I usually let things slide. Especially in the service industry.
It’s perfectly understandable that some people have a bad day. Or, an employee has a personal issue and can’t fully concentrate on his job. Occasionally, things just go wrong — and it’s best to simply let it go.
No more. Not this time.
Once again, the M Casino Race and Sportsbook (Cantor Gaming) in Las Vegas provided yet more evidence that they’re quite possibly the most unprofessional staff in the entire city. I’ve visited lots of Las Vegas sportsbooks over the years, so that’s really saying something.
I don’t know her name.
It’s unlikely that I’ll ever know who she is. In fact, I probably won’t ever see her again.
But she certainly made an impression on me, and a positive one at that. Bear with me, the story is worth it.
Last night, I played No-Limit Hold’em ($2-5 blinds) at the Mohegan Sun Casino. The game was full on a very busy Friday night inside the poker room.
Could the new SLS Las Vegas be the latest casino flop, a la Atlantic City’s Revel?
Just weeks after a garish and glittery opening over Labor Day weekend — which attracted plenty of Hollywood celebrities, at least one big-time rock star, and rave reviews from the fawning local and gambling press desperate to put positive spin on languishing hopes for the long-awaited transformation at the northern end of The Strip — SLS Las Vegas appears to be in serious trouble. Already.
The problem: No one’s going there.
Yesterday, Sheldon Adelson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, which owns and operates The Venetian Luxury Hotel Resort Casino in Las Vegas, appeared as the keynote speaker at the 2014 Global Gaming Expo, which is the world’s largest casino industry annual convention.
To put it kindly, Mr. Adelson’s 50-minute talk received what I would classify as a lukewarm response. Unlike the Sands Expo Center’s main ballroom which was filled to full standing-room only capacity the day before, when fellow casino mogul Steve Wynn spoke to a similar gathering, the allure of Mr. Adelson’s appearance filled only about two-thirds of the seats in the room, despite ideal placement as the prime time speaker on the show’s biggest afternoon (Wednesday). Some attendees boycotting? Mass disinterest? Perhaps those who didn’t bother to show up to see the man who rules his mighty kingdom in the flesh already realized what most of the rest of us didn’t — that Mr. Adelson is a selfish, rambling bore. Despite this, one might have expected this far-more controversial public figure and political lightning rod to draw a significantly bigger crowd, but that didn’t happen (see photo evidence at conclusion of this article).
Day One at the 2014 Global Gaming Expo — otherwise known by the trifecta of letters “G2E” — included the following activities: 145 handshakes, 12 hugs, two kisses, 35 conversations, two meetings, one lunch, one dinner, 4 glasses of draft beer, 1.5 bottles of wine, 3 seminars, one question to a panel, and a brief argument with someone who works for the American Gaming Association. Plus I got to hang out with Lisa Tenner and learn about a new gambling television network. Other than that, nothing at all happened.
All this week, my mission is to see people and be seen. Not that I care much about either. We writers are oblivious to public persona. It’s trifle. Meaningless. Illusory. I’d much rather spend an hour crafting word to page than struggling to fit in at some social gathering everyone will soon forget about 15 minutes after it’s done. Cynical? Perhaps. Truthful? Absolutely. That’s what all trade shows are basically — a annualized ritual of Vanity Fair in the flesh, a giant cocktail party decorated with convention booths and girls in hot pants.
I arrived promptly at 9 am this morning at the Sands Expo Center, a progressive’s version of North Korea, otherwise known as enemy territory behind the Iron Curtain, given the evil presiding landlord who collects from his fiefdom. By 2;30 this afternoon, I found myself in the worst possible trade show dilemma since I’d burned through an entire stack of business cards. Which makes me now wonder — what exactly should I do with another 62 business cards that were handed to me today? I guess I’ll just toss them into the drawer atop the 282 cards I picked up at this year’s World Series of Poker, sitting atop the 312 from the year before, and the 309 the year before that. Surely, something will come up which renders these business cards useful. Perhaps, kindling for a fire.
By the way — if someone out there is reading this who handed me their business card today, be advised — I’m keeping yours. I’m talking about the slugs who I’ll never see again. No, not you. You’re special.