The Casino Gaming Industry— A Generational Perspective

By Glenn E. Wichinsky

As a second generation gaming executive, I have witnessed incredible changes in the casino gaming industry. While these changes have often been difficult for me to fully take in and comprehend, I think they can be best understood by taking a long view of how the casino industry has evolved.

My father, Mickey Wichinsky, was an early pioneer of the Nevada gaming industry and began his journey through the gaming industry at the Sands Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas in the mid-1950s. During my early teen years, I would travel to Las Vegas to visit him and stay at the Sands Hotel. These were the times of the Rat Pack, with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr., often in plain view on the casino floor and hotel premises where they entertained friends and guests.

Dress attire was more formal and classy in the hotels during this era and the casinos preferred to cater to the high rollers. Guests were paged over the public address system when they were receiving a phone call through the hotel operator. Cellular technology and smart phones were in the unimaginable future, and the younger generation had not become what rock star Tom Petty calls “palm gazers.” This was a time where people went to majestic hotels and elegant casinos to be seen and entertained. A walk through the now extinct Riviera Hotel and Casino evidenced brilliant plush red carpets and crystal chandeliers. Patrons were expected to conform to a dress code. There was live entertainment and headliners to enjoy, with musicians and live orchestras accompanying them in their showroom performances.

Times have now changed: the names of headline entertainers are no longer as prevalent on hotel signage as they once were; orchestras are no longer a fixture of live entertainment venues; and the observed dress code that is now more commonplace with many guests and patrons in a hotel and casino involves wearing tee shirts, shorts, a baseball cap and carrying a can of beer.

Gaming, in some manner and fashion, has always had an attraction in society. To some, it was an opportunity to become lucky at a game of chance and to walk away with unexpected riches. To others, it can be a means of escaping the challenges we face in life, to place cash or other monetary consideration into a gaming device and to press a button endlessly into the day or evening while staring into some foreign or distant space. Yes, there are still serious gaming players that you will observe in the casinos, but there are also many casino guests and patrons who sit in front of a gaming machine and play the game just to pass time. Often, when successful in winning their jackpots, many do not even fully comprehend why they even won. It is entertainment at some level within a person’s own mind.

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Glenn Wichinsky is recognized for his specialization in the fields of Gaming Law, Gaming Regulation and Compliance and International Business Development. He is a licensed attorney in the states of Nevada and Florida, a long term member of the International Masters of Gaming Law, an AV rated preeminent attorney by Martindale- Hubbell, and is also a second generation Nevada gaming executive.Glenn was conferred his Juris Doctor degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, California.

GLENN E. WICHINSKY
Attorney at Law

Gaming Law Consulting – International Business Development

21218 St. Andrews Boulevard, Suite 708
Boca Raton, Florida 33433 USA
+1 702-250-0873

Admitted in Florida and Nevada Member International Masters of Gaming Law (IMGL)