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Trump Cards

Our old industry pal, Donald Trump, becomes president this month

Trump Cards

Happy New Year! As usual, the annual change of calendar brings with it a wealth of quirky casino-industry news—not the least of which is the fact that a former casino owner is taking the oath of office as president of the United States.

Oh, didn’t you hear? Our old industry pal, Donald Trump, becomes president this month. No word yet on whether President Trump will take the advice I offered last year, when he was considering bringing in our other industry pals, Steve Wynn and Carl Icahn, as advisers. (Wynn has publicly said he’s not interested in any role in the new administration, and no word yet on any real offer to Icahn.)

As you recall, I offered sound policy advice on China—I suggested using casino executives as liaisons, and offering the Chinese the opportunity to double down on the close to $1 trillion the U.S. owes the People’s Republic. We’d offer one cut of a deck for high card, for double or nothing on our debt.

Of course, we’d supply the cards.

(What, you don’t trust us?)

Anyway, there is no lack of entrepreneurs close to the casino industry looking to capitalize on the coming of the new administration. One of the first is Little Darlings, the “World Famous, Fully Nude” Las Vegas strip club. On January 6 and 7, Little Darlings is featuring “Melania Trump, Performing Live!” OK, it’s not the actual incoming First Lady, but the “World’s Only Melania Trump Look-a-Like,” presumably nude and performing exotic dances.

The club’s manager, Ron Nady, explains it like this on the strip club’s website:

“Even though we’re known worldwide as the unparalleled leader in live adult entertainment, this might be our biggest feature performance of the year. With all of the media hype surrounding Donald Trump’s inauguration, we just couldn’t help but notice how ridiculously hot his wife is. I mean, her body is absolutely stunning, and here at Little Darlings, we admire and respect women instead of insulting them. In that vein, we worked tirelessly to find the sexiest Melania Trump look-alike we could, and I think we found one who’s spot on.”

Ah, yes. Nothing says “respect” like a crowd of leering men watching a naked woman slithering up and down a pole.

Now, I’ve never spent a dime in a strip club, so I’m not up on where Little Darlings stands with respect to the strip-club industry in general. However, if you go by the website, it evidently is quite the classy joint. According to the website, Little Darlings features “200-plus totally nude dancers nightly, along with monthly porn stars.”

Wow. Hundreds of nude dancers and porn stars, all in that little room. It must be quite a spectacle.

Oh, come on. Whether or not you voted for him or support him, you’ve got to admit the president-elect is providing great fodder for columnists like myself. I mean, had Hillary Clinton won the election, we’d be talking about environmental issues, trade policy and other stuff that’s no fun. And I’m guessing that Little Darlings wouldn’t have gone out to find a pole-dancing Bill Clinton look-a-like.

(Now, I’ll spend the rest of the afternoon trying to erase that image from my brain.)

In any event, the manager said the club “has extended a VIP invitation to President-elect Donald Trump to attend” the January 6 performance. I’m guessing he’s going to have more pressing—and dare I say, touchy—matters crowding his pre-inauguration schedule.

And speaking of respecting women, Hustler publisher Larry Flynt is suing California, where he owns the Hustler Casino and Larry Flynt’s Lady Luck Casino—both cardrooms—to challenge a state law that prohibits him from opening casinos in Las Vegas and Mississippi.

You know, nothing says “classy” and “upscale” like a Hustler theme for a casino resort. In fact, my friends and I ran a Hustler-themed casino when we were around 14. It consisted of a bunch of magazines in a hollowed-out log in the woods, where we sometimes played cards.

In other news, the new Las Vegas professional hockey team will be called the Vegas Golden Knights, which disappoints me. I liked some of the other names being tossed around much more—particularly the Las Vegas Nighthawks. (No one even considered my suggestion, the Las Vegas Bleary-Eyed Drunken Gamblers.)

Will Ferrell is making a movie about eSports, applying his Talladega Nights approach to what is one of the newest spectator sports and potential moneymakers in the casinos.

We already know sSports is exciting. Now it will be unfunny as well.

Finally, Wynn and Sheldon Adelson are planning Mr. Trump’s inauguration party. No, pole-dancing fake Melania will not be jumping out of a cake.

Although that would be really cool.

Frank Legato is editor of Global Gaming Business magazine. He has been writing on gaming topics since 1984, when he launched and served as editor of Casino Gaming magazine. Legato, a nationally recognized expert on slot machines, has served as editor and reporter for a variety of gaming publications, including Public Gaming, IGWB, Casino Journal, Casino Player, Strictly Slots and Atlantic City Insider. He has an B.A. in journalism and an M.A. in communications from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. He is the author of the books, How To Win Millions Playing Slot Machines... Or Lose Trying, and Atlantic City: In Living Color.