That casino smell

As you step through the front doors of Aria‘s check-in foyer, a too-heavy musk is jammed up your nostrils. It smells like the same suffocating attar that’s employed in Venelazzo, except maybe heavier. The good news is that if you get a bit away from the front desk, the choking perfume is no longer present. (The bad news is that the airy North Foyer has a distinct eau de ashtray, redolent of an ineffective HVAC system.)

Anyway, the Las Vegas Sun has sniffed out the company that conjures up these polecat odors, AromaSys. The best part of the story is when the company’s president admits that Sheldon Adelson lays it on too thickly at Venelazzo but that AromaSys was told to bugger off when it suggested toning down the fragrance. Sounds just like the Sheldon we know and love.

Who knew? When casino companies can get free, common-sense advice from Jean Scott‘s blog or from the Raving Consulting newsletter, it’s scarcely headline material. But when it comes from an executive who’s been sidelined since becoming a victim of the Mirage Resorts takeover, somehow it’s a big deal. Mind you, Barry Shier doesn’t have anything earth-shaking to share with the public.

Moreover, since he was largely responsible (along with Douglas Pool) for the bungled launch of Beau Rivage and is now revealed as the mind behind the harebrained scheme to build an ultra-high-end resort around an Elvis Presley theme (the King and “exclusivity” intersect to form a null set), I’d be just a wee bit leery of taking the medicine Dr. Shier is dispensing.

Obama in Vegas. The much-touted visit of the world’s ultimate Big Man on Campus has been postponed (again). It’s now slated to happen sometime in mid-February. Could POTUS be waiting to see how long the toxicity of Sen. Harry Reid‘s mega-gaffe takes to dispel? The casino industry has made a big show of lining up behind Hapless Harry and you’ve got to wonder if they think they’ve placed a bad bet. Sue Lowden‘s ghostwriter, Chuck Muth, was one of the guests for Aria‘s opening, would could well mean nothing but if casino moguls flip-flop on Reid, you’d expect them to dump him for “one of their own.” Then again, the casino industry is still a bastion of whiteness, so pretensions of moral indignation would make a flimsy mask for realpolitik.

Economic Darwinism is still creeping up on the horseracing industry. But it’s already claimed a victim in the form of Florida‘s “cruises to nowhere” business. Operators elsewhere in the U.S., take note: Once the Class III gambling genie is out of the bottle, you are indeed cruising to nowhere and your armadas are but a fleet of ghost ships.

No Hall of Fame for you! In our hearts we all knew Mark McGwire was on the juice and now it’s official. What makes Big Mac’s non-revelation newsworthy is that at least he respects our intelligence sufficiently to say he knew what he was doing. Very few players will man up the way Andy Pettite did. Most are still spinning that “I was an innocent dupe” malarkey, like Roger Clemens (like we needed more excuses to hate the S.O.B.)

I’m not a baseball bettor and I wonder if there’s enough money in all of gaming to refund the punters who wagered on games that weren’t being played on the square. Heck, I still view almost every player with suspicion … although if spindly Greg Maddux ever bought ‘roids he ought to consider asking for his money back.

Atlantic City revenues. They’re in, they suck (-10% last month) and I’m too depressed to break out the numbers today. Maybe tomorrow.

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