Vice CEO Smith Spent $300,000 on Vegas Feast After Blackjack

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Why Did Vice CEO Smith Spend $300K on Las Vegas Dinner?

It makes sense that Vice had something to do with it.

Vice Media Inc. Chief Executive Officer Shane Smith paid for a $300,000 Las Vegas dinner last month, according to a person who asked not to be identified because the meal was private. Smith, a Vice co-founder, had been on a lucky gambling run, the person said.

Brooklyn-based Vice has grown from a free, whiskey-stained Montreal monthly into a media titan. Technology Crossover Ventures and A+E Networks each invested $250 million for 10 percent stakes in the company last year.

After Gawker published complaints about Vice’s low wages and freelance pay last year, the company released a statement describing the insurance, vacation days and stock program for its employees. Smith, 45, gave $1 million to staff at last year’s holiday party, Gawker reported.

The cost of the meal at the Bellagio casino’s Prime Steakhouse was reported by Bloomberg News earlier Wednesday, after MGM Resorts International revealed on an earnings call Tuesday that unidentified guests had enjoyed a $300,000 meal. The dinner was held during the Consumer Electronics Show, according to MGM Chief Financial Officer Dan D’Arrigo.

It was a party of 12, MGM spokesman Clark Dumont said in an e-mail. A guest at the dinner, who asked not to be identified, put the number closer to 25.

“No brainer quiz. What media co exec did I watch win $100k at blackjack last nite?” David Carr, the New York Times media columnist wrote last month on Twitter, weeks before his death at 58. “Hint: gambling not his only vice.”

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