GGB is committed to providing updated news and analysis on our weekly news site,

Weed Hotels, Bricklaying and Lazy Play

The Artisan Hotel in Las Vegas is rebranding as “The Lexi.” The rebranding includes an intriguing element.

Weed Hotels, Bricklaying and Lazy Play

The Artisan is a boutique hotel near Las Vegas Boulevard and Sahara Avenue, near some of the largest casino properties in Las Vegas. There is no casino—not even video poker in the bars, as far as I can tell—but they provide some very cool non-gaming attractions, like a “topless optional” European pool. (Thanks, I’ll keep my shirt on.) There’s an ultra lounge bar, and they have an option where you can rent the entire hotel for $9,500.

Also, after the rebranding, the newly named Lexi will have 64 remodeled rooms, including an entire fourth floor that will be deemed “cannabis-friendly.”


According to KSNV in Las Vegas, the fourth floor will have a special RestorAir filtration system to get rid of the reefer smoke. That was the only detail in the KSNV report that would indicate a cannabis-friendly environment. I’d like to know what else will be going on in those fourth-floor rooms.

How about a “Munchie Station?” Donuts, pies, cakes, maybe cheeseburgers? I’d call that essential for a cannabis-friendly hotel room. Also, for my money, the entertainment would have to include Pink Floyd, Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Yes.

I know, very 1970s, right? But I’d guess a lot of ’70s-era potheads would frequent these rooms.

I’m guessing no casino because, though recreational weed is legal in Nevada, they don’t allow pot in the casino-hotels. I always thought the state was missing a lot of casino revenue from this rule. Imagine the possibilities.

“Sir, are you sure you want to hit that 19?”

“Well, on second thought… Maybe…


Heck, I’d put games by the topless pool. Distractions like these would translate into a lot of dumb decisions. And big casino win.

Still, there are a lot of non-gaming attractions at locations all around the Lexi. For instance, it’s near the bricklaying competitions in the parking lot of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Of course, I’m talking about the “Spec Mix Bricklayer 500” event. (Segue rating: 7.) This is where 24 teams of bricklayers compete to build a 26-foot-long brick wall in less than an hour, to determine the title of the World’s Best Bricklayer. It’s held in conjunction with the World of Concrete trade show. (Naturally.)

Teams consist of a bricklayer who slaps the brick and mortar on the wall, and a tender, who makes sure the brick and mortar are in the right position for the bricklayer. At the last competition, held in January, thousands of spectators cheered as the team of bricklayer Michael Shlund and tender Aaron Kowalski of Wisconsin won the title with a wall of 759 bricks, and took home the $125,000 top prize, including cash and a new Ford F-250 truck.

OK, I have several questions here, as you may have suspected.

First, what the heck do they do with the walls after the brick and mortar dry? Do they leave them there for a wrecking ball competition in conjunction with the next trade show?

How do thousands of people entertain themselves watching bricklaying? I think I’d like “Watching the Paint Dry 500” competition just as well. “Home Insulation Challenge?” “The World Championship of Kitchen Cabinetry?”

Finally, as I’m sure you’re all wondering, when will they be moving this competition to the U.S./Mexico border?

Moving on, the art of slot influencing took on a new meaning last month, as investigators in Minnesota looked into allegations of two men running a TikTok gambling scheme.

According to a report on WEAU-TV in Minnesota, two brothers have been collecting fees for playing slots on behalf of others. After an initial $5.99 subscription fee, the brothers would take $25 of every $100 deposited for wagering. Then, they would live-stream their slot play on TikTok, and the subscriber would get any winnings.

It’s illegal because state law prohibits making wagers on behalf of a second party, but my bafflement here centers on why anyone would pay someone to play slots for them. These guys had 165,000 followers by the time authorities caught on.

Are there really that many people who are so lazy they’d pay someone to hit a button for them repeatedly? And 25 percent of wagers, at that?

“Madge, let’s go to the casino and play some slots.”

“I don’t feel like it today, Herbie. Let’s just pay those online guys. Then we can stay in bed and still play slots. Pass the nachos.”

I know what you’re thinking. How great would this go with the weed-friendly hotel? Get stoned, visit the Munchie Station and pay someone to play slots for you.

Something to do between bricklaying events, right?

    Recent Feature Articles

  • Funding the Future

    Gary Ellis’ vision of a cashless casino ecosystem with Marker Trax and Koin

  • Age of the ETG

    Electronic table games have grown from simple automated roulette machines into a genre that is steeped in innovation.

  • Online in Ontario

    Stakeholders deem Ontario a success, but also a work in progress.

  • Mixing It Up

    Developing slot floor strategies for emerging markets.

  • Gaming & Diversity: Staying the Course

    DEI has encountered big resistance of late. Here’s how gaming companies continue to build a fairer workplace.