THIEF! The Gutsy, True Story of an Ex-Con Artist

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THIEF! character, Vince Eli

Monday, November 17, 2008

Is Gambling Recession-Proof?

Gambling, smoking, even premium television could suffer in this downturn

The following excerpt was posted today by MSNBC:
Even — or especially — when times are tough, the common assumption has been that people will continue to gamble for relief and the hope of striking it rich. But Keith Schwer, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, notes that that type of thinking was based on the more shallow recessions such as the ones in 1991 and 2001.

With the economy appearing to be in deeper despair, gaming companies and the Nevada economy as a whole is already grappling with hard times.

MGM Mirage reported an 8 percent dip in casino revenue in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, and the company halted development of a new property in Atlanta City, N.J., citing the weak economy and tight credit conditions. Harrah’s Entertainment swung to a loss in the same period, and also blamed its woes on economic upheaval.

For Las Vegas specifically, Schwer said part of the problem is that gaming is now much more widespread in the United States, meaning that people can gamble locally without the expense of a trip to Vegas. Many gaming companies also were in the midst of expansion when the economy started to turn, meaning stiffer competition.
For the complete story go to

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Slick's Family Album

Slick's daughter, Betty, brought over some old photos the other day.

The top left and bottom left photos show Slick with ex-mobster, Henry Hill, at Borders Books, McCarran Airport in Las Vegas. One of Border's ever helpful employees joins the pair in the lower photo.

Yep...that Henry Hill. Here's what Wikipedia online dictionary has to say about Hill:

Henry Hill (born June 11, 1943) is a former American mobster, Lucchese crime family associate, and FBI informant whose life was immortalized in the book Wiseguy, written by crime reporter Nicholas Pileggi, and the 1990 Martin Scorsese film Goodfellas, in which Hill was played by Ray Liotta. He was the owner of a restaurant called The Suite. Another film — a Steve Martin comedy titled My Blue Heaven — was influenced by Hill's story.

Apparently, Hill took a liking to Slick (what's not to like?) and invited Slick to do a joint book signing event in the future. We'll let you know when and where.

The upper right photo was taken sometime in the 1980s. From left to right: Slick, his girfriend at the time Leslie Chow. (The pair made a great team as blackjack cheaters.) Next is Slick's daughter Betty, then Danny, Betty's crap dealer husband.

The lower right photo shows Sam Raguso who was Slick's shift manager when Slick ran the Landmark Casino poker room. Slick's at right pointing to one of the many poker room promotions that made the room so popular. In fact, the Landmark poker room was the very first to have televised poker tournaments, all due to Slick's amazing marketing skills. No kidding.