Reports appear about a lavish dinner the Vice Media CEO Shane Smith hosted in Las Vegas during the CES. The bill was $300,000 for a party of 12 to 30, depending which report you read.
Vice Media CEO Shane Smith has made the headlines in past hours with something he did in Las Vegas. It looks like the "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" is not applying to Mr. Smith. Bloomberg reported first that a person who wants to remain anonymous revealed that Shane Smith spent $300,000 for a dinner at the Bellagio during the CES 2015 in early January.
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Vice Media raised a quarter billion last year from Technology Crossover Ventures and A+E Networks, but he did not spend company money. He had a winning streak in Las Vegas and depending on the source he won $100,000 or even $1 million at the blackjack table during the CES week. Also depending on the report about the dinner, the number of guests ranges from 12 to 30.
A $300,000 dinner bill can be raked up pretty fast when $20,000 wine bottles are served.
The story is getting a lot of attention as it gets connected with the new exuberant valuations of tech and media companies. On top of that Vice Media made the news for not paying its workers well according to a report last year on Gawker. If things have not improved, Mr. Smith might have a hard time explaining the lavish dinner to his employees.
Shane Smith has grown Vice from a punk zine in 1994 to a global youth media company with offices in over 30 countries. VICE operates an original online video destination, VICE.COM, an international network of digital channels, a television production studio, a magazine, a record label, an in-house creative services agency, a consumer insights and research services department, and a book-publishing division.
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Vice has also a show on HBO hosted by Shane Smith. Vice on HBO will return on March 6.