Summary of The Gambler

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Rating

8 Overall

7 Applicability

8 Innovation

9 Style


Recommendation

Swashbuckling tycoon Kirk Kerkorian, the hotel and casino developer and owner, movie mogul and undisputed “King of Las Vegas” lived to be almost 100. Kerkorian stayed active as the world’s boldest dealmaker and commercial risk taker for most of his long life. Journalist William C. Rempel describes the breadth, scope and financial worth of Kerkorian’s business ventures. He covers the colorful cast of characters that spiced up Kerkorian’s life, including Elvis Presley, Steve Wynn, Cary Grant, John Wayne and “Nick the Greek” Dandolos. This fascinating biography is a winning bet for anyone interested in Las Vegas, the movie business or bold dealmaking.  

In this summary, you will learn

  • How tycoon Kirk Kerkorian built his hospitality and entertainment empire; and
  • What personal traits contributed to his success. 
 

About the Author

Author and award-winning investigative journalist William C. Rempel had a long career at the Los Angeles Times as a writer and an editor. His reporting triggered government investigations, exposed White House scandals, and prompted reforms of state courts and consumer protection laws.

 

Summary

An Inveterate Gambler

Kirk Kerkorian was an Armenian-American eighth-grade dropout, welterweight boxing champion, intrepid World War II aviator, MGM Studios owner, nationally ranked senior doubles tennis player, hotel-casino developer and owner, dealmaker and rags-to-riches billionaire. Throughout his long, eventful life, he remained an obsessive gambler.

A Las Vegas impresario, Kerkorian wagered at the world’s most famous casinos, some of which he owned. He loved to play craps. He once wagered $1 million on a single roll of the dice at the Loews Hotel Casino in La Napoule on France’s luxurious Côte d’Azur – and won.

Kerkorian loved one-dollar slot machines. He paid a caddy to tote a bag filled with silver dollars and follow him in casinos as he scouted out the sizzling slots. Kerkorian enjoyed red-hot lucky streaks. The management at the Golden Nugget Casino in Las Vegas asked him to move to another casino because of his unbroken string of victories at its craps tables.

Kerkorian was almost always thoughtful and kind. On his way to La Guardia Airport after a New York City business trip, Kerkorian told his driver to turn around and go back...


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