Join Me and Oscar at Inspire to Talk Casino

I’m really excited to be a part of this. Tomorrow night I get to present a live commentary track for the movie Casino along with Oscar Goodman: This Wednesday, September 10, at Inspire, DTLV.com and Vegas Seven are bringing some of your favorite Las Vegas films together with some of those deep thinkers. The Seven Essential Vegas … Read more

The Spa Casino Disaster

The 1980 MGM Grand fire is perhaps the most famous casino disaster in history, but the August 13, 1785 blaze that destroyed a wing of Spa’s Redoute casino was just as catastrophic in its day, particularly since burning playing cards blown by a strong wind landed on the roofs of nearby houses, spreading the fire. But the Redoute recovered.

You can learn more about Spa gambling in Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling

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

A Winning Prince

A winning streak helped to make Bad Homburg’s reputation as one of Europe’s elite gambling resorts. In September 1852, the Prince of Canino, Charles Lucien Bonaparte, won more than a half-million francs from that spa town’s casino. The big win gave the casino plenty of “free” publicity, though, and in the end helped draw more visitors to the town.

You can learn more about Bad Homburg and other 19th century spas in Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling

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

This period image shows roulette play at Bad Homburg, one of the…

This period image shows roulette play at Bad Homburg, one of the most important casino spa resorts on the 19th century. 

Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling has plenty of fascinating detail about the evolution of European spa casinos like Bad Homburg. 

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

Circus Circus Success

In the late 1980s, as other Las Vegas Strip casinos faltered, Circus Circus was prospering. Building its business on the “grind,” thousands of small players instead of a few big high rollers, Circus boasted a compound annual growth rate of more than 29 percent for the latter half of the decade. In doing so, it laid the groundwork for the 1990s Las Vegas casino boom.

You can read more about Circus Circus and other Las Vegas casinos in Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling

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

Three excerpts from Roll the Bones


Today I’ve added three excerpts from Roll the Bones to the site to give you a little flavor of the book if you haven’t picked up a copy already. Enjoy!

1. Author’s Note/Prologue

This is the introductory overview to the book, giving an idea of its scope—and the changes in the Casino Edition.

2. Why the Mob won Vegas

This excerpt, from chapter 10, “A Place in the Sun,” explains how the Mob carved out influence on the Las Vegas Strip in the 1950s and 1960s, and why it was so dominant.


3. The Rise of Atlantic City

The opening pages of chapter 12, “America’s Playground…Again” discuss the rebirth and rise to (brief) dominance of Atlantic City’s casinos in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

To learn where you can buy Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling, please visit here