Bernard “Bernie” Goldstein passed away on Sunday at the age of 80. If you are wondering who he was, you ought to know that Bernie is considered to be the Father of Riverboat Gambling. Bernie started off as a scrap metal dealer. His strong business acumen and passion for gambling soon led him down the road of success. In fact, by the time that he passed away, Bernie was a well established player in the world of American gambling.
Bernie is much loved by those whose lives he has touched. His gambling businesses – on top of other businesses – are said to have created more than 100,000 jobs. The story behind his title as Father of Riverboat Gambling is shared by the Quad-City Times:
It was riverboat gambling that brought him to the national forefront. Two boats -John Connelly’s President in Davenport and Goldstein’s Diamond Lady in Bettendorf – were poised to become icons of the river gambling business. Goldstein brought Vanna White of “Wheel of Fortune” to help open his gambling boat. He beat Connelly’s opening toss of the dice by only 30 minutes. Connelly died at his Pittsburgh home in May. He was 83.
“The Bettendorf brothers put a face on Bettendorf. Bernie changed the face of the City of Bettendorf. It went from one era to another,” said Joe Hutter, former Iowa state representative.
Riverboat gambling may not be what it once was, but we cannot deny that it holds a special place in the gambling world. Bernie Goldstein deserves to be sent off grandly from this world.