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Nevada’s Infamous ‘Black Book’ Gets Its 37th Entry

Written by:
Nagesh Rath
Published on:
Nov/29/2022

Another name has just been added to Nevada’s “Black Book”, which includes a list of individuals prohibited from entering any of the Nevada's casinos.

The 37th entry was one Leonard Morgan Hairston.  He'll join the likes of the late Frank Masterana, one of the first to ever dabble in the world of offshore sports betting, which was the trigger point for what would ultimately become the online casino industry.  It's doubtful Masterana even knew how to turn on a computer.

The commission tasked with determining Hairston fate met in Mid-November (2022). Among the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) members is one Philip Katsaros, who has dabbled in the web gambling sector himself.  He once served as head of business development for Inspired Gaming’s Virtual Sports.

Hairston might not be as colorful as a Frank Masterana but he's been arrested enough times: 34 to be exact. 

His numerous charges involved the manufacturing and passing on of counterfeit casino chips.  Certainly not someone the casinos want anywhere near their establishments.

He most certainly meets the criteria for entry: A prior felony conviction in Nevada and being an individual who “has a notorious or unsavory reputation that would adversely affect public confidence and trust that the gaming industry is free from criminal or corrupt developments.”

Katsaros didn't mince words when speaking of the creep Hairston (pictured below).

Leonard_Morgan_Hairston.png

"Clearly, he’s kind of a menace to our regulatory oversight of the casinos,” Katsaros told his fellow board members. “I would shudder to think how many more agents we might need if there were many others engaging in the levels of criminal activity that this individual has done.”

As an attorney, former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman represented more than a few of those who've found themselves in the infamous book. Back in the day Goodman was known for taking on clients tied to organized crime.

Of the 21 people banned from Nevada casinos between 1990 and 2000, most had alleged mob connections.

Masterana in fact became known as an associate - a reluctant one, to hear Masterana tell it - of Anthony Spilotro in the early 1980s.

Nicknamed "Tony the Ant", Spilotro was an American mobster and high ranking member for the Chicago Outfit working out of Las Vegas during the 1970s and 80s.  The beloved film Casino was based on Spilotro's character.

After running afoul of the rest of the family due to his apparent mishandling of Vegas dealings, they arranged for his murder on June 14, 1986.

“The gaming authorities didn't like them [his clients]," Goodman said of his mob clients during a recent interview with the local Channel 3 news station.  "They didn't care for their ethnicity. There were an awful lot of Italian Americans who were placed in the book.”

Goodman and Spilotro bonded over coffee one morning. The former Vegas mayor would go on to serve as his attorney.

“It was a very cordial relationship," he relayed. "He needed me to keep him out of prison, and I needed him to have the kind of cases that really were the best cases in the world for a criminal defense attorney.”

Goodman said he understands why the book was created.

“If the person who was put in the book cheated? Put them in the book,” he says. “I see a purpose when it has to do with cheating.”

But he thinks many of his clients were unfairly targeted.

“You buy a dime store novel that says something bad about Denise,” he says. "'Oh look, Denise's reputation is ruining Nevada, let's put her in the book.' You're a dead duck. You're in the book.”

Some of his clients have since been removed, mainly a result of them dying.

The Hairston admission came pretty quickly after the prior entry of, a lowlife who was not your typical Black Book entry.

Kendrick Laronte Weatherspoon has a long history of assaulting women.  This includes a 2019 incident in which he was charged with sex trafficking of an adult along with domestic battery.  Weatherspoon became the first person to make the list for acts other than cheating casinos or having mob associations.  He joined the ranks this past summer.

- Nagesh Rath, Gambling911.com

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