Katrina closes casinos

Hurricane Katrina is, as I write this, devastating parts of Louisiana and Mississippi, and, as is increasingly common these days, there is a connection to gambling: casinos in the area, particuarly on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast, have been hit hard, and the impact–in both the short and long run–will be felt nationally.

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More poker on TV

When I saw this news, I groaned inwardly…ESPN is showing even more televised poker next year. I know this gem of knowledge because I got the press release straight from Harrah’s, along with a 2005-6 poker season schedule. Yeah, I just typed “2005-6 poker season” with a straight face.

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Primates double down?

Doing research for Roll the Bones, I became more convinced than ever that gambling is pretty close to a human universal. I don’t just mean playing slots or picking the Eagles to cover–I’m talking about the more general sense of gambling as risk-taking. Come to find out that it’s not just humans who like to gamble: monkeys are just as happy to bet the house.

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WTO deadline

There has been a great deal of ambiguity about the WTO decision in the Antigua/US dispute. Both sides have claimed victory, and there is no real roadmap for what is going to happen. I’m chairing a session on this at G2E, which may feature debate between representatives of the US and Antigua, or may not.

Today’s story is that the US has been given an April deadline to comply with the WTO ruling, though I’m not sure exactly what that entails.

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A center I’d like to visit

Academic centers dealing with gambling have rather prosaic names: Reno has Bill Eadington’s excellent Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming; a consortium of Canadian universities has the Alberta Gaming Research Institute; and of course there is my own Center for Gaming Research. Not too flashy, but you get the picture: people studying gambling.

Anyway, I was scanning the day’s gambling news when I learned of Denmark’s contribution to the study of gambling: the Centre for Gambling Mania.

I wonder if Hulk Hogan is an emeritus research fellow there and says things like, “What are you gonna do, brother, when gambling mania runs wild on you?”

The Centre for Gambling Mania…until I can list a guest lecture sponsored by them on my C.V., my life will be incomplete.

The Centre figures in a story about gambling age limits in Denmark, BTW.

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Wynn is Wired

I’ve often thought that casinos were technological and organizational marvels. Thousands of people spread out over thousands of square feet, working together (usually) to accomplish the mutually contradictory goals of making sure the house always wins and keeping the customer happy. It turns out I’ve been understating things–according to Steve Wynn, his latest casino is on par with the pyramids–and not the one down the block, either.

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Gambling history…for the ignorant

While I was writing Roll the Bones, I thought sometimes that maybe there was a good reason that no one had yet written a thorough history of world gambling–because there isn’t any interest in reading it. But I find that I’m wrong: there is already such a book out there. There’s just one problem: to read it, you have to believe that gambling is an social evil willfully unleashed by parasitical con artists.

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Casino carpet updated!

Since it’s been so wildly popular, I’ve updated the casino carpet galleries. There’s an entirely new galllery for Clark County properties that I haven’t already gotten–it’s just a start. I also added a great deal to the Atlantic City gallery. Most importantly, I added the new Trump Plaza carpet, which is truly excellent. I also … Read more