There’s a great bit of dialog in the movieShawshank Redemptionwhen the two main characters-Red Redding and Andy Dufresne-are sitting in the prison yard, Andy consoling Red after he had been turned down for parole, which evidently happened quite a bit over the many years Red was in jail.

Red: Thirty years. Jesus. When you say it like that...
Andy: You wonder where it went.

Sure,Casino Journalhas only been around 25 years; but once again, when you start tossing around terms like a quarter century or one-third of an average lifespan, it still boggles the mind how long a period of time that is, and how quickly it has passed. I myself have been covering the industry since 1993, and to me that seems like only yesterday.

For the gaming industry, it has been a rather eventful 25 year period, that saw commercial casinos expand beyond Nevada and New Jersey to 23 states and counting; the birth and phenomenal growth of Class III tribal gaming; the establishment of Internet and mobile wagering; the formation of racinos; the spread of legalized wagering across the globe to countries too numerous to list… a series of accomplishments that goes on and on and on. AsCasino Journal Executive Editor Charles Anderer wrote in his column this month, there have been duller industries to cover over the last quarter century. (See The Back Page, page 76.)

As much as the gaming industry has evolved over 25 years, so too hasCasino Journal. The magazine has gone though a few different ownership groups, at least three different folio sizes, merges with other gaming magazines, the supposed death of print publications and a host of talented writers, editor, designers and sales people. Through it all,Casino Journal has found a way to survive and even prosper, thanks in no small part to you the readers who continue to seek out the magazine and make use of the information we provide each month.

Suffice to say we could not let our 25th anniversary go by without some sort commemoration. OurSilver Anniversary Special Sectioncontains articles that examine the properties, products and events of the past 25 years that spurred industry innovation; a timeline of critical gaming milestones over the past quarter century, for those of us who may have forgotten a year or two here or there; observations of gaming’s past and present from respected industry voices; and a look at how commercial-style casino wagering may evolve over the next 25 years.

Mostly, these articles were created with your entertainment in mind, but feel free to peruse them with a critical eye as well; there are always lessons and insights to glean from the past that can be applied to today’s world. Hopefully this will keep you from wondering where the time all went, as well. 

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