Tributes pour in for attorney Bob Faiss

Many elected officials and others are paying homage to one of Nevada's great historical figures, attorney Bob Faiss, who died after a long battle with cancer Wednesday, just before midnight at the age of 79.

UPDATE: Services will be held at 3 PM on June 13 at the historic Fifth Street School in Las Vegas.

UPDATE 2: I've added a beautiful piece by Control Board boss A.G. Burnett.


I will be updating this as I get more encomia:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

Nevada is a much better place because of the Faiss family. I’m terribly saddened at the loss of my friend Bob. Bob Faiss has accomplished much for our community, and his commitment to a better Nevada has always been at the forefront of his endeavors. He is accomplished and was recognized not only as one of Nevada’s best lawyers, but as one of the best lawyers in the United States. He will be missed by many in Boulder City and throughout the state whose lives were touched by his presence. The Faiss family and their friendship has meant so much to me. Wilbur, Theresa, their three sons, and their grandchildren should be proud of their more than 70 years of contributions to the growth and success of Nevada. I send my deepest condolences to his wife Linda, and to the rest of his family and friends who are mourning the loss of this truly wonderful man.

Rep. Dina Titus

Bob Faiss was a pioneer in gaming law whose incredible intellect, integrity, and grace helped make Nevada the international gold standard for the industry.

MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren

Bob's professionalism, intellect, and respect for the rule of law led to the creation of the fundamental regulations that helped to create a stable and well-regulated industry here in Nevada, as well as in jurisdictions across the country and around the world. 

Here in Nevada, his contributions to his native state, its economy and its people cannot possibly be overstated. 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.  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.  I will forever be in his debt for the wisdom, guidance and insights he provided to me and the entire MGM family.”

We join with Bob's family, colleagues and his many friends in marking his passing and honoring his legacy.

Gaming Commissioner Randolph Townsend

"A very, very sad day for all Nevadans” is simply too trite a phrase. He was a quiet giant of a human being, an iconic gaming figure, nurturing mentor, whose integrity, intelligence, quiet resolve, gentlemanly demeanor, and longevity, made him a better person than any of us are likely to ever meet. 

AG Catherine Cortez Masto

Paul and I are deeply saddened by the passing of Bob Faiss, a pioneer of gaming and regulatory law.

Bob was a mentor and good friend.  Although quiet and humble by nature, he had a keen sense of politics and compassion for helping others.

He dedicated his life to improving Nevada.  Bob’s legacy will go down in history as being not only one of the best attorneys in Nevada but one of the most influential lawyers in America.

This distinguished titan will be greatly missed.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Linda, and children during this difficult time.

Ex-Gov. Bob Miller

Bob Faiss was as accomplished as he was understated. He was a person who effected change by influence and by the deep respect in which he was held yet he never sought credit much less self-aggrandizement. In all the years I have been privileged to know Bob I have appreciated his advice and his friendship. He played a significant role in the legal field, in government and in gaming . Bob helped  n shaping the present day Nevada. We are all better off because we were blessed by his presence in our state. It is a gross understatement to say that he will be missed .

Rep. Steven Horsford

Saddened by the passing of Bob Faiss, a great man and a gaming law legend. We will miss him dearly and never forget all he did for NV.

Gov. Brian Sandoval

It is with great sorrow that I learned today of the passing of my good friend, Bob Faiss.  Bob will be remembered not only for his impact on the gaming industry, but for his indelible and generational contributions statewide.  A legend in Carson City and throughout the state, Bob enjoyed universal respect and admiration.  Most of all, Bob was a true gentleman who loved his family and state.  Nevada has lost one of its true giants today.  Kathleen and I send our most sincere prayers and condolences to Linda and his family and friends at this difficult time.     



Gaming Control Board Chairman A.G. Burnett (in a book foreword):
Bob Faiss. The name, when mentioned in gaming circles around the world, conjures images of
professionalism, courtesy, and respect. Mr. Faiss is a remarkable example of what gentleman lawyers 
not only used to be, but should strive to be; his name carries an unblemished reputation that is only 
bolstered by his specialized expertise and his quiet and thoughtful demeanor. Having known Mr. Faiss 
for over 14 years, and having always been on the other side of the table from him, I can testify in any 
court, under any oath, that not once have I heard him utter an ill word towards anyone. In fact, I have 
never seen him come close. He has stood at the podiums of the State Gaming Control Board and the 
Nevada Gaming Commission as an icon of the regulatory process, a man whose gentle mannerisms 
coupled with his vast knowledge of gaming law and history have led him to be one of the great masters 
in the field. He is professionalism and courtesy inviolate; his example in this regard has set the tone that 
all others follow. 
In Nevada gaming, the regulator and the regulated have a relationship that is essential to their 
respective causes. Both strive to uphold the interests of their respective stakeholders, often under great 
pressures and time constraints. It is in such an environment that one might imagine flared tempers and 
angry tirades, but that is not the case. Quite simply, it is persons like Bob Faiss who have come to be the 
intermediaries, interpreters, and guides of their gaming clients. When Bob presents an argument to me 
I know that he has given it the thought and attention it deserves, and while reasonable minds can differ 
on interpretations of gaming laws and regulations, I am certain that Bob and I will both come away with 
a continued respect for one another. For both Bob and I know the big picture-- that we are not only 
stewards of those gaming laws and regulations, each with our own duties and “clients” to care for, but 
we are both protecting and enhancing the industry that is so important to our fair state. Individuals like 
Bob have created this environment, and it is all the better because of them. 
That Bob has been doing this for nearly fifty years is not extraordinary to those that know him. I have 
learned that Bob is resilient and tough, a man who can travel the world without the ill-effects of jetlag 
and who can competently advocate for his client under any circumstances. I came from the land of the 
typical American litigator: wars fought every hour of every day with the unfortunate casualty being 
that which we were trained to uphold -- a professionalism linked inextricably to a notion of justice. I 
left that world only to find persons like Bob; scions of courtesy, dignity, and respect all working toward 
one common goal: legitimization and protection of an industry that has grown from a maligned target 
of anti-gambling foes to a true Wall Street staple, an industry that brings entertainment and unique 
experiences to the entire world. 
That the world of gaming regulators, casino industry operators, and the gaming bar have been shaped 
by Mr. Faiss, and is better because of that, goes without saying. Were it not for a dignified gaming bar 
led by Mr. Faiss, ours would be an arena lending itself to the current world of courtroom litigation, 
where animosity sometimes reigns and battles are fought to the endless detriment of everyone. 
Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of American President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, uttered a phrase that many do 
not adhere to:
Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.
I myself have difficulty in adhering to this Golden Rule, but Mr. Faiss is it’s torchbearer. In our business, 
disagreements may be common. Legal issues may confound. Battles are still fought, won and lost, but 
it is Bob Faiss who has continuously marched down a path of professionalism. Again, and so the record 
is abundantly clear, I have never heard Mr. Faiss utter an ill word about anyone. His mind works on big 
ideas, chewing all the time on the problems his clients have asked him to solve, and always working for 
the betterment of our state, and our industry. 
When I was given the chance to write an introduction to the Japanese edition of Bob’s Gaming Law 
treatise, I was honored. I know that the Japanese readers of this book will take interest in the knowledge 
he has gathered from the Nevada gaming bar and from the Nevada gaming experience. As Japan begins 
a thoughtful process that may lead to regulation of Nevada-style casinos, it is my wish that part of that 
journey includes the knowledge that it was the courtesy, respect, diligence, and hard work of people like 
Bob who got us to where we are. And, as Bob continues his path from Las Vegas to Asia in gaming law 
stewardship and education, I am confident that he will continue to set standards for years to come.