Posts tagged vegas seven

The Languages of Gaming | Vegas Seven

In this week’s Vegas Seven, I take a look at what the addition of a bilingual game at a North Las Vegas casino means:

The Lucky Club’s move speaks to the growing presence of Spanish-speaking players in and around Las Vegas. And it’s not without precedent. In 2010, Buffalo Bill’s casino in Primm started offering bilingual blackjack, with dealers speaking to players in both English and Spanish. Combined with Spanish-language concerts, the game was an attempt to counter the inroads that California’s tribal casinos have made into the drive-up Southern California market. To all appearances, the move was successful—Buffalo Bill’s Latino offerings continue to draw.

via The Languages of Gaming | Vegas Seven

Simply put, if you have money and want to gamble it, casinos will find a way to accommodate you.

The Festivalization of Las Vegas | Vegas Seven

This week in Vegas Seven, I contribute to the cover coverage of EDC with a feature on how EDC has paved the way for the festivalization of Las Vegas:

It takes one thing to go from outsider to establishment in Las Vegas: success. When Pasquale Rotella’s Insomniac Events first brought the Electric Daisy Carnival to Las Vegas in 2011, he was a renegade fleeing Los Angeles, which had hosted the festival for more than a decade but rolled up the welcome mat amid controversy in 2010. There was a historic parallel to this eastward emigration: Eighty years earlier, Southern California authorities took a dim view of the gambling operations of such entrepreneurs as Guy MacAfee and Tony Corerno, who decided to pack up their chips, head up Highway 91 and set up shop in Las Vegas. That worked out pretty well. EDC seems to be following suit.

via The Festivalization of Las Vegas | Vegas Seven.

I’d like to thank Pasquale Rotella and Rehan Choudry for being so helpful in out interviews–they each have a vision of the future of the Las Vegas festival, and it will be exciting to see how it shapes up.

The Man Who Gave Regulation a Good Name | Vegas Seven

In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I look back at the legacy of Bob Faiss, who immeasurably shaped gaming in Nevada and many other places:

Faiss shaped the evolution of Nevada’s gaming regulation as an attorney who represented some of the state’s largest casinos, but never lost sight of what he considered truly important: what was best for Nevada. When he joined Lionel Sawyer & Collins in the early 1970s (after service with the state and federal governments, and finishing a four-year night law degree program in three years), there was no such thing as a “gaming attorney.” Faiss was part of the generation of practitioners that codified gaming law as its own specialty.

via The Man Who Gave Regulation a Good Name | Vegas Seven.

If you are interested in gaming history, I strongly suggest picking up a copy of Bob’s oral history–he was there as the present regulatory system was put together, and he had a large role in shaping it.

Putting the ‘World’ in the World Series of Poker | Vegas Seven

In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I explore how the World Series of Poker has changed during the past decade at the Rio:

When Harrah’s Entertainment—now Caesars Entertainment—bought Binion’s Horseshoe in January 2004, it also acquired the World Series of Poker. Harrah’s more or less sold the Downtown hotel-casino to West Virginia-based MTR Gaming three months later, retaining the rights to the Horseshoe name and the World Series of Poker. That April, Harrah’s held the WSOP at the newly renamed Binion’s, which, in both name and neon, had lost its Horseshoe. The following year, the competition shifted to the Rio. The move was straight out of the Las Vegas playbook, sacrificing a tie with tradition for future growth.

via Putting the ‘World’ in the World Series of Poker | Vegas Seven.

My question is, what will the WSOP look like ten years from now?

Burton Cohen: The Man You Wanted Running Your Hotel | Vegas Seven

Here is this week’s Green Felt Journal, a tribute (in mostly his own words) to Burton Cohen:

Cohen grew up in the hotel business in Florida, and his 16 years of practicing law made him a perfect chief executive, able to read contracts and grasp their subtleties but also aware of operational realities on the front lines. In a 2009 interview with Claytee White, the director of UNLV’s Oral History Research Center, Cohen sketched out his life in Las Vegas, starting with the changes under way when he arrived in Las Vegas. The mob was on its way out, and big money was on its way in.

via Burton Cohen: The Man You Wanted Running Your Hotel | Vegas Seven.

Cohen had a huge impact on Las Vegas, and I wanted to show how that impact was most keenly felt by the men and women he worked with.

MGM’s Park and the Future of the Strip | Vegas Seven

In my latest Green Felt Journal, I riff on remarks MGM chairman Jim Murren made about his company’s Park development and the future of the Strip by imagining what the Strip will look like in 2019:

An interesting way to ponder the Strip’s trajectory is to follow Murren’s lead, play the long game, and imagine what it will look like in 2019. Here’s a glimpse:

via MGM’s Park and the Future of the Strip | Vegas Seven.

What I find fascinating is that the “new” projects of the moment–SLS and Cromwell–will be as established as Aria by that time.

I didn’t have a ton of room, and there is plenty more to think about. Which properties will get renovated? Which will get retail/dining/entertainment exterior makeovers? And what is going to happen to Fontainebleau and the New Frontier site?

Talking how the Mirage came to be on 97.1

Last Thursday, I did a quick interview with Lorrin Bond of 97.1 about my Vegas Seven cover story on The Mirage’s design and construction. You can listen to it here if you like:

David G. Schwartz talks about how the Mirage came to be by Vegas Seven on SoundCloud – Hear the world’s sounds.

Fun talking with Lorrin about the article!

The Conjuring of The Mirage in Vegas Seven

One of my favorite things about writing for Vegas Seven is the chance to write extended feature pieces that give me a chance to do original research and learn a great deal about Las Vegas, present and past.

In this week’s issue, I take a look back at the event which, 25 years ago, changed the direction of Las Vegas–the construction and opening of The Mirage. It starts in 1985, when Joel Bergman gets a summons from Steve Wynn:

At about 2 a.m., Bergman—who led Atlandia, the Nugget’s in-house design firm—finally arrived at the right condo in an under-construction country club subdivision. Wynn was still up when he got there, waiting for him.

“Joel,” Wynn said, “Let me tell you about the wonderful place we’re going to build in Las Vegas.”

via The Conjuring of The Mirage | Vegas Seven.

I used many sources for this feature, but the best was a series of five interviews with Joel Bergman, Arte Nathan, Bobby Baldwin, Alan Feldman, and Steve Wynn, with an assist from DeRuyter Butler.

Two things really stand out to me: first, 5,000 words isn’t enough to tell the whole story, and second, the building of The Mirage really was a special moment in Las Vegas. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it.

The Coming Social Gaming Revolution | Vegas Seven

In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I take a look at what changes might be afoot on casino floors across the country:

Since the recession, however, slot machines have lost ground to tables. Last year, tables statewide earned 35 percent of total gaming win. That doesn’t sound like a big shift—5 percentage points over just as many years—but the original shift in dominance from tables to slot machines was just as gradual.

via The Coming Social Gaming Revolution | Vegas Seven.

The point I wanted to make here is that we can’t assume that casinos ten years for now are going to look exactly like casinos today. It’s been a little more than a decade since widespread adoption of ticket in/ticket out and multi-denom machines changed slot gaming. I think that Dr. Andrade’s work raises all sorts of interesting questions about how people are going to play in the future.

The Online Gaming Debate: Not So Fast, Congress | Vegas Seven

In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I propose a possible solution to the current schism between pro- and anti-online gaming forces in Congress (and the gaming industry):

With both sides ratcheting up their lobbying, though, it seems that Congress is painting itself into a corner without a way forward or compromise that will satisfy everyone.

But maybe there is.

via The Online Gaming Debate: Not So Fast, Congress | Vegas Seven.

I think this column could have been a few thousand words if I had the print space available (I don’t). The more I think about it, the more sensible another national look at gambling’s impact seems.

What’s more, this study could also include credit play (and collection of credit) which is another issue currently in the news thanks to FinCEN’s proposal to force casino to vet the sources of high rollers’ funds. (For more about FinCEN, see my previous Green Felt Journal.)

The nature of gambling in the United States has changed remarkably since National Gambling Impact Study wrapped up in 1999. Online gaming is the most obvious difference, but the shift in where Las Vegas casinos make their money (increasingly, it’s international high rollers) is another change that has profound implications.

Everyone debating the nature of gambling today has something to gain from an in-depth study. With no clear direction presenting itself to Congress and a crying need for solid information, a new national study commission makes perfect sense.