Often, the casino industry is viewed as the cornerstone of money-making strategies by the mafia. In fact, it is common knowledge that the mafia has built Las Vegas into the gambling capital that it is today.
Generally, the gambling market in Las Vegas is worth approximately $1 billion per year. But, due to the Corona Virus pandemic in 2020, the industry cut its income to roughly $757 million. This article will look at some of the most dangerous casino mafias in history and their dangerous love affair with gambling.
The Famous and Most Menacing Casino Mobsters to Ever Live
Since the inception of the gambling industry, casinos have served a critical role in money laundering for mafia bosses. Since it is impossible to use or deposit large sums of money without raising suspicion from the authorities, the high-cash flow nature of casinos comes in handy for such transactions.
When you choose to go to a brick-and-mortar casino or use bitcoin casinos canada, you could easily buy numerous chips, use them for gambling and then withdraw your winnings, saying all the money was gambling profits. Others can opt for payment in casino chips to avoid raising any suspicion, and the funds remain untraceable.
Since time immemorial, criminals have turned to both online and physical gambling environments to “clean” their money to spend it without raising any eyebrows. Let us look at a few of the most sinister mafia bosses in history involved in casino gambling.
1. Benjamin ‘Bugsy’ Siegel
Born in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in 1946, Benjamin Siegel was raised in poverty. During his school years, he managed to drop out and join a Manhattan gang, where he and Moe Sedway met. The two went on to create a protection racket and ordered pushcart vendors to pay them $1 or they would burn their goods
During the protection racketeering days, he befriended Meyer Lansky and created the Bugs and Meyer mafia. Essentially, it was a prohibition gang, and they also looted automobiles and broadened their gambling empire.
Siegel traveled to Vegas to venture into a legitimate business. With the help of several investors from the mafia, Siegel erected the Flamingo, the most remarkable structure money bought at the time. It was constructed in 1946, but only the restaurant, casino, and bar were fully operational. This business venture began incurring losses fast due to construction noise, incomplete rooms, and malfunctioning air conditioning.
The Flamingo lost approximately $275,000 in only two weeks after its launch. In turn, this led to the building’s closure in January 1947. Fortunately, mafia investors trusted Siegel and gave him a second chance to prove himself. He reopened the Flamingo again in March 1947.
With the help of his friend Lansky, the venture began making profits, but it was not as much as expected by the Mafia bosses Siegel borrowed from. Siegel was shot dead in Beverly Hills in June 1947. The crime remains a mystery to date.
2. The Gambino Family
As early as 1910, the Gambino family has led organized crime in the United States. It is among the “The Five Families of American Mafia’. From bootlegging in the 1920s to internet sports betting in the 2010s, the family has evolved to fit the times.
The FBI detained 20 mafia members for their roles in the Gambino Family’s unlawful online sports betting activities back in 2013. The family had established many online gambling platforms in Costa Rica to execute online wagers submitted in the United States while avoiding the UIGEA. According to the investigation report from the FBI, the gambling activity made nearly $1.7 million in revenue between October 2010 and June 2011.
3. Moe Dalitz
Born on 25th December 1899 in Boston, Massachusetts, Moe Dalitz initially worked in a laundry business owned by his family before moving on to bootlegging. He transported alcohol using his family’s laundry trucks.
Once repeal of the Prohibition took place, Dalitz began operating unlawful casinos in Kentucky and Ohio. He also managed the Pettibone Club for the entire ten years it was functional. Thanks to Mayfield Road Gang, Dalitz bought The Desert Inn in Las Vegas and transformed it into a casino. He also managed Stardust Resort and Casino as well as the Sundance Hotel Casino, now known as The D Las Vegas.
However, Dalitz’s co-founding of Paradise Development in the 1950s enabled his team to brag about turning Las Vegas into a vacation spot and not just a gambling capital. They built the Las Vegas Country Club, The Boulevard Mall, and Sunrise Hospital through the real estate development company. Dalitz lost his life in 1989 from persistent hypertension, congestive heart failure, and renal failure.
Despite their viciousness and notoriety, mafia organizations are responsible for developing Las Vegas’ economy through gambling. They transformed this tiny settlement in the Mojave Desert into the world’s gambling hub, making it the brightest light in the gambling sky.