Super Casino: Inside the New Las Vegas

Super Casino: Inside the New Las Vegas

by Pete Earley
4.4 23

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Overview

Super Casino: Inside the New Las Vegas by Pete Earley

In this lively and probing book, award-winning author Pete Earley traces the extraordinary evolution of Las Vegas -- from the gaudy Mecca of the Rat Pack era to one of the country's top family vacation spots. He revisits the city's checkered history of moguls, mobsters, and entertainers, reveals the real stories of well-known power brokers like Steve Wynn and legends like Howard Hughes and Bugsy Siegel, and offers a fascinating portrait of the life, death, and fantastic rebirth of the Las Vegas Strip.

Earley also documents the gripping tale of the entrepreneurs behind the rise and fall and rise again of one of the largest gaming corporations in the nation, Circus Circus -- to which he was given unique access. In his trademark you-are-there style, he takes us behind the scenes to meet the blackjack dealers and hookers, the heavy hitters and bit players, the security officers, cabbies, and showgirls who are caught up in the mercurial pace that pulses at the heart of this astounding city.


From the Paperback edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307429735
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/04/2009
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 531,776
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Formerly a reporter for The Washington Post, Pete Earley is also the author of the highly praised Bantam titles Family of Spies: Inside the John Walker Spy Ring; and Circumstantial Evidence: Death, Life, and Justice in a Southern Town, winner of the Edgar Award and the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award.

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Super Casino 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Seldom has so much writing talent been so misdirected in a project as occurred with this book. Mr. Earley sought out every seamy angle he could about Las Vegas, past and present, and the people profiled in the book. With such a negative slant, Mr. Earley could have made a family theme park seem like Sodom and Gomorrah. He also does not understand the national evolution of gambling, and misrepresents what has been happening in Las Vegas. The best part of the book is in its opening chapter, where Mr. Earley does a superb job of explaining how casino staffs play cat and mouse with customers trying to get an edge playing Blackjack by changing their bets when the odds shift in their favor. That chapter set a high expectation for me. It was all quickly downhill from there. The background of the 'old' Las Vegas was much too long and detailed, and added little that is not carried in newspaper and magazine reports about Las Vegas. In both the 'old' and the 'new' sections, he tried to work in every negative angle he could about people. You will get to read about crimes related to illegal gambling, theft, rape, kidnapping, fraud, prostitution, assault and battery, and murder. I have read many books about hardened criminals that did not have as much crime in them as this one. In case this isn't enough of a downer, he wants to make sure that you see other seamy parts of human nature. If anyone has a bad habit, it's explored in here. You get lots of people losing their tempers with each other, making false claims about each other, being greedy, showing inconsiderateness, and having worked for organized criminals in the past. You also get nice normal Moms taking their clothes off to create a sensation at the pool, wives seducing dealers, and dancers being groped in Japan (I know that seems like its a long way from Las Vegas, but some Japanese people have been known to visit Las Vegas -- that seems to be the connection). The description of the development of Las Vegas is focused much too much on two companies, Mandalay Bay (formerly Circus Circus) and Mirage (no longer independent). Even here, the story is too narrowly drawn between getting high rollers from overseas versus low-income slot players from Southern California. Las Vegas is turning into an adult version of Epcot Center, a mini World's Fair with spectacular sights all in one place. In addition, some casinos are creating destination resorts that are appropriate for the whole family (Excalibur, MGM Grand, and Mandalay Bay all have this character, in part). At the same time, gambling isn't paying off for investors in the way that it used to. The book makes you vaguely aware of that, but doesn't come to grips with why it's happening and what it means. The book is very critical of the house 'win' in the Las Vegas casinos, but the odds there are much better than in any state lottery, illegal gambling activity, and also in many Native American-owned casinos across the country. Mr. Earley is too intelligent to be this off-target. There seems to be a hidden agenda here, but I'm not sure I can describe it for you. By contrast, let me desribe my last trip to Las Vegas. I was able to get a very inexpensive room. While there, I saw a great art exhibition at Bellagio that compared favorably with what can usually only be seen in major city museums. I ate a terrific, inexpensive lunch at Rio. I saw several free shows, including ones outside at the Mirage (with a volcano erupting) and Treasure Island. I toured five casinos I had never seen before, and was fascinated by the designs and the stores. I never gambled a nickel. After finishing the visit, I realized that I had spent less money and seen more than would have occurred if I had been at a theme park in Florida or California for the same amount of time. And I had a very good time. Unless you like to take a jaundiced view of everything, avoid this book. My own suggestion is that you visit Las Vegas
B-loNY More than 1 year ago
Everything you wanted to know about(or didn't want to know) about Las Vegas.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A lotus flower theyre really good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Shoots the buliding again
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sorry
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yawns again
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Laughs
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wat
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Comes in
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this as we just came back from Vegas after our first ever visit. It was interesting to be able to get an understanding of how the different properties were built up along the strip and the personalities behind the scenes who built & ran the Vegas properties. I'm currently reading Forgetten Man which is the biography of Bill Bennett who built up the Circus Circus chain from one hotel to the dozen now (since acquired by MGM). Another good read for those interested in Vegas history.
beecee More than 1 year ago
Yes, it is about Las Vegas and the Super Casinos, but the majority of the book, once it got past the fairly boring beginning, was about how Circus Circus got its start and a lot about the Luxor. I think the title should have reflected that it was more about Circus Circus Enterprises/Mandalay Bay Group (now MGM Resorts) than any of the other super casinos. When I first started to read it, while I found the history on how Las Vegas got started, it was dry as dust and it took me awhile to read enough to get to where it got interesting (aka Mafia involvement) but once it got to more modern times (albeit late 1990s), it got more interesting.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best book written about Las Vegas. it includes the early history, all the major players in the development of the city and a real inside look into the mystery and wonderment of the casino business. You will never see Las Vegas the same after reading this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book hoping to learn more about the history of Las Vegas. From the days of the mob to the new mega-resorts. I learned a lot of interesting historical facts. Some I knew briefly and some were totally new. One thing I really enjoyed about this book was how the business aspect of it was tied in with everything. As a business major in college, everything I have learned in class, I can relate it to this book. Customer service, management, competition, financial risk, etc. Not only did I learn more about the greatest city in the world, I also was able to apply things that I learned in class to this book. Thanks for writing such an easy to read and easy to follow book. I couldnt put it down. I read it in 2 days.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Well researched and well written history of this city's past and present. Covers everyone from Mormon settlers to the mobsters, modern casino magnates, prostitutes and people who punch the timeclocks in the casinos and go to little league and pay on their mortgages. Buy this book for your flight out there. You will not be bored!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Super Casino is the book to read to find the 'real' Las Vegas, the power struggles, the individuals who have 'paid the price' to make LV what it is today, the entertainment capital of America. Teaches us how the people of Vegas, from the power brokers to prostitutes, survive in the tinsel jungle.This book will hold your attention and fascination.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I always hate it when people write five paragph reviews. No one is ever going to bother reading all of that.