Roll the Bones Audiobook available

Roll the Bones Audiobook

I am very excited to announce that the audio version of Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling is now available. For the second time, I collaborated with Eric Martin, who narrated and produced the audio version.

The audio version has some unique content–an interview where Eric and I talk a little about the writing process for the book and what has happened in the gambling world since the paperback/ebook’s 2013 publication.

You can buy the book through Amazon, Audible, or iTunes. If you have never used Audible, you are in luck. I have a special code that can get you a free 30-day Audible trial, which will let you listen to all 16 hours and 59 minutes of the book for free.

I’d like to thank Eric for all of his hard work on this project–it would not have happened without him.

So if you have 17 hours worth of travel time, downtime, or just plain free time and want to learn more about the history of gambling with an emphasis on casinos, you are in luck.

New Book Coming & You Can Help!

A real book!

I have some exciting news to share: I have a new book coming out, and you can be a part of it.

If you’re familiar with my work, you may have seen my articles about Atlantic City history in Casino Connection magazine. Each month (for about 8 years), I wrote about an aspect of that city’s history—maybe the infamous Nucky Johnson, classic hotels like the Traymore and Marlborough-Blenheim, or casinos like the Tropicana and Playboy. That column gave me a chance to do some solid research on my hometown and, better yet, share it with readers.

This summer, with the support of Casino Connection publisher Roger Gros, I compiled my existing columns, updated them, and added several more. The result is one hundred stories about Atlantic City that together tell the story of the World’s Playground, from its 1854 founding right up to this summer. At a time when the city is at a crossroads, I thought everyone would be better off if they could better appreciate the city’s past.

The book is called Boardwalk Playground: The Making, Unmaking, & Remaking of Atlantic City, with a subtitle of “How the people of Atlantic City built a seaside paradise, lost it, rebuilt a casino town, mostly lost it, and kept on dreaming.”

So what does this have to do with you? First, I hope that you’ll enjoy reading the book once it is out. Second, I need a little help to get it published. I have all of the writing and layout work done, and am currently in need of professional proofreading and indexing. To defray the costs of both, I have launched a Kickstarter campaign, hoping to raise the money I need to pay professionals to do their best work.

I had such a great experience with my last book, Grandissimo, in part because of the Kickstarter campaign that got it off the ground, that I had to go this route again. My thanks again to everyone who made that a success.

If you’d like to visit check out the campaign—which is only running a short time—and see a video, visit my Boardwalk Playground Kickstarter page. If you’d like to learn more about the book and read a few excerpts, visit the Boardwalk Playground website. Thank you!

Support Boardwalk Playground

Talk about the Kefauver Committee, Tuesday 1/6

Like most people, you probably want to start your New Year with a discussion of historic Las Vegas. I can’t think of many better ways to do that than at this talk I’m giving as part of Mob Month on Tuesday, January 6 at 7 PM at the Clark County Library:

Mob Month 2015 – The Mob on Trial: The Kefauver Hearings and Their Impact on Organized Crime

In 1950, Senator Estes Kefauver led a U.S. Senate Committee to investigate organized crime. The investigation, known as the Kefauver Hearings, were held in Las Vegas and 14 other cities and included testimonies from over 600 witnesses including National Crime Syndicate bosses Willie Moretti, Joe Adonis and Frank Costello. The hearings were televised and introduced America to the concept of the Mafia. David G. Schwartz, director of UNLV’s Center For Gaming Research and author of bestselling books Grandissimo, Roll The Bones, and Cutting The Wire will examine the importance of the hearings and the subsequent impact on organized crime, law enforcement and state gaming regulations.Free and open to the public.

Books will be available for purchase and signing after the event. For more information, please call 702.507.3458.

via LVCCLD-Event

I had a great time giving talks this summer at the Clark County Library, and I’d like to thank everyone there for making this possible.

The Kefauver Committee’s Las Vegas hearings are a fascinating topic, because they clearly made a major impact, but were relatively brief. In this talk, I discuss why the hearings were held, what they were about, and how they were received. I’ve certainly learned a great deal researching this, and I hope that you are able to attend the talk.

UNLVs High Roller | UNLV News Center

Thanks to the recent news that I’ve been named to the “40 under 40” list in Global Gaming Business, the UNLV News Center has posted an interview with me. Great questions:

David Schwartz is the ultimate Vegas insider. On any given moment, he can talk about gaming trends locally and nationally, casino security, the history of Vegas mobs, the tourism industry and places to take your kids when youre visiting Vegas yes, there are places to take the kids. After all, Schwartz is a researcher so hes bound to have good tips.It’s no wonder why Schwartz was recently named among the top 40 emerging gaming leaders by Global Gaming Business Magazine.

via UNLVs High Roller | UNLV News Center.

I liked getting the chance to think deeply about some of the issues we discussed.

I’m an “Emerging Leader” in Gaming

It’s a wonderful honor to be recognized by one’s peers, and I am energized and awed by being part of G2E’s “Emerging Leaders” group.

As part of that honor, I am part of Global Gaming Business magazine’s “40 under 40” feature this month, with a brief profile:

Unlike most academics, Schwartz’s experience in gaming brings a realistic view of the world not always shared in the ivy-covered towers. Schwartz’s mentors include the late Shannon Bybee, a former casino executive and founder of the International Gaming Institute at UNLV, and the late Bill Eadington, the founder of the Center for the Study of Commercial Gaming at the University of Nevada, Reno. Schwartz combines Bybee’s real-life approach to education with Eadington’s love of research, and is truly the spiritual academic heir to their gaming education tradition.

via Learning the Game | Global Gaming Business Magazine.

It’s great to have a platform to not only get to ask the really interesting questions, but to share what I learn not just with academics but also with people in the industry. I hope I’m able to continue to contribute in ways that help people better understand not only where gambling has been, but where it is going.

Catch me tomorrow at the SNCCC meeting

Tomorrow night (2/12), at 7 PM, I’m speaking to the Southern Nevada Casino Collectibles Club. I’ll be talking about gambling history and maybe sharing some things from Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling.

I’ve known many of the collectors through the years, and I’m always energized by their passion for gambling history. But the best part about this event is that you are invited.

Yes, even if you’re not a member, the event is open to the public. Consider it your chance to check out the club, and to see if you can find that $25 Dunes chip you’ve been hunting for. And if you like what you see, you can become a member.

They start buying and trading chips and other collectibles around 6 PM. I’m on around 7 PM. I’ll have copies of Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling available if you want one signed.

The meeting is at the Marine Corps League Museum / Leatherneck Club, 4360 Spring Mountain Rd, Las Vegas, Nevada, at the northeast corner of Spring Mountain and Arville.

View Larger Map

Looking forward to seeing you there!

New Year, New Look

As you’ve noticed if you’re reading this, I’ve given the site a slightly new look. I switched WordPress themes, to Retina, and did a little light editing of my own to customize it. I’m still not totally settled on the look (I think I’m doing to tweak the header color to tie in better with the rest of the page, and maybe switch the image out), but this should be the look of the site for the foreseeable future.

One of the weaknesses the site has had has been how it displays on mobile devices. Muddling around the WordPress plug-in site, I stumbled upon WPTouch, which automatically creates a smartphone-friendly version of the site for mobile devices. I really like it, and I wish that I’d looked into this two years ago.

I’ve added something new: an Amazon store. Right now, I’ve just got a link in the navigation bar above, but I’ll integrate it better into the site in the coming days. I started by just putting my books in there, but I’m going to add books by people I interview and other friends, as well as books I review.

As always, I still want to improve the site and showcase my work better, so if you’ve got comments or problems, share them. The one issue that I’m most aware of isn’t with this site–it’s a podcast problem that, as best I can figure out, has something to do with UNLV’s server. I’m going to talk to the UNLV web folks this week and try to find a solution. But if you’ve got anything to share about this site, please let me know.

Thanks for reading!

I’m doing a Focus Roundtable

Even though I’m ostensibly on leave right now, I’m still doing a surprising amount of work-related stuff. I’ve signed up to do a Focus Roundtable on Online Gambling this Thusday. Here are the details:

May 18, 2011

Toll-free Dial-In Number: (866) 951-1151
International Dial-In Number: (201) 590-2255
United Kingdom +44 08003581576
Conference # : 4999006

Michael Damphousse, CEO/CMO, Green Leads


David G. Schwartz, Director of Center for Gambling Research- UNLV>

Dan Michalski, Founder/Editor,

John Pappas, Executive Director, PPA (Poker Players Alliance)

Greg Raymer, 2004 WSOP Champion and Lawyer

Follow the conversation:
On Focus: Follow the Economy topic page
Submit your own question and use Economy as a topic
On Twitter: #FocusEconRT

via Focus Roundtable: The Online Gambling Industry Explained.

I’m not totally sure what to expect, not having done one of these before, but it looks like a great panel. I’m looking forward to being a part of this, and I encourage you to get involved as well.

Birth of the Las Vegas Strip on C-SPAN

For those who missed the live broadcast this week, the Lectures in History show featuring me is now available via streaming video from C-SPAN:

University of Nevada-Las Vegas history professor David Schwartz specializes in the history of gambling in America. In today’s class, Professor Schwartz—who is also the director of UNLV’s Center for Gaming Research—focuses on the early history of the Las Vegas Strip in the 1940s and 1950s

via Lectures in History: Birth of the Las Vegas Strip | C-SPAN.

Here is some context: This is the sixth lecture in a 15-lecture course called “The History of Casinos” that covers, you guessed it, the development of casinos. The week before, we talk about the origins of legal gaming in Nevada and handle the growth of gambling halls in Reno, Downtown Las Vegas, and a few other places in the state. The week after, we cover the 1950s boom along the Strip.

All in all, it’s 1:36:15 of Vegas casino history that I think is pretty important. When the American History TV producers approached me about recording one of my lectures, I gave them a choice of topics and this is the one they settled on, and I agree that it’s something that is more likely to capture the public imagination than the week before.

If all goes well, my next book project will be, more or less, a print version of this class–an easy-to-understand, smart-but-not-burdened-by-jargon look at how the casino industry in America grew. If you happen to know a publisher who’d be interested in working together on a project like that, please contact me.

Me on American History TV

Earlier this semester, a camera crew filmed one of my GAM 495 lectures so it could be broadcast as part of C SPAN’s American History TV series. It will air this weekend:

University of Nevada-Las Vegas history professor David Schwartz specializes in the history of gambling in America. In today’s class, Professor Schwartz—who is also the director of UNLV’s Center for Gaming Research—focuses on the early history of the Las Vegas Strip in the 1940s and 1950s.

Airing: Saturday 8PM ET & Midnight; Sunday 1PM ET

Lectures in History: Birth of the Las Vegas Strip

I’m really happy to see gambling history get a place in a forum that has some pretty important topics in history. I think that the changes that happened in Las Vegas in the 1940s and 1950s are significant not just for the Strip, but for broader American culture, and it is an honor to have the chance to share some of my work with a general history audience.

If that link doesn’t take you to the full lecture this Monday, I’ll add one that does.

I’d like to thank everyone at C SPAN, the crew from CoverEdge, and naturally everyone in my GAM 495 class.