Battle for Las Vegas: The Law vs. The Mob

( 27 )

Overview

In the 1970s and thru the mid-1980s, the Chicago Outfit was the dominant organized crime family in Las Vegas, with business interests in several casinos. During those years the Outfit and its colleagues in Kansas City, Milwaukee, and Cleveland were using Sin City as a cash cow. Commonly referred to as the "skim," unreported revenue from Outfit-controlled casinos was making its way out of Vegas by the bag full and ending up in the coffers of the crime bosses in those four ...
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More About This Book

Overview

In the 1970s and thru the mid-1980s, the Chicago Outfit was the dominant organized crime family in Las Vegas, with business interests in several casinos. During those years the Outfit and its colleagues in Kansas City, Milwaukee, and Cleveland were using Sin City as a cash cow. Commonly referred to as the "skim," unreported revenue from Outfit-controlled casinos was making its way out of Vegas by the bag full and ending up in the coffers of the crime bosses in those four locations.

The skim involved large amounts of money. The operation had to be properly set up and well managed to ensure a smooth cash flow. To accomplish that goal, the gangsters brought in a front man with no criminal record to purchase several casinos. Allen R. Glick, doing business as the Argent Corporation (Allen R. Glick Enterprises) purchased the Stardust, Fremont, Hacienda, and Marina. They next installed Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal as their inside man, and the real boss of the casino operations. Rosenthal was a Chicago native and considered to be a genius when it came to oddsmaking and sports betting. Under Lefty's supervision the casino count rooms were accessible to mob couriers.

But even with the competent Rosenthal in charge, there remained room for problems. What if an outsider tried to muscle in on the operation? Or just as bad, suppose one of their own decided to skim the skim? To guard against such possibilities the Chicago bosses decided to send someone to Vegas to give Rosenthal a hand should trouble arise. The successful applicant had to be a person with the kind of reputation that would deter interlopers from horning in, and make internal theft too risky to try. But the mob's outside man had to be capable of action as well as threats. In other words, he had to be a man who would do whatever it took to protect the Outfit's interests. So, in 1971, 33-year-old Tony Spilotro, considered by many to be the "ultimate enforcer," was sent to the burgeoning gambling and entertainment oasis in the desert. Spilotro, sometimes called "tough Tony," or "the Ant," was a made man of the Outfit and a childhood friend of Rosenthal. He was known as a man who could be counted on to get the job done.

Being an ambitious sort, Tony quickly recognized that there were other criminal opportunities in his new hometown besides skimming from the casinos. Street crimes ranging from loan sharking to burglary, robbery, and fencing stolen property were all in play. It wasn't very long before Tony had his hands into every one of these areas. As the scope of his criminal endeavors grew, Tony brought in other heavies from Chicago to fill out his gang. The five-foot-six-inch gangster was soon being called the "King of the Strip."

Federal and local law enforcement recognized the need to rid the casinos of the hidden ownership and control of the mob, and shut down Spilotro's street rackets. They declared war on organized crime and the battle was on. It was a hard fight, with plenty of tough guys on both sides. But it was a confrontation the law knew it had to win.

The Battle for Las Vegas relates the story of that conflict, told in large part by the agents and detectives who lived it.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780929712376
  • Publisher: Huntington Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/2006
  • Pages: 234
  • Sales rank: 359,619
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.58 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 27 )
Rating Distribution

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(8)

4 Star

(13)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 5, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    This is about the true story of how the tide turned in the war against organized crime from a law enforcement perspective. It is well written concise and fast reading.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2012

    Fascinating read!

    I am a Las Vegas resident of over 41 years. The corporations that now run the state, not just the casinos, are many times worse than the so-called wiseguys.
    Anyone who thinks the "skim" is a thing of the past is out of touch or just ignoring the truth. These corporate scumbags make the wiseguys look like boy scouts!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2012

    Interesting read

    I wish it had a bit more depth at several points, but still an interesting read for anyone intrigued by this topic.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2012

    Good book

    Great story, tells of how and what in a diferent light.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2011

    good read

    interesting and well written.

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  • Posted September 4, 2011

    A good Vegas starter

    This book reads very quick and gives a good history of the mob in Vegas. I say its a starter because it definitely leaves the reader wanting more details on the crimes, criminals and the lawmen who took them down.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 13, 2011

    Bring the movie Casino to life.

    If you thought the movie was good, this is real life Vegas. Real people with facts to back the stories.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2011

    Awesome book!

    This was interesting to me because of all the tales of old Las Vegas! There are a lot of similarities in the stories in the book as to what I had heard over the years as to timelines and things that went down! Very good book to read!

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2006

    AZ and NY Reader

    The dynamics of criminal activity in the Battle for Las Vegas by Griffin is well presented in this outstanding read. It is evident that the author researched indepth to bring to the reader an important of what went on in that era of time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2006

    Intriguing

    Like most new things, Las Vegas had growing pains as aptly depicted in THE BATTLE FOR LAS VEGAS. We have all heard of Bugsy Siegel and on the other side, Eliot Ness¿but how many are familiar with the likes of Tony¿The Ant¿Spilotro? There is speculation as to how Spilotro got his nickname¿some think it was a shortened version of his given name¿others thought it was due to his stature. However the name The Ant came about, he is introduced to us in this exciting portrayal of how Sin City was steeped in not only sin but greed as well. From murder to skimming to prostitution, this account tells it all. We meet the city officials as well as the law enforcement personnel who were `in the pockets¿ of these crooks. The general Las Vegas public appeared to be more obsessed with prostitution than they were with the mobs. There is a theory that most mob crime is mob upon mob and the average citizen would not feel the tentacles of this corrupt octopus. The public was so concerned with the sex crimes that they voted out their Sheriff, McCarthy, who went after the mob with a vengeance. I would like to see the movie Casino once again now that I can put names to the characters with a much better understanding of who they are¿thanks to Dennis Griffin. If you¿d like a vivid portrayal of how Las Vegas was tamed, be sure to put this on your reading list.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2006

    War on the streets of Las Vegas

    The battle was fought in the streets, in the buildings and in the desert. It wasn't in some foreign land it was here, in the good old USA - in Las Vegas, NV. It was the law versus the mob, or more precisely the FBI and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department waging a war to protect the citizens from the Chicago mob, Tony 'The Ant' Spilotro and his gang and 'Lefty' Rosenthal. It was THE BATTLE FOR LAS VEGAS, THE LAW VERSUS THE MOB, by Dennis Griffin. A lot of time and research went into making this a fair and accurate account of the battle that raged between good and evil in the 1960s and 1970s. It takes in murder, mayhem, burglary, robbery and bribery and payoffs to name just a few crimes. The war went on for years with the legal system being corrupted at times and conspiring against the brave law enforcement officers. The Battle for Las Vegas, tracks the crime sprees from the beginning of Rosenthal and Spilotro's reign in Las Vegas to the attempt on Lefty's life and the recent arrests for the murder of Tony 'The Ant'.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2012

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    Posted February 4, 2011

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    Posted April 23, 2011

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    Posted April 7, 2011

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    Posted August 6, 2011

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    Posted April 11, 2011

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    Posted February 11, 2011

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