CHALK ONE UP FOR THE TERMINATOR: All Arnold Schwarzenegger needs is a few more people like Las Vegas gaming personality and philanthropist Elaine Wynn and his California gubernatorial prospects will be assured.
Elaine Wynn and her husband, Steve, are no strangers to Arnold and his wife, Maria Shriver, since they both own homes in the same Idaho community. Also, Elaine is a member of the national board of the Inner City Games, a youth charity that also has the interest of Schwarzenegger, a fellow board member.After having known Arnold for the past 15 years, Mrs. Wynn describes him as a "leader," although she was quoted as saying that some people may underestimate him. "If he is naÃ¯ve, it is refreshing. He’s one of the few idealists left in the world. He doesn’t let reality get in the way. I think that will help him."
There are many people in gaming that might say the same things about her husband. Certainly, in his vision in creating both the Mirage and the Bellagio, Wynn never permitted other people’s economic criticisms get in his way of building the two most powerful properties in Las Vegas.
SEINFELD EMERGES FROM AUDIENCE! Guests to the Riviera Comedy Club got a treat a not long ago when Jerry Seinfeld made an impromptu appearance and did a 15-minute set on the club’s small, circular stage.
Seinfeld was in town for a corporate appearance at the World Shoe Association convention and learned that his longtime friend and writer for his TV show, Barry Marder, was appearing at the Riv.
Without telling anyone, Seinfeld bought a ticket and took a seat in the back of the small showroom. When Marder finished his set, Seinfeld stepped forward and congratulated his friend, then shocked everyone by doing a 15-minute bit, complete with Las Vegas jokes!
After the show, Seinfeld, who was dressed casually in jeans, polo shirt and his signature tennis shoes, signed autographs and posed for pictures with his nearly-hysterical fans.
THERE’S A CHILL IN THE AIR: Within the last month, two nightclubs, the Ice Lounge and ICE Las Vegas opened their insulated doors in Las Vegas.
Since the temperature over the past month has hovered in the low hundreds, the chilly-sounding nightspots offer at least the "appearance" of offering a refreshing change from purgatory.
The first one is a split-level affair, located on Main Street near downtown. The second one is a huge, rambling nightclub that has taken over the space once occupied by the Drink.
ICE, however, has a slightly different theme than the Drink. There’s a "fur room," which features fur-lined walls, latex and S&M iconography.
The nightclub’s PR people say the fur room is a "plush world of sexual delight and inhibition," where guests can do ”¦ who knows?
Do you get the feeling that Las Vegas is taking its Let’s Get Back to Sin City theme a little too far? Coupled with the prosthesis of male organs that are supposed to enhance Cirque du Soleil’s new Zumanity show at New York-New York, perhaps the marketing gurus ought to think about a cold shower or two.
DR. ZHIVAGO FINDS RIGHT PRESCRIPTION! During the 1960s, there was no actor more dashing and daring than Omar Sharif. Starting with his mesmerizing role in Lawrence of Arabia and then Dr. Zhivago, Shariff captured the hearts of women around the world, as well as the admiration of men who weren’t afraid to admire other men.
At the height of his popularity, Shariff once remarked that gambling — one of his lifelong passions — was always more exciting when he was playing on the edge. That is, when he didn’t have much money, and most of what he had was riding on the spin of the roulette wheel.
That may have been the case in Paris last month, when Shariff apparently got into a fight with a police officer at a French casino. The fight arose after Shariff argued a point with the casino’s croupier.
Besides taking a poke at the gendarme, Shariff apparently head-butted the officer! As he once said, there’s no more excitement than when you’re playing with everything at stake, including your personal freedom!
But the judge was lenient, and simply gave Shariff a suspended sentence. He must have been a fan of Russian poetry.
INDIAN CASINO FINDS CRAPS IN THE CARDS! Although tribal casinos in California are supposed to barred from offering craps and roulette, one innovative operator has come up with a game to circumvent the law.
Harrah’s Rincon has devised a craps-like game that uses a pair of dice, a table that for all intent and purposes looks like a craps table, and 12 playing cards.
Apparently the "shooter" throws the dice, which are used to determine which playing cards are turned over.
Bettors make all the same bets as craps players — pass, don’t pass, come, field, etc. But because the dice are simply used to trigger cards, the tribe’s counsel said the game follows the "intent" of the law.
The intent of the law?
What’s next? A roulette wheel that’s used to determine which Parcheesi figures will fall onto the red or black?
Or maybe the tribal casinos will be able to offer sports betting, but only when teams are numbered or called certain Disney names.
No wonder everyone wants to be governor of the Golden State!
HE’S JUST AN OLD MAN, NOW: "Say what you want about Edwin Edwards," our Louisiana correspondent, Prince Nagib, remarked in a recent call about the imprisoned former governor, "but he was mighty popular with the people. They just loved him and that’s why he had no trouble getting himself re-elected the way that he did."
Now, he’s serving a 10-year sentence for extortion and bribery involving the casino licenses distributed by Louisiana authorities.
"Yes, he was convicted," said our caller, "but he just turned 76 years old so for all intents and purposes, he now is serving a life sentence. That just doesn’t seem fair. That’s why his friends have been circulating a petition asking President Bush to pardon Edwards. So far they’ve gathered around 50,000 signatures and they are looking to get as many as one million people to sign the petitions," he said.
Maybe the petitions should be circulated in Las Vegas. Edwards was a frequent and popular visitor when he was governor and on top of the heap.
JUST A QUICK RETIREMENT: A life of leisure just wasn’t in the cards for millionaire Ladies Din, the eight-year-old gelding owned by Las Vegans Bernie Schiappa and Terry Lanni.
After his sixth place finish in the 2002 Shoemaker Mile at Hollywood Park, his owners decided that after 12 wins in 37 starts and earnings of $1.966,754, the horse had earned a proper retirement.
But that really wasn’t what the horse was telling Schiappa.
"When you looked into his eyes, he didn’t look like himself," Schiappa recently told racing writer Steve Andersen. So, the horse was sent back to the racetrack to be trained by Frank Monteleone. Last week, he indicated that he wanted to run again with a creditable workout at Del Mar.