Roll the BonesLook Inside

Roll the Bones is about 450 pages long, but here are three short excerpts that will give you a flavor of what’s in the book. All excerpts are brief pdfs. If you like what you see, consider buying a copy.


Author’s Note/Prologue

This is the introductory overview to the book, giving an idea of its scope–and the changes in the Casino Edition.

Why the Mob won Vegas

This excerpt, from chapter 10, “A Place in the Sun,” explains how the Mob carved out influence on the Las Vegas Strip in the 1950s and 1960s, and why it was so dominant.

The Rise of Atlantic City

The opening pages of chapter 12, “America’s Playground…Again” discuss the rebirth and rise to (brief) dominance of Atlantic City’s casinos in the late 1970s and early 1980s.


Crockford'sAcknowledgements vii

Author’s Note ix

Prologue: The Rainmaker Reborn xi
Casino gambling’s power to recreate

1: The Ridotto Revolution 1
Mercantile gamblers create the casino

2: Seeking the Cure 22
Europe wins and loses at spas

Roulette3: A Sunny Place for Shady People 57
Gambling on the French Riviera

4: Baiting John Bull 90
The British bet big

5: Star-Spangled Gamblers 110
The birth of American gambling

6: Wild Cards 128
Seeking fortunes in the West

7: Fools of Fortune 154
American gambling becomes urban

8: Wise Guys and One-Armed Bandits 181
Big city gambling in the gangster age

Reno 1930s

9: Hard to Resist 197
Nevada becomes America’s gambling oasis

10: A Place in the Sun 218
The Las Vegas Strip is born

11: The Sky’s the Limit 243
Las Vegas reaches for the stars

12: America’s Playground…Again 262
Atlantic City becomes the casino capital of the East

13: The Burger King Revolution 282
Las Vegas bounces back for the first time

14: Runaway American Dream 303
Casino gambling in the public interest

Desert Inn15: A Clockwork Volcano 320
Las Vegas strikes back

16: All In 337
Casino gambling’s global spread

17: Reinventing the Wheel 368
Las Vegas hangs on as gambling goes digital

Epilogue: Still Betting 385
A hard seven

Notes 388

Illustrations 414

Index 417