Gaming and Tourism

Desert Inn

Wilbur Clark was operating several bars and a hotel in San Diego, California in 1944 when he learned that the El Rancho Vegas hotel-casino on the emerging Las Vegas Strip was up for sale. Clark, who for years had his eye on running a casino, sold his interests and moved to Las Vegas.

Dean Martin

A suave and handsome Italian crooner, Dean Martin had a sharp wit and tipsy stage presence that turned him into one of Las Vegas's most revered performers for nearly four decades.


From its earliest days, gambling halls used entertainment to attract people to casinos. In Nevada, showroom and lounge entertainment became the hot attraction that brought customers to the casinos over and over again during the 1950s. Virtually every show had a line of dancers that opened and closed the show. From the 1950s to today, thousands of men and women pursued their chosen profession dancing in the chorus line.

Central States, Southeast, Southwest Areas Pension Fund

Once nicknamed "the mob's bank," the Teamsters Union's Central States, Southeast, Southwest Areas Pension Fund, based in Chicago, played a major—and infamous—role in the rapid expansion of the Las Vegas hotel-casino industry following World War II. From 1958 to 1977, the pension fund's almost $250 million worth of low-interest loans to casino developers, many with ties to organized crime, brought unprecedented growth to the Las Vegas Strip and the city's downtown.

Castaways Hotel

The Castaways Hotel opened on the west side of the Las Vegas Strip across from the Sands Hotel in 1963, became one of the casinos billionaire Howard Hughes bought in the late 1960s and survived into the 1980s, when it was demolished to make way for Steve Wynn's The Mirage in 1989.

Casino, The Movie

Casino is a Martin Scorsese feature film based on mob operations at a Las Vegas casino.

Casino Stories

Everyone who leaves a casino has a story to tell, and, for better or worse, little or no hesitation about sharing it. Casinos are, after all, our society's great equalizer. All who enter this realm of gambling and entertainment, who search for that "one big score" or merely one fleeting moment of escape from the drudgery of daily life, are offered the same chance at success—or failure.

Cashman Center

[VR Morph by Howard Goldbaum]

Bugsy Siegel and the Flamingo Hotel

Flamingo Hotel owner Billy Wilkerson and mobster Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel had been friendly since the mid-1930s, when Siegel was a regular at Wilkerson's famous Los Angeles nightclub, Ciro's on the Sunset Strip. By 1946, the long-time member of organized crime in New York and Los Angeles was receiving hefty monthly fees from bookmakers for a wire service that transmitted horse racing results.


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