REVIEW OF “30 ILLEGAL YEARS” BY “CASINO COLLECTIBLE NEWS”


April 29, 2019   Monday

The “Casino Collectible News” magazine spring edition reviewed “30 Illegal Years to the Strip”. I am very appreciative for the fine review in their very classy and colorful publication. Interestingly, my book is about the men who built most of the Las Vegas Strip resorts that produced so many of the old chips and other casino collectibles that their members trade in.

I am nearing the half way point in my next history of the Nevada casino industry that explores and reveals its fascinating early years up to 1950. I expect to publish it in November next year. When I enter the home stretch, I will begin discussing the many relevant issues, early casinos, and colorful gambling pioneers who laid the groundwork for this industry.

Most of the early casino owners and executives were devoted gamblers themselves, so they understood what their players wanted and expected. Thus, their casinos offered a much more exciting and personalized gambling experience than is found in the megaresort era casinos, which so changed it all since the 1990s.


BACK ON CLEAR-CHANNEL RADIO AGAIN


September 19, 2018   Wednesday

I just finished my seventh interview with Morgan White Jr. on his clear-channel broadcast from Boston that reaches the eastern two-thirds of the country. In our hour-and-a-half discussion, we covered the leaders, and their close associates, of the three biggest Prohibition gangs, and the elegant illegal casinos they operated following its Repeal. These men then built 80% of the Las Vegas Strip resorts from the Flamingo in 1946 to Caesars Palace in 1966, all of which was detailed in my 30 Illegal Years To The Strip.

We also talked about these men’s incredible influence over politics in their cities from the 1920s through the 1940s. At the same time, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover prohibited his agents from investigating organized crime. In fact, during the 48 years of his tenure, he annually lied to the President of the United States, the Congress, and the American people by falsely claiming that there was no such thing as organized crime or the Mafia, as documented in my All Against The Law.

In addition, we discussed the early years of legalized casinos in Nevada and the illegal casinos that preceded them. This was from the manuscript I am currently working on that covers the early history of Nevada casinos - the illegal casinos of the Roaring ‘20s, the legalized casinos of the 30’s Great Depression, the development of the Las Vegas Strip during WWII, and the huge growth of casinos in Las Vegas, Reno, and Lake Tahoe during the major post-War economic boom of the late 1940s. I am about half way through this manuscript, and I hope to have it completed by the end of next year 2019.

SPOKE AT FIRST MOB WORLD SUMMIT



June 17, 2018   Sunday

Today, I spoke at the first MobWorld Summit. It was held in Las Vegas at the Plaza Hotel convention center near the Mob Museum, where some of the forum’s events were presented. This new organization is for people interested in the history of American gangland, and it is promoted by Larry Henry. He is a former Las Vegas Sun newspaper editor, and he was a teacher of journalism at the Haas Hall Academy in Rogers, Arkansas before becoming headmaster.

At the Summit, I presented the authentic histories of the top gangsters who built 80% of the Las Vegas Strip resorts from the Flamingo in 1946 to Caesars Palace in 1966, as presented in my 30 Illegal Years to the Strip. I also presented how these men taught me the casino business and positively influenced both my career and my development into manhood.

The audience was knowledgeable about mob history and was invigorated, asking me questions for a couple hours after my presentation. I talked with a few former associates, as well as some of my former UNLV students, and they brought back many wonderful memories.

I also visited with a couple of friends. One is former Kansas City Detective Gary Jenkins, who assisted FBI agents for a year to build the Las Vegas Strip casino skimming cases fictionalized in the movie Casino (1995). He wrote the fine book Leaving Vegas, which contains many FBI wiretapped transcripts of the Midwest Mafia gang leaders discussing their casino skimming activities. The other is Casey McBride, who is an expert on Frank Costello. He presents information about this top gangster on his websites FrankCostelloHistory.com and NationalCrimeSyndicate.com. What a great time I had!



This photo was taken after my MobWorld Summit speech. To the left is former KCPD Detective Gary Jenkins, and in the center is event developer Larry Henry. Their backgrounds are above.
 




ANOTHER CLEAR-CHANNEL RADIO INTERVIEW


April 14, 2018   Saturday

I just finished my fifth interview with Morgan White Jr. on his clear-channel broadcast from Boston that reaches the eastern two-thirds of the country. In our hour-and-a-quarter discussion, we covered what the isolated but romantic Las Vegas Strip resort desert oases were like in the 1950s, my wonderful years working for Howard Hughes’ Summa Corporation, and Ben Siegel’s life and vision for the Las Vegas Strip.

We also discussed how I opened the first sports book in a Strip casino, and it became Las Vegas’ most popular. I explained how my sports book manager Sonny Reizner set the betting line for the entire nation. Every morning, as he put up his contest numbers in the book at 9 a.m., 35 men stood around writing them down, so they could rush to the nearest payphones to call them to the nation’s largest bookmaking syndicates. Similarly, America’s biggest newspapers and TV and radio stations across the country carried the Castaways’ betting line in their sports stories.

Morgan was very interested in talking with me about Sonny, because they were good friends. Every time Morgan visited Las Vegas, they had long chats. Now when Morgan visits, he and I have dinner and talk late into the evening about the town’s casino history and the colorful characters associated with it. Thank you, Morgan, for the great publicity!

I continue to work hard on my next Nevada history book about the casinos of the 1920s through the 1940s, which I described in detail in my last blog below. In the meantime, a major casino consulting assignment came my way, and it slowed me down from writing for awhile, so I am now looking forward to this new history’s publication next Spring, rather than this Fall.