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Cabaret owner doesn’t seem fazed by new club manager’s connections

High-flying Rick’s Cabaret International chief Eric Langan appears ready to face whatever heat his recent hiring of reputed mob family soldier Vincent Faraci generates with authorities.


For one thing, Faraci’s ability to connect topless clubs with top-notch dancers is well-known in the industry. Rick’s Cabaret at 3355 Procyon St. is a big operation.

“That’s why we hired him,” Langan said earlier this week. “We talked to casino hosts and different casino managers that we do business with. They’ve all thought very highly of Vinny. He runs things right.”

Langan must have solid relationships with those casino hosts and managers, seeing as how the Gaming Control Board might frown on them associating with Faraci.

Faraci took a soft fall in 2006 on a tax charge as part of a 15-person global settlement of the lengthy FBI, IRS, and Metro criminal investigation of Rick Rizzolo’s Crazy Horse Too club. Faraci was sentenced to 10 months, five months to be served under house arrest.

Rick’s Cabaret International trades on the NASDAQ. The Houston-based company operates 19 clubs in 13 cities, and in October Langan was the subject of a Forbes magazine article that lauded his entrepreneurial spirit and ranked Rick’s on its list of “America’s 200 Best Small Companies.”

Rick’s International went public in 1996. Langan touts his operation as superior to other clubs due to its superior system of internal controls, central cashier, and computerized bookkeeping.

Who knows, maybe Faraci’s many years of topless club managerial experience will be good for Rick’s Cabaret. Harder to predict is what his presence at the club will do to the publicly traded company’s stock.

TOPLESS-TAXI WAR: Local taxi drivers are the focus of a lawsuit filed on behalf of the Little Darlings and Déjá vu Showgirls nude clubs by attorney Neil Beller, but cab industry insiders say there’s plenty of room for scrutiny of the link between local limousine drivers and front door personnel at major Strip resorts.

Diverting strip club customers for cash, the main allegation of Beller’s lawsuit and complaint to the state Taxicab Authority, is big business for many limo drivers, sources say. They can haul more customers and rake in more kickbacks. And all they have to do is spread the wealth back to the doormen, who bird-dog the customers and steer them away from the cabstand.

At $50 per person, a limo with six riders can generate $300, a piece of which is returned to the door boss.

Observed one cab industry veteran, “If your boss won’t spring for an investigative report into the taxi topless payoffs, maybe our union will. Limo drivers and the pimping hotel doormen make the big money. Taxi drivers get what’s left.”

Let me get this straight: Management of the megaresorts knows about it. The union that provides the door personnel knows about it. The cab and limo companies know about it. Of course state taxi and limo authorities know about it.

By now, I suppose, the Internal Revenue Service also knows about it.

CASINO MOVES: Gaming marketing legend Allan “Jamup” Hirschorn is retiring from the Bellagio later this month. From the Bahamas to the Strip, Jamup has seen it all.

And now MGM Mirage Chairman and CEO Terry Lanni has announced he’ll retire at the end of the month.

Do you suppose Lanni will go to work for Jamup, or plan a run for governor?

ON THE BOULEVARD: It’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years since consummate Southern gentleman Marcel Taylor opened the first Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Cholesterol levels haven’t been the same since. A few hundred of Marcel’s friends will gather starting at 4:30 p.m. next Friday at his 3900 Paradise Road location. … Former casino executive and congressional candidate Tom Gallagher and wife Mary on Saturday are opening a new tapas restaurant café Deia at 4165 S. Grand Canyon Drive. … Mayor Oscar Goodman dropped by the Tap House Thursday for a martini mixer and to present a key to the city to waitress Donna Sawyer, one of the all-time great and thoroughly stand-up attitude adjusters in the history of the city.

Have an item for the Bard of the Boulevard? E-mail comments and contributions to Smith@reviewjournal.com or call (702) 383-0295. He also blogs at lvrj.com/blogs/smith/

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