Las Vegas Sun

July 25, 2021

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GLICK QUITTING NEVADA GAMING

Argent Corp. chief Allen R. Glick, tired of hassling with state and federal probes of his complex, Teamster-backed casino operations, has decided to lease out and eventually sell the Stardust and Fremont Hotels in Las Vegas, top gaming sources told the SUN Wednesday.

It was learned that Glick is negotiating with a group of Las Vegas gaming investors headed by local attorney Jay Brown.

Details of the negotiations were sketchy Wednesday but reports indicated Brown's group will enter into a multi-year, multi-million dollar lease of the two Las Vegas resort properties.

An option to buy them is included in the deal.

The agreement reportedly will net Glick a healthy profit as landlord.

Brown himself is an attorney for Argent and also represents the Tropicana hotel.

He has successfully guided the Tropicana through extremely tender negotiations with state officials to keep the resort open during several financial crises.

Glick could not be reached for comment at a late hour Wednesday, but sources said the multitude of lawsuits and investigations he faces before the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other agencies, including continual harassment by state gaming authorities, led to his decision to back out of Nevada gambling entirely.

Glick, 35, is the largest single borrower from the Teamsters Union Central States Southeast and Southwest Areas Pension Fund, a sum totaling more than $100 million with which he purchased his Las Vegas gaming empire.

At one time it also included the Hacienda Hotel and the casino of the Marina Hotel on the Strip. That was 1974 when Glick, with Teamster money, purchased the assets of Recrion Corp., which then controlled the four resorts.

Both the Stardust and Fremont hotels reported record wins for the first quarter of 1978 after consistent losses for the four years since Glick took over.

Since his purchase of the hotels, he has been under heavy attack from both the State Gaming Control Board and Nevada Gaming Commission for alleged irregularities in the bookkeeping of his operations.

Total purchase price of the two resorts, the Stardust on the Strip and the Fremont downtown, was not disclosed. But industry spokesmen believe the two hotel-casinos are worth more than $125 million.

Negotiations with the local group have been under way several weeks but have been kept secret until agreements could be finalized.

Part of Glick's decision to back out of the gaming industry was said to come from a recent gaming commission order that two Stardust employees file applications for key employee licensing in the casino's race book.

They are Joseph "Joey Boston" Gurwitz and Martin Kane, both considered top racing and sports handicappers.

Another source of irritation to the youthful casino operator is Wednesday's Clark Count Grand Jury indictment of former Stardust slot department chief Jay Vandermark and his assistant, Leland Ross Northey for allegedly embezzling several million dollars in a skimming operation when Argent operated the four casinos.

Vandermark is a fugitive in Costa Rica while Northey is being sought in Northern Nevada.

There has been no evidence that Argent management was aware of the embezzlement.

Law enforcement officials consider Glick and his hotels to be the victims of the multi-million dollar ripoff.

Glick has also recently testified before a secret federal grand jury in Las Vegas probing organized crime.

He testified for several hours on two separate occasions but the nature of what he had to say has not been disclosed.

The gaming commission had scheduled a special meeting Thursday to hear allegations of irregularities in the bookkeeping of the race and sports books at the Stardust and Fremont.

Those hearings were canceled, however, after Argent pleaded for delay on ground one of its chief witnesses was too ill to testify.