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Howard Stutz

Jerry's Nugget executive has gaming license restored

25 March 2008

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- The Nevada Gaming Commission took less than 20 minutes Thursday to restore Angelo Stamis' place in the casino industry, ending a 33-year road to redemption for the assistant general manager of Jerry's Nugget.

Stamis, 73, lost his gaming license in 1975 when he was caught participating in a scam to cheat Caesars Palace. Although he was never convicted of any crime, Stamis admitted his role in the scandal and had his gaming license revoked.

Over the past three decades, he filled numerous nongaming roles at Jerry's Nugget, primarily overseeing food and beverage operations of the North Las Vegas casino owned by his family. Gaming commissioners agreed that Stamis had worked hard to redeem himself.

"When you look at the actions demonstrated over the years, he truly has been rehabilitated," Gaming Commissioner Radha Chanderraj said.

Gaming Commission Chairman Pete Bernhard said removing an applicant from the list of people who have had their gaming licenses denied, had their licenses revoked, or have been found unsuitable needs to be done on a case-by-case basis. Stamis, he said, has had an exemplary record for the past 33 years.

"I'm comfortable that doing this will be the correct action," Bernhard said.

The 5-0 vote by the gaming commission affirmed a 2-to-1 vote for approval by the Gaming Control Board March 5. Attorney Frank Schreck, who represented Stamis, said it was first time a person had been removed from the unsuitable list and granted approval to work in gaming operations.

Stamis was licensed as a key employee of Jerry's Nugget. His brother, George, retired from the family-run casino four years ago and is preparing to sell 90 percent of his ownership to several parties, including Angelo Stamis' two sons, Jeremy, 27, and Joseph, 24. The two work as casino shift managers at Jerry's Nugget.

Angelo Stamis said he wanted to teach his sons the casino business.

"I very much appreciate that the Gaming Control Board and gaming commission approved me," Stamis said after the hearing. "I'm also very appreciative of the two gaming agents who worked on my case."

Stamis said Jerry's Nugget is looking at expanding its operations in North Las Vegas. He and his family own 200 acres in Mesquite that he is looking to use for commercial, gaming, retail and residential. Stamis said the licensing approval will help in the development of that location. "I worked 12 to 14 hours a day, six to seven days a week doing whatever it takes at Jerry's Nugget in order to rehabilitate myself in the eyes of my family and friends," Stamis told the commission.

Stamis was first licensed as a key employee at Jerry's Nugget in the 1960s.

Gaming authorities in 1980 allowed Stamis to serve as the manager of the Jerry's Nugget restaurant, but he was not allowed to have any involvement in the casino. By 1988, he had become the casino's food and beverage manager, but he was still not allowed any involvement in the casino operations.

Stamis asked gaming regulators to restore his license in 1990. The Gaming Control Board voted 2-to-1 in favor of the application. But the Nevada Gaming Commission was prepared to deny the license when Stamis asked to withdraw the matter from consideration.

Schreck said Stamis waited 18 years to refile the application because of his son's involvement in the business.