Although the less extravagant but far more efficient gangsters flooded Las Vegas after Bugsy Siegel’s departure. For example, Meyer Lansky, who had taken over the Flamingo Hotel and made it an absolutely perfect and smoothly operating company. In addition, he was also the brain of Thunderbird. The other gangsters divided high positions in the Las Vegas biggest casinos.
The Cleveland bunch claimed the Desert Inn and the Stardust was taken the mobsters from Chicago. Detroit’s’ gangsters took under its wing the Frontier and Frank Sinatra’s friend Sam Giancana, along with the Fischetti brothers, was particularly keen on the Sahara and River.
The Last Sunlight before Nightfall
The mafia position was re-established after the death of Howard Hughes, but during the 1970s and 1980s, it had to withstand the attacks of both the federals and Wall Street representatives. The FBI charged and subsequently sent a large part of the Vegas criminals to jail. The main task of the investigation was to weaken the influence of the mafia and take away their money.
The money from the driver’s pension funds, which was cared for by the notorious Jimmy Hoffa, was given to the mafia with the purpose to fund its casinos, which grew along the strip.
Once the piles of banknotes and coins were ready to be taken to the “counting rooms” of the big casinos, some of them were separated and were immediately sent as a tribute to the biggest mafia families. This money was absolutely clean, undamaged, and most importantly, tax-free. Perhaps you can imagine the astronomical sums in Vegas. For the mafia, it was a really great profit.
Moreover, everything went smoothly, without violence and threats. The mafia just came out of the casino with bags of money. The funds thus obtained were subsequently distributed among the families of Chicago, Kansas City, St. Louise, Detroit, Cleveland and Milwaukee.
The Rise and Fall of Tony the Ant
Anthony “Tony the Ant” Spilotro was a member of the Chicago mafia and protected its interests in Las Vegas. He was also one of the most powerful Vegas gangsters in the 1970s.
Tony the “Ant” grew up in Chicago and started his criminal path as a teenager. It was at this time that a few people from the mafia noticed him and immediately took him under their wings. During the 1960s, he changed from a street gangster to the head of his own mob. In the early 1970s, he was sent to Las Vegas. In a blink of the eye, he made a name here and joined Lefty Rosenthal, an experienced bookmaker and casino owner. It didn’t take long before he and his gang took control over the entire underworld Vegas.
But as Tony became a more familiar and esteemed, he also became an increasing thorn in the eye of his bosses. On June 14, 1986, Spilotro and his brother were beaten to death in a cellar in the suburbs of Chicago. He was then buried in a shallow grave in a cornfield somewhere in Indiana.
The Front Figure
The Mafia had always had problems with their people who sought attention. It was dangerous for her. The FBI began investigating the outflow of casino money. Thanks to undercover agents and wiretapping, these mafia members were forced to withdraw from public eyes and had to leave the “City of Sin”.
Tropicana, Stardust, Desert Inn, Circus-Circus, Caesar’s Palace, Fremont, Aladdin, Sands, Riviera and Sundance – all these businesses were gone. Dunes and Marina were even levelled down. The golden age of Las Vegas has been slowly but surely a thing of the past. Bosses from Kansas City, Cleveland, Milwaukee, and Chicago were caught by the long and unrelenting hand of the law and, without any fuss, locked in a cell of eight times ten feet.
“Tony Ant” had a cross with the local police and the FBI regularly. At that time, he was represented by attorney Oscar Goodman. The same man then served as mayor of Las Vegas from 1999 until 2011.
Today, Las Vegas is more of a big adult amusement park than the immoral City of Sin. In spite of this, there are crowds of people who spend millions of money in casinos every year.