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Las Vegas attorney Bob Faiss, who played a key role in the evolution of Nevada’s gaming industry, died Thursday after a long battle with cancer. He was 79.
Faiss was a partner at Lionel Sawyer & Collins, where he was chairman emeritus of the firm’s gaming and regulatory law department. He was recognized by the National Law Journal for his work as a gaming attorney in the United States and as one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America.
“Nevada is a much better place because of the Faiss family,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said in a statement. “I’m terribly saddened at the loss of my friend Bob. Bob Faiss has accomplished much for our community, and his commitment to a better Nevada has always been at the forefront of his endeavors.”
Besides being a close aide to Nevada Gov. Grant Sawyer, Faiss represented the Del Webb Corp. and helped Hilton Hotels Corp. receive a gaming license in Australia in the mid-1980s. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Faiss was lead counsel for the Summa Corp, the company that operated casinos owned by billionaire Howard Hughes in the 1980s. He also worked with MGM Resorts International in the 1990s as the gaming company expanded worldwide.
"Bob will be remembered not only for his impact on the gaming industry, but for his indelible and generational contributions statewide," Gov. Brian Sandoval said in a statement. "A legend in Carson City and throughout the state, Bob enjoyed universal respect and admiration. Nevada has lost one of its true giants today."
Faiss was born Sept. 19, 1934, in Centralia, Ill. His family moved to Southern Nevada when he was 10, where his father managed a service station before getting a job at the Nevada Test Site. In the 1950s, he worked as the city editor of the Las Vegas Sun, and as a White House aide to President Lyndon Johnson.
A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. June 13 at the Fifth Street School at 401 S. Fourth Street in downtown Las Vegas. Faiss is survived by his wife, Linda; sons Michael, Mitch, Philip and Justin Cooper Chamber; daughter Marcy Cooper-Ayers; five grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
Howard Stutz, Las Vegas Review-Journal gaming reporter and columnist.