July 5, 2017   Wednesday

I spoke this evening at the Las Vegas library about the careers and lives of casino pioneers Moe Dalitz and Benny Binion. They were the two biggest gangsters to move to the city and to own and operate casinos. Dalitz built the first high-rolling casino resort on the Las Vegas Strip, the Desert Inn, and the world’s biggest hotel and largest casino, the Stardust. Benny Binion owned the Horseshoe Club in downtown Las Vegas. It was the only casino downtown that drew many of the big players, who stayed at the Strip resorts, to make a lay down (the term for placing cash on a table wager).

I discussed the illegal gambling and Prohibition liquor careers of Dalitz and Binion prior to their coming to Las Vegas, and also their contributions in developing  legal casino operations in Nevada. Despite their earlier illegal careers, both men were highly respected by the local residents who dealt with them and by the Nevada gaming control authorities, because both were always cooperative with the enforcers and followed all state regulations.

After my presentation, I answered the audience’s many questions about the history of the Las Vegas casino industry. These readers’ inquiries were stimulating, and I am most appreciative for the attendees reception and strong applause at the end. Afterwards, I autographed both “30 Illegal Years To The Strip” and “All Against The Law”.