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July 1998 Article

Exclusively Found in the Insider Viewpoint of Las Vegas

Welcome to Las Vegas
Frontier Justice Style --
Part 1 of 3
By: Frank Rosenthal

I can remember that day as if it were yesterday! The weather was perfect, the afternoon flight from Chicago to Las Vegas was smooth and relaxing. I was on my way, prepared to settle into a paradise for gamblers. Freedom, no more hassling with anti gaming vice squads. You can play as much as you weigh and you don't have to look over your shoulder. The flight attendant was a solid (9) with a Pepsodent smile and let me know that she was staying over and had no plans for the evening. This had to be my day.

Had I known what awaited me I would have brought along a parachute. I had visited Las Vegas on several occasions over the years but never for more than three to four days per trip. This was going to be a trip to remember. Upon arrival I was met by an entourage of friends welcoming me to the city that would provide an excellent opportunity to enhance and extend my handicapping skills more effectively. Just like being on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Minutes, sometimes seconds can be the difference between winning and loosing. No more costly delays between Chicago and Las Vegas via telephone. Our team was primed and ready to zero in on the Las Vegas sports books from point blank range without fear or distraction. I finally found the safe way to make a bet and not be concerned about the law. Looked as though this was going to be easy as picking cherries off a tree. Somewhere within the airport complex I noticed two signs I would never forget. One read WELCOME TO LAS VEGAS the other read CLARK COUNTY SHERIFF-RALPH LAMB. I would remember both.

Checked into the Tropicana Hotel Casino. Beautiful suite, fresh cut flowers, and a tray of hot and cold appetizers compliments of the casino. All freshened up and ready to visit friends and the top executives at Caesars Palace. The door bell rang, probably more casino hospitality. Just lost my first mind bet. Two plain clothes detectives from the Sheriffs Department advised me that I'm under arrest! "Put your hands behind your back." "you're under arrest for breaking and entering." "You got the wrong man. "I just checked in and haven't even finished unpacking." "Don't bother, you won't be staying very long." "How would you know." Keep your mouth shut or we will shut it for you." I was handcuffed and marched through the casino into an unmarked car. They even had a backup, you might think that they had just captured John Dillinger. Up the elevator into an interrogation room for questioning.

A few moments later the well-known enforcer for the sheriffs intelligence division entered. It was the chief of detectives, the sheriffs right hand muscle man. Flanked by the two arresting detectives, the chief appeared to be casually reviewing a file. I politely asked if they would be kind enough to loosen the cuffs that were beginning to puncture my skin. They did adjust the cuffs, one click tighter. Now I began to wonder. What's their game plan? The chief didn't waste much time. After he put the file aside, he starred at me and appeared to be enjoying my discomfort. I knew the chief had a well-earned reputation for being tough and a no holds barred hombre. He was big, muscular and known to be very loyal to the sheriff. There were rumors that he wouldn't hesitate to plant you in the desert, and he was not your ordinary friendly gardener. His first words were "you don't look that tough to me." "Your right chief, I'm not, wouldn't even think about jay walking." He didn't seem to be impressed. He snapped back quickly. "You and your Chicago friends aren't welcome in our town." "I want you to catch the next flight out of here and don't come back." "Is that clear Lefty?" At that moment nothing seemed clear.

The pain was increasing, I was on his turf. I decided to remain silent. The chief's tone and look suggested that he was annoyed as he repeated. "The next flight, you better be on it, understand?" I foolishly said that I would think it over considering I had just arrived. He then exchanged eye contact with the two detectives. They walked out of the room, he came forward with hands that looked like hams. His grip around my throat felt like a steel vise. I was struggling, just hoping to remain conscious. I was being strangled, and wasn't sure if or when he would let me breathe. When he finally decided to ease up I felt reborn. No more guess work, the sheriff and the chief were playing hardball. I thought to myself, this nut-cake is either insane or a psychopath, maybe both. He called his two goons back. They removed the cuffs. The chief shouted out, "book this %#@! and get him out of here."

As I was about half way out the door he reminded me to hit the highways and "don't come back." "If you do there's a good chance you might have an accident far out in the desert, face down in nice big hole where you #*&%#@! belong." I looked back at him took a deep breath choosing my words carefully. "Okay chief I gotcha!" "I guess you can do just about anything you want to in this town but you could be making a mistake." "If that were to happen you an I could become closer then you think, maybe even side by side." Maybe I should have practiced the golden rule? "Silence is golden, it can't be repeated."

No doubt in my mind, I'm dealing with an unpredictable cop who may not be playing with a full deck. Finger printed, photographed and strip searched. I was on my way having been released on my own recognizance. The charges were eventually dropped. On the way back to the Tropicana I was thinking about the chief, the sheriff, the desert, and most importantly, their next move. It was clear "Welcome to Las Vegas" wasn't meant for me. I'm not ready to leave, they aren't going to back off.

Round (2) came quicker than I could have anticipated. It became a prime time showdown, center stage right smack in the middle of Caesars Palace, and you didn't need a reservation or a ticket. The sheriff sent his prize pit bull who ran into a hostile hometown rodeo cowboy… To be continued in the August edition.
Stay tuned.

Get on the right side of "LEFTY" by calling toll free 1-877-2CASINO, his talented sports team consultants will offer you a variety of packages containing "Lefty's" best plays on the Diamond, the Grid Iron, the Hardwood and the Ice. Baseball, Pigskin, Basketball and Hockey from the legendary expert on sports gambling. SPORTS ILLUSTRATED "When "Lefty" bets the betting establishment salutes." Surfers, step right up to and "Play to Win."

In the August issue of Insider Viewpoint magazine, read Part 2 of the real story of how Clark County Sheriff Ralph Lamb welcomed Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal to Las Vegas!

Frank Rosenthal


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