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

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 or call (702) 383-0295.

Downtown Summerlin hosts its annual Festival of Arts
People crowd to Downtown Summerlin for the 23rd annual Summerlin Festival of Arts in Las Vegas, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Clark County educators debate alternative grading systems
Spring Valley High School principal Tam Larnerd, Spring Valley High School IB coordinator Tony Gebbia and retired high school teacher Joyce O'Day discuss alternative grading systems. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Grandparents on the fire that killed three family members
Charles and Doris Smith talk about the night an apartment fire took the lives of three of their family members. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
New York artist Bobby Jacobs donated a sculpture to the Las Vegas Healing Garden
Bobby Jacobs, an artist from upstate New York, has spent much of the past year creating a sculpture of two separate angel wings. He donated the sculpture to the Las Vegas Healing Garden. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Weather will cool slightly through the end of the week
The weather will cool slightly through the end of the week., but highs are still expected to be slightly above normal for this year. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Mayor announces new public-private partnership
Mayor Carolyn Goodman announced the creation of the Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE, a public-private partnership that will allocate money to the city’s neediest.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Fall fairytale gets cozy at Bellagio Conservatory
Bellagio Conservatory introduces its fall-themed garden titled "Falling Asleep." (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
What the house that Ted Binion died in looks like today
Casino heir Ted Binion died in this Las Vegas home in 1998. Current home owner Jane Popple spent over $600,000 to restore and modernize the home. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Rescue Mission employees terminated
Don James, a former employee for the Las Vegas Rescue Mission, talks about the day his team was terminated. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Cupcakes at Freed's Bakery
Freed's Bakery will have Raiders-themed cupcakes available in store and for order during football season. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s fans say goodbye to Cashman Field
Las Vegas 51s fans said goodbye to Cashman Field in Las Vegas, Monday September, 3, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s owner Don Logan's last weekend at Cashman Field
Don Logan, owner of the Las Vegas 51s, gives a tour of Cashman Field before the team's final weekend using the field. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Metro Asst. Sheriff Brett Zimmerman on Aug. 8 officer-involved shooting
Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Sheriff Brett Zimmerman met with media Monday to discuss the details of the 14th officer-involved shooting of the year. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program where community and business leaders joined to welcome students back with an inspirational welcome. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Star Trek fans on show’s enduring popularity
Star Trek fans at the Star Trek Convention 2018 talk about why they think the show has stayed popular across the years Thursday, August 2, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nonprofit provides clothing for homeless
Sydney Grover of Can You Spare A Story?, talks about how she founded the non-profit organization. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
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