ABOUT BOOKS Canton On line casino employees member remembers outdated Las Vegas – Way of life – The Repository

The native canton was also a casino supervisor.

Repository Staff Writer

Jim Sinay was a craps dealer.

The native canton was also a casino supervisor.

Now, back in Stark County after decades in Sin City, Sinay remembers his days in Las Vegas. In his new book “When It Was Great,” written with Wid Bastian, Sinay recalls the “old” Las Vegas, Nevada’s gambling and stage show town in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s when it was fun 24 hours in the evening to be day.

“I miss Vegas, the old Vegas where it only had 100,000 people,” said Sinay. “You could look across the road from the dunes and there was an open field. In the east you could only see sand. There was space between the casinos. Now the casinos are right on the sidewalk and are big and big. I was told that there are more than 3 million people in and around Las Vegas. “

Vegas has changed. It may be better for some who have never seen “old Vegas”. For Sinay, who recently traveled there for a book signing: “I just saw a big city that wasn’t what it was.”


Sinay, who graduated from Lehman High School in 1956, moved to Las Vegas in 1968 after being fired from his factory job at Republic Steel.

“When I got out of there, my uncle Ed was Ed Pucci – he was my adoptive uncle, but I called him Uncle Ed for years – a bodyguard for Frank Sinatra. He said to me, “Jim, why don’t you go to Vegas to be a dealer?” ”

Pucci put him in contact with some casino guys. Sinay’s brother, Bob Sinay, followed him to Vegas in 1972. The two brothers worked a combined careers – in several different casinos – for nearly three quarters of a century as dealers and casino bosses.

Her mother eventually moved in with her sons and lived in Las Vegas until five years before her death in 2005.

“She loved playing her bingo and poker machines,” said Sinay, who has a photo of his 5-foot-4 mother walking between her two sons. Sinay is 6-foot-4 and his brother is 6-foot-3. “Someone asked her where we got our size from and she replied, ‘Why from me, of course?'”

Telling stories

Dozens of stories about the gambling mecca that became Sinay’s home are posted on the When It Was Great pages. This includes the names of some well-known celebrities who have traveled through Las Vegas.

“I’ve met a lot of famous people. John Wayne. Joe Namath. I danced with Debbie Reynolds. I played golf with Louis Prima and Herbie Mills of the Mills Brothers. I knew Frank (Sinatra), Dean (Martin), Sammy (Davis Jr.), and met Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford … the whole ‘Rat Pack’.

I met Johnny Carson on a golf course and hit a ball in his yard. He sat and read his newspaper. I said, “Can I get my ball?” He replied, “Yes, for $ 10.” Then he smiled and said, “Ahh, come in here and get it, boy” and opened the gate. We talked and he shook my hand. I told him I didn’t see him on TV because I was working in the swing shift. He said, “Have a good game.” ”

Other stars crossed his path. One day, Rock Hudson entered his “pit” at the casino. Another day he met Robert Redford, who was filming “Electric Horseman” at Caesar’s Palace. Sinay said he was a casino dealer in the movie.

“I played craps and blackjack, but I liked craps the most,” said Sinay. “The action was better. I didn’t like just standing there. It was a great time. We made good money. “

Sinay served for 17 years and served as a boss for another 16 years. So 33 years of experience are written in his book.

“People have seen the movies that usually deal with high-end casinos,” Sinay said. “My stories are about traders, cocktail waitresses, floor overseers – the people in the pit. I wanted people to know how Vegas was years ago. “

Reach Gary at 330-580-8303 or [email protected]

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