10
Sep

The Revival of Casino History in Vegas Seven

In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I look at the comeback of history in Downtown Las Vegas:

On the heels of the Las Vegas Club’s closing comes news that a revived interest in casino history is spreading on Fremont Street.

Read More: The Revival of Casino History – Vegas Seven

I like this development–Las Vegas has a wonderful history, and more people appreciating it is a great thing.

30
Mar

The latest in my series of chapter-by-chapter summaries/teasers,…



The latest in my series of chapter-by-chapter summaries/teasers, chapter 2. Enjoy!

3
Mar

In this video, I talk about my plan to summarize the book in a…



In this video, I talk about my plan to summarize the book in a few short videos and discuss the prologue and first chapter.

3
Mar

In this video, I talk about my plan to summarize the book in a…



In this video, I talk about my plan to summarize the book in a few short videos and discuss the prologue and first chapter.

3
Mar

In this video, I talk about my plan to summarize the book in a…



In this video, I talk about my plan to summarize the book in a few short videos and discuss the prologue and first chapter.

27
Feb

South Africa and the Strip

The Sun City resort, which Sol Kerzner opened in Bophuthatswana in 1979,  featured many of the amenities that would characterize Las Vegas Strip “mega-resorts” in the 1990s, and Steve Wynn credited Kerzner’s resort as an influence on The Mirage, which itself sparked the boom on the Strip.

Learn more about casinos in South Africa and everywhere else in Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling

Go here to read an excerpt from the book, or learn where to buy your copy.

22
Feb

Nick the Greek in Vegas

Nick “the Greek” Dandolos was one of the most legendary gamblers in Las Vegas history. He claimed to have had more than $500 million pass through his hands as wins and losses during his gambling career. But he didn’t live lavishly; for years he lived in a $10-a-night hotel room.

There’s lots more about famous and infamous gamblers  in Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling

Go here to read an excerpt from the book, or learn where to buy your copy.

20
Feb

World’s Biggest Bingo Hall

In the early 1980s, bingo halls on tribal lands throughout the United States exploded. These bingo halls generally did not follow state rules on maximum jackpots, so they were incredibly popular. They formed the foundation for today’s tribal gaming industry.

In 1984, the Otoe Missouria Indians opened what they billed as the world’s biggest bingo hall, the 6,000-seat Red Rock Bingo Palace in north-central Oklahoma.

You can learn more about tribal government gaming and the development of casinos on Indian reservations  in Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling

Go here to read an excerpt from the book, or learn where to buy your copy.

15
Feb

LV Strip’s 1st Gourmet Casino Dining

For the first 20 or so years, Las Vegas Strip casino restaurants were strictly loss leaders, with the fare passable but nothing to write home about.

Chester Simms, general manager of the Flamingo, changed that when he opened the Candlelight Room, the Strip’s first real gourmet restaurants, in 1961. Today we’re used to casinos sourcing seafood from all over the world, but flying in fresh Maine lobsters daily was innovative fifty years ago.

You can read much more about the Flamingo and other casinos, in Las Vegas and around the world, in Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling

Go here to read an excerpt from the book, or learn where to buy your copy.

14
Feb

From the book: The first poker machine

Lots of people have heard of San Francisco mechanic Charles Fey’s Liberty Bell, which was the first auto-pay reel slot to gain popularity. He unveiled it in 1899.

Fewer people know that the first coin-operated slot machine, a device that flipped through five decks of cards, with winners paid off in kind (not in cash) for “winning” hands.

It was an early, analog video poker machine. And it was invented in 1891, 8 years before Fey’s Liberty Bell, in Brooklyn, New York.

That’s just one of the many fascinating things you’ll read about in Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling.