of con artistry

The great thing about people is that they can justify virtually anything to themselves. To hype a show called “Casino Takedown,” a con artist and casino cheat rationalizes his career by saying it’s not really stealing. Really?
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7
Jun

Betting from beyond the grave

Just because you shuffle off your mortal coil doesn’t mean you have to stop gambling. For that matter, it’s got a distinct advantage: you don’t have to pay off your markers. Of course, you can’t really collect your winnings, either, but the thrill of getting action down is really the important thing, isn’t it?
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6
Jun

Don’t eat your friends?

I like anthropomorphic animals as much as anyone. In fact, it was this image, and this image alone, that turned me on to this article:
Doctor Dog
So has medicine in China really gone to the dogs? Read on and find out.
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2
Jun

Macau: More than just gambling

Most people associate Macau with gambling, but according to the Rugged Elegance Inspiration Network, you can get some nice clothes made there, too.
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1
Jun

Genius at work.

People sometimes call me a casino expert, and I usually disavow any claim to the title, partially out of modesty, and partially because that would put me into some pretty shady company. Case in point: Richard Ellison, who just pled guilty to kidnapping two octogenerians, one of whom was his mother.
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