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Commentaries

The economy is still strong, and that’s good for casinos




Twenty-five years ago, James Carville coined some famous words for Bill Clinton’s campaign staff: “The economy, stupid.” It’s also helpful to view the casino world through that lens. Of course, twenty-five years ago there was no Internet gaming, but the… [continue reading]

Making the IRS less capable of fighting fraud




IRS Criminal Investigation Chief Richard Weber made it sound almost simple. “Whether we are talking about complex offshore tax evasion cases, employment taxes, or other core mission taxes, or even a cyber case involving the dark net — the investigation… [continue reading]

Think the N.C.A.A. Bracket’s Too Easy? Try One of These Pools




Starting in the 1970s, eight prosecutors in the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section set up a standing meeting. Once a year, they would gather in the deputy attorney general’s conference room and run an elaborate pool for the N.C.A.A. men’s… [continue reading]

March Madness raises arguments for, against legal sports betting




March Madness is upon us, another time of the year when people who almost never set foot inside a race and sports book become sports experts and serious gamblers. It was only a month ago that twice-a-year bettors showed their… [continue reading]

The NCAA Tourney’s Economic Impact on the Las Vegas Strip




It is the biggest sports betting event of the year, bar none. True, the Big Game in the first week of February generates more excitement and action than any other single sports event, but the collective wagering on the March… [continue reading]

iGaming proponents offer persuasive arguments in Pa.




Supporters of Internet gaming in Pennsylvania make a convincing case that online wagering would increase state tax revenue and help – not harm – existing casinos. “Regulated online gaming, in cooperation with our partners on the land-based casino side, is… [continue reading]

Out With the Trump, In With the Hard Rock




Atlantic City got some surprising news on March 1st when it was announced that Carl Icahn found a buyer for the shuttered Trump Taj Mahal, Hard Rock International.  It was a rare ray of sunlight for a town that has… [continue reading]

Let the games begin: GameCo exec loves watching skill-based players dive in




Sure, there are control rooms with one-way mirrors where product designers can carefully watch selected customers interact with their latest creation. But GameCo CEO and founder Blaine Graboyes has someplace better. “I like to go to 10 North [the bar… [continue reading]

Utah cracks down on illegal gambling, sort of




Lovely state, Utah. Friendly people. Breath-taking natural wonders. High-performing schools. Yeah, pal, you’re a real goody two-shoes. Clean-living and conservative, the Beehive State is forever playing the Good Witch Glinda to Nevada’s Wicked Witch of the West. If states were… [continue reading]

Georgia on my mind – in 2018




A much-hyped push to introduce destination casino resorts in Georgia fell flat on its face last week. A key sponsor of the enabling legislation announced that his bill did not have the votes to pass the committee level, much less… [continue reading]

30 Years of Tribal Gaming




February 25, 1987, was a milestone date for gambling in America. On that day, the United States Supreme Court handed down its decision in California v. Cabazon Band of Mission Indians, a verdict that paved the way for the rapid… [continue reading]

As casino market tightens, ClubLinq helps marketing connect to players




Casinos diligently monitor their slot floor business, routinely shuffling machines in and around and out of the gaming area, based on how much action they attract. But when it comes to being up-to-date on the actual customers, there’s still plenty… [continue reading]

AGA’s Slane brings dynamic campaign, communications experience to gaming




Seeing the grand opening of MGM National Harbor outside of Washington, DC last December carried a special significance for Sara Slane, senior vice president for public affairs at the American Gaming Association. Slane, who previously used the last name Rayme… [continue reading]

Problem gambling is everyone’s problem, and that includes the casino industry




For many years, Las Vegas casino bosses have appeared to have a terrible time telling the difference between a good customer and a problem gambler. Most haven’t bothered to try. Gaming guys who can spot a card cheat at 100… [continue reading]

MGM’s new problem gambling program designed to raise awareness




There’s no such thing as luck, but compulsive gamblers should at least feel fortunate that the state’s largest employer is introducing a problem gambling program that locals will begin seeing soon. While it isn’t perfect, the GameSense program MGM Resorts… [continue reading]

Las Vegas still leads the pack in pursuit of Raiders




This being a town of odds, and knowing how much NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell loves talking Las Vegas and gambling, I thought it important to update those chances the Raiders will either remain in Oakland or relocate the franchise. I’m… [continue reading]

10 years into racino business, challenges from all sides




In recent years, many pari-mutuels across the country have converted to racinos. Those in Florida did so in 2004, with the narrowest of limitations. A statewide vote that year allowed horse tracks, dog tracks and jai-alai frontons in just two… [continue reading]

Will push by big banks to change money laundering rules reverberate through the casino industry?




America’s biggest banks are pushing for changes in how money laundering and other financial crimes are investigated. Shifting oversight – something that would have been impossible during the Obama administration – has already been suggested by the trade association for… [continue reading]

At 53, former Las Vegas showgirl takes on a new career




Even today, when there are few of the flesh-and-feather shows that helped build Las Vegas into the Entertainment Capital of the World, the showgirl remains a symbol of Las Vegas. Her legs and come-hither smile — they never seem to… [continue reading]

Book Review: A Man for All Markets: From Las Vegas to Wall Street, How I Beat the Dealer and the Market, by Edward O. Thorp.




Even if you don’t know the name Ed Thorp, you know his work. Thorp, more than anyone else, is responsible for blackjack card counting, the bane of many a manager of table games. During a 1958 Christmas vacation trip to… [continue reading]

Seven Year Switch: How Las Vegas Hospitality Has Changed




Pharaoh woke from a terrible dream. Seven beautiful, fat cows emerged from the river to graze. It was good to be the master of such bounty. Then seven hideous, skeletal cows rose up and devoured the sleek ones. The last… [continue reading]

Bill to lower gambling appears to be DOA in Nevada Legislature




If you’re old enough to fight and die for your country, you should be old enough to play blackjack and drop a few dollars into a slot machine at the local casino. At least, that’s the logic of Assemblyman Jim… [continue reading]

God Bless Them One and All




The second week of February had miserable weather in some parts of the country. Snow storms, blizzards and swollen rivers reaching flood level made headlines from New York to California. But three articles in particular caught my attention. One was… [continue reading]

Silver helps make it a weekend to celebrate for NBA




The first signal that Adam Silver was more enlightened than the average commissioner came just months into his reign when he broke ranks with other sports leagues by calling for the legalization of sports betting. Not only that, the NBA… [continue reading]

Sports gambling a South by Southwest topic? Yep…




There’s music, art, theater and … sports gambling? Yes, the biggest topic on the American Gaming Association’s agenda has crossed over into the mainstream now, and here’s the evidence: the South by Southwest Conference & Festivals, an annual gathering focused… [continue reading]