THE GODFATHER star James Caan has a huge affection for Las Vegas - even though he's lost hordes of cash in the American gambling capital over the years.

The 64-year-old HONEYMOON IN VEGAS star, who now stars in new TV show LAS VEGAS, admits the desert town has been the source of much of his joy - and pain.

He says, "I have a warm place in my heart and an empty stomach. I sued to go to Las Vegas in a $30,000 car and come home in a bus. I went there in my early 20s when I thought it was smart to gamble because I had nothing anyway.

"I've stopped going, but it was fun when I was young and single. I remember that it wasn't so corporate then, it was more personal; everyone was on a first-name basis.

"It's 180 degrees the other way now. Today, I don't care who you are: if you don't have a certain line of credit, they know how long to let you play, whether you're winning or losing. They know everything, and there is no such thing as a comp anymore."

25/09/2003 13:46