Nation: LAS VEGAS: THE GAME IS ILLUSION

ALREADY the Land of Plethora, Las Vegas last week reached a new pinnacle of preposterousness. Two huge new hotels flung open their doors within the space of 24 hours, to the accompaniment of a 21-gun promotional salvo. "In France, it's the Eiffel Tower. In India, it's the Taj Mahal. In Las Vegas, it's the Landmark," boasted TV spots for Howard Hughes' 476-room Landmark Hotel, whose qualifications for uniqueness include "the world's longest swimming pool" (240 ft., shaped like a hot-water bottle) and the only high-altitude casino (on the 29th floor) in town. The usual spate of show-biz celebrities turned up to...

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