A Casino Strawman

The late-1970s Strawman investigation, an FBI underworld inquiry based in Kansas City, Missouri, discovered widespread skimming at Las Vegas casinos.

You can learn more about how the feds and Nevada regulators chased the mob out of Nevada 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


Talking about the Mob at UNLV

If you can make it, we’re hosting a provocative talk at UNLV in two weeks. Here’s the info:

January 29, 2009
Gaming Research Colloquium Series:
Leslie Nino Fidance
William S. Boyd School of Law, UNLV
“The Mob Never Ran Vegas”
Thursday, January, 12:15 pm
UNLV Special Collections
Download flyer (pdf)

Center for Gaming Research: Special Events

If you can’t make it, I should have the audio posted as part of the UNLV Gaming podcast series. This is definitely a talk to remember–I’ve read the paper it’s based on and the author makes many good points.

Even if you don’t plan on going, click through to see the flyer, which I will accept full blame for. It’s the kind of thing that a serious academic probably wouldn’t come up with, but c’mon, the talk is about the mob in Vegas.


Faith-based gaming

I’ve explained, opined, asserted, declared, and suggested, but at last I’ve reached the stage in my career where I can quip. From the Daily Review:

After defeat at polls in 1974, a gaming referendum in New Jersey succeeded two years later thanks to an alliance between gaming interests and the Roman Catholic Church, explained David Schwartz, of the Institute of Gaming Studies [sic] at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.
Priestly blessings at casino ribbon cuttings aren’t unheard of, but aren’t routine either, he said.
“I certainly see a lot of people praying in the casino after it opens,” Mr. Schwartz quipped.

Multi-faceted clergyman: Indicted priest with alleged mob ties has many friends, talents

I really don’t have too much to say about this one. Trust me, I’m not quitting my day job for a career as a stand-up comic who specializes in gaming-related humor.