Allen Glick Dies: Ex-Casino Mogul, Strip Developer Who Testified Against the Mob

Posted on: August 9, 2021, 11:44h. 

Last updated on: August 9, 2021, 01:04h.

Allen R. Glick has died at age 79 after a lengthy battle with cancer. His company, Argent Corporation, was one of the top Nevada gaming property operators in the 1970s until Glick lost his license and he sold off the casinos under the cloud of a federal inquiry.

Glick was never charged as authorities investigated skimming of casino funds
Allen R. Glick, photographed in the 1970s. The one-time Las Vegas casino mogul died last week. (Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Argent ran the Fremont Hotel and Casino, Marina Casino, the Hacienda, and Stardust Hotel and Casino. The Argent acquisitions initially were funded by a $63 million loan from the Teamsters Pension Fund, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Glick’s dominant role in the sector led him to become the Phillip Green character in the 1995 movie Casino. Actor Kevin Pollack played Green.

In real life, Glick was never charged, as authorities investigated skimming of casino funds. He always denied being involved with the illicit operation.

But he avoided prosecution when he agreed to testify for federal attorneys against over a dozen defendants in trials during the 1980s. Prosecutors alleged some $7 million was stolen between 1974 and 1976 from the casinos’ slot machine revenue, according to an account from The Mob Museum.

Reputed criminal organizations based in Kansas City, Chicago, and Milwaukee allegedly received the ill-gotten money. The FBI did have Glick under their watchful eyes. The Feds gave him the code name “Genius,” the museum said in a recent blog post.

Mob Threat

During the 1970s, Kansas City reputed mobster Carl DeLuna allegedly threatened Glick while they were in the office of Attorney Oscar Goodman, who would later serve as Las Vegas mayor. His wife, Carolyn, is now the city’s mayor.

″DeLuna, in a gruff voice, using graphic terms, told me to sit down,″ Glick claimed in testimony recounted in an Associated Press article.

He said he was sent there to deliver one last, final message to me from his partners. He stated that he and his partners were finally sick of having to deal with me and having me around,” Glick said. “He informed me that it was their desire for me to sell Argent Corporation immediately and I was to announce the sale as soon as I left the office.″

Otherwise, DeLuna allegedly threatened “one-by-one” to have “each of my sons murdered,″ Glick recalled.

Glick also was responsible for naming Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal as a manager at Argent. He later fired him. The Casino character based on Rosenthal, Sam “Ace” Rothstein, was portrayed by Robert De Niro.

The real-life trial ended with prison sentences for a dozen defendants, including DeLuna. Others imprisoned were Frank Balistrieri, Joseph Aiuppa, Milton Rockman, and Jackie Cerone, the Mob Museum said.

Glick Loses License

Glick’s gaming license was revoked in 1979 and he sold the properties the following year. But in Argent’s heyday, only Howard Hughes owned more hotels and casinos in Las Vegas than Glick.

Argent grew out of Recrion Corporation, which Glick acquired in 1974. He was Argent’s chairman and president. Argent got its name from Glick’s initials, ARG. They were followed by the abbreviation for enterprise: ENT.

Later, he led a company that operated casinos in foreign nations, such as Costa Rica.

Bronze Star in Vietnam

Born in Pittsburgh on April 11, 1942, Glick was a graduate of Ohio State University and Case-Western Reserve School of Law.

He served in the US Army’s Special Operations branch in which he was a captain in Vietnam and assisted in military search and rescue operations. Glick was awarded the Bronze Star.

At the time of his passing last Monday, Glick resided in San Diego. Survivors include his wife, Kathleen Glick, and two sons: Todd and Cary Glick. He is also survived by grandsons Aaron and Adam Glick.