An old yarn

Las Vegas Review-Journal (Sunday) - - FROM THE COVER -

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.

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