Monday, June 26, 1978 | 6 a.m.
CARSON CITY -- Tony Spilotro, reputed to be the watchdog for the underworld's money in Las Vegas, may soon be a candidate for Nevada's "Black Book," which would bar him from gambling casinos.
Roger Trounday, chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission, confirmed Sunday his staff was gathering background information about Spilotro, formerly of Chicago, for possible inclusion on a list of unsavory characters who are not welcome in the clubs.
"If he is as bad as the say he is, then we will go ahead," said Trounday. "But so far no decision has been made."
"I don't know that much about the man personally," said Trounday who added however that there were scores of rumors about Spilotro's ties with organized crime and his involvement in Las Vegas gambling.
"He's hanging around Las Vegas and I don't think it's for his health," said Trounday.
Nevada's "Black Book" is a list of about a dozen underworld figures who are barred from entering the major gambling casinos. The last two persons entered in the black book were Wilford "Nappy" Paulawa and Alvin Kaola, both of Honolulu.
Others on the list include Marshal Caifano, Nicholas Civella, Louis Tom Dragna, Robert L. "Bobby" Garcia and Joe Sica.
Trounday said he gave his orders to get the background investigation going on Spilotro about three weeks ago or before the FBI started raids in Las Vegas and Illinois in a crack down on organized crime.
Federal agents searched a Las Vegas jewelery store, Gold Rush Ltd., believed to be operated by Spilotro, his brother John and Herbert Blitzstein. Agents reportedly searched the firm for evidence of wire fraud, loan sharking, extortion, conspiracy to defraud the government and racketeering. No criminal charges have been filed.
Spilotro has been under the watch of Nevada gaming officials in the past. Several years ago the Nevada Gaming Commission told owners of the Dunes Hotel in Las Vegas to keep Spilotro out of the casino where he was spending a lot of time.
Former Gaming Commission Chairman Peter Echeverria said then, "Tony Spilotro is a very dangerous individual and the reports I hear...is that Tony Spilotro is supposed to be in Las Vegas watching after the mob's interests and his brother Joseph is going to take over after he goes back to Chicago."