Rebuilding the Gulf Coast

The major casino companies involved in the Gulf Coast have already announced that they intend to rebuild. But will it be on land or water?
Mississippi gov. Haley Barbour, speaking more broadly of the general reconstruction of the region, said that “if we rebuild the Coast and South Mississippi back just the way it was before, we will have failed.” So does that mean that the legislature will change the state’s gaming laws to allow for casinos on land?
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A t-shirt for the times

I’m waiting for this poster to arrive in the mail some day…it’s an even-money bet as to whether I would find a place for it in my office.
It would balance out my brand new “ROBOTcasino” poster. This isn’t a parody, either: the “Taiwan Fulgent Entertainment Company” was giving them away at G2E. The poster shows the company’s stock of table games manned by robotic arms and touts their vitures, such as “single card fetching.”

I’d steer you to the ROBOTcasino website, but it seems to be down.

On a serious note, if you’d like to help some very human casino dealers and other employees who need it, please make a donation to the Gaming Industry Katrina Relief Fund.

A new exhibit

I had a ton of great stuff with which to inform and entertain everyone today, but the only news I have time for is directly work-related. With the help of Nishanth Bezawada, my grad student assistant, I have posted a beta version of the online version of the now-famous G2E 2005 exhibit “A Centennial Celebration of Gaming in Las Vegas.”

While, in the big picture, this is a pretty small accomplishment, I’d like to thank everyone at G2E, the AGA, Freeman, and of course UNLV whose hard work is reflected in this exhibit.

What was available last week to only the 30,000 G2E attendees and exhibitors is now free for all, thanks to the Internet.

It’s still beta, BTW, so there are some bugs to be worked out.

Check out the Centennial Celebration of Gaming in Las Vegas now, or miss out on the fun!

More G2E

As I write this, the Global Gaming Expo 2005 is in its waning hours. There are a host of stories in the LV Sun and RJ about the technologies unleashed this year–mostly server-based gaming, which is largely still in testing mode.

There were a ton of attendees and exhibitors this year. I’ve spent most of the past 2 days walking the floor and picking up promotional materials for the archives at the Center for Gaming Research, so I’m totally ready to move on. It’s been fun seeing the Centennial Celebration of Gaming in Las Vegas exhibit in action–while I’ve put together several online exhibits, this is the first “real” one that I’ve been invovled with. Everyone from G2E and Freeman did a great job with it. Expect pictures soon, and the online version should be live within two weeks.

At G2E

For those of you who are curious, my session this morning at G2E on the Wire Act was, I think, a real success. Bob Blumenfeld gave a great summary of the US/Antigua WTO case and Bill White from Global Cyber discussed the possibilities of intra-state legal Internet gaming. All in all, an interesting session. I couldn’t believe that, at 8 in the morning, we had well over 100 people attend.

In other news, the official ribbon-cutting took place this morning. In some ways mere formality, in some bizarre street theater, I won’t soon forget it.
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G2E is here!

As the Las Vegas Review Journal will tell you, the Global Gaming Expo has arrived. I was down there yesterday–working on a Sunday again–to drop off some materials for the big centennial of Las Vegas gaming exhibit, and the place was already buzzing. I’m expecting to be down there most of this week, so chances for postings are slim, unless I can sneak off and post something at the convention center.

Read the RJ article, if only to learn that George Lopez has a penny slot “based on his entertainment persona.” What else would it be based on? Him getting his car smog checked? Can I say that this website is based on my “academic persona?”

Seriously, as I was cruising the G2E website, I found a link that I want to pass on: the American Gaming Association’s Hurricane Katrina Casino Employee Relief Fund. I’m going to put up a permanent link here soon for it.

If you’re at the show, stop by the exhibit to say hi. It’s right next to registration in front of the main exhibit hall.

Gambling after Katrina

I know people say that the casino industry is recession-proof, but this might be taking this too far. Steve Lopez of the LA Times has a great story about someone gambling in Lake Charles, Louisiana, even though his New Orleans-area home is still underwater. Evidence, perhaps, that the human urge to gamble is almost as strong as the survival instinct.
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One year in

It’s hard to believe, but Die is Cast is one year old this week. Here’s a few random thoughts:

If Rome on HBO couldn’t get any cooler, there was gambling–and a gambling-related brawl–that, according to episode 2’s title, “brought down the republic.”

Was the gambling scene historically accurate? In a sense, yes: all the archaeological and historical evidence shows that gambling was a Roman fascination. I’m not sure about the game, though: my English-language research into Roman gambling (for Roll the Bones, of course), led me to conclude that the most common Roman gambling game used three dice. But the depiction of gambling is definitely on the mark: as graffiti found at Pompeii makes clear, both cheating at gambling and gambling-related brawling was commonplace.

In a totally unrelated observation, this is the coolest sentence I’ve read online in a while:

Sci-fi condo living for people who have too much money to spend.

It’s from a Vegas Tripping feature about the Project City Center. For those interested in the near future of Vegas, this is a must read.

Also, Cutting the Wire is now out. I signed three copies at Mandalay Bay’s Reading Room this weekend. Amazon says that it hasn’t been released yet, but I have physically seen copies of the book for sale. Maybe the Internet isn’t always right about everything. Perish the thought.

Anyway, thanks to everyone who stops by here and reads my posts. In honor of the 1-year anniversary, I’ve posted a gallery of desktop wallpaper that you might find interesting.

Hail, Augustus

I never thought of this until now, but wouldn’t it be funny if, in keeping with the success of Spamalot, they tweaked Caesars Palace to be more like Life of Brian than Gladiator? That’s just a thought as I prepare to go to the grand opening of the Augustus Tower.
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