Ex-Gov. Miller offers vivid account on the histories of Las Vegas and the casino industry


Bob Miller was nearing graduation from the Santa Clara University in Northern California when he received a call from his mother in Las Vegas.
"In a shaky voice," she told Miller his father and other executives of the Riviera had been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of casino skimming. The date was May 11, 1967.
Ross Miller was an original 5 percent investor in the Riviera in the 1950s. He had risen to chairman of the hotel-casino's board of directors.
"In some ways, he was the biggest fish the government had ensnared in its net," Bob Miller wrote in his autobiography, "Son of a Gambling Man," which chronicles his rise to become Nevada's longest-serving governor. The book is being released Tuesday.
Ross Miller had been an illegal bookmaker in Chicago with alleged ties to organized crime when he came to Las Vegas.
The charges against Ross Miller and several other defendants were dismissed when two of the indicted men pleaded no contest to the skimming charges in March 1968 and paid a reduced fine.
"I was, of course, enormously relieved," Miller wrote. "I never discussed this matter with my father. This probably seems a bit strange, but I knew the sensitive conversations with my dad were only initiated by him and not by me. He never brought it up."
"Son of Gambling Man" is about Miller's rise to a career as a lawyer, prosecutor, justice peace, district attorney, lieutenant governor, and eventually 10 years as governor between 1989 and 1999. His father, who passed away in 1975, cast a shadow over that long career.
Miller will hold public book signings on Tuesday at 5 p.m. at Barnes & Noble on Rainbow Boulevard; at 10 a.m. Friday at Hudson Books at McCarran International Airport, and at 7 p.m. March 25 at the Barnes & Noble in Reno.
I'll write more about "Son of Gambling Man" this coming Sunday in Inside Gaming.
Here is an article about Miller's book from Review-Journal Capitol Bureau Chief Ed Vogel.