An old yarn
A persistent story says that Liberace held a private gaming license for his home. However, like many stories about Las Vegas’ history, this one comes up wanting.
Brian Paco Alvarez, a local historian who also has been an officer of the Liberace Foundation for the Performing and Creative Arts, says he never came across anything in Liberace’s archives indicating he ever held a gaming license.
“One thing I can corroborate is the fact that he did have a slot machine in his house for his mother,” Alvarez says. “His mother loved playing slot machines, and there are photos of the slot machine with his mom. And it wasn’t illegal to own a slot machine.”
The Las Vegas Advisor looked into the gaming license story in 2015 and, again, found evidence lacking. The publication notes that Nevada’s “wide open” gaming law, passed in 1931, required gaming to be conducted in public view, and it traced the stillunsubstantiated but often repeated claim to Liberace’s housekeeper as quoted in a 1996 newspaper story.