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.

The I-Team tackles Grandissimo

Last Friday, George Knapp of 8 News Now’s I-Team ran a feature on Jay Sarno’s legacy and Grandissimo:

While some might think the father of the Las Vegas Strip is mobster Bugsy Seigel, or casino titans Kirk Kerkorian or Steve Wynn, the true architect of modern Las Vegas might be a self-described degenerate gambler named Jay Sarno.

While there is no statue to honor Sarno’s memory, there is a new book that tells his amazing story, warts and all

I-Team: The Man Behind Modern-Day Las Vegas

I’m glad that George reached out to me for this. Here is the video of the story:

8 News NOW

And a link to the video if that embed doesn’t work. 

Watch Grandissimo on Frequency

Last Thursday, I took part in Frequency, DTLV.com’s interview series. It was a great night, and I’m thrilled that the event was recorded so that you can see it for yourself:

Watch Frequency With David G. Schwartz, William Swaney and Wassa Coulibaly

I’d like to thank my friend and editor Greg Miller for being a great interviewer—wonderful questions and we could have talked for much, much longer.

Watch Grandissimo on Frequency

Last Thursday, I took part in Frequency, DTLV.com’s interview series. It was a great night, and I’m thrilled that the event was recorded so that you can see it for yourself:

Watch Frequency With David G. Schwartz, William Swaney and Wassa Coulibaly

I’d like to thank my friend and editor Greg Miller for being a great interviewer—wonderful questions and we could have talked for much, much longer.

Grandissimo at the Clark County Library, 3/6

This morning I received the flyer for next month’s event at the Clark County Library (1401 E. Flamingo Rd). 

On March 6, at 7 p.m., I”m giving a talk called “Grandisismo: How Jay Sarno’s Wild Life Changed Las Vegas” and signing books.

Here’s the flyer—would love to see you there: