David G. Schwartz

Professor & Gaming Historian
UNLV Ombuds
Affiliate Professor, Department of History
Former Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs
Expertise: History of gambling, History of games, History of Las Vegas, Conflict resolution


David G. Schwartz is a gaming historian. Currently serving as UNLV's ombuds, Schwartz was director of the Center for Gaming Research at UNLV, a hub for scholarly analysis of gambling and gaming issues for many years. His research interests include the histories of gambling, gaming, and games (including video games), Las Vegas and Nevada history, tourism, and conflict resolution.

Schwartz has written seven books, as well as edited or co-edited four others, in his area of specialty — gaming history. Some of his more popular books include At the Sands: The Casino That Shaped Classic Las Vegas, Brought the Rat Pack Together, and Went Out With a Bang,  Grandissimo: The First Emperor of Las Vegas, Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling, and Boardwalk Playground: The Making, Unmaking, & Remaking of Atlantic City. He has served on several state and local groups, including the Nevada Gaming Policy Committee and the advisory boards of the Museum of Gambling History and the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement (Mob Museum).

Additionally, Schwartz is a Certified Organizational Ombuds Practitioner (CO-OP), awarded by the International Ombuds Association, and a trained mediator who leads the UNLV Ombuds Office’s mediation practice and volunteers with the Clark County Neighborhood Justice Center. 

The professor has taught undergraduate and graduate courses for the colleges of Liberal Arts, Law, Honors, and Hospitality and been actively involved with Nevada Promise, McNair Scholars, and other student mentoring groups.


  • Ph.D., American History, University of California, Los Angeles
  • M.A., American History, University of Pennsylvania
  • B.A., Anthropology and History, University of Pennsylvania

Related Links

David G. Schwartz In The News

History Behind News Program
►How we gambled before ash economy? ►Are religion and gambling somehow connected? ►How did risk-taking change after humanity settled down? ►How did 2nd chances - the concept of starting again - develop in America's gambling? ►Why did Las Vegas and Atlantic City seesaw on legalizing gambling?
Yahoo! Sports
Oliver Lewis wasn't supposed to win the first Kentucky Derby.
Louisville Courier Journal
Oliver Lewis wasn't supposed to win the first Kentucky Derby. The jockey atop Aristides was instructed to have the horse serve as a "rabbit" and go hard at the beginning of the race to wear down the field, so stablemate Chesapeake could preserve his energy for the end to ride to victory.
K.V.V.U. T.V. Fox 5
When it first opened on April 4, 1957, the Tropicana was the most expensive hotel-casino ever built on the Las Vegas Strip. It was dubbed the “Tiffany of the Desert” in a nod to the status jewelry store. That elevated level of style set a new bar for what guests could and should expect, on a visit to Vegas.

Articles Featuring David G. Schwartz

students in spring
Campus News | May 1, 2024

News highlights starring UNLV students and faculty who made local and national headlines.

Spring Flowers (Becca Schwartz)
Campus News | April 1, 2024

A roundup of the top news stories featuring UNLV students and faculty.

The Las Vegas strip as seen on Super Bowl weekend (Josh Hawkins/UNLV).
Campus News | March 1, 2024

A collection of news stories and highlights featuring UNLV students and faculty.