‘Wide Open’ Part 1: 90 Years of Legal Gambling in Nevada: Becoming America’s Playground, 1931-1960

‘Wide Open’ Part 1: 90 Years of Legal Gambling in Nevada: Becoming America’s Playground, 1931-1960

Date: March 11, 2021
Time: 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Cost: Free for Museum Members or with Museum Admission
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Nevada’s gambling industry will recognize its 90th anniversary in March. It is an epic story packed with brazen entrepreneurs, dangerous mobsters and legendary entertainers. The Mob Museum will host a two-part speaker series featuring experts on the turbulent and Mob-infused history of Nevada’s dominant industry. Speakers will be joining in-person.

On March 11, Dr. Michael Green, associate professor of history at UNLV, and Geoff Schumacher, vice president of exhibits and programs for The Mob Museum, chart the gambling industry’s rise from legalization in 1931 through the Mob-controlled golden age of the 1950s.

This program will take place in The Mob Museum’s Historic Courtroom. Tickets for in-person attendance are now sold out. Reservations are not needed to join this program’s livestream.


Featured Speakers

Michael Green  

Michael Green


Dr. Michael Green is an associate professor of history at UNLV. He is the author of numerous books on the Civil War era, and on the history of Nevada and Las Vegas, including Nevada: A History of the Silver State and Las Vegas: A Centennial History. His current projects include “We’re Bigger Than U.S. Steel”: A History of Organized Crime in 20th Century America. He is a member of The Mob Museum’s board of directors and writes “Nevada Yesterdays” for KNPR, read by another board member, Senator Richard Bryan. He is executive director of the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association and of Preserve Nevada, and president of the board of the Nevada Center for Civic Engagement, which puts on the annual We the People high school debating event.

Geoff Schumacher  

Geoff Schumacher


Geoff Schumacher is the vice president of exhibits and programs for The Mob Museum in Las Vegas. He earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Nevada, Reno, and his master’s degree in history from Arizona State University. He had a twenty-five-year career in journalism, with stops at the Las Vegas SunLas Vegas CityLifeLas Vegas MercuryLas Vegas Review-Journal and Ames (Iowa) Tribune. He is the author of Howard Hughes: Power, Paranoia, and Palace Intrigue and Sun, Sin & Suburbia: A History of Modern Las Vegas and served as editor of Nevada: 150 Years in the Silver State. He is associate editor of the Nevada Historical Society Quarterly and has edited, co-edited or contributed to seven editions of the annual Las Vegas Writes anthology for Nevada Humanities.