LAS VEGAS — Highly respected Nevada gambling attorney Robert “Bob” Faiss (FESS’), who represented some of the premier organizations in the industry during a decades-long career, has died.
Faiss’ wife of 23 years said her husband died at Boulder City Hospital on Thursday of complications from cancer. He was 79.
“He was a remarkable man,” Linda Faiss said. “He was just so proud to be part of Las Vegas, proud to build this remarkable industry.”
Faiss was born in Illinois. He moved to Nevada in his youth and served as student body president at Las Vegas High School before studying journalism at the University of Nevada, according to his classmate, former Sen. Richard Bryan.
He later worked as a city editor for the Las Vegas Sun, an aide to President Lyndon B. Johnson and as an adviser to Gov. Grant Sawyer.
As a member of the firm Lionel, Sawyer and Collins, Faiss lobbied for clients, including the Nevada Resort Association and American Gaming Association, and established himself as a pre-eminent authority on Nevada gambling law.
“Bob was always superbly prepared, very precise, very persuasive,” Bryan said. “I attribute some of that to his journalism.”
Faiss’ career spanned the era of modern gambling, and he played a key role in the development of casino regulation and the move toward corporate ownership of casinos.
He earned places on prestigious lists, including the National Law Journal’s 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America.
Colleagues remembered him as a humble lawyer and lobbyist who had no enemies.
“I will remember Bob as someone who displayed the most extraordinary sense of humility of virtually anyone I’ve known in this or any industry,” said Jim Murren, CEO of MGM Resorts. “For a man who literally wrote the book on gaming law, he always made those around him feel as if they were the most important people in the room.”
Faiss had an “incomparable” work ethic, according to his wife, and continued working until cancer prevented it. He spent his last days in the hospital accompanied by family and a steady stream of visitors, she said.
In addition to his wife, Faiss is survived by five children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Memorial service details are pending.