Give Oscar a hand,and a glass to fill it!

Apr 23, 2002 7:55 AM

OSCAR MAYOR GETS A FOR EFFORT: Mayor Oscar Goodman should get at least an A for effort. Or maybe that’s AA for Alcoholics Anonymous. You see, the mayor is trying to land an endorsement deal with the distillers of Tanqueray. This comes after his long-time favorite, Beefeater, turned down his $100,000 request to pitch the popular gin. They felt Oscar Mayor’s pitchman services were worth only $25,000.

If the mayor can land the $100,000 deal, he would dump the money into the city’s general fund. Good luck mayor, and good drinking!

Also on the Oscar front, the mayor has indicated the old post office on Stewart Street might make a "mob museum." The historic building has been declared surplus by the federal government.

Although some critics complain the museum would "glorify" gangsters, we disagree. It would probably be an attraction people would actually want to visit. The mob was a colorful part of our past. The Flamingo lost an opportunity when it plowed under Bugsy Siegel’s old hideout. Let’s not miss this one.

STEP CAREFULLY THROUGH CYBERSPACE!: Nevada gaming regulators last week warned potential operators of the dangers in operating Internet gambling sites. They said that, besides the obvious legal questions, hackers could potentially ruin a site and unwanted gamblers could gain access to games.

The admonition sounded like the one they gave to Vic Salerno years ago, when they told him getting involved in off-shore or online gambling was like "walking through a mine field with clown shoes on."

Of course, the warning was a self-fulfilling prophecy for Vic, who was fined and required to sell his Australian online operation after regulators "stung" his operation by placing a bet from Nevada. Ouch!

HIGH ROLLER KEEPS ROLLIN’: A source reports that a high-stakes craps player rolled up a $2.5 million bankroll while shooting dice at Sam’s Town, then took his act on the road and lost a bunch at Casino Royale on the Strip.

It’s probably no coincidence that both casinos in town ”” probably the only two left ”” still offer 100X odds. Nevertheless, you’ve got to have some kind relationship with Lady Luck to keep a run like that going!

PUBLIC RELATIONS TRAFFIC JAM: What’s a good way to waste 90 minutes in the morning? How about going to Tiger Jam V.

The public relations information sheet offered the "opportunity to interview celebrities onsite." That would seem to indicate a chance to chat with either Charles Barkley or Tiger’s other guests. The ground rules had predetermined that Woods would be unavailable for interviews.

However, it seemed that stance also applied to Barkley and the other celebs for the three-hole Skins Game at Rio Secca, TV actors Kevin James (King of Queens), Dylan McDermott (The Practice) and world class volleyball player/model Gabrielle Reece.

"Those people will chat only in an informal way during the golf," said a Tiger Jam representative. When pressed that the PR release said differently, the rep said that was basically the best that could be done.

At least there was the opportunity to gawk at the stunning 6-foot-3 Reece. Even so, the alarm won’t be set early next year.

CONGRATS, LOVELY RITA! Rita Rudner celebrates her one-year anniversary at New York-New York. And what a year it’s been! The endearing comic is not only funny, she’s charming and loves dogs!

Moreover, Rita’s dog, Bonkers, is a native Las Vegan, and was originally a performer in the afternoon Super Dogs show at the Excalibur. Rita and her husband, Martin, adopted him after he was hit by a car, broke his hip and could no longer perform.

If you’ve seen Rita’s show, you know she often brings Bonkers out on stage. And you know he’s not a poodle. Says Rita, "Other dogs probably think poodles are members of some weird religious cult."

CREDIT WHERE IT’S DUE: To set the record straight, GamingToday’s Mark Mayer a few weeks ago broke the story about Pete Rose possibly heading to Las Vegas. Mark spoke to a source at the Palms Hotel & Casino, who indicated Pete was being groomed for a casino position.

With due respect to the patch-work columnist across town, who actually called Mark to confirm the story, next time give credit to the right writer and not one of your crone friends!

DON’T COUNT THEM OUT, YET! In our page 1 story, we report that many gambling initiatives have been squelched this year. Included among the states that will have to wait awhile for expansion are Kentucky, Kansas, Florida and Maryland. But proponents aren’t ready to give up the fight quite yet.

State lawmakers from across the country will debate the issue in New Orleans on May 31-June 2 for the summer meeting of the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States.

The conference will bring together legislators, regulators, casino operators and other interested parties. The meeting will focus on state revenue from lotteries, race tracks and casinos. Hopefully, they will be able to see how gaming can enhance their state’s economic outlook, especially when so may of them are struggling.