May 7, 2013 Hit Me! Fighting the Las Vegas Mob by the Numbers was published. This book has recently come under fire for the observation that the State of Nevada failed to act on the information that organized crime was involved in various casinos. Leading the attack on this book are various individuals that served as public officials in gaming regulation during the 1970’s – the period Hit Me focuses on. The allegations of these individuals first came out in a series of articles that ran in the Las Vegas Review Journal. Following the publication of these articles I was invited to defend the book on the Ralston Reports television news show. As a follow up to all of this media attention, I have decided to write a blog post that examines the facts. So in the following article, I will ask the question…
“The infectiousness of crime is like that of the plague.”
– Napoleon Bonaparte
Luckily there is a cure for a criminal infection – it’s known as redemption. Following the publication of Hit Me! Fighting the Las Vegas Mob by the Numbers, Glenn Wichinsky contacted me in regard to the portrayal of his father, Michael Wichinsky, in the book. Michael “Mickey” Wichinsky had been the focus of one of my father’s, Dennis Gomes, investigations during his time as Chief of the Audit Division for the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
Secrets to Success
Dennis Gomes’ involvement in the gaming industry spans over four decades. He began his gaming career as the youngest-ever Chief of the Audit Division for the Nevada Gaming Control Board and he ended it as the co-owner of Resorts Casino and Hotel in Atlantic City, NJ. – grabbing headlines from start to finish.
Dennis Gomes, my dad, was posthumously inducted into the Gaming Hall of Fame in October of 2012.
Following my dad’s passing, my cousin, Jon, shared an email that my dad had sent him when Jon was starting his career.
Spoiler alert: be sure to read part 1 first!
Gomes, his wife Barbara, and his two children Doug and Mary moved from Las Vegas to Trenton in 1977.
While there, they built their dream home, an all brick colonial in Washington’s Crossing, not far from Gomes base at the State Police headquarters. The Gomes family fell in love with New Jersey and Gomes was enjoying his work, establishing his new Special Investigations Unit and helping to formulate the related operational manual for casino licensing investigations. Things were going well and he could not wait to get started on the investigation of New Jersey’s first gaming license applicant, Resorts International. To help him in this task, Gomes imported a few of his top agents from Nevada.
This year, 2013, marks the 35th year of gaming in New Jersey and in honor of this milestone, I’ve decided to post the Jersey Chronicles – a series of posts that highlight the sordid history of the passing of the New Jersey Gaming Bill.
The Jersey Chronicles – Part 1
On December 7, 2010 Dennis Gomes and Morris Bailly officially took over Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City. The news of their purchase was reported in over a dozen newspapers across the nation. However, this transaction was not the first time that Resorts Casino and Dennis Gomes had crossed paths.