My latest for Forbes.com is a look into the revival of bingo in Las Vegas: Bingo’s not the newest game in town, but in the hyper-competitive Downtown Las Vegas market, one casino is using it to appeal to both traditional and younger players. While casinos often lose money at the game itself, its passionate players …
My second piece for Forbes.com is a look at what the math of slot machines means for the casino and the player: Slot machines remain the most important money-making part of casinos in the United States. In many states, casinos make between 65 and 80 percent of their gambling income from slots. In Las Vegas, …
My latest Green Felt Journal: International Game Technology recently announced that it is selling its social gaming division, Double Down Interactive, for $825 million. The sale could offer a glimpse into how casinos will be working with social games in the future. Read more: At the Intersection of Social Games and Casino Games – Vegas …
In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I take a look at the new machines at this year’s just-concluded Global Gaming Expo: Some subtext of the 2016 show (if you haven’t been keeping up on recent gaming developments) is that the streak of expansion that drove the industry from the late 1980s is largely over; there …
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 …
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.
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.
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.
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.
This is the introductory overview to the book, giving an idea of its scope—and the changes in the Casino Edition.
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.
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.