Officials: Vegas Casino Fire Was Arson

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- A fire that destroyed the first integrated casino in Las Vegas was deliberately set, federal and local investigators said Wednesday.

The historic Moulin Rouge casino, once host to such entertainers as Sammy Davis Jr. and Nat ``King'' Cole, was consumed May 29 by the blaze. Three people were injured and dozens living in apartment units were evacuated.

Authorities declined to say what sparked the blaze or pinpoint its origin. No arrests have been made.

Property owner Bart Maybie said he suspects the fire may have been set in response to a crackdown on drug activity at the apartments. He estimated damage at $5 million to $6 million and pledged to rebuild.

The Moulin Rouge opened in 1955 as the only integrated casino in Nevada. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which means the arsonist could face federal prosecution, said Joe Riehl, an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Related:

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