David G. Schwartz

Document Type

Occasional Paper

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Publication Title

Center for Gaming Research Occasional Paper Series: Paper 27

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This paper examines Monte Carlo in the late-nineteenth century and Las Vegas in the mid-twentieth century, and explores how the cities forged specific identities centered upon their casino-resort industries. Civic planners, entrepreneurs, and tourists contributed to the formation of a spatial imaginary (the conception of a place, laden with symbols and infused with meaning designed to evoke certain feelings or experiences, which is also mediated and re-mediated through the imagination) in these gambling centers. Casino-resorts came to dominate the economies of these cities and casino-concessionaires, business bureaus, and elites consistently emphasized the luxuriousness, spectacle, and cosmopolitanism of their casino-resort towns. This paper argues that the constant emphasis on luxury, spectacle, and cosmopolitanism allowed these casino-resort towns to appeal to a wide-ranging clientele and to remain commercially viable over time. This comparative study also briefly examines how other tourist-resort centers, from Dubai to Rio de Janeiro and Bangkok to Macau, have sought to emulate the successful promotional model set forth by Monte Carlo and Las Vegas.


Gaming and Casino Operations Management | Marketing | Tourism and Travel | Urban Studies and Planning




Casinos; Casinos--Marketing; Consumption (Economics); imaginary; Monaco--Monte-Carlo; Nevada--Las Vegas; tourism; urban history