Watch the Local Authors Panel from Henderson Libraries

I was honored to take part in the first Local Authors Panel as part of the big collection launch at the Paseo Verde Library on March 8. The panel was a fun, hour-long conversation about writing and Las Vegas.

If you weren’t part of the crowd, you can now see it in its entirety right here (sorry, I couldn’t find an embed option).

It was a good time had by all, and I’m hoping to take part in more events in the future. 

Needs of High Rollers, Government Leave Casinos in a Bind | Vegas Seven

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.

New Lower Price for Roll the Bones ebook

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:

Get signed books at Barnes and Noble in Henderson

If you missed your chance to get a signed copy of Grandissimo at one of the many events that I’ve been at lately, I have good news: there are several signed copies available for purchase at the Barnes and Noble on 567 N. Stephanie (info and directions). And here’s a picture of me signing one of them:


Thanks to everyone at the store who made this happen. I was very happy to hear that the book is selling well.

If you can’t find Grandissimo at your favorite bookseller yet, please ask them to stock it. Thanks!

Caesars’ Changing Empire | Vegas Seven

Here is my latest in Vegas Seven, about two Caesars transactions that, I think, augur the future:

It’s no secret that both online and social gaming are growing; millions of people play “for free” each day, and at least 10 states—including California and Texas—are mulling the legalization of straight-up online gambling. The two transactions show the evolution of the way Americans play—and the way Las Vegas-based gaming companies make money.

via Caesars’ Changing Empire | Vegas Seven.

Once, the industry’s growth was in geographic expansion in the U.S. Now it seems that expansion online–in both money games and social–is the real growth segment–for now, at least.

Reaction to Sarno Roundtable at Lied Library

The Sarno Roundtable event went off on Sunday at Lied Library. It was a tremendous experience, but don’t take my word for it. Here’s what KSNV has to say:

You can access that report here if the embedded video isn’t happening: Biography profiles Caesars Palace developer Jay Sarno

The Las Vegas Sun also covered the event:

David Schwartz, director of UNLV’s Center for Gaming, moderated the panel through discussions of Sarno’s life in Las Vegas during the 1960s. The panel members talked about Sarno’s court battles with the FBI, his legacy on the Strip and his eccentric lifestyle that made him a divisive figure in Las Vegas.

“There was nobody in Las Vegas who was neutral on the subject of Jay Sarno,” Schwartz said. “People loved him and people couldn’t stand him. There was no middle.”

Jay Sarno remembered for doing ‘something nobody had ever done before’

But you don’t have to take their word for it—you can listen to the entire roundtable right here, since it’s now a UNLV Gaming Podcast.

I’d like to thank everyone from Lied Library who helped plan and run the event, all of the panelists for showing up and being so candid, and everyone who attended. It was truly a great night, and a sign of just how important Jay Sarno was to the development of Las Vegas.

September Sarno talks Grandissimo on Ralston Reports

On Friday, Jay Sarno’s daughter September was the guest on KSNV’s Ralston Reports, in advance of the March 2 event at Lied Library:

It’s a great glimpse into Sarno’s life, and a chance to hear what one of his children thinks of the book.

Review on NETime Gambling

It’s always encouraging to see positive reviews, so I was happy to see that New England gambling blog NETime Gambling gave Grandissimo a nice write-up: 

The book is a wonderful read.  Whether you are a fan of Vegas or gambling history , or even if you enjoy reading about larger-than-life characters, this book will be a tough one to put down once started.  The background of the self-made man who built Caesars is just the beginning of a roller-coaster ride through Jay Sarno’s life

Another Must-Read from Dr. David Schwartz

The reviewer does a good job of summarizing the book, so if you’re on the fence about reading it and want an outside opinion, you might want to click over and see what he has to say.

What Does Bitcoin’s Downtown Presence Say About Las Vegas—and the Future? | Vegas Seven

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.

Prohibition not the right answer for online gaming in Las Vegas Review-Journal

This morning, the Las Vegas Review-Journal published an op-ed piece I wrote about the ultimate futility of online gaming prohibition:

The nation faces a dangerously seductive form of gambling, as cross-border, high tech telecommunications networks threaten to siphon money out of homes across the country. The problem is getting worse, and the states, with the constitutional mandate to regulate gambling within their borders, are indifferent or worse. The only solution is for Congress to act now.It took years, but Congress eventually did — in 1907

via Prohibition not the right answer for online gaming | Las Vegas Review-Journal.

I’d like the chance to write about this some more–it’s nice to draw on the research I did for Cutting the Wire.