Crime Story was an American television series which ran for two seasons in the 1980s. The series, depicting the early 1960s, followed two men. Lt. Mike Torello, a cop, and gangster Ray Luca.Each had a compulsion to destroy the other.
Portraying 1960s era Vegas, organized crime ruled Las Vegas with a heavy hand. By the 1980s, when the series was made, things had begun to change in real life ‘Sin City.”
Las Vegas and the mob go together like peaches and cream. At least that’s still the stigma of which most older generations think.
Made up of the types of mobsters in the 1940s and 1950s, perceptions linger, but the big figures no longer have a hold on Las Vegas. Much less any influence.
In the 1960s organized crime bosses began to voluntarily separate from deep involvement in the casinos as they sold their interests to others. There were still casinos with ties to organized crime, but it was getting more difficult to find resorts owned and operated by organized crime. As mobsters started to realize passive, and distant, involvement was safer, they found they were freed from having to deal with government oversight and investigations.
When the 1960s ended, Howard Hughes had bought a number of the city’s big resorts including Castaways, New Frontier, and the Sands. Hughes’ bu spree took over ownership from mob figures and ushered in corporate ownership.
The Corporate Gaming Act of 1969 also helps bring change. Publicly traded corporations were allowed to own and operate casinos, and only top executives had to have gaming licenses.
While some mobsters found paths around the law, others, like Frank Rosenthal and Allen Glick profited from their ownership of the Stardust and Fremont casinos into the 1970s and 1980s.
By 1983, state authorities revoked the Stardust and Fremont licenses and hand them over to a company without mob connections. Federal investigations in the 1970s and 1980s broke mob control at the Tropicana, Aladdin, and Dunes.
In 2017, the gaming industry in Nevada is highly regulated. Nationally, gambling gets a large amount of scrutiny by government officials, and large corporations manage many of Las Vegas’ resorts.
Where there is apt to be a mob presence in a major city, most often it is found in the form of street gangs and often involved with Las Vegas operations of brothels outside Clark Count — or strip clubs inside Clark County.
Regarding the mobsters of the past, times have changed and the days of the Las Vegas mob have long ago ended.