Frank Rosenthal - the legendary Las Vegas gaming tycoon whose life inspired the Martin Scorsese film Casino - has died aged 79. Officials in Florida said he died from a heart attack in his Miami Beach home.
Frank Rosenthal who had close links to the Chicago mafia and who once survived a car bombing, ran the Stardust - Fremont - Hacienda and Marina casinos in Las Vegas through the 1970′s and into the mid-1980′s. Rosenthal eventually wound up being listed in Nevada’s *black book* of unsavoury characters banned from the state’s casinos because of his ties with the mob.
Robert De Niro played a character based on *Rosenthal* in Scorsese’s 1995 film version of Casino. Rosenthal - who was born in Chicago, was one of the pioneers of sports gambling in the United States. While in Vegas he also had his own TV show, which attracted guests including Frank Sinatra.
He is said to have acquired the nickname *Lefty* after refusing to answer no fewer than 37 questions in court during one of the hearings into the gambling empire he was running for the Mafia – including whether or not he was left-handed.
After leaving Vegas he retired to Miami Beach where he ran a gambling website. (Frank Rosenthal has secured a firm place in Las Vegas history)!!!