CasinoCityTimes.com

Gurus
News
Newsletter
Author Home Author Archives Author Books Search Articles Subscribe
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Gary Trask Archives
More Strategy Experts

Gaming Guru

author's picture
 

Shocked and saddened by a horrific night in Las Vegas

2 October 2017

By Gary Trask
Seen here on a recent, pleasant summer night, the Las Vegas Strip was a chaotic scene on Sunday night following a mass shooting at Mandalay Bay.

Seen here on a recent, pleasant summer night, the Las Vegas Strip was a chaotic scene on Sunday night following a mass shooting at Mandalay Bay.

LAS VEGAS – It was a typical night on a typical business trip to Las Vegas. A nice dinner with colleagues. A little gambling. Drinks and a lot of laughs.

But as our group sat at the center bar of the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino on Sunday night to kick off a busy week at the annual Global Gaming Expo (G2E), an unimaginable tragedy was taking place less than three miles away at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. A hateful coward was spraying bullets at a crowd of 20,000 people during a country music festival. It would end up becoming the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, with nearly 60 innocent souls dead.

All of that, of course, wasn't immediately clear to those of us on the crowded casino floor inside the Rio, which is located about one mile off the main Strip. Word started to slowly make it around that there was an active shooting incident taking place at Mandalay Bay, but details were sketchy. Most people, including myself, started checking their phones for particulars. Social media was blowing up. Finally, all the TVs at the bar were switched from ESPN to live news, stopping most everyone in their tracks. The gruesome videos of the shooting sent shockwaves through the entire casino.

Everyone was thinking and asking the same questions. Has the shooter been captured? Are we safe here? Should we fear that there will be more random shootings in other casinos?

Nobody had answers. There was a collective sense of helplessness among all of us.

Since it was after 1 a.m. back home on the east coast, I quickly began texting family, friends and colleagues not with us on the trip. It was a sick, surreal feeling as I pecked the words into my iPhone and pressed send.

"When you wake up, you are going to hear about a mass shooting in Las Vegas. I am fine. Wasn't near the shooting, thankfully."

As the number of deaths surged from an original report of two casualties to 20, the reality of the situation started to sink in. Hours passed until it was made clear that it was safe for us to leave. A quick Lyft ride back to our hotel that usually would be about five minutes took nearly 40 minutes. Certain streets were still closed, and you could feel the confusion among everyone out on the road.

It was just after 3 a.m. when I finally got back to my hotel room at the Tuscany Suites. Day was breaking back home and I started to receive texts from friends who were waking up to the horrific news.

Exhausted, I sat in front of my TV in disbelief.

Four hours later I woke up to see my iPhone lighting up with even more texts from concerned friends and loved ones. My stomach sank when I saw on the news that the death toll was now more than 50, with 500 others injured.

Like most everyone else in Las Vegas, my colleagues and I tried to go about our normal routine on Monday. We received word that G2E would go on as scheduled. The ride to the Sands Expo Center was quiet. Upon arrival, as we set up our booth, you could feel the angst and sadness in the air. When you made eye contact with a stranger, there was a mutual look of reassurance. Everybody, it seemed, needed a good, long hug.

The rest of the week will be strange, for sure. There is business to be done, a tradeshow floor to scour, and networking parties and client dinners to attend. But it won't be easy for any of us to concentrate on the task at hand.

I am not from Las Vegas, but I've spent a good chunk of time here over the last decade, both for business and pleasure. I have a connection to this city. It's a place I thoroughly enjoy visiting and am happy to say is an important part of my job.

But it will be impossible to come back in the future without thinking about what has transpired over the last 24 hours. It will be difficult to put behind the images of those cell phone videos from the concert and the sinking feeling in my stomach right now.

"This is going to change Las Vegas as we know it," our Lyft driver said to us this morning. "This city will never be the same."

So, today I pray for Las Vegas, its people and the friends I have made here. I pray for the victims and their families. I pray that those who are injured survive. And I pray that this vibrant, exhilarating city can someday recover from this tragedy.


Shocked and saddened by a horrific night in Las Vegas is republished from GamingMeets.com.
 

Top 10 Indian Gaming Industry Report facts and figures

25 September 2017
The 15th edition of Casino City's Indian Gaming Industry Report was released earlier this year and, as usual, the all-encompassing report is jam-packed with facts, figures, analyses and insights on Indian gaming at the national and state levels. As author and Nathan Associates economist Alan P. Meister, ... (read more)
 

Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas making subtle but important alterations

25 September 2017
The glass dragon sculpture is a guaranteed eye-catcher. LAS VEGAS – As the Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas nears the one-year anniversary of its grand opening, resort executives continue to listen, observe and adjust. Lucky Dragon, which became the first ground-up development to open in Las Vegas ... (read more)
 

Top 10 football bets for the 2017 season

4 September 2017
Labor Day Weekend annually marks the unofficial end to summer. And for those of us in four-season climates, that means no more trips to the beach, the continuous run of weekend cookouts is almost over, and it's getting dark earlier and earlier with each passing day. All of the above can be a bit depressing. ... (read more)

Next 10 Articles >

  • Featured Articles

Top 10 things we'll miss about the WSOP November Nine

Full disclosure: I'm not a poker purist.Yep, go ahead and call me crazy. Tell me I know nothing about poker and that your opinion of anything I write about the game going forward will be tainted. You're entitled to do so. But it doesn't change the fact that I like — make that liked — the November Nine format ... (read more)
 

Top 10 reasons to make the Gulf Coast of Mississippi your next gambling destination

Gamble. Golf. Drink. Eat. Music. Sun. Beach.The Gulf Coast of Mississippi is overflowing with all of the above activities and attributes. Toss in the genuine Southern hospitality and charm of the good folks that live and work there, and it's really no wonder why the Biloxi/Gulfport area has become read more)
 

WSOP Main Event heads-up match delivers giant contrast in styles and plenty of fireworks

LAS VEGAS — It took more than eight excruciating hours of heads-up play, but in the end, Qui Nguyen's aggression and relative inexperience finally outdid Gordon Vayo's patience and more accomplished resume to read more)
 

Qui Nguyen storms to the WSOP Main Event chip lead during a night of November Nine surprises

LAS VEGAS -- The script was flipped on Sunday at the World Series of Poker Main Event final table.Instead of Cliff Josephy, with his Hollywood looks and giant chip stack, running over the table read more)
 

World Series of Poker Main Event final table profile: Gordon Vayo

Gordon Vayo File (photo by Jamie Thomson)Age: 27Home... (read more)
Gary Trask
Gary serves as Casino City's managing editor and has more than 20 years experience as a writer and editor.

A member of the inaugural Poker Hall of Fame Media Committee, Gary enjoys playing poker and blackjack, but spends most of his time sitting in the comfy confines of the sportsbook when in Las Vegas.

The Boston native is also a former PR pro in the golf-casino-resort industry and a fanatical golfer, allowing his two favorite hobbies - gambling and golf - to collide quite naturally.

Contact Gary at gary@casinocity.com and follow him on Twitter at @CasinoCityGT.

Gary Trask Websites:

twitter.com/#!/casinocityGT
Gary Trask
Gary serves as Casino City's managing editor and has more than 20 years experience as a writer and editor.

A member of the inaugural Poker Hall of Fame Media Committee, Gary enjoys playing poker and blackjack, but spends most of his time sitting in the comfy confines of the sportsbook when in Las Vegas.

The Boston native is also a former PR pro in the golf-casino-resort industry and a fanatical golfer, allowing his two favorite hobbies - gambling and golf - to collide quite naturally.

Contact Gary at gary@casinocity.com and follow him on Twitter at @CasinoCityGT.

Gary Trask Websites:

twitter.com/#!/casinocityGT