The Mob in Las Vegas

Visitors can explore the history of organized crime at three Las Vegas attractions.

Mob Museum visitor with .38, La Vegas, Nev., image

A mobster’s .38 earns fresh respect.

Three attractions are set to take Las Vegas visitors back to the days when Bugsy, Lefty, and Lansky ran the show and the skim was a nightly ritual in casino counting rooms.

At the Las Vegas Mob Experience (lvme.com), at the Tropicana, you can read Meyer Lansky’s diaries, ogle Bugsy Siegel’s 1933 Packard, and watch Tony “the Ant” Spilotro’s home movies. Museum-goers step gingerly into a space called Final Fate to get either “whacked” or “made.”

Then you can have your mug shot snapped at the Las Vegas Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement—alias the Mob Museum (themobmuseum.org)—in downtown’s old post office and courthouse, the venue for 1950’s notorious crime hearings.

If you’re a die-hard fan, the Vegas Mob Tour (vegasmobtour.com) will shuttle you past haunts and hot spots such as the parking lot where kingpin Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal survived a car-bomb hit that inspired the opening to Martin Scorsese’s Casino. Is Sin City just polishing up its past? As Oscar Goodman, Las Vegas’s mob-lawyer-turned-mayor, once observed: People don’t come here to see Mickey Mouse.

Photography by David H. Collier

This article was first published in July 2012. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.

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