Former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman will conclude his speaking engagement at his restaurant and bar in the Plaza Hotel & Casino this Thursday. The program runs from 6:30-8:30pm on January 29th. The subject of the dinner series will be on his opinions about the famous Las Vegas Black Book being unconstitutional. People listed in the book are not allowed anywhere on a casino’s property – restrooms, bowling alleys, or even Oscar’s Steakhouse. To get a feel for the Oscar Goodman character all you need to know is the true name of Oscar’s Steakhouse, it’s “Oscar’s Beef * Booze * Broads”.
Goodman was mayor of Las Vegas from 1999 to 2011, serving three terms. Possibly the only reason he is still not the mayor is legal term limits on the office. Well liked, charismatic, and iconic, the former mayor as well as his restaurant are very popular. He is known affectionately as the town’s “most popular mayor”.
For a little background on the man who would have the infamous book of “undesirables” thrown out, we can look at his early career as a defense attorney. Goodman has represented a list of defendants that reads like a “who’s who” of the former Las Vegas underworld. Names like Meyer Lansky, Nicky Scarfo, Herbert “Fat Herbie” Blitzstein, Phil Leonetti, former Stardust Casino boss Frank ‘Lefty’ Rosenthal, and reputed Chicago mobster Anthony “Tony the Ant” Spilotro.
The semi-fictional 1995 movie, Casino, gives us Joe Pesci as “Nicky Santoro”, a character reportedly based on Spilotro. In fact you can see Goodman in the movie playing himself where he defends the Robert De Niro character based on Lefty Rosenthal.
Those fortunate enough to attend the final of five events in his dinner series at Oscar’s are promised a new story about how the infamous Black Book came into being – a story he has never told.