Fri, Sep 20, 10:31am by Kevin Pitstock
The Stardust Casino is a long-defunct, legendary casino from the 1960’s and 1970’s era of Las Vegas. Now the Stardust lives on at Facebook Australia as a free-to-play social game.
The game was developed in a collaboration between the Boyd Gaming Corporation and WIN, the gaming design wing of the famous Bwin-Party Group out of Gibraltar. It is playable through the social networking site, Facebook.
Currently, the Stardust Casino Facebook game is only available to players in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. In the next few months, the game should become available to residents in the United States.
The game creates a 3-D simulation of the historical Stardust Casino gaming floor. This includes pokies, blackjack tables, and roulette wheels, among other games. Win CEO Barak Rabinowitz said about the Stardust Casino app: “Our aim was to recapture the romance and adventure of vintage Las Vegas, and what better way to do that than to re-create online the legendary Stardust Casino?”
Stardust Casino was built in 1958 by Tony Cornero, a mobster from back east. This means the Stardust Hotel was a major gambling venue for people during the Rat Pack era and later Elvis era of Las Vegas. That’s not what it was famous for, though. In the 1970’s, the casino came under the management of Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal, a bookmaker with ties to the mob, and Tony Spilotro, a mob enforcer. These men were portrayed by Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci in the 1995 Hollywood film, Casino.
In 1984, U.S. authorities forced Argent Entertainment, the front company for the mob, out of the business. They set up Boyd Entertainment as the managing group and, in 1985, Boyd Entertainment bought the casino outright. This is the company which entered into the deal with WIN to see a Facebook game created.
Most of the casino was rebuilt in a 1991 renovation. To the dismay of many, the Stardust Casino was demolished in 2007, only 16 years after the renovation. In a time when billion-dollar establishments are the price of doing business, the Stardust was considered outmoded. Ironically, construction on the building which was supposed to go up in its place was put on hold in 2008 due to the credit crisis during the global economic downturn.
Gaming on Facebook is a way for modern gamblers to connect with the past of Las Vegas. For those older gamblers who enjoyed a live trip to the Stardust, they can experience nostalgia. For those older gamblers who never enjoyed a trip to the Stardust while it existed, the Facebook game is a chance to step into the past and see what they missed. For those players from Generation X who never heard of the vintage casino, it’s a chance to play in a virtual simulation of the casino from the Robert DeNiro movie, Casino. To the gamblers of Generation Y and beyond, the Facebook game is simply a chance to play in a retro casino simulation.
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