In spite of marketing efforts, today’s Las Vegas remains a shadow of yesterday’s Las Vegas.
Payouts are less, prices are more, and the corporate wiseguys are much more cut-throat & dangerous than anyone in Meyer Lansky’s crew ever was.
Lansky believed the Las Vegas takeover, which began with Howard Hughes’ purchase of the Desert Inn in 1967, was just one syndicate replacing another.
In his diaries he called the corporate syndicate “the real organized crime, the real underworld.”
After the Mafia’s inglorious expulsion from Cuba, Las Vegas became a melting pot of mob money.
Giancana owned the Tropicana, Siegel & Lansky the Flamingo, Major Riddle the Dunes, Detroit and St. Louis families the Aladdin, Sarno Circus, Circus, Doc Stacher the Sands.
Meyer Lansky, referring to the Syndicate, quipped: ”We’re bigger than U.S. Steel.”
In the 1980s Sin City was still very much a mob town. It was clean. It was tidy. Everyone knew their place. Everyone had fun. Everyone made money.
The mob was everywhere & no one wore flip-flops or tank tops in the casinos.
The rise of the corporate syndicate introduced a new, insatiable, competitive force in Glitter Gulch: Wall Street.
Never denied, the corporate cabal set their sites on turning Las Vegas into the cut-throat, dangerous, “family-themed vacation hot spot” it is today.