en-US Here#039;s why you may not get free drinks in Las Vegas anymore Time was Las Vegas casinos served free booze so you would stay and gamble — and maybe loosen up enough to play even more. Now a few big casino companies are shifting gears by rewarding certain gamblers and leaving others high and dry. Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts are experimenting with... Thu, 20 2016 14:00:00 GMT Las Vegas Debate: Lesson in Democracy The eyes of the nation and of the world will turn to Las Vegas and the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, this evening for the final presidential debate of the 2016 election. The fact that this debate is being hosted in Las Vegas highlights some important roles that Las Vegas, the state of Nevada, and the American southwest play in electoral politics. Most people who follow politics regularly already know that Nevada is an important swing state. However as my UNLV colleagues have explained eloquently in various forums, few also realize that Nevada is also an important bellwether. Specifically, Nevada has voted for the presidential candidate that has been elected in every election but one since 1912. More importantly, the population of Nevada represents demographic trends in many American states. Indeed, Nevada's growing population includes a rapidly growing percentage of Latino, Asian-American/Pacific Islander, and African-American residents. In the future, America's national elections are increasingly likely to be decided by the candidate capable of winning swing states in the American southwest. One of the most incredible facets of having the final presidential debate take place at UNLV was the opportunity to host an International Debate Study Mission (IDSM). The IDSM is a group of international delegates from 29 different nations. These delegates are the progenitors of political election debates in their own home countries and are visiting UNLV so that they can better understand the process of hosting political-election debates. From Argentina to Zambia and all points between, these delegates are dedicated to the principles of fostering civil democratic discussions. Hearing the delegates stories and discussing the hurdles that they have faced was nothing short of awe-inspiring. Their sacrifice, hard work, and unrelenting commitment to debate should make every American feel humble and grateful for our nation's democratic traditions. Because of the dedicated work of those in the IDSM, there are now political-election debates in 80 countries around the world. What can we expect tonight? Scholars of presidential debates will uniformly report that the Clinton-Trump debates have no historical analog. However, the first two debates can provide us with some insight into what we can expect for the final debate. Trump's poor performance in the first debate set a new low bar for the genre. In the second debate, Trump improved, but both candidates were still mired in discussions of character and fitness for the office. This takeaway suggests that neither candidate adequately focused on critical discussions of policies and issues that could make a meaningful difference in the lives of all Americans. The overall perceived negative tone of the two in preceding debates was laid bare by the collective glee surrounding the second debate's final question asking the candidates to "name one positive thing you respect in one another." This reaction illustrates the desire of many Americans to move beyond the negativity of this campaign season and to embrace policies that will move our nation forward in a productive manner. Given the adversarial tenor of the first two debates and the likelihood that the third debate may be even more negative, some have suggested that the third debate should be cancelled. While these critics have made some reasonable arguments, we must realize that cancelling the third debate will not eliminate character attacks nor will it silence anti-democratic statements. In fact, cancelling the debate might actually amplify both. In the end, there is no solution to anti-democratic rhetoric except for more vociferous pro-democratic rhetoric. The delegates of the International Debate Study Mission know this all too well. Many delegates fought to craft debates in democracies emerging from decades or centuries of monarchical or dictatorial rule. A delegate from Guatemala described his country's first large political debate occurring with tanks surrounding the building where the debate was being held. The delegate's story paints a poignant picture of the value in having one's voice heard. At the end of the day, it is fair to assume that individuals from all nations want the opportunity to have their voices heard. Following in the footsteps of those who fought for our right to voice, this final presidential debate affords UNLV a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pave roads of our own. As we set the stage for the final presidential debate tonight, we firmly place our footsteps as a campus community in the bigger picture of voice in the American southwest and democracy as a whole. This post is part of an editorial series produced by The Huffington Post in conjunction with the four presidential debates held this fall by the Commission on Presidential Debates. Each of the four debates will be held at a college or university, and the author of each post in this series will be a professor at the participating school (Hofstra University; Longwood University; Washington University in St. Louis; and University of Nevada, Las Vegas). To see all the posts in the series, visit here. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website. Wed, 19 2016 21:08:37 GMT Roger Goodell Comments on Ratings, Raiders#039; Potential Move to Las Vegas, More NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell addressed the media following Wednesday's owners meetings in Houston, and he touched on topics ranging from the league's ratings decline on television to the Oakland Raiders' potential move to Las Vegas. Goodell also answered questions regarding the league's intense focus on celebration penalties and how the NFL will continue to approach gambling.  Here's an overview of what the commissioner had to say as the midway point of the 2016 regular season approaches.            Goodell Discusses Ratings Decline NFL ratings have dropped double-digit percentage points in every prime-time window, according to Fox Sports' Michael Mulvihill, and Goodell attempted to elaborate on why fewer fans are tuning in.  "We don't think we've lost viewers," he said, according to the Washington Post's Mark Maske. "It's viewers, but it's also how long they're engaging for." Goodell noted fans' consumption habits have a tendency to change over time, and that much has been evident of late. According to's Conor Orr, Goodell pointed to the NFL's partnerships with Snapchat, YouTube and Yahoo as one reason why viewers have shifted away from TV.  "We don't make excuses," he added, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. "We look at what's changing." Goodell later emphasized he doesn't believe national anthem protests have anything to do with ratings dips.  "We don't think that's a factor, our network partners don't either," he said, per The MMQB's Albert Breer.           Raiders Continue Push For Las Vegas Move The owners meetings also served as a forum for Raiders owner Mark Davis to pitch the other 31 owners on his team's prospective move to Las Vegas.  Speaking to USA Today's Tom Pelissero, Davis confirmed he's intent on moving the team from the Bay Area to Sin City after speaking to government officials in Las Vegas:  "It was really important to me that once that (Nevada deal) came through, that I live up to my commitment I made to (the governor)," Davis said, per Pelissero.  Goodell, however, cautioned that the league and its owners have to do more due diligence before any sort of vote regarding relocation can be held.  "There's still a great deal of information we need to gather," he said, per Pelissero.  NFL Network's Andrew Siciliano reported Goodell is in favor of the team staying in Oakland, but the logistics regarding a new stadium deal remain unsettled:  Davis recently said he'd "like to be calling it [Las Vegas] home right now," according to CSN Bay Area, but there are evidently still several hurdles for the Raiders to clear in order for the move to become official.             Odds and Ends Elsewhere, Goodell told the assembled media the league's crackdown on celebration penalties has been to protect the image of its players in the eyes of young viewers.  "It comes down to balancing a lot of issues," he said, per Maske. "We do believe that our players are role models." Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman provided his take on the soundbite:  Goodell also continued to oppose legalized gambling on NFL games.  "We remain very much opposed to gambling on sports," he said, per Rapoport. "We want to make sure we're doing what's right for the game." It should be noted that Goodell's stance on gambling runs counter to that of NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.  Two years ago, Silver penned an op-ed in the New York Times advocating for legalized and regulated sports betting in the United States. In the piece, Silver wrote, "There is an obvious appetite among sports fans for a safe and legal way to wager on professional sporting events," since the industry generates an estimated $400 billion in illegal bets each year. Wed, 19 2016 19:40:10 GMT Cowboys owner Jerry Jones#039; powerful voice is supportive of Raiders#039; move to Las Vegas On Wednesday, in NFL owners’ meetings in Houston, the subject of a possible Oakland Raiders’ move to Las Vegas is being addressed, and one of the leading advocates for the relocation is Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. “There’s no question it has additional interest and a ‘Wow!’ factor,” Jones... Wed, 19 2016 19:05:00 GMT Welcome to Las Vegas: You#039;re not in Farmville anymore Campaign 2016 updates: Trump and Clinton go head to head in the final debate Oct. 19, 2016, 10:12 a.m. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton face off in the third and final presidential debate Wednesday at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. It starts at 6 p.m. Pacific. Trump needs to focus on Clinton... Wed, 19 2016 17:13:00 GMT Crowded tarmac in Las Vegas as candidates arrive for final debate Campaign 2016 updates: Trump and Clinton go head to head in the final debate Oct. 19, 2016, 8:47 a.m. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton face off in the third and final presidential debate Wednesday at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. It starts at 6 p.m. Pacific. Trump needs to focus on Clinton... Wed, 19 2016 15:47:00 GMT Jerry Jones backs NFL in Las Vegas: #039;It#039;s a great opportunity for everybody#039; Jones says proposed Oakland Raiders relocation would be good for NFL‘Steve Wynn is a valued friend, and Sheldon Adelson is as well’Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says he is fully behind the controversial plan to move the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas.Steve Wynn, the Vegas casino billionaire who’s backing the proposed relocation, told lawmakers in Nevada last week that Jones and Robert Kraft, the Patriots owner, had given the project their blessing. When asked about that on Tuesday, Jones didn’t disagree. Continue reading... Wed, 19 2016 14:43:32 GMT Gay cowboys bring the Wild West back to Las Vegas Barrel racing, bull riding and roping will rule when the World Gay Rodeo Finals return to Las Vegas this weekend. And they may change attitudes about the LGBT community too. “We are just as tough as anybody else,” said Laura Scott, director of the event at South Point Hotel-Casino’s equestrian... Wed, 19 2016 14:00:00 GMT Three New Las Vegas Resorts Heat Up A New Part Of The Strip The North End of the Las Vegas Strip has been growing in fits and starts, but with three high profile new openings coming, that is about to change. Wed, 19 2016 12:25:00 GMT Watch this top Las Vegas bookmaker break down the odds ahead of the final presidential debate. We asked one Las Vegas' top bookmakers for the odds and the state of the race ahead of the final presidential debate. Thu, 01 1970 00:00:00 GMT