Esports Draw an Audience – Vegas Seven

In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I reflect back on EVO 2017, which I attended a while back:

Which brings us to EVO 2017, which took place at the Mandalay Bay last month. EVO is short for the Evolution Championship Series, an annual tournament that seeks to crown the best players in several fighting video games, one of many popular genres of esports. This isn’t the first time the tournament has been held in Las Vegas—it’s been here since 2005.

Read more: Esports Draw an Audience More Interested In Fun Than Payouts – Vegas Seven

If you don’t know anything about the tournament, it features fighting games like Street Fighter and Tekken. Esports in Las Vegas are interesting to me because they show (I think) how esports are becoming more mainstream and (simultaneously) how Las Vegas continues to adapt to a post-gambling-monopoly existence. People come to Las Vegas to do many things, and gambling seems to be sliding further down the list.

I’m not saying that’s a good thing or a bad thing; I’m just saying it’s happening.

If you don’t see a video, it’s…

If you don’t see a video, it’s here: http://youtu.be/EqZ82UwJuBQ

Author David G. Schwartz summarizes chapter 15, “A Clockwork Volcano: Las Vegas Strikes Back,” of Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling (Casino Edition).

This chapter starts by discussing some of the technological changes that made possible the rise of slot machines, like the introduction of video poker and wide area progressive games like Megabucks. It then talks about The Mirage, which opened in 1989 and kicked off the 1990s boom for Las Vegas. Although it completely changed the Las Vegas Strip, before it opened, many were skeptical that it would succeed.

We then learn about other important companies like MGM Mirage and the Mandalay Resort Group, which, through a series of mergers (including one with Mirage Resorts) became MGM Resorts. Las Vegas Sands, which owns the Venetian and Palazzo, is also profiled.

For more information about the book, visit http://www.rollthebonesbook.com

If you don’t see a video, it’s here: http://youtu.be/EqZ82UwJuBQ

Author David G. Schwartz summarizes chapter 15, “A Clockwork Volcano: Las Vegas Strikes Back,” of Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling (Casino Edition).

This chapter starts by discussing some of the technological changes that made possible the rise of slot machines, like the introduction of video poker and wide area progressive games like Megabucks. It then talks about The Mirage, which opened in 1989 and kicked off the 1990s boom for Las Vegas. Although it completely changed the Las Vegas Strip, before it opened, many were skeptical that it would succeed.

We then learn about other important companies like MGM Mirage and the Mandalay Resort Group, which, through a series of mergers (including one with Mirage Resorts) became MGM Resorts. Las Vegas Sands, which owns the Venetian and Palazzo, is also profiled.

For more information about the book, visit http://www.rollthebonesbook.com

Happy birthday Bellagio

It’s hard to believe, but the Bellagio is a decade old. Ten years ago today, Steve Wynn taught the fountains to play…metaphorically, I guess. That’s right, on October 15, 1998, the Bellagio opened its doors. Here’s a reminder from the October 15, 1998 LV Sun:

And so it begins: the latest, the greatest — and what many believe will be the last — tidal wave of new resort openings in Las Vegas.

Tonight's unveiling of Bellagio, the most expensive hotel-casino ever built, begins a two-year binge of resort openings that will boost the Las Vegas-area hotel-room inventory 20.5 percent in the next 24 months.

The critical question: Will those $9 billion of new resorts stimulate enough visitor demand to fill — year-round — the 127,542 total rooms scheduled to be open in Las Vegas by 2001?

Strip casino industry counting on ‘new’ Vegas – Las Vegas Sun

I was looking back at the coverage of the Bellagio’s opening for another project, and I was amazed at how pessimistic it was. If you’ve got Proquest or another archival search engine you can confirm this for yourself, but you can take my word for it: there was a lot of doom and gloom: gaming stocks are sliding, the city is overbuilt, no one will pay $200 for a hotel room in Vegas. The article’s lede reflects this: it speculates that after the 1998-2000 boom, there will be nothing more. Sound familiar?

Ten years later with another Wynn hotel opening, we’ve reached the same point in the cycle, although things are much shriller now.

So ten years from now will some intrepid blogger pull up today’s stories and make fun of the 2008 pundits for being scaredy cats? Maybe. The pessimists weren’t totally wrong: Steve Wynn’s stock price continued to take a beating. But in the global view, it would be hard to argue that if we went back to 1998 and prevented the Bellagio, Paris, Mandalay Bay, Aladdin, and Venetian from opening that Las Vegas would be better off than it is today.

Strip shell game!

It’s hard to believe, but one of the oldest gambling con games is alive and well in the shadow of the Las Vegas Strip. I snapped some pictures of a shell game in action on Monday between the Tropicana and Hooters. Technically that’s not the Strip, but it’s in the Strip tourist corridor, so the headline is accurate. Click through to see indisputable photographic evidence and some homespun analysis.
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