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Jerry’s Nugget exec moves step closer to regaining license

More than three decades after he lost his gaming license for taking part in a scam to cheat Caesars Palace, Jerry’s Nugget Assistant General Manager Angelo Stamis on Wednesday moved one step closer to restoring his place in the casino industry.

The Gaming Control Board voted 2-to-1 to give Stamis, 73, a license to operate gaming at Jerry’s Nugget, a North Las Vegas casino that is now owned by his family members. The Nevada Gaming Commission will make a final ruling on the matter March 20.

Gaming Control Board Chairman Dennis Neilander cautioned that Wednesday’s decision shouldn’t mean every revoked gaming licensee would be considered for reinstatement.

“It’s a case-by-case matter,” Neilander said before joining with control board member Randy Sayre in supporting Stamis’ application. “I think the totality of the record shows his rehabilitation.”

Control board member Mark Clayton voted against Stamis because he was troubled by the cheating crime.

“Cheating is the most egregious act a gaming licensee can commit,” Clayton said.

Sayre said he agreed with Clayton but supported the application after Stamis said he not had any contact with the individuals involved in the cheating ring since the 1970s.

Stamis, who was first licensed as a key employee at Jerry’s Nugget in the 1960s, was part of a group that was caught trying to cheat at blackjack inside Caesars Palace in 1975. He admitted his culpability to Nevada gaming regulators and his gaming license was revoked.

In 1980, gaming authorities allowed Stamis to serve as the manager of the Jerry’s Nugget restaurant, but he was not allowed to have any involvement in the casino. By 1988, he had become the casino’s food and beverage manager, but he was still not allowed any involvement in the casino operations.

In 1990, Stamis asked gaming regulators to restore his license. The Gaming Control Board voted 2-to-1 in favor of the application. But the Nevada Gaming Commission was prepared to deny the license when Stamis asked to withdraw the matter from consideration.

Attorney Frank Schreck said Stamis waited 18 years to refile the application because circumstances had changed at Jerry’s Nugget. His brother, George, retired four years ago and is preparing to sell 90 percent of his ownership to several parties, including two of Angelo Stamis’ sons.

“I would like a chance to teach my sons the casino business,” Stamis told the control board.

Schreck said Stamis would not take any ownership in Jerry’s Nugget because of estate planning.

“He has had an exemplary career for 28 years,” Schreck told the control board. “I think he has shown rehabilitation.”

Contact reporter Howard Stutz at hstutz@reviewjournal.com or (702) 477-3871.

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