Gambling and the USA have had a fascinating and tumultuous relationship throughout history – even as far back as the beginning of the very first colonies, which were organised on the basis of two very different sets of values – the laws of England, and the moral rules of the Puritans.
In the early 1940s, Las Vegas was a backwater desert town with very little going on. New York mobster Al Capone once had a plan to turn the town into a haven of casinos, convinced it would bring the tourists in – but he never got as far as putting the plan into action.
In New York, it’s well known that there are Five Families behind the majority of organized crime. In Chicago, there is only one. The Outfit.
An organization that emerged thanks to the cooperation of several separate groups running the ‘Black Hand’ extortion scheme, they went on to become one of the most feared groups of Casino Mobsters in history.
Between the 1880s and the 1920s, many millions of Jews fled persecution in Eastern Europe – with over 2 million of them made their home in the United States. Most found themselves in New York, in neighbourhoods like Brooklyn Brownsville and the Lower East Side.