LAS VEGAS (June 2014) – For the first time this Tuesday, June 17, rare gambling artifacts will be unveiled in two separate displays at The Mob Museum, the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement. The new displays represent the collaboration between The Mob Museum and the Museum of Gaming History, a preservation project of the more than 1,800 members of the international Casino Chip and Gaming Token Collectors Club.
The first display, located on the Museum’s second floor in the Open City section, features rare, early to mid-20th century casino chips, photographs and other memorabilia from the 1946 opening of Bugsy Siegel’s Flamingo Hotel. The second display, located on the third floor in the Evidence Room, presents artifacts from legendary illegal gambling halls around the United States. Both displays open simultaneously with an exhibit debuting at the El Cortez Hotel-Casino, which features casino chips and other objects from the many downtown casinos once operated by the late Jackie Gaughan.
About Bugsy Siegel’s Flamingo Hotel
Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel opened the Flamingo Hotel on Dec. 26, 1946. Although not Las Vegas’ first resort, the Flamingo’s modern design and luxury appointments set a new standard for the Strip. The $6 million that Siegel poured into construction and materials for the 105-room Flamingo is the equivalent of more than $70 million today.
Siegel’s wasteful spending on the Flamingo did not sit well with his Mob partners. Six months after the opening, he was murdered in his girlfriend Virginia Hill’s house in Beverly Hills, Calif. Minutes after Siegel’s death, Mob associates Moe Sedway, Morris Rosen and Gus Greenbaum walked into the Flamingo and assumed control. Nearly 70 years later, the murder remains unsolved.
About Illegal Gambling Halls in the United States
Before Las Vegas emerged as the nation’s undisputed casino capital, gamblers ventured to out-of-the-way illegal clubs across the country to satisfy their thirst for wagering.
New York City organized crime kingpin Meyer Lansky operated gambling halls in places such as Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and Hallandale, Fla., near Miami. New York City crime boss Frank Costello was heavily invested in New Orleans. Moe Dalitz, from Cleveland and later Las Vegas, had gambling halls in Newport, Ky., near Cincinnati, and Youngstown, Ohio.
Local politicians and police officials beholden to organized crime interests allowed these clubs to operate as long as they kept a low profile. But after Tennessee Senator Estes Kefauver held hearings in 1950-51 exposing the Mob’s illicit activities across the country, pressure mounted to shut down illegal casinos. Lansky, Dalitz and others shifted their gambling investments to Las Vegas.
For general information about the Museum, its exhibitions, special programming, event rentals and admission, please call (702) 229-2734 or visit www.TheMobMuseum.org.
ABOUT THE MOB MUSEUM
The Mob Museum is a world-class destination in downtown Las Vegas dedicated to the thrilling story of organized crime and law enforcement. It presents an exciting and authentic view of the Mob’s impact on Las Vegas history and its unique imprint on the world. True stories of Mob history are brought to life in a bold and contemporary style via engaging exhibits, high-tech theater presentations and more than 600 artifacts, the largest collection of Mob and related law enforcement memorabilia under one roof. Since opening in 2012, The Mob Museum has accumulated numerous accolades, including being named one of “20 Places Every American Should See” by Fox News and Budget Travel magazine, “Las Vegas’ Best New Attractions for 2012” by Travel + Leisure magazine, “9 Reasons to Visit Las Vegas” by CNNgo, a finalist for the “Best Wider World Project Award,” by the British Guild of Travel Writers and “Best Museum” by Nevada Magazine and the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Admission is $19.95 for adults ages 18 and over with special pricing for children, seniors, military, law enforcement, Nevada residents, and teachers. Museum hours are Sundays through Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. For more information, call (702) 229-2734 or visit www.TheMobMuseum.org. Connect on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/TheMobMuseum and on Twitter: @TheMobMuseum.