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Commentaries

Annual LVCVA study creates profile of average Las Vegas visitor




The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority spends marketing dollars in its budget based on research gathered through 3,600 in-person interviews, 300 a month over 12 months. The result of those random interviews produces the LVCVA’s annual Las Vegas Visitor… [continue reading]

An Update on the Current Status of Gaming Expansion Legislation




With one quarter of 2017 in the books, it is a good time to look at the state of gaming expansion in the country.  As of the middle of April, eight states – Pennsylvania, Alabama, New Hampshire, Illinois, Connecticut, Florida,… [continue reading]

In social gaming, rising DoubleDown tide lifts all boats




If you thought last summer’s sale of Caesars Entertainment’s Playtika social casino business to a group of Chinese investors for $4.4 billion was a one-off anomaly, you weren’t the only one. Fast forward nine months, and International Game Technology has… [continue reading]

Bumped – or Dragged – From Airplanes




Can casinos learn any lessons from the recent incident that show a bloody United Airlines passenger being dragged from an airplane? Brad and I have had a lot of personal experience with being bumped off airplanes the last 30+ years… [continue reading]

Indian gaming catches up, then passes, commercial competition




Indian gaming began booming only about 25 years ago, three decades behind Las Vegas. But according to recent figures, gamblers now spend more at Native American casinos nationwide than they do at traditional, commercial casinos. Alan Meister, principal economist for… [continue reading]

Uptight NFL obviously still adjusting to its Vegas decision




After much consideration, I’ve decided watching the National Football League’s official relationship with Las Vegas develop is going to be fun. Not fun in the way, say, that watching the circus come to town is fun. Nothing so tame. It’s… [continue reading]

Book Review: A Brief History of Video Games, by Richard Stanton




Video games are all the range at casino conferences these days, because of the pressing need to attract millennials. But video games are more than an answer to a current casino crisis: they are an art form of their own,… [continue reading]

Off-reservation gaming comes to my backyard – and it’s not pretty




The issue of off-reservation tribal casinos is one of those dry and frustrating topics I’ve generally tried to avoid when reporting and writing commentaries on the casino industry. I’m someone who looks for big picture trend lines, so analyzing the… [continue reading]

NFL still doesn’t get Vegas, even with Raiders




LAS VEGAS — Sometimes the bumbling bozos in charge of the NFL just can’t help themselves. Or maybe they’ve been so afraid of Las Vegas for so long that they automatically start hyperventilating every time a player buys a plane… [continue reading]

Is Skill-Based Gaming Really the Future of Slot Play?




You might have missed it, but Nevada’s gaming industry just passed a milestone. The first skill-based slot machines debuted in late March at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, and they provide a window into one possible future… [continue reading]

And It Has Only Been Thirty Years




Indian gaming is big business and getting bigger every year.  According to the annual Casino City Report by Alan Meister, the 474 tribal casinos generated $30.5 billion in gaming revenue in 2015, an increase of 5.5 percent over 2014.  By… [continue reading]

Casinos aren’t only one chasing millennial money




Gambling operators who are frustrated by seeing millennials shy away from slots are not the only ones who are challenged in finding what appeals to a demographic that is quickly becoming dominant. Jeff Fromm, co-author of “Marketing to Millennials,” gave… [continue reading]

The Texas lottery is no place for anonymous winners.




Imagine winning a million or more dollars in the Texas lottery. Life and family history would inextricably shift into two separate timelines: Before Winning and After Winning, with the latter likely marked by unwelcome attention from the media, from those… [continue reading]

Walters loses big in federal court, now says he’ll double down




Even his greatest enemies — and he’s had significant ones — would admit that sports bettor and developer Billy Walters enjoyed one of the longest runs of luck in Las Vegas history. Walters had three decades as America’s best-known sports… [continue reading]

Pain, then gain— how a casino chose to go smoke-free




Robert Low offers succinct advice to any fellow casino owners thinking about making their operations smoke-free. “Get prepared for some pain!” says Low, who voluntarily banned smoking inside his Palace Resort Casino in Biloxi, Miss., in 2011. However, he adds… [continue reading]

For gambling advocates, Raiders’ relocation offers opportunity




“The question is whether the presence of a franchise in a place where gambling has been legal makes it more likely there will be match fixing,” said Jennifer Rodgers, a Columbia University law professor who teaches a class on corruption… [continue reading]

The Future Of Online Gambling Under Attorney General Jeff Sessions




Luminescent signboards flashed across the streets and alleyways as colossal skyscrapers soared upwards to speak with the heavens. The jingle of coins and the rumbling of roulette wheels approached the ear from all directions. Inside, you could hear the flamboyant… [continue reading]

AGA poll highlights need for education on sports betting issue




The American Gaming Association this week unveiled what is surely the most exhaustive and methodologically rigorous survey ever conducted of pro football fans – more than 45,000 of them – and their views toward sports betting. The poll found that… [continue reading]

House, Senate trying for Florida gambling deal – but it’s complicated




Will Florida’s multiple gambling challenges be resolved this year? Or it be yet another year of false optimism? Earlier this week, the Florida Legislature hit the halfway point of its 60-day session, and a person could make an argument either… [continue reading]

Walters’s Win Streak Ends With Insider-Trading Conviction




Billy Walters made a fortune wagering on sports. He wasn’t as good betting on an insider-trading jury. Walters was convicted Friday in the highest-profile — and most colorful — insider-trading trial in years. Testimony featured golfer Phil Mickelson and billionaire investor… [continue reading]

Slot players: Don’t let someone push your buttons




Question for slot officials: Do your players know the slot rules? Should they know them? I ask after writing the story of Jan Flato, who told a lady friend to “push the button for good luck” at the Seminole Hard… [continue reading]

Macau Rolls the Dice on China’s Luxury Renaissance




The days of President Xi Jinping’s austerity drive in China are rapidly fading. Homes in Shenzhen now cost more, per square meter, than they do in Japan. Kweichow Moutai Co., maker of the most-prized brand of baijiu sorghum liquor, looks… [continue reading]

MGM National Harbor’s new car smell yet to wear off




Four months after its sensational opening, MGM National Harbor is going strong. The sights of the opening weekend will not be forgotten anytime soon – the thousands of people lined up in the cold awaiting entry, backed-up traffic as far… [continue reading]

Orion cabinets are a success for AGS




AGS officials are calling the introduction of their new Orion cabinet the most exciting product launch in the company’s history. Based on early returns, that’s not an overstatement. About 50 of the cabinets have been placed in recent weeks at… [continue reading]

Another major news outlet gives nod to the evolution of sports betting




Sports betting’s long, strange trip from American pariah to legitimate business continues to make headlines. Take the front-page story in the most recent weekend edition of The Wall Street Journal: “Leagues Warm Up To Legal Betting.” That’s not exactly big… [continue reading]