Now is a time to remember and reflect upon someone truly remarkable. He left an indelible imprint upon the gaming industry and gambling culture. His name was Stanley Sludikoff. He was a pioneer, a visionary, an educator, and a giant.
Today, there are thousands of gambling-related websites in many different languages. There are online casinos and sportsbooks operating in more than 100 countries. There are countless books, guides, and other periodicals, including several hundred titles on poker alone. There’s a treasure trove of gambling information out there, both narratives and on strategy. It’s virtually impossible to remember an earlier era when none of this existed.
With Greg Carlin, CEO of Rush Street Gaming at G2E 2015
Preface: This past week, I attended the 2015 Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas. This was my eighth time to attend what is the world’s largest annual casino and gambling conference. I’ve had the honor of speaking and appearing on two panel discussions in past years. However, this time I attended solely as a media representative with the intent to report on much of what I learned, and speculate on the direction this sector is headed. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own and do not reflect any of my past or present employers or associates.
[Gaming vs. Gambling: I do not use the terms gaming and gambling interchangeably. Gaming refers to interactive games not involving wagering. Gambling refers to games of chance which including wagering. Hence, when “gaming” is used herein any of my writings, it’s not a euphemism for “gambling.”]
For most, including those of us who now live here, Las Vegas started out as a fantasy land.
Las Vegas was a giant amusement park for adults where you played long and partied harder, and slept as little as humanly possible. Given the typical Vegas vacation was perhaps 3 or 4 days, at most, we didn’t want to waste any precious time napping when instead we could be down in the casino gambling at the tables, seeing extravagant shows that were also ridiculously affordable, or feasting on $2.99 all-you-can-eat buffets, often comped. There was plenty of time to sleep when we returned home. Las Vegas was about staying up all day and all night, and maximizing the total vacation experience.
Within just the past two weeks, I’ve been bombarded with several e-mails and even a few cold calls on my cell phone from “marketers” offering to sell me lists of active casino gamblers and poker players. I estimate the number of e-mails received at about 12-15. I’ve counted four phone calls (three left messages).
What I want to know is this: What in the hell is going on? Why is this happening? Can someone explain?
The problem with kicking Atlantic City while it’s down and out is — the cruelty of overstating the obvious.
At the risk of doing so, this place is a living hell.
Then, there’s the troublesome issue of who ends up suffering the most. Not the bankers or stockholders or organized crime or the state government which has milked the fuck out of what used to be a cash cow to the point of exhaustion and collapse. They did fine. They’ll survive. Rather, it’s the thousands of innocent people who end up paying the ultimate price of such unbridled greed and institutionalized stupidity.