Today, casinos make more money with non-gaming revenue than on their actual casino floors. That means that people are coming to casinos the world over, spending a fair amount on gambling, but putting down more for high-class meals, spa treatments, and of course, shows.
Casinos make more money off of entertainers than they do off of your gambling. It’s amazing, but it’s true. Last year, casinos took in more non-gaming revenue than gaming associated. However, this has not been the way things have always been.
Nick “The Greek” Dandolos
Nick “The Greek” Dandolos may be one of the most well-known gamblers, if not the most well-known gambler of all time. While many other players have treaded the casino floors in the 39 years since Dandolos’ death, none have had the same combination of luck, skill, insanity and charisma that made Nicolas Dandolos a historical figure in the world of gambling, as well as one of the charter inductees into the Poker Hall of Fame.
Casinos have always been known for having a feeling of subterfuge, or mystery. Perhaps it is the less-than-reputable history of the casinos themselves, filled with stories of mob bosses running laundering money while people were “dealt with” in the back rooms.
Many blackjack players would rather play a game that is easy than a game that feels comfortable. Of course, that is the methodology behind the basic strategy: to have the odds as even as possible. One exception to this rule, however, is Tommy Hyland, who has been playing blackjack full-time since April of 1979.
The Great Slot Scam
Everyone waits for the next big break: the way to win big against the casinos. It has been a common notion that the only game that can be successfully played and won in a casino is blackjack. Every other game is simply a game of chance.
Perhaps not as well known in blackjack circles as Ken Uston or Stanford Wong, Julian Braun is no less important for the contributions that he has made to the game of blackjack. One of the most recent additions to the blackjack hall of fame, Braun’s contributions to the game are not as well-known, but are of great importance for anyone who ever hopes to succeed in blackjack.
Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel
Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel is mistakenly credited by many as the man who created Las Vegas. This is of course, not true in the least.
For those of you who are familiar with Benny Binion, it should be agreed that he is to the gambling industy what James Brown is to soul music.
Most people give prop comics the same respect they reserve for mimes or garden gnomes. Carrot top is no exception. The man is hopelessly silly, and that seems to be exactly the way he likes it.
Celine Dion litterally came out of nowhere. Well, if not nowhere, her home town of Charlemagne, Quebec is about as close to nowhere as a body can get. From this small town came a singer who would become one of the brightest, international stars of the entire music scene.
Anybody who has ever discovered black mold in their home knows how hard it is to get rid of a parasitical element that sucks the very life from its host. This is exactly what organized crime was doing to Vegas throughout the 50’s and 60’s.
“Can we talk?” That particular catch phrase is as synonymous with the eighties as “Where’s the Beef?” It was in that decade that most of us became acquainted with a talented actress and comedian named Joan Rivers.
In most places when a politician has a background that involves being the defense attoney for many of the biggest organized crime figures of the last half century, they would have trouble being elected to the post of piranha. In Las Vegas though, sometimes the world doesn’t work the same way as it does everywhere else.
Penn and Teller
Watching Penn and Teller perform is akin to having a comedic out of body experience. In other words, this is not your average magic show. If your looking for cheesy dignity, you can find David Copperfield.
Siegfried and Roy
On those rare occasions when one finds themselves thinking dreamily about white tigers, thoughts about Siegfried and Roy cannot be far behind. This magical duo has been performing tricks (the legal kind) with the help of their white tigers for decades.
The Rat Pack
By now most of us are familiar with a group that was dubbed “The Rat Pack” and their place in lore and mythology of Las Vegas. This was not a group in the normal sense of the word, but rather a transient group of entertainers who were playfully lumped together by media in the early part of the 1960’s.
Tom Jones is a Welsh holdover from the British invasion of the 1960’s. Since his arrival during the mid 60’s, Jones has displayed his musical versatility by applying his booming voice to nearly every form of popular music. This includes pop, rock, show tunes, country, dance, and techno.
How many Wayne Newton songs can you name? Most people in the world, who are not slavering devotees of the Vegas crooner, probably cannot name more than one or two. Despite this lack of knowledge about his music, one would have to take their mail in a shack located in the Ozarks to not be aware of who Wayne Newton is. He is one of the few people on the planet who are simply famous for being famous.
Whitney Phoenix is an immensely talented musician. This is not something that just happened though. Phoenix has been studying the piano and music theory since he was eight years old. As he got older he could have easily sacrificed his talent on the altar of rock and roll for some quick, fleeting fame and groupies, but instead he stayed true to his first love, Classical music.
Long before Kenny Rogers crooned out some rather obvious lyrics about knowing when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em, there was another artist who made the simple title The Gambler famous. Fyodor Dostoevsky is not a name that is often associated with the world of gambling. He is more noted as an intellectual and writer. Most of us are at least familiar with his most famous novel, Crime and Punishment, but he is also the author of a less known book that is simply titled, The Gambler.