A Brief History
It wasn’t until the end of World War II that the Mafia began to take notice of the money potential that can be had in Las Vegas. It was not until Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky took over the gambling business in December, 1946 by way of the Flamingo Resort that the Mafia entered the Las Vegas gambling scene.
With so many Mafia-financed resorts opening after the Flamingo, Las Vegas became a booming gambling center in the country. Although the Mafia earned profits in running the resorts and casinos in Vegas for many years, the FBI crackdown on Mafia interests in the 1980s ended this. Members of Mafia groups were imprisoned and Mafia-owned businesses were sold to legitimate businessman.
Fast forward today, and you’d wonder if mobsters still exist in modern day Las Vegas.
So, do mobsters still exist in Las Vegas today? Well, that depends on who you actually ask.
Some claim that mobsters do still have a hand in most casino-related activities but instead of being hands on in the operations, they have taken a backseat. It is said that rather than actually managing the casinos, they are now running the companies that handle these casinos. Some others say that although their presence is still felt in Nevada, their operations are now limited to loansharking, extortions, and burglaries. However, these suppositions are just that, there’s no solid proof that there is any truth to it.
There is more solid proof though that these mobsters and the Mafia in general no longer have a foothold in the Las Vegas strip. Most casinos are now managed by large corporations and some foreign investors. And the intensive crackdown implemented by the gaming regulators, Las Vegas casinos and other gambling establishments simply cannot afford some tie up with the mob for fear of being intensely scrutinized and penalized.
With efforts to promote Las Vegas as more of a family-oriented vacation spot, the days of the Vegas mobsters and Mafia are gone.