Low Rollers


November 7, 2009 by markstani

Continuing the Las Vegas theme, the following description of the classic Vegas low roller comes from a 1983 New Yorker article, via the incomparable Literary Las Vegas:

Glitter Gulch is for transients, most of them elderly and dressed to kill: old women in lime-green or banana-yellow or Florida-orange pants suits, clutching Dixie Cups of small change in one hand, the lever of one of Vegas’s fifty thousand slot machines in the other; old men with plastic teeth and sky-blue plastic suits shooting craps for a dollar, playing fifty-cent blackjack and three-dollar-limit stud poker: wrecks in wheelchairs or with walking frames, the humped, the bent, the skeleton-thin, and the obese, cashing in their Social Security checks, disability allowances and pensions, waiting out their time in the hope of a miracle jackpot to transform their last pinched days.. the young are fewer and not much more presentable. The trim, straight-backed young people who roam with such extraordinary grace and confidence around the rest of the United States and seem to be America’s most triumphant export to Europe have mostly by-passed downtown Vegas. Instead, the rule for both sexes is big bottoms, beer bellies and skin muddied by greasy burgers and French Fries. The boys have tattoos on their arms, and the girls’ heads are permed and dyed so relentlessly that a natural head of hair seems like a visitation; you stare after it, thinking, Now, who is that?


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