Gambling and history collide!

As a historian of gambling, I always take issue with the assumption that casinos are somehow antitechtical to history or historic places. They are, of course, part of the flow of history. But the “Gambling vs. History” banner is being unfurled for an epic fight to prevent the slots from spinning near the hallowed ground of Gettysburg.
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Compulsive gambling drug?

Is there a drug that can turn you into a compulsive gambler? A group of Canadian Parkinson’s patients says yes, and have filed a class action lawsuit against the drugmaker.
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Another great headline

You’ve got to love an editor at the Las Vegas Sun making it sound like the Keystone State is banking on more people’s lives to be ruined by problem gambling: Pennsylvania plans for more gambling addicts.


What’s wrong with being sexy?

People always complain when old casinos get imploded, but thi truly is the end of an era: the Del Mar motel has had its license revoked. Why, you may ask? Because, in the words of the deputy city attorney, it is a “whorehouse.” This story must be seen to be believed. This is another one of those Las Vegas stories that would plausibly pass as satire or farce, but is, incredibly enough, real news.
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If you’ll be watching CNBC at 4:12 Eastern today, you’ll see me getting interviewed about Kirk Kerkorian. The MGM Mirage’s biggest owner is in the news because he is buying a big chunk of GM stock.

You can see me talk confidently about Kerkorian’s role in Las Vegas and gaming history, then attempt to adroitly deflect a question about his personal life…I know that he plays tennis, but we really don’t move in the same circles.

And no, I didn’t say that the GM stock buy was a part of a gambit to buy GM just to fold it into MGM, though they changeover would be pretty low-cost: they’d just have to add an extra M.


Ask a stupid question…

This is why you don’t ask for free legal advice.
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2 quick facts

I’ve been talking about Wynn Las Vegas a lot lately, but don’t think I’ve been neglecting my hometown any. Here’s two interesting facts from the Atlantic City, New Jersey Detailed Profile that probably explain why, to pursue a career in higher education, I had to leave the city:

Number of college students below state average.

Percentage of population with a bachelor’s degree or higher significantly below state average.

This site is a wealth of information.


The sincerest flattery

Does Wynn Las Vegas point the way to the future? Lloyd Fonvielle doesn’t think so, but I beg to differ. I predict that most of the casinos built in the next 10-15 years will try, on one level or another, to emulate Wynn. It’s starting already, for places that have only vauge plans.

Check out, for example, the Cascada Resort – A Future Luxury Resort in Las Vegas | scherf.com.

The Cascada, from their site

So is putting a pitch together as easy as tweaking the city’s most recognizable hotel tower, scaling down the water feature, putting a model next to your pool, and posting it the web? Maybe, but these people seem to have bigger things in mind: owning the very idea of a curved building.
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Thoughts on Wynn LV

As I said earlier, the opening tour was fantastic. It’s as if each area of the resort was designed to be the centerpiece.

That being said, here’s some pictures:
The exterior:

And a shot of the crowd, seconds after the doors opened:
the doors are open

Of course, I got a few shots of the carpet as well–would you expect any less?

I’d definitely visit this place the next time you are in Vegas.

Now that I’ve had a few hours to think and sleep, here’s some more reflections:
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At Wynn Las Vegas

I’ve just gotten back from my sneak-peak tour of Wynn Las Vegas, and I’ve got one word: incredible. The multimedia show on the mountain’s interior, which you have to be a hotel or restaurant guest to see, is simply jaw-dropping.

Inside, I see elements of Wynn’s other resorts, particularly Mirage, Bellagio, and Beau Rivage, but evolved further.

Another observation: the decor, music and style are luxurious but contemporary.

I’ve got to run now: the casino is about to officially open. I’ll have more tomorrow.