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Accused Las Vegas Strip shooter gets summer trial date

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- A self-described pimp already in Nevada state prison for a rape and robbery conviction is due to get a date for his death penalty trial in a Las Vegas Strip shooting and fiery crash that killed three.

A trial has been set for July 6, 2015 in the Strip shooting case.

Ammar Harris also faces a preliminary hearing in a separate prison contraband smuggling case.

Harris is due in one courtroom Wednesday while a Nevada state court judge sets a 2015 date for his capital trial on murder, attempted murder and weapon charges in the spectacular and deadly February 2013 shooting and crash.

Casino mogul says experience, not gambling, is key

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Steve Wynn says it's not the gambling that's the key to casinos' success. It's everything else -- including giving people a chance to live big.

The billionaire developer who has shaped the Las Vegas Strip gave that advice Tuesday night to a crowd gathered for the gambling industry's annual G2E Global Gaming Expo.

The industry has been rattled by troubles in Atlantic City. Four casinos have closed there this year, eliminating 8,000 casino jobs.

Competition has grown fierce as more states have legalized casino gambling. Industry leaders say an emphasis on non-gambling revenue sources including restaurants, shopping and entertainment is what will win the day for the industry.

Wynn says it's the customer experience, not the slot machines, that make casinos a success.

 

Expert: Gaming contributes billions to U.S. economy

LAS VEGAS -- Las Vegas is the king of gaming but the city has plenty of competition with some form of gaming now in 48 of the 50 states.

Batman and Robin have theirs. So does Wonder Woman and so do the guys from the "Hangover" movies but the Global Gaming Expo is much more than the latest slot machines.

"The U.S. gaming industry last year contributed $240 billion in economic activity." Adam Sacks with Oxford Economics said.

Sacks authored a brand new report on the economic impact of the U.S. gaming industry. He has crunched all the numbers studying the gaming industry's significant ripple effect, including local businesses.

"If you can think of what would happen if the gaming industry disappeared in Las Vegas and all of the employees of these casinos no longer had jobs and no longer had incomes, how that would affect everything from the grocery stores to movie theatres to the banks and so forth," Sacks said.

Britney Spears extends Vegas residency thru 2017

LAS VEGAS — Britney Spears announced she's sticking around in Las Vegas for another two years, according to LiveNation.

The pop star began her 2-year residency at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino last December.  She performs around 50 shows a year, which were contracted through 2015. 

LiveNation said she's now extended her shows through 2017.

Tickets for Spears' show range from $59 to $179. 

Britney, who just got back from a whirlwind tour promoting her new lingerie collection in Europe, announced on 'Good Morning Britain' she's working on a new studio album, although didn't offer much in details surrounding the project.

22 years later, a casino heist remains a mystery

LAS VEGAS -- The stories live on about his heist, but to this day, no one knows what happened to Bill Brennan in an unsolved Las Vegas casino mystery.

This week, 22 years ago, the Stardust Hotel and Casino employee walked out of the casino with half-a-million dollars. He hasn't been seen since.

The story is as legendary on the Strip, as the legendary casino that was taken for $500,000.

This very week in 1992, Bill Brennan left his job at the Stardust as he did for four years. Only this time, he stole from the Stardust in a big way and vanished without a trace.

In most casino capers, the culprits are caught. They typically only get away in the movies.

But in the early morning hours of Sept. 22, 1992, Stardust sports book cashier Bill Brennan didn't use a gun or threaten anyone.

"It appears he left the casino without being filmed by the surveillance cameras," Metro Police Lt. Joe Greenwood said in an interview in 1992.

Nevada monthly gaming win drops in August

CARSON CITY, Nev. - Nevada's monthly gaming win totals fell in August, according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

Nevada casinos won more than $920 million dollars from gamblers last month, representing a drop of more than 3.6 percent from August 2013.

Casinos in Clark County performed worse. Clark County casinos won more than $774 million in August, representing a decline of more than 5.1 percent from 2013.

The August totals did little to bolster the state's coffers. Nevada collected more than $50 million in fees based on the August gaming win. That represents a decline of 1.25 percent from the previous year.

Apartments damaged by fire had no sprinklers

LAS VEGAS -- There are new details about the building that caught on fire Wednesday afternoon and why the fire spread so fast.

The apartment complex did not have a sprinkler system and it is not required to have one because it was built in the 1970s.

The Americana Apartments were last inspected in 2011 and Clark County found violations. So, a new alarm system was installed, but no sprinklers.

During Wednesday's fire, people had just seconds to escape fast-moving flames.

"We saw the roof collapsing. It was really bad," complex resident Brian Tippett said.

Many who lived in the apartments lost everything.

One day later, people like Kevin Ho are rallying to help. He said many people who lived here couldn't afford to live anywhere else.

"A lot of them were devastated by what happened in the fire. All they have basically is what is on their back," Ho said.