This season's All-Star Game, and any others held out in the Nevada desert are likely to be the only NBA games held out in Lost Wages for a while, because commish David Stern wants the casinos to knock off the NBA betting if a team is to relocate there or given to the city.
And via the AP (on SI's web site), we learn that's just find with the chief executive of several big Vegas casinos. Terry Lanni, who's in charge of the MGM Mirage, thinks the game can stay out of Vegas, as far as he's concerned, because the crowd it attracts aren't good for business:
MGM Mirage's first-quarter earnings fell below expectations, and they're blaming the "gangbangers and thugs" associated with All-Star weekend (supposedly). The AP says Lanni backed off, saying his statement only applied to the All-Star game. For his trouble, Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman is trying to assuage Lanni, but it's probably safe to say that his concern (misplaced as it is, given various accounts of the violence that occurred, and the amounts thereof) doesn't only go for the All-Star game.
"The gang-bangers and others who came for purposes other than attending the game, they weren't very good for Las Vegas," Lanni told The Associated Press.
Lanni said there was little action on the gambling tables the day of the game.
"In talking to our casino hosts, a number of people stayed in their villas and suites. They felt uncomfortable," he said.
(Photo: Las Vegas Review-Journal)