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John L. Smith


On Memorial Day, studying war no more

One of my favorite Memorial Day stories takes place in the distant past. When Joseph Graham died more than nine decades ago in Las Vegas, his friend William Keith made sure there was a proper stone on his grave at Woodlawn Cemetery not far from...

Macau no longer a sure bet

Time magazine has an intriguing article on the shape Macau is in these days as its casino titans struggle to stay afloat and enormous construction projects sit unfinished. It’s titled, “Fortunes Fade for Macau’s Casino Kings.” "But what was once a...

Raggio proves why he’s a GOP leader

Bill Raggio The hard-right brigade within the state Republican Party should — but won’t — take notes from the actions today of Senate Minority Leader William Raggio. The legendary legislator has been kicked around all session by the zealots in his...

New Jersey finds a Ho unsuitable

Pansy Ho, right, daughter of Macau gambling king Stanley Ho and a partner with MGM Mirage in a casino venture in the Asian enclave, has been determined to be unsuitable by New Jersey gaming regulators due to her father’s suspected connections to...

Claudine Williams: An Appreciation

Claudine Williams was raised in the rackets and proud of it. As a schoolgirl in Louisiana and Texas, when others her age were practicing their arithmetic, she was putting her skills to a practical use by dealing cards at a backroom casino. She was...

COMING SUNDAY: The death of a hotel maid

FOR SUNDAY: On the October morning in 2000 that Essie Oten Reed was murdered, she rose before dawn as usual and dressed for work as a housekeeper at Circus Circus. She had held the job 14 years and supported her family through good times and bad on a maid’s wages.

Casino legend Claudine Williams dies

Claudine Williams, a hard-working Louisiana girl who grew up to become a top Las Vegas casino executive and community philanthropist, has died after a lengthy illness. She was 88 years old. Williams is recognized as the first woman in Nevada to lead...