At the Intersection of Social Games and Casino Games – Vegas Seven

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 Seven

I have a feeling that this is an intersection I’ll be revisiting many times in the future.

Casino Industry Makes a Bid for Millennial Attention – Vegas Seven

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 are few jurisdictions without gambling that look to adopt it anytime soon. While there is some growth in national gaming win, many states have seen flat or even declining results

Read more: Casino Industry Makes a Bid for Millennial Attention – Vegas Seven

Casino gambling is at a transition point, and it is fascinating to watch it play out. The industry changed a great deal as it grew and matured. But is it still nimble enough to pivot and deal with the challenges of maturity and changing customer preferences? That’s the big, big question.

Join Me and Oscar at Inspire to Talk Casino

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 Movies series begins with a screening of Martin Scorcese’s 1995 classic “Casino,” featuring live commentary by David Schwartz, Director of the Center of Gaming Research at UNLV and author of Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling, and Oscar Goodman, former Mayor of the City of Las Vegas and, y’know, kind of the king of all he surveys. Hell, he’s actually in “Casino,” playing himself. You can’t get any closer to the story of “Casino” than actually being a part of it.

via Introducing Seven Essential Vegas Movies at Inspire | DTLV

I have no idea how this is going to play out and have no script prepared, which leads me to think this is going to be a lot of fun. Join us!

The Spa Casino Disaster

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

Go here to read an excerpt from the book, or learn where to buy your copy.

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

Go here to read an excerpt from the book, or learn where to buy your copy.

A Winning Prince

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

Go here to read an excerpt from the book, or learn where to buy your copy.

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

Go here to read an excerpt from the book, or learn where to buy your copy.

This period image shows roulette play at Bad Homburg, one of the…

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. 

Go here to read an excerpt from the book, or learn where to buy your copy.

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. 

Go here to read an excerpt from the book, or learn where to buy your copy.

Circus Circus Success

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

Go here to read an excerpt from the book, or learn where to buy your copy.

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

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


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

Gambling’s up here

Gambling is down almost everywhere in the US, but it’s roaring ahead in Albania. From AFP:

Albanians spent more than 100 million dollars on gambling last year, an increase of almost 70 percent on the year in one of Europes poorest countries, the tax office said Thursday.

"During 2008, Albanians spent more than 100 million dollars on gambling, including sports betting," compared with 60 million in 2007, the Tax office said in a report.

Lottery, sports betting and casinos are privately run in Albania.

"For several years, the income from gambling and other betting activities has recorded a rather considerable increase," said Redian Kristo of the office that controls gambling.

The government body, a part of the Finance Ministry, was founded recently to monitor the gaming sector, which is suspected of abuse by money launderers.

Albanian authorities estimate that in January alone, money spent on gambling had risen by 30 percent compared with the same month in 2008.

The Balkan country has one casino, more than 20 bookmakers, 22 companies that organise gambling games and nine offering lottery tickets. Thousands of betting shops are scattered across the country.

AFP: Gambling soars in impoverished Albania.

Does this mean that we’ll be hearing about plans for MGM Grand Tirana soon?