Change comes slowly in casino industry


Wednesday's column on a casino-themed anti-smoking protest outside the G2E convention at the Sands Expo Center was enjoyed by all.

Come to think of it, there was this guy: "Maybe you should be living in a non-smoking state like California. You know, the state with all the cars and freeways and forests burning from one end of the state to the other. You might fit in, in a non-smoking state like California."

Who can argue with that logic?

Anyway, the good news for those who embrace Nevada's backward embrace of smoking in casinos is that the industry here continues to show it's willing to change so slowly that smokers will barely notice.

This week's G2E protests, with a few dozen sign-waving participants, were promoted by a Colorado group called Smoke-Free Gaming of America and the Transport Workers Union Local 721.

Meanwhile, I'm packing for California. But before I go, enjoy a few other morsels from the Boulevard:

VIOLENCE VICTIMS: Solemn, but important. Metro officials took time Thursday morning to pay tribute to the 19 victims of domestic violence who have died in the past year. The department counts 300 deaths to domestic violence in the past 13 years in Southern Nevada.

BOOK 'EM: Here are two slender reads that are surely worth your time.

The first is "The Bernie Sindler Story" by longtime local casino man and knock-around Vegas guy Bernie Sindler with an assist from Dana Smith and the prolific Avery Cardoza. The subtitle is, "My Life with Meyer Lansky, Bugsy Siegel, and the Mob," but Bernie knew plenty of less dangerous folks, too. More on this one soon.

The second offering is the start of what figures to be a series by local PR consultant and former TV newsman Mark Fierro called "Road Rage in Las Vegas: The Senseless Murder of Tammy Meyers." Fierro has been working with the Meyers family since the shooting death of Meyers. With the homicide trial still scheduled, there's sure to be an expanded edition. Longtime Las Vegas journalist Jeff Haney edited the quick-turn true crime paperback.

ELAINE'S ALL-STARS: High-flying philanthropist Elaine Wynn is being honored as a founder of the Las Vegas After-School All-Stars with hundreds of students expected for a Saturday morning "UN-Gala" at the Sport Center at 121 E. Sunset Road.

Now in its 20th year, the after-school activities program has helped a generation of at-risk youth. To get involved, go to asaslv.org.

ON THE BOULEVARD: While we're on the subject of good deeds, Nevada Women's Philanthropy is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Since 2005, the local nonprofit has provided $3.64 million in grants to 20 Southern Nevada charities. It was founded by Dena and Heather duBoef, Marcelle Frey, Dana Lee, Trina Pascal and Tawny Sanders.

ON THE BOULEVARD: The neon street lost a lively character with the passing of Roy Arseneaux. Friends called him "Gator," but he didn't bite much. Some late-nighters will remember him from the Dispensary and the legendary Coachman Inn. ... Some curmudgeons are being treated for shock over UNLV being chosen as the site of the final presidential debate of 2016. Sooner or later, they will have to face the fact that the university from Las Vegas is gaining in stature that isn't connected to the success of any of its sports teams. (From the look at some of the win-loss records, that's probably a good thing.) ... Another surprising sighting: A sparkling new Tenaya Creek Brewery on West Bonanza Road. ... Remember when the Hard Rock's enormous iconic guitar sign was cool and new? The Hard Rock Las Vegas turns 25 this month. ... Attention, political junkies: RJ campaign guru Steve Sebelius is co-hosting a new show with Patrick Walker on KLAS-TV, Channel 8, called "Politics NOW."

Have an item for Bard of the Boulevard? Email comments and contributions to jsmith@reviewjournal.com or call (702) 383-0295.