Las Vegas has been called ``sin city,'' yet this book does a good job of trying to change that image by looking at the phenomenal success of Circus Circus, a family-oriented resort. Provost also offers a minihistory of the gaming industry in Las Vegas, based upon numerous interviews with key entrepeneurs and managers. This book functions as an informative work about the major games played in the casinos as well as an entertaining guide that looks at all aspects of gambling, including security, skimming, and cheating. Gambling regions covered include Atlantic City, the new riverboats, and Indian reservations. Especially interesting are the descriptions of the new Luxor pyramid complex, Circus Circus's newest glitzy casino. This fast-moving account is recommended for gaming collections.-- H. Robert Malinowsky, Univ. of Illinois, Chicago
While many U.S. states are considering legalizing gambling and opening casinos to offset their growing deficits, Las Vegas continues to thrive, and with the opening of three new, spectacular theme park-like casino hotels, Vegas entrepreneurs are positioning themselves to become the Orlando, Florida, of the twenty-first century. Provost's book, which he feels compelled to remind us is "pro-Las Vegas," is definitely something any casino owner might want to sell in the lobby, but it's also something more: a look at the decision making going on inside one of Vegas' most successful casino hotels, Circus Circus, as well as the success story of owner William Bennett ("not" the former education secretary) and his chief financial officer, Glenn Schaeffer. Nowadays, Vegas promotes itself as a middle-class, family-oriented vacation spot, but there is still plenty of catering to the traditional high roller. Provost's book is thorough and quick-witted, and he does labor to be fair despite his obvious admiration for Bennett, Schaeffer, and MGM Grand's Steve Wynn. And for those who aren't regular readers of the financial pages, there's the ultimate gambler's dream, a surprise ending.