We all know that crime and money go hand in hand, and that’s why so many mobsters get caught up in gambling. Many of the mob operated casinos in Vegas from the mid-1930s onward. Here is a list of some of the most notorious casino mobsters from that time. We bet you’ll recognise some of these names!
12. Frank ‘Lefty’ Rosenthal
Frank is perhaps best known as the basis for the character Robert De Niro played in hit movie Casino. Rosenthal actually managed four casinos throughout his life; one was The Stardust.
11. Tony ‘The Ant’ Spilotro
Another guy who was immortalised on celluloid is Tony Spilotro. One of the most famous casino mobsters, he was the basis for Joe Pesci’s psychotic Nicky Santoro (also in Casino). Spilotro met a nearly identical death to Santoro’s in the film too!
10. Frank Costello
Costello rose through the ranks of Italian crime family the Luciano’s. He was a respected and feared mobster, involved in all sorts of schemes, including casinos. He also survived an attempted hit organised by the man he succeeded, Vito Genovese.
9. Geri McGee
Gera was married to Frank Rosenthal and was portrayed by Sharon Stone in the movie Casino. She was a casino showgirl and lived with a debilitating drug habit. She eventually died of an overdose in 1982. It’s also known that Geri had an affair with Frank’s pal Tony Spilotro.
8. David Berman
Also known as ‘Davie the Jew’, Berman became influential when the mob took Vegas. He is known to have worked at The Flamingo under Bugsy Siegel. Unlike most mobsters, Dave met a more natural end. He died of complications during surgery to remove colon polyps.
7. Charles Baron
Charles ‘Babe’ Baron was another of those active in the Chicago mob scene. He represented the mob interest in Vegas casinos and was a known associate of Capone. He was another who would spend many years working in the casinos, and line his pockets embezzling money.
6. Louis ‘Lepke’ Buchalter
Louis was born in 1897 and ended up heading the infamous Murder, Inc. hit squad. He turned to crime as a teen, and never looked back. He and friend Jacob Shapiro founded the hit squad to take care of mob kills. He met his inevitable end when he was convicted for drug trafficking and murder. He received the death penalty via execution in 1944.
5. Meyer Lansky
Meyer was one of Bugsy Siegel’s childhood pals, and the two ran The Flamingo together. Lansky was the money man working behind the scenes, and making sure everyone “got theirs”. There are rumours that the two fell out, and Lansky arranged Siegel’s death, though this is unknown.
4. Marshall Caifano
Marshall was one of the most feared hit men in Chicago and travelled to Vegas under Paul Ricca. The trained boxer was implicated in many murders, but it was the black market that got him a jail conviction.
3. The Hole in the Wall Gang
The infamous Hole in the Wall Gang sounds like a Wild West mob of vigilantes. In reality, they were a mob outfit headed by Tony Spilotro and his brother Micky. They got their name as burglars where they would drill into ceilings and walls. It all unravelled, and Tony and Micky were brutally executed by the mob.
2. Bugsy Siegel
Bugsy was influenced by Al Capone’s idea to move the mob to Vegas and take advantage of the money there. He was instrumental in bringing the mob together to run The Flamingo, which was the first ever mob run casino in Vegas
1. Al Capone
The original godfather of gangsters everywhere. He was one of the most successful and feared mobsters of the Prohibition era. He was implicated in a lot of crimes, including murder, but was finally sent down for 11 years for tax evasion.