Winner Takes All

How Casino Mogul Steve Wynn Won-and Lost-the High Stakes Gamble to Own Las Vegas


By Christina Binkley

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From Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and culture critic Christina Binkley comes an updated edition of her New York Times bestselling account of sex, drugs, and the rise of Las Vegas. With a new prologue on the rise and fall of Steve Wynn.

The Strip. Home to some of the world’s grandest, flashiest, and most lucrative casino resorts, Las Vegas, with its multitude of attractions, draws millions of tourists from around the world every year. But Sin City hasn’t always been booming: modern Vegas exists largely thanks to the extraordinary vision, and remarkable hubris, of three competing business moguls: Kirk Kerkorian, Dr. Gary Loveman, and Steve Wynn. And in the wake of #MeToo revelations, not all empires survive.

Having had personal access to all three tycoons, Binkley explains how their audacious efforts to reach the top-and to top one another-shaped the city as it stands. She takes us inside their grandest schemes, their riskiest deals, and the personalities that drove them to their greatest successes, and their most painful defeats. In this updated edition, she reveals the inside story of how Steve Wynn, the winner who took all, ultimately lost everything-twice.

Sharp, insightful, and revealing, Winner Takes All is the gripping story of how billions of dollars and the unparalleled drive for power turned dreams into larger-than-life reality.

“It’s a great drama on the greatest stage. . . Wynn, Kerkorian, and Loveman represent three opposing business personalities, three styles of achieving success. On the Vegas Strip, they’re pitted against one another like gladiators, and we’ve got front-row seats. Kapow!” – bestselling author Po Bronson



Las Vegas has been a playground for men since the city’s Mormon founding fathers arrived in 1905, leaving no mystery in why Steve Wynn made the city the center of his life’s work. Wynn understands how adults play, and how to cater to their pleasures better than most people on earth. He has catered to his own pleasures there also—pet dolphins, Impressionist masterpieces. While he isn’t a child of Las Vegas and hasn’t fully made his home there for years, the city is part of his soul, and vice versa: Steve Wynn is the soul of Las Vegas.

Even today, as he prepares to summer on the Aquarius, the yacht that is currently making its way from Monaco to Cap Ferrat, Wynn says he is starting a new business in Las Vegas—an online art dealership. Housed in a stuccoed suburban shopping mall by McCarran International Airport, the listed office isn’t the sort of place Steve Wynn would likely actually work. It’s a placeholder for his new future—one he has assembled in the matter of months since his world imploded for the second time.

It’s a rare thing for a human being to build an actual empire. Wynn did that twice, and in doing so he molded Las Vegas—which is both a city and an industry—into what it is today, a world center of hedonism in sport, shopping, sex, theatrical entertainment, and gambling. His proclivity to chase his own passions has sometimes alarmed those around him, and this has been his Achilles’ heel.

Las Vegas has an uncanny way of attracting rule breakers, philistines, art collectors, owners of megayachts, political backers—people who don’t color within the lines. A Venn diagram of Las Vegas moguls and their friends extends in circles outward to Hollywood, Hong Kong, Jerusalem, Moscow, and Washington, D.C. The 2016 elections and their aftermath have been threaded with Las Vegas relationships: Sheldon Adelson, founder of the Las Vegas Sands empire, is one of the nation’s most generous Republican political donors. Wynn, until recently, was the finance chair of the national Republican Party. President Donald Trump is a wannabe Las Vegas mogul who never quite managed to do much there. An example of the way influence travels among this group: As U.S. president, Trump wished so urgently to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem that he was willing to wreck the United States’ relationships with many of its allies. Coincidentally, perhaps, Adelson wanted that Jerusalem embassy so badly that he offered to help pay for it himself.

Several characters in this book have transformed themselves in the past decade. Donald Trump, who failed to succeed in duplicating Las Vegas at his Atlantic City casinos, became president of the United States of America. Sheldon Adelson parlayed his investment in the Las Vegas Sands, where Frank and Dino once partied, into a casino dynasty with its weight in Asia, becoming one of the richest men in the world. Gary Loveman didn’t succeed as he’d hoped in the gambling business, but he is one of the few gambling chief executives to find an afterlife outside it—a feat in itself. He has been working in the health care industry.

If this were a Hollywood film, it would be tempting to begin at the end, with the lens focused on a trim, blond seventy-six-year-old Elaine Wynn dressed in head-to-toe Oscar de la Renta, leaning in, fists planted on a vast table. The camera would pull back to reveal her surrounded by frowning men in suits, then thread a long hall into a casino with ringing slot machines, and then it would rise through the ceiling, high over the crazy quilt of themed Las Vegas Strip buildings—an Eiffel Tower, a Venetian palace, frothy dancing fountains. The scene would snap to azure Mediterranean waters and seagull calls—the lens closing in on a long yacht with a younger blond woman standing on an upper deck. Lounging on a chaise with brilliant yellow cushions would be a craggy seventy-six-year-old Steve Wynn, with disconcertingly raven-colored hair, talking urgently and loudly on his cell phone.

Chapter One


In this town, nobody likes each other. It’s all veneer covering the seething hate.


The dust has cleared. Kirk Kerkorian controls the western half of the Las Vegas Strip. Gary Loveman and the vast Harrah’s and Caesars empire commands the central zone. Steve Wynn is the overlord of an island to the north.

So Las Vegas is set for a showdown. The town is in the full swing of its most robust renaissance. A good $60 billion worth of new casino resorts is under way there—more than the United States’ planned spending on Homeland Security in 2007.

A recent Google search for “Las Vegas” revealed 179 million hits. This compared with 132 million hits for “Rome,” a city some 2,700 years older than Las Vegas but with a similar history of gluttony. What this tells us is that Las Vegas, as a cultural reference and as a city, has taken on greater worldwide significance than the place may deserve. Also, it’s heavily advertised.

Yet there it is. Las Vegas is visited annually by forty million people and it is growing like mad. Like mad.

Las Vegas has been reborn many times, always emerging bigger and more boisterous, wriggling and howling to make its presence known. Pioneers Bugsy Siegel and Gus Greenbaum built the Flamingo in 1946: a two-hundred-room resort that cost $6 million. That is less than one-third the $20 million that Caesars Palace recently spent on each of six snazzy new high-roller suites.

These huge casinos are the result of an extraordinary partnership of ego, nerve, and greed on the part of a handful of men. But they couldn’t fill them without you, the public—people who can’t get enough of Las Vegas, and those who hate it but go anyway.

Each year, at least a million more people visit Las Vegas than the year before. The city has twice as many hotel rooms as New York City, and on many weekends all 135,000 of them are sold out.

The town’s popularity conquers many inconveniences. Las Vegas Boulevard is tackier than the old Times Square—children can collect prostitution flyers from the sidewalk in front of Caesars Palace. In Las Vegas, visitors stand in queues: at airports, hotels, buffets, valet parking, taxi stands, and theater box offices. The only places where there are no lines are at the slot machines.

Yet in a time when vacations have been so curtailed that they amount to long weekends, people visit Las Vegas for a whopping average of 4.5 days. They arrive prepared to spend cash and, while there, they dutifully participate in an ecstasy of consumerism.

Roughly as many people visit Las Vegas as New York City each year, but Sin City’s visitors spent 62 percent more in 2005 than their counterparts touring the Big Apple. This explains why Guy Savoy has opened a restaurant in Las Vegas; by most estimates, it is the most expensive restaurant in the world. Luxury retailers have noticed too. By 2009, if all goes as planned, Chanel will have more clothing boutiques in Las Vegas than in New York. And if you desire a pair of Manolo Blahnik shoes, you will find no larger a collection anywhere than at the Blahnik boutique in Las Vegas.

One might easily assume that people go to Las Vegas to gamble. But of the $36.7 billion that sinners spent in Las Vegas in 2005, only $9.7 billion was wagered away, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. If not to gamble, why go? When it’s all averaged out, most folks see a show, spend $248 on food and drinks, $136 on shopping, and $60 on local transportation. Those who did gamble sat at slot machines or tables for an average 3.6 hours per day. Which is, when you think about it, a long stretch spent on your butt.

People go to Las Vegas for things that are plastic but couldn’t happen anyplace else. Kobe beef for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A Nordic sake sommelier. A massage at Canyon Ranch before a six-hour blackjack spree. Even the entertainment is mind-bending: If you haven’t seen Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas, then you haven’t seen what Cirque can do on a stage that will disappear underwater or flip sideways and toss its actors into space.

There are many other stunning and stimulating parts of Nevada, but few visitors bother to venture even a few miles to see Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, or the vast, lovely lunar landscape that stretches past Death Valley to the west and the Grand Canyon to the east. On average, sightseeing absorbed a mere $8.21 of visitors’ trip budgets. That won’t buy entry to the Liberace Museum—not even with the senior discount.

The convention authority understandably did not account for how much people spent on sex, sex shows, drugs, or other illegal activities. Given the billboards, advertising flyers, and prostitutes visible around Las Vegas, it’s a safe bet that this, too, plays as significant a role in the Las Vegas economy as gambling.

So. If that many people are having so much fun visiting Las Vegas casinos, just imagine what it’s like to own one. No industrial titan is likely to equal the lifestyle of an average Las Vegas casino boss. A trip to the Far East for a casino mogul is likely to include socializing with the wealthiest industrialists in China as well as eager dignitaries in Thailand, Hong Kong, and Singapore. For a dinner at his home several years ago, Steve Wynn simultaneously hosted his friends former U.S. President George H. W. Bush and the actor Bruce Willis. Clint Eastwood got married on the Wynns’ Las Vegas terrace; Wynn has vacationed with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and has hosted the Dalai Lama at his home.

Kirk Kerkorian has owned his own movie studio and spends part of nearly every year on the French Riviera. Glenn Schaeffer, the former president of Mandalay Resort Group, snared a recurring role on the television show Las Vegas. He played a casino owner alongside actor James Caan, whom Schaeffer took to calling “Jimmy.”

As investments go, casinos sure beat pork bellies.

Las Vegas is headed toward being a “major city,” visited each year by more than four million international travelers, including business and political leaders who come to use Las Vegas for their own devices.

Yet, for all its phenomenal growth, Las Vegas behaves like a small town. The Strip pulses with the testosterone of casino bosses who are locked in treacherous rivalries but attend one another’s birthdays and charity galas and send their kids to the same two private schools.

Las Vegas may be plastic and modern, but it retains a libidinous frontier air—a pioneering, can-do zeal to improve. This is a city that will send in road-building crews on the graveyard shift in order to avoid disrupting the flow of traffic into a new casino. It’s a mindset that comes from the knowledge that Las Vegas initially had nothing, really nothing, going for it except its willingness to be bulldozed.

And imploded. And bulldozed again into resurrection.

Chapter Two


There was a time I was aiming at $100,000. Then I thought I’d have it made if I got a million dollars. Now it isn’t the money.


Kirk Kerkorian, clad in gray pants and a blue dinner jacket, strolled into the ballroom of the Mirage hotel in late November 2005. He was flanked by a couple of old friends. His little entourage made its way to a table front and center, where a line of white-coated waiters stood at attention—the only line of waiters in the ballroom.

This year, the Nevada Cancer Institute’s Rock for the Cure gala had an angelic theme. Hors d’oeuvres were served by leggy “rock angels” wearing white hot pants, white platform go-go boots, and four-foot-long feathered wings. A topless angel with silver sparkles painted on her nipples swung lazily from a trapeze bar on the ceiling. She looked bored. The actor George Hamilton strolled by with his famous ochre complexion.

Onstage, television personality Larry King chitchatted from a dais. King’s trademark suspenders were slung over his bony shoulders.

“He’s gonna hate me for doing this,” King confided to the microphone, “but he’s one of the world’s great entrepreneurs and he’s here tonight! Kirk Kerkorian, folks! Give ’im a hand. Take a bow, Kirk.”

The room rose en masse, people in gowns and tuxedos throwing their hands together in applause. Kerkorian nodded politely, a movie studio owner who waits in line to see films anonymously in theaters, a casino mogul who views boxing bouts in his own casinos from the nosebleed section.

Rock for the Cure is one of the big charity balls in Las Vegas, where the town’s elite bid each year on such desirables as a golden retriever puppy, Muhammad Ali boxing mitts, and dinners cooked by Wolfgang Puck. The other elite charity events of the year in Las Vegas are an Alzheimer’s gala headed by Larry Ruvo, who runs the region’s dominant wine and liquor distributorship, Southern Wine and Spirits; and Andre Agassi’s annual Grand Slam for local children’s causes.

“There’s no more Howard Hughes,” King continued, his gravelly basso rising like a carnival barker. “We have Kirk Kerkorian!”

The Mirage’s ballroom was full of designer gowns glued to artificially augmented bodies—a blend of Hollywood va-va-voom and Kansas City spangles. At some point during the evening, a Bentley Continental Flying Spur was auctioned off for $220,000, and an outing with Tiger Woods went for $350,000.

A date with flirtatious Fox Sports weathergirl Jillian Barberie was sold twice—each time for $100,000—with coaxing from Larry King. “Larry’s my pimp,” Barberie joked from the stage.

Later, the comedienne Rita Rudner performed. Rudner lives in Las Vegas. She began her routine by voicing one of Las Vegans’ fondest hopes: that they might become a legitimate city. Not just white-glove, but world-class.

The Nevada Cancer Institute, one month old, was promising Las Vegans the panache of real medical research. It was founded by one of the town’s new power couples, Heather and Jim Murren. Jim Murren was president and chief financial officer of Kerkorian’s casino company, MGM Mirage. Heather Murren had abandoned a seven-figure income as a Wall Street analyst to found the institute.

In her speech that evening, Heather Murren noted that patients had already flown in for treatment from as far as Arkansas. A murmur of awe rippled through the ballroom. “We’re getting so sophisticated,” Rudner said dryly. “I tell people in New York not to get too uppity.”

Then she gazed across a glittering sea of rock angels and trophy wives. “Here, breasts—they’re more than a body part,” Rudner deadpanned, “they’re entertainment.”

The singer Stevie Nicks was preparing to take the stage as Kerkorian was leaving, still flanked by his pals, a few minutes before ten p.m. Larry King was back at the microphone.

“On Saturday, I am seventy-goddamned-two years old and Kirk Kerkorian is my hero,” King told the crowd. “He’ll live forever. And if he doesn’t, he’ll buy heaven and sell shares.”

Kerkorian’s office is in the leafy commercial district of Beverly Hills, on Rodeo Drive, just around the corner and across the street from the Barneys New York store. It is separated from the paparazzi tourist movie-star hubbub part of Rodeo by the automotive whoosh of Wilshire Boulevard. Down one more block, the neighborhood turns to homes with small, neatly kept backyards.

The office building, a modern low-rise with a dozen or so tenants, is unmarked by Kerkorian’s name or the names of any of the companies that he controls. One must simply know.

Kerkorian stands 5′11″ or thereabouts and has an etched face, a pugilist’s nose, and stubborn, wavy white hair. Even in his ninth decade, he is tennis svelte. He goes just about everywhere with a posse of loyal cronies who are willing and able to jet off with him at a moment’s notice. Yet aside from being a billionaire, a sometime Hollywood studio mogul, and a casino tycoon, Kerkorian is quirky and old-fashioned—a relic. Most of his contemporaries are six feet underground. At midlife, he was Howard Hughes’s nemesis and Cary Grant’s buddy. In his youth, he boxed and flew airplanes.

He keeps life as simple as any mogul can. He doesn’t use credit cards or wear a watch most days, according to friends. Embarrassed about his lack of formal education, he doesn’t make speeches or accept awards. He has donated millions of dollars to charitable causes—many of them in Armenia, and even including the Armenian government—but he won’t allow any of the roads, buildings, or other projects to be named for him and he has not so much as visited any of them, according to a longtime friend. Kerkorian is as likely to lunch with his bookkeeper as with another business titan—perhaps more likely. He drives himself around in regular-guy vehicles. Recently it was a pair of white Jeep Cherokees—one in L.A., another in Las Vegas.

To meet Kerkorian is to receive a polite handshake, a nod, a restrained smile. He is unreadable. People say it’s an adrenaline rush to do business with Kerkorian, but this comes as much from people’s imaginations—“He is a legend!”—than from anything in his unextraordinary behavior.

Kerkorian runs two primary companies. One is called the Tracinda Corporation. The other is the Lincy Foundation. Both are an amalgam of the names of Tracy and Linda—his two grown daughters from his second marriage to a former Las Vegas showgirl named Jean Maree Hardy. Linda is adopted, according to several accounts. Kerkorian is legally the father of a third daughter, Kira Rose Kerkorian, though the girl turned out to be another rich man’s progeny.

Tracinda owns his holdings in the other companies that Kerkorian controls. Its offices on Rodeo are quiet and genteel, according to several people who have worked there. The receptionists, accountants, and lawyers begin to arrive around nine a.m. to begin a day that is steeped in tradition, as some have worked there for three decades. They leave at the stroke of noon to lunch together, typically at one of three restaurants. The choices include a Mexican eatery, a French bistro, or a soup-and-sandwich shop. Kerkorian often eats a sandwich at his desk or lunches at a restaurant around the corner at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, his colleagues say.

No one seems to be particularly clear on how Kerkorian spends his hours in his office, other than to say that he isn’t pushing papers or sweating details. He speaks on the telephone. He thinks.

Everyone heads home around five p.m.

Widespread beliefs that Kerkorian leads a frugal life are just false.

Kerkorian maintains large homes in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. He travels in his own Boeing 737, which according to legal records is furnished with a living room, kitchen, two bedrooms, and seats for twenty-one passengers. In addition to walking around with a wad of thousands of dollars in his pocket, he has also had a long and fickle relationship with a yacht—a 192-foot, German steel-hulled boat with two 1,750-horsepower Caterpillar engines, a teak sun deck, a gymnasium—plenty of comfort but no “frou-frou” details—with room for ten guests and a dozen crew members.

It’s the twenty-second largest yacht in the world, according to Power & Motoryacht magazine’s 2005 rankings. The yacht is one of those assets, like the MGM movie studio and his early airline, that Kerkorian keeps buying and selling.

Kerkorian chartered the yacht in her earlier life, liked her, bought her, named her the October Rose (his sister’s name is Rose), sold her, and after she underwent a series of new owners (including Larry Ellison) and new names (Libertad, Sakura), bought her back again. And named her October Rose again. Then sold her again.

“It’s a guy’s boat,” says Douglas Sharp, of Sharp Design in San Diego. Kerkorian hired Sharp to refurbish the yacht, but didn’t seem much interested in the details. “We just met him once,” says Sharp, who had traveled to Las Vegas with a set of plans for the yacht’s refurbishment.

“One of the meetings was really bizarre. We sat in the outer office and sent the designs into an inner office,” Sharp says. Kerkorian sent an emissary with his comments, but didn’t bother to step outside his office or invite Sharp in. “We never saw him.”

When Kerkorian kept the yacht in San Diego, Sharp says, “She was always on the move. His crew would get a call and have to take her out. It was for his friends to use—and for him to use. It was never chartered.”

Later, Kerkorian kept her on the French Riviera. By April 2006, yachting circles were chattering that Kerkorian had moved on again. The yacht was spotted in France and Italy with yet another name, Magna Grecia, signifying another new owner.

Kerkorian belongs to the Beverly Hills Tennis Club, which is located on Maple Drive in the shady, flat part of Beverly Hills. The club roster is posted on a wall near the pool. There is Neil Simon, the playwright, and the actor Kirk Douglas. There is Henry Gluck, the former chairman of Caesars World. And there are several of Kerkorian’s close crowd: Terry Christensen, his longtime lawyer, and Alex Yemenidjian, his onetime protégé.

The Beverly Hills Tennis Club is venerable now, but it was founded by rejects. Groucho Marx and several other Jewish tennis lovers founded it after they weren’t welcomed into the restricted Los Angeles Tennis Club in blue-blooded Hancock Park. That was back when Beverly Hills was nouveau riche. Cheery pictures of Charlie Chaplin, Carole Lombard, and Errol Flynn in tennis togs still adorn the walls.

On any given afternoon, the average age of the players at the club is in the neighborhood of seventy years and at the casual restaurant overlooking the pool it is possible to lunch with former Secretary of State Warren Christopher on one side and a movie studio chief on the other.

In a room to one side known as the “card room,” there is what amounts to the club’s wall of honor, hung with youthful photographs of members who served in the armed forces. There is a baby-faced Joseph Wapner, who would later become television’s “Judge Wapner.”

Kerkorian was a civilian flight instructor and “too smart” to serve in the armed forces, says one member whose photo is also on the wall. But there he is anyway, standing against a small plane and wearing a leather jacket, palming a cigarette. His eyes look smoky with shyness—or impatience.

During heavyweight bouts at his casinos, Kerkorian can be found plunging into the crowd far from the VIP seats where Steve Wynn and Donald Trump vie for spots in the limelight. He likes action, not pampering. When gunfire broke out in the MGM Grand Casino after the Mike Tyson–Evander Holyfield match, Kerkorian was in the crowd, elbow-to-elbow with Dan Wade, the MGM Grand’s president.

He can be curiously helpless, in the manner of one who has other people handle details. One day not long after 9/11, when Hollywood feared its movie studios were terrorist targets, Kirk Kerkorian drove himself onto the lot of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio, which he controlled. The guard at the gate had no idea who this gentleman in the Jeep was, recalls Alex Yemenidjian, who was then the studio’s chairman.

The guard asked Kerkorian to pop open his trunk for a security check. Kerkorian said courteously that he didn’t know how, but the guard was welcome to open it if he could find the button.

Kerkorian’s control of casinos, movie studios, and other businesses is de facto but not de jure. MGM Mirage, for instance, is run by an executive committee and the board of directors. Kerkorian attends the meetings, and the company’s executives are careful to brief him beforehand. “No surprises,” says Yemenidjian. Technically, Kerkorian is just another board member and big shareholder. J. Terrence “Terry” Lanni is the company’s meticulous chairman and chief executive.

The way Lanni got his job says a lot about the way Kerkorian leads his life and his businesses.

Terry Lanni spent nearly two decades at Caesars before Kirk Kerkorian and Steve Wynn came calling at about the same time. Kerkorian needed help fixing the MGM Grand, which was being picketed by the powerful local Culinary Union and was suffering the ills of poor design and management. He asked Lanni to meet him at a hotel near his office in Beverly Hills.

“He asked me about what I thought of the MGM Grand,” Lanni recalls of his interview. “I said it wasn’t very well run, it was too big, and there must not have been an architect. He asked me about the union. I said it would be very hard for me to work at a place in Las Vegas without the union.”

“I don’t get involved in any of those things,” Kerkorian replied. “I leave it all up to the management.”

Often a phone will ring in Las Vegas in an office of the casinos that Kerkorian controls. It might be the chief financial officer’s office or the general counsel’s or the chief executive’s. More often than not, the caller won’t be “Mr. K,” but another of his trusted executives who is seeking a piece of information: Why is the stock price down 1.5 percent? Who is exercising their stock options and why?

Kerkorian moves people back and forth between Tracinda and his other enterprises, even sometimes convincing his attorneys and accountants to come work for him. Alex Yemenidjian rose from tax accountant to movie studio head this way. When MGM Mirage needed a general counsel, Kerkorian plucked Gary Jacobs out of private legal practice and put him in the job.

Many of these people at Tracinda don’t have traditional job titles that would clarify what they do for a living. There are cloudy, generic titles, such as “executive.”

For many years, Kerkorian has played aggressive games of tennis with a group of close friends at his home each weekend that he is in Los Angeles. Being included in these sessions is a coveted privilege. When Yemenidjian stopped working for Kerkorian, he made a point of saying he was still invited to play tennis.

“Kirk is a god,” Yemenidjian says.



  • "The author has a novelist's instinct for character development and taut, suspenseful storytelling, infusing the subject with all of the drama, verve and what-happens-next imperative of a classic Scorsese epic."—Kirkus Reviews
  • "Binkley vividly conveys the repulsiveness of the scene, but as with train wrecks, you just can't stop looking. Or reading."—The Washington Post
  • "You won't want to put down her tale of how Kirk Kerkorian, Gary Loveman, and Steve Wynn got their start and made their fortunes in Sin City."—CNN Money
  • "Binkley offers plenty of nuggets mined from her years on the beat, producing a full, flashy tale of powerful men and their pride, vanity, envy, greed-and all the other cardinal no-no's that earned Vegas the name Sin City."—Publishers Weekly
  • "The odds are good this will be quite a bestseller. It's a great drama on the greatest stage Wynn, Kerkorian, and Loveman represent three opposing business personalities, three styles of achieving success. On the Vegas strip, they're pitted against each other like gladiators, and we've got front row seats. Kapow!"—Po Bronson, author of What Should I Do with My Life?: The True Story of People Who Answered the Ultimate Question
  • "I haven't put this book down and for good reason. If you're curious about the people, ahem, men, who rule Las Vegas, Winner Takes All will introduce you to the world of flashy, egomaniacal business moguls. Christina Binkley a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist leads the troops into Las Vegas and unearths Steve Wynn, the tycoon behind such hotels as The Wynn and Encore hotels, amongst others. You'll be captivated by it."
  • "Explosive."—Page Six
  • "A must-read!"
    Vital Vegas podcast

On Sale
Nov 6, 2018
Page Count
336 pages
Hachette Books

Christina Binkley

About the Author

Christina Binkley is an award-winning journalist who writes and chats about the business of culture. At the Wall Street Journal for twenty-three years, she covered fashion, gambling, and other topics that familiarized her with larger-than-life personalities.

Binkley contributes to WSJ Magazine, the New Yorker, the Wall Street Journal, and DesignLA. She appears periodically on venues such as CNN and National Public Radio. A graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Binkley was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of 9/11. She was awarded the Jesse Laventhol Prize for Deadline News Reporting by the American Society of Newspaper Editors.

Binkley lives in the hills of Los Angeles with her husband and two teens, with cats, a dog, a passel of chickens, and a dead-on view of the Hollywood sign.

Learn more about this author