Monday, October 11, 2010

The Original Raison d'être of Las Vegas is Gone

From a Credit Bubble Stocks correspondent:

Bugsy Seigel and Meyer Lansky invented Las Vegas in 1947, when there was no TV, only radio, and air transportation was a DC-3 that took 16 hours to fly coast-to-coast.

So people were willing to drive from LA to Las Vegas to see the Rat Pack. It was the most exciting thing within reach.

Now the Rat Pack are dead.

All you can see in Las Vegas today is cheesy Wayne Newton, and it's easier to stay home and see him on HDTV. If anyone cares.

Meanwhile, gambling is everywhere. Today there are two casinos along the freeway from Minneapolis to Duluth. There are at least two other casinos in the Twin Cities area. There is even a casino in Morton, Minnesota, far from any freeway or big town. And this is just the casino count for Minnesota. It doesn't count Power Ball or pull tabs.

Every Indian reservation within a plausible distance of a big city has a casiino. They feature the same second- and third-rate entertainers that Las Vegas has. They have the same low-price, all-you-can-eat buffets. Every river has fake paddle-wheel steamers with gambling. Cool Donald Trump has East Coast casinos within easy reach of the whole Bos-Wash corridor. They border on bankruptcy.

So the gambling business is over-built, even without Depression II.

The Rat Pack is gone. Ol' Blue Eyes is dead. Nobody remembers startlingly ugly Sammy Davis, Jr. What's-his-name, the Italian-American singer who drank himself to death is gone, too. Now, it's up to weird Wayne Newton and odd Seigfried and Roy to attract the suckers.

I'm amazed at MGM's brand-new 76-acre addition. And even more amazed that even more hotel rooms are coming.

Construction in Las Vegas is finished for many years. So one of Las Vegas's two industries is essentially gone.

The sucker catchment area for Las Vegas is California, Nevada and Arizona, which - along with Florida - are the states worst hit by the burst real estate bubble.

How dumb can Paulson be?

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