In 2017, Las Vegas is officially completely mafia-free. Officially…
But from the 1950s to the early 1980s, various clans of the Mafia pulled the strings of many casinos in Sin City.
Not for nothing: that resulted in a nice jackpot every day.
And money, money, money, that is exactly what the Mafia likes so much.
Even in those years, the Mafia obviously did not have any involvement on paper with the gold-rimmed gambling halls in Las Vegas. The "trade", which in practice often amounted to extortion and skimming of the gaming rooms ("skimming"), went through straw men and intermediaries, based on "good faith".
Because trust is good, but control is better, the Mafia employed notorious, heavy guys who had to keep an eye on the casino business on the Strip. Was enough 'protection money' paid over the profit that the casino made with roulette and blackjack?
One of those tough guys was Anthony Spilotro, better known as Tony or simply: The Ant.
From liquor to gambling
Tony Spilotro (May 19, 1938 – June 14, 1986) was a member of the Chicago Mafia, often referred to as The Chicago Outfit or simply The Organization. This mafia branch had grown up during the reclamation under the inspiring leadership of Al Capone. The drink had since been replaced by gambling.
Spilotro was sent to Las Vegas in 1971 and was for many years one of the most important pivots in the mafia network of the gambling city. Just say: the notorious one mobster.
Nevertheless, it didn't end well with Tony Spilotro, thanks in part to his "friend" Frank Cullotta, aka The Las Vegas Boss. Cullotta was a member of the Mafia, but at the same time was secretly on the FBI's payroll. It would herald the end of the Spilotro era. And with the fall of Spilotro, eventually the end of the Mafia in Las Vegas. That means: officially then…
Although Spilotro has been buried dead for nearly 15 years, he is still notorious and famous in the US today.
This is partly due to his violent way of protecting the Mafia interests in Las Vegas. But also with the fact that the film Casino from Martin Scorsese and the American TV series Vegas partly based on his life.
A documentary about the trade and walk of the colorful but dangerous Tony Spilotro also appears every so often. Mr. Casino has selected one of the best for you. That's the episode Tony "The Ant" Spilotro of the documentary series Mafia's Greatest Hits.
Look, the docu is worth it!
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