Literary Las Vegas: David G. Schwartz

Atlantic City native David G. Schwartz has a Ph.D. in U.S. history from the University of California, Los Angeles, and has hands-on experience in the gaming industry. Since since 2001 Schwartz has been at UNLV, where he serves as the director of UNLV’s Center for Gaming Research. The professor, speaker and consultant is also the author of several books on the gaming industry including his newest “Grandissimo: The First Emperor of Las Vegas: How Jay Sarno Won a Casino Empire, Lost It, and Inspired Modern Las Vegas.” Sarno, the father of Caesars Palace and Circus Circus and mentor to Steve Wynn, set out to turn casinos into gambers’ paradises. “But today’s Las Vegas is uncomfortable with Sarno, despite the drama of his story and his enduring legacy,” Schwartz writes. “Why? He committed the only unpardonable sin in that corner of America: he was honest about his weaknesses. Jay Sarno pushed everything Las Vegas stands for to its farthest extremes; he shows what happens when too much of a good thing turns bad. For this, he has been cast out from the pantheon.”