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Inside Vegas - Steve Miller

Steve Miller is a former Las Vegas City Councilman. In 1991, the readers of the Las Vegas Review Journal voted him the "Most Effective Public Official" in Southern Nevada. Visit his website at:

Judge throws the book at Rick and Lisa Rizzolo,
and MGM's partnership with Dubai World
inspires questions about how well
Nevada governs its casinos?

INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
March 30, 2009

LAS VEGAS - This was a week that will live in Sin City infamy.

On Monday, United States District Judge Philip Pro issued a long awaited Order that will finally allow unpaid beating victim Kirk Henry, and other creditors, to go after former Crazy Horse Too topless bar owner and convicted racketeer Rick Rizzolo's hidden assets.

Then on Friday, MGM Mirage announced that their joint-venture partner, Dubai World, was trying to pull out of  the 76-acre CityCenter project, and MGM may be forced into bankruptcy. Hours later, MGM Mirage made a $200 million dollar payment which included the half that was supposed to be paid by Dubai World. This leaves $800 million unpaid.

But first, Kansas resident Kirk Henry has been waiting to get paid since September 20, 2001 when his neck was broken by one of Rizzolo's goons over a disputed $80 bar tab.

On July 26, 2006, politically ambitious Clark County District Court Judge Jackie Glass incorrectly ruled that Henry must continue waiting until the government-seized bar is sold in order to receive the $9 million dollar balance of his $10 million dollar settlement promised by Rizzolo in exchange for a light prison sentence and the government not prosecuting his father, sister, and brother. Since then, Henry, now a quadriplegic, has been denied his ability to locate and seize Rizzolo's personal hidden assets to pay his ongoing medical bills, and provide support for his family.

Just when Henry thought the Federal Court would come to his rescue, on February 3, 2009, U.S. Magistrate Judge George Foley erroneously agreed with Judge Glass' ruling, and all but killed Henry's chance of ever getting paid within his shortened life span.

On March 23, 2009, Judge Pro wisely issued the following ORDER overruling Judges Glass and Foley's bogus rulings.

On Wednesday, March 25, Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist John L. Smith wrote; "If Rick Rizzolo has buried any coffee cans full of cash in his backyard, it's probably a good time to start digging them up." "It would be much easier, of course, if Rizzolo awakened and coughed up the money he's already admitted he owes the Henrys. But from the outset Rizzolo has consistently neglected to take my advice, freely and generously given, in this case. Now I think it's too late."

Smith went on; "Then there are the times since his 2008 release from prison that Rizzolo has been spotted gambling and night-clubbing on the Strip. I'm guessing Rizzolo's casino hosts won't mind being asked how much their customer played at a time he should have been paying his debt to the guy one of his goons crippled." "During his representation of the Henrys, (attorney Don) Campbell once told the Las Vegas City Council that, if necessary, he would 'chase (Rizzolo) to the gates of Hell.' I'd say the chase is on."

When I first saw Terry Lanni's face on November 6, 2008 in the following news story, I knew Las Vegas was asking for trouble. For the past several years, I've come to believe that Lanni was a phony, and upon learning he was the driving force behind a terrorist nation's buyout of tens of millions of dollars in MGM stock, I was ready to panic.

Six months after Dubai World was approved by the Nevada Gaming Commission, they reneged on a $200 million dollar payment to keep their giant joint venture called CityCenter afloat, leaving MGM Mirage on the brink of bankruptcy.
Nov. 06, 2008 
Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal 

Dubai World seen as suitable partner 

State gaming commission to decide whether entity can work as ally with MGM Mirage 

Nevada gaming regulators said Wednesday that Dubai World, the investment arm of the Persian Gulf state, was a suitable business partner for casino giant MGM Mirage.

The entity, which has an asset base worth more than $100 billion and had revenues of almost $11 billion in 2007, has already made a substantial investment in MGM Mirage. Dubai World paid $5.1 billion last year to acquire 9.4 percent of MGM Mirage and 50 percent ownership in the massive $9.1 billion CityCenter development.

"I'm supporting this application because I see two entities in front of us that benefit each other," Gaming Control Board Chairman Dennis Neilander said following a 90-minute hearing.


Had Dubai World fulfilled their part of the bargain, we could soon be welcoming terrorists into our desert city, and what American city needs a major business partner headquartered less than 50 miles from Iran?

The sinister partnership, and MGM's subsequent possible bankruptcy could have been prevented by Nevada Gaming officials had they done a little research.

Dubai World in 2006 attempted to take over control of our nation's ports. US government officials then revealed that Dubai World was funding terrorist organizations including Hamas, and that they posed a threat to American security (see: ). The revelation thankfully thwarted Dubai World's plans.
Now the same group of Arab extremists have the future of the Las Vegas economy in their grip, and the automatons on the Nevada Gaming Commission greedily let it happen while ignoring widely reported stories about Dubai's relationship with Osama bin Laden's operatives.


Bin Laden's operatives still using freewheeling Dubai 

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) Osama bin Laden's operatives still use this freewheeling city as a logistical hub three years after more than half the Sept. 11 hijackers flew directly from Dubai to the United States in the final preparatory stages for the attack. 

Three weeks after the Nevada Gaming Commission shirked their responsibility to investigate "Sultan" Ahmed Bin Sulayem and Chief Financial Officer Maryam Sharaf of Dubai World, Terry Lanni, MGM's then top official and Dubai World's biggest booster, suddenly quit in the wake of a Wall Street Journal story questioning his educational  background.
Had the Nevada Gaming Commission done their due diligence last November, and had the Nevada media not been enamored by Lanni's B.S., they may have prevented putting in jeopardy the livelihoods of over 8,500 Nevadans employed in the construction of CityCenter..
This one was a no brainier, and it's clear who's at fault. Nevada Gaming Commissioners Peter Bernhard, Sue Wagner Randall Sayre, Art Marshall, Mark Lipparelli, Radha Chanderraj, Tony Alamo, and Dennis Neilander for obediently voting to approve the sinister partnership. And Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons for appointing them to such important posts, then not paying attention when Dubai World applied for a gaming license.

Trying to recoup some of the money Dubai World made petro-price gouging American citizens is not worth the risk. In the long run, Las Vegas may be better off -- and much safer -- if Dubai World folds their tents and goes home.

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