A prominent roster of Las Vegas gaming leaders are putting their chips on Republican Mitt Romney's presidential bid.
About 80 people, including gaming billionaires Sheldon Adelson, Steve Wynn and Phil Ruffin, showed up at a private $50,000-per person fundraiser that helped raise $2 million for Romney.
The gathering was held at the Park Towers penthouse of Tim Poster, executive vice president at Wynn Las Vegas.
Poster said he expected a turnout of about 20 for the big-ticket fundraiser. "It wasn't just Republicans. A lot of Democrats came," he said. "It was definitely not a partisan crowd.
"There's so many people worried about the direction the country is going and see where Obama is taking us," he added.
Donald Trump, in town for his Miss USA pageant at Planet Hollywood Resort, introduced Romney, who fielded questions for about three hours, Poster said.
Also attending: Newt Gingrich, who earlier in the day criticized Trump for creating "a sideshow" by continuing to question whether Obama was born in the United States; Las Vegas developer Irwin Molasky; Wynn executives Marc Schorr, CFO Matt Maddox, Kim Sinatra and Tom Breitling; Station Casinos executives Frank Fertitta and Laurence Epstein; and Bill Weidner, one of Adelson's former top executives.
Poster said one of the evening's more lighthearted moments came when Trump was spotted posing in front of a replica of the White House made from cake by Wynn pastry chefs.
"Trump instructed a photographer to take a lot of pictures of him by the White House. We all got a big kick out of that," Poster said.
Asked whether Trump's "birther" issue overshadowed Romney on a day when the latter clinched the GOP nomination, Poster said that Trump was "baited" by the media.
"I don't think it's Trump out there pushing it as a story," he said. "That's the only thing the mainstream media wants to talk about."
Andy Cohen, the Bravo network executive behind the "Housewives" franchises, is signing his memoir, "Most Talkative: Stories from the Front Lines of Pop Culture," from 7-9 p.m. Friday at the Queue Bar at The Cosmopolitan.
THE SCENE AND HEARD
Film legend Rhonda Fleming discusses her May 1957 debut at the newly opened Tropicana during Ira David Sternberg's "Nighttime With Ira" radio show tonight at 9 p.m. on KUNV-FM (91.5) or online at www.kunv.org. She was in four films with Ronald Reagan.
Mayor Carolyn Goodman and her husband, former Mayor Oscar Goodman, celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary with family members during a private lunch gathering Monday at Mon Ami Gabi (Paris Las Vegas). Frank Caliendo, backstage Tuesday after taking in Terry Fator's "Ventriloquism in Concert" show at The Mirage. Entertainment legend Debbie Reynolds joins Dennis Bono today on "The Dennis Bono Show" live from South Point. The show starts at 2 p.m.
THE PUNCH LINE
"It was announced today that they're auctioning off the Elvis tomb. The auction house in Memphis actually is selling the place where Elvis left the building. He's not in there, of course, because he's working in a gas station in Henderson, Nevada." - Craig Ferguson