The Las Vegas Strip of the Future – Vegas Seven

I have a big feature in this week’s Vegas Seven: The Las Vegas Strip of the Future. Fittingly, I approached the future by taking in the past:

Looking at how the Las Vegas Strip has evolved over the past 60 years can give us an idea of where it is headed. We’ll survey what’s popular in three facets—gambling, entertainment and nightlife—by decade to give us a feel for how the landscape will continue to transform over the next 10 years.

Times change. Tastes change. So Las Vegas changes.

Read more: The Las Vegas Strip of the Future – Vegas Seven

Traveling back through time by immersing myself in the back issues of local magazine was, as always, an amazing journey. It was such a different place in so many ways. Anyway, I hope you like this walk from memory lane to the near-future.

Lucky Dragon 3 Months in | Vegas Seven

This week’s Green Felt Journal looks at how Lucky Dragon has adjusted in its first 3 months of operation, and what it means for Las Vegas casinos:

The latest Las Vegas hotel casino to open, the Lucky Dragon, has been up and running for more than three months. It may not have the immediate landscape-altering impact of the Strip behemoths that preceded it, but the way the casino is running could have profound implications on how Las Vegas casinos do business in the future.

Read more: Lucky Dragon Casino’s Influence May Be Greater Than Its Size

Interviewing Dave Jacoby, he was really into the rolling chip program, so that became a big focus of the article.

Why Las Vegas Casinos Need Better Infrastructure – Vegas Seven

In the latest Green Felt Journal, I talk about the importance of casino infrastructure:

It’s not as sexy as a new restaurant opening or a big winner in a sports betting contest, but infrastructure—all the stuff that needs to work for any large building to operate—has been in the news quite a bit lately for Las Vegas casinos.

Read more: Why Las Vegas Casinos Need Better Infrastructure – Vegas Seven

This is important, but not always interesting. With all of the power outages happening lately, I figured it was time to explore how resorts mitigate those problems.

Will Expansion Mean Contraction? | Global Gaming Business Magazine

In this month’s Global Gaming Business, I take a look at what impact the expansion of casino gaming has had on mature jurisdictions:

But since then, further expansion has put pressure on “mature” gaming markets like Atlantic City, Mississippi and Delaware, which have seen revenues decline. This raises the question of whether further expansion will do more harm than good.

To get a better appreciation of where we are heading, I compiled a set of data with total annual casino and racino gaming revenues for all 23 states, and slot data for Connecticut’s two tribal casinos.

The results? Since 2001, the Northeast has increased its overall share of the nation’s gaming win, rising from 24 percent to 30 percent. The South and Midwest have remained relatively constant, with some weakening in the South despite the addition of Florida racinos to the mix. And the West, thanks to Nevada, still is dominant, though the Northeast is catching up.

via Will Expansion Mean Contraction? | Global Gaming Business Magazine.

This is the question that everyone’s asking now–I hope that looking at some hard data will help answer the question.

Crime and Perception | Vegas Seven

In today’s Green Felt Journal, I take on a subject that some in the industry don’t like discussing–whether high-profile crimes mean the Strip is less safe than it should be:

When tragedy strikes, police and tourism officials are usually quick to stress that these are random events in an otherwise safe city. They point to the fact that crime rates on the Strip have been falling lately down in 2012 and early 2013 as proof that a Vegas vacation is fundamentally safe. Is this just public relations spin, or do they have a point?

via Crime and Perception | Vegas Seven.

Some feel that the best move is to ignore crime on the Strip, and to downplay incidents that get public attention as random, unconnected acts. I disagree; I think that by being honest with visitors about crime, and by educating them about how to better protect themselves, the city will get a much better handle on its crime problem by getting out in front of it than by pretending it doesn’t exist.

Author David G. Schwartz summarizes chapter 13, “The…

Author David G. Schwartz summarizes chapter 13, “The Burger King Revolution: Las Vegas bounces back for the first time,” of Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling (Casino Edition).

If you don’t see a video above, go here: http://youtu.be/SlyHlAfgxqM

This chapter covers the changes that tranformed Las Vegas in the 1980s. First, it deals with the forces that led to the mob’s decline and eventual exit from the ownership of casinos in Las Vegas. Then, it discusses the trends that led to a crisis for Las Vegas in the early 1980s, and how Las Vegas rebounded by remaking itself to appeal to mass-market and family vacationers.

Some casinos discussed include the Stardust, Riviera, Circus Circus, and Tropicana.

Author David G. Schwartz summarizes chapter 13, “The Burger King Revolution: Las Vegas bounces back for the first time,” of Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling (Casino Edition).

If you don’t see a video above, go here: http://youtu.be/SlyHlAfgxqM

This chapter covers the changes that tranformed Las Vegas in the 1980s. First, it deals with the forces that led to the mob’s decline and eventual exit from the ownership of casinos in Las Vegas. Then, it discusses the trends that led to a crisis for Las Vegas in the early 1980s, and how Las Vegas rebounded by remaking itself to appeal to mass-market and family vacationers.

Some casinos discussed include the Stardust, Riviera, Circus Circus, and Tropicana.

The History of Our Future | Vegas Seven

I’ve been wanting to write more about Macau, which is such a huge gambling story, for a while, and when given a feature slot for Vegas Seven, jumped on the chance to talk about Macau’s impact on Las Vegas. The result is this week’s cover story:

Back in the early days—2006 or so—American executives signing on for tours of duty in Macau felt like they were stepping into the Wild West. Street violence had subsided since the island’s 1999 reversion to mainland control, but there was still a sense that this was a frontier, a place where anything could happen. And when strangers rode into town—often from the former frontier town of Las Vegas—they went where strangers always go first: the saloon. In this case, that meant the Embassy Bar at what was then the Mandarin Oriental hotel. It was an admittedly upscale saloon, but for an expat executive it was an oasis, a free-port, a place to make crucial first connections and ease into Chinese life. It offered just enough reassuring familiarity, and just enough tantalizing strangeness.

via The History of Our Future | Vegas Seven.

At 4,000 words, this is a long magazine piece for me, but I think you’ll agree it packs a lot of story into those words. The great art really helps. I’m as proud of this as I am of anything I’ve written so far.

South Dakota antes up

In 1988, South Dakota voters authorized gambling in Deadwood. Originally, the stakes were limited to $5, with mandates on maximum casino size and requirements that casino owners be “bona fide” South Dakota residents keeping major Las Vegas-based operators out of the market.

You can read more about the proliferation of casinos across the U.S. 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 1988, South Dakota voters authorized gambling in Deadwood. Originally, the stakes were limited to $5, with mandates on maximum casino size and requirements that casino owners be “bona fide” South Dakota residents keeping major Las Vegas-based operators out of the market.

You can read more about the proliferation of casinos across the U.S. in Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling

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

Casinos in Canada

Casinos evolved quite differently in Canada from the United States, following a mix of the European statist model and the U.S. free enterprise one. Most casinos in Canada are owned by either a provincial government or run for charitable organizations.

Most of the charitable casinos are in Western Canada. The first provincially-owned casino in Eastern Canada, Quebec’s Casino de Montreal, opened in 1993, followed the following year by Ontario’s Casino Windsor, right across the border from downtown Detroit.

There is much more interesting material about casinos in Canada and everywhere else in Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling

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

Casinos evolved quite differently in Canada from the United States, following a mix of the European statist model and the U.S. free enterprise one. Most casinos in Canada are owned by either a provincial government or run for charitable organizations.

Most of the charitable casinos are in Western Canada. The first provincially-owned casino in Eastern Canada, Quebec’s Casino de Montreal, opened in 1993, followed the following year by Ontario’s Casino Windsor, right across the border from downtown Detroit.

There is much more interesting material about casinos in Canada and everywhere else in Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling

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

Me @ G2E: Social media insights

A little while ago I received an invitation to participate in G2E‘s conference track. Here are the details:

9:15AM – 10:15AM (Wednesday, October 05, 2011)

Social Media Insights, Part III: ROI

Although it officially costs nothing to tweet, the hard costs associated with staffing and content development are undeniable. This session will examine how casinos are using Facebook, Twitter and other avenues to produce a quantifiable return on investment. Experts will present statistics from casinos using social media to various degrees of success and discuss why approaches based on market size, target customers and similar factors may prove most effective.

Key Takeaways:

# Creating a quantifiable return on social media investment

# How to measure the real costs

# Finding the correct approach for your market

via All Sessions – Education & Conference Programs – Global Gaming Expo.

As soon as I get the names of the speakers, I’ll share them with you. Looks like I’ll be doing another Casino Twitter Study between now and then.