Tag: Casinos

The Casino Carpets of Las Vegas

This slideshow will wake you up on a Monday morning. Chris Maluszynski’s photos are the subject of a New Yorker Talk of the Town piece, which probes why Las Vegas casino carpets are so gaudy.

Theories abound about why casino carpets look the way they do. The camouflaging argument makes sense—the more curlicues, the less noticeable the dirt and Coke and vomit. But Christine B. Whittemore, who runs a blog called Carpetology, believes that the carpets’ primary function is psychological. “A lot of the busyness of the patterns may be about keeping people active, as too much relaxing may not inspire gambling,” she said. “You also have to be careful not to use the same pattern on stairs as you do on flat surfaces, because of how the brain processes depth.” Recently, Whittemore took a tour of Steve Wynn’s new Encore hotel. She recalled, “There’s some carpet in this delightful little café-bar area, and what comes to mind is Marc Chagall—the idea was the butterfly, the metamorphosis, the dream.” The butterflies flutter over a scarlet grid. Whittemore went on, “The head designer explained that red is a good-luck color in many Asian cultures.”

David G. Schwartz has more on the subject, and more photos.

McSweeney’s: Dispatches From an Indian Casino

The ongoing series looks at the Indian casino from an employee’s perspective. Slate also explored the visitor’s casino experience in a five-day series earlier this year.

R.I.P. Binion’s Hotel

R.I.P. Binion’s Hotel Photo by Eva Holland
Photo by Eva Holland

The “gambling hall” portion of Binion’s Gambling Hall and Hotel will remain open, at least for now, but KVBC is reporting that the venerable downtown Vegas casino is closing down its nearly 400 hotel rooms. Roughly 100 staff are being laid off, too. Sad news for those who prefer Fremont St.‘s vintage charms to the super-sized fun of the Strip. (Via @jenleo)

Joel Stein in Las Vegas: ‘I Have Come for Revenge’

He went to Las Vegas to take advantage of the city when it’s down. “For the first time ever,” he writes in Time, “it is possible to complete a monetary exchange in Las Vegas and feel bad for the other person.” But you know what? He doesn’t feel bad about it. Good story, but, as someone who loves Vegas, I found it a bit painful to read.

Slate Goes to the Res

The latest Well-Traveled series, An American Indian’s Journey in the Land of Indian Casinos, is an intriguing one. It follows writer David Treuer as he explores the incongruities of luxury casino-resorts set amid the often-grim realities of Indian reservations, and offers a dose of the history behind the reservation system, too. Here’s a quick taste: “Historically, Indian reservations are a great place to be poor if you are Indian—and a fantastic place to get rich if you’re not. It is only recently that this pattern is being reversed.”

R.I.P. Stardust Hotel

Photo by heather0714, via Flickr (Creative Commons).

I spotted the guy in the ghoulish grim reaper costume, gripping his faux scythe, at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas Saturday night. He fit right in among the other Halloween revelers—the scantily clad nurses, the Top Gun pilots in their flight suits and reflective sunglasses, Richard Nixon and his entourage of Secret Service agents. But the grim reaper really should have been skulking several blocks up the strip at the Stardust, where death loomed like a hazy cloud of casino cigarette smoke. On Wednesday, the half-century-old hotel with the strip’s most iconic neon sign will close for good. The usual implosion will follow in several months, paving the way, as the Vegas hotel life cycle dictates, for a new megaresort.

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