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Posted by on Aug 13, 2012 in Blog, Las Vegas, Politics | 5 comments

Moguls of Hypocricy: Casino Magnates Adelson, Wynn, and Trump Whine While Fortunes Skyrocket

 

 

Leave it to three casino industry tycoons to display the most brazen acts of hypocrisy in recent memory.

What would you call someone who repeatedly blasts our president for his “socialist-style economy,” while raking in billions in profits during the time frame the president has been in office?

What would you call someone who refers to our leader “the greatest wet blanket to business,” yet managed to double the size of his casino empire and increase his net personal worth by $200 million during the president’s first term?

What would you call someone who declared bankruptcy four years ago (at the end of the previous administration), and then preposterously claimed his net worth is several billion today?

If you’re having trouble coming up with the right words, let me help you.

Liars.

Hypocrites.

It’s impossible to imagine three more hypocritical blowhards than casino moguls Sheldon Adelson, Steve Wynn, and Donald Trump.  Their political posturing would be side-splitting if it were not so downright shameful.

The three current and former casino owner-executives have repeatedly blasted President Obama since he took office in early 2009.  They are certainly entitled to their opinions — outlandish as they may be.  But the facts clearly reveal, like the rest of the top one-percent of wealthiest Americans, they have enriched themselves handsomely under the current administration.

But that doesn’t stop the posturing nor the hyperbole.  Never let the facts get in the way of creative sound bites.  President Obama is anti-business, they say.  President Obama is bad for the economy, they say.  President Obama is a Socialist, they say.  Yada.  Yada.  Yada.

One would think the three musketeers of malaise have suffered while President Obama’s been residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  One would be led to believe their businesses have lost money or that they suffered personal financial setbacks.  But a look at the facts reveals quite the opposite.  In fact, these three hypocrites have – by any measure – made astronomical profits since President Obama took office.

Let’s look at the record, shall we?

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Posted by on Jul 29, 2012 in Las Vegas, Sports Betting | 0 comments

Hell on Earth: The MGM Grand (Las Vegas)

 

MGM Grand exterior hero shot

 

PREFACE:  This is a difficult blog to write.

Each and every week, I receive a text-message inviting me to play in a local poker tournament.  The weekly tourney is $120 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. — hosted at the MGM Grand.

My distaste for the MGM Grand and everything associated with the monstrosity is widely-known and well-documented.  It’s been the subject of columns in both newspapers — the Las Vegas Sun and Las Vegas Review-Journal.  I won’t reopen those wounds and get into details now (see a future blog for that).  I only say that I was fully prepared to move on emotionally and give this giant money-sucking leech another chance when I made my first entrance into the MGM Grand in four years.

And so, last Tuesday night — prompted by an invite from poker pro Karina Jett, the extraordinary hostess at the MGM Grand (probably the only wise executive decision they’ve ever made here was to hire Jett) — I decided to release those bitter bygones and set foot inside a casino that still owes me thousands of dollars.

At 6:30 pm, I pulled into the MGM Grand parking lot.  Not much as changed in this regard since my last visit.  One still must maneuver a giant maze of lanes and floors and then walk a mile to finally get to the building entrance.  Indeed, it takes me perhaps five minutes inside what used to be the world’s largest hotel to instantly realize that ABSOLUTELY NOTHING has changed since I wrote the following review (which was posted at a gambling website back in 2002).

It should be noted that everything in the following review is a reflection of my experience there ten years ago.  But, it’s just as relevant now based on Tuesday night’s visit.  One update:  The MGM Grand now has a poker room, which has moved again.  For several years, it was located beneath a noisy nightclub.  The poker room has since been moved off to the side, which I will add is nothing to brag about.

Moreover, all of the events relating to my fallout at the MGM Grand in 2005 occurred well after this review was written.  So anyone who thinks I’m biased should be aware this review was originally written three years prior.

Here it goes.

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Posted by on Jul 26, 2012 in Blog, Las Vegas | 2 comments

Betting on the Smog Test

No Gambling Allowed Sign

 

Just when I was convinced Las Vegas had pretty much become like everywhere else, I was reminded once again that this city is a very unique place.

Yesterday, I renewed my car registration.  In Nevada, all vehicles must be smog checked once per year.  This means, you drive your car to local station where they run a series of diagnostic tests.  Sort of like Medicare, only it’s your car that gets a government-mandated check up, instead of you.

The cars are hooked up to a machine with a bunch of wires and switches and tested for emissions.  What this really means is — the state and the auto merchants get to shake you down for $20 a pop, per car, each and every year.

On the west side of Las Vegas, I pulled into what’s called a “smog station.”  Inside a small kiosk was a man who looked pretty much like you would imagine when I say the words “auto mechanic.”

“Need a smog check, today?” the man barked out as rolled down my window.

“Absolutely,” I replied.

As I passed my car keys over to the auto technician (that’s what they’re called now – “auto technicians”) I couldn’t help but notice a white sign plastered above the entrance.

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