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The Battle for Las Vegas: The Law vs. The Mob
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The Battle for Las Vegas: The Law vs. The Mob

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  305 ratings  ·  36 reviews
From the 1970s through the mid-1980s, the Chicago Outfit dominated organized crime in Las Vegas. Unreported revenue, known as the “skim,” from Outfit-controlled casinos made its way out of Vegas by the bagful, ending up in the coffers of the Windy City crime bosses and their confederates around the Midwest.

To ensure the smooth flow of cash, the gangsters installed a front
Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 1st 2006 by Huntington Press
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3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  305 ratings  ·  36 reviews

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A good Docu book about an interesting subject.

Just as the title states this Book chronicles the history of the battle between the the police and the Chicago Mob over the control of the Las Vegas casinos from roughly 1940 until the end of the 1970s. Expect lots and lots of names, places and bad guys slipping bye.

The book is well compiled, well ordered and covers a variety of subjects from the personal lives, political views and their exploits of those involved.

In short a good read for anyone i
Jan 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Informative and entertaining, though a little slight. Best used as a supplement to the Rosenthal/Spilotro story from CASINO.
Zac Johnson
Mar 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Tons of interesting information contained within about the mob's struggle to retain control of Las Vegas in the 70s and 80s amidst increase FBI and Metro Police pressure. The writing style is more textbook than story-telling and it can feel very dry for entire chapters, however, the anecdotes contained within are priceless and it's worth the read if you're a true fan of Vegas or interested in the real-life story behind Casino.
Aug 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was packed with facts and good stories about the mob in Las Vegas. It was crazy how much I remembered from growing up during the 70s and 80s.
I’m a huge mob history enthusiast, former Ned Day fan, and loved the movie “Casino” for its portrayals and for my memory of when it was filming.
Finally, my uncle was a small part of the story on the “law” side of things- and it was really cool to read about his role.
Adrienne Pollich
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was too young in the seventies to be aware of what was going on in Las Vegas but am amazed that this took place in my lifetime. Held my interest every step of the way.
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
More of a statement of facts than riveting story telling.
Akin to listening to a monotone discussion hours on end, this one is sleep inducing.
Nov 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: history
The book is ok, it is mildly entertaining and gives a view of organised crime in Las Vegas (around mainly 1950-1980). It goes through a long list of names which are soon forgotten.
Michael Tarpinian
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fascinating mob story.
Oct 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A great book about Vegas history...highly recommended
Hugh McBride
Jun 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Dennis Griffin does an excellent job of bringing this turbulent time in Las Vegas's history to life, providing a who-what-when-where historical record and infusing it with glimpses into the motivations and personalities of men & women on both sides of this battle.

For most folks with a passing familiarity with Las Vegas, mentions of the mob are likely to prompt thoughts of iconic crime figures like Meyer Lansky and Bugsy Siegel. But Griffin's account of the decline of the Mafia's control ove
Chuck Thomas
Jun 14, 2013 rated it liked it
If you enjoyed the movie Casino starring Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci, then you'll probably enjoy reading this book. Covering the period from the post World War II era through the late 1980's, Griffin goes into detail about the Mob's influence on Las Vegas casinos and their various organized criminal activities in the desert valley. Griffin focuses heavily on Tony "The Ant" Spilotro and his Hole In The Wall Gang crew, and to a lesser extent discusses Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal. Spilotro, as the Chic ...more
Feb 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
The great thing about this book was that it goes in detail about the history of Law Enforcement Officials who fought and won the Battle for Las Vegas. The Sheriff, Sheriff Deputy’s, Police Officers, the FBI, the Judges, the District Attorneys the Federal Justice Department Officials and the print and TV news media finally brought in the open the fact that most of Vegas was controlled by the mob.

It does get into the lives of some of the criminal elements and what illegal activities they were invo
Apr 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Soprano's Lovers/Mobster fiends
Recommended to Joshua by: Gambler's Book Shop in LV
Shelves: nevada-my-apex
The reason this book works is because it's concentrated in a great fashion. During the "glory days" of Vegas Vs. the Mob there was so much unaltered criminal activity going on that it's surprising all hell didn't break loose. This book looks at the rise and fall of Tony "The Ant" Spilotro in Las Vegas from the late 70's to his death in the early 80's. The movie Casino is basically this story although providing more of a spotlight on Lefty Rosenthal (who escaped death from a carbomb).

This book i
Feb 09, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: history, non-fiction
Historical Non-fiction is not among my favorite or prefered genres, so I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed this book.

I picked it up on a whim while in Las Vegas at the Stratosphere. I love Las Vegas and it was fun to learn about it. I was most interested in the mob activity mentioned in the book. I thought it slowed a bit in the middle and with the chapters that focused mainly on the police politics. It was still interesting to know, but it did make me end up taking more time than I would'
Sep 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was actually quite good. It kept my attention. I think it helped that I was listening to this on audio. The Narrator (Michael Taylor) did an excellent job of adding voices to the interviews and such so I was able to add a personal aspect to the story.

I was amazed at how recently the mob had ties to Las Vegas. I guess I figured all of that was before my time, but it wasn't. And this also helped me realize that I just really don't have the balls to be a criminal. It's a simple as that. I coul
Lynn Smith
Nov 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading this book. It is about Las Vegas during the time when the Mafia controlled the Las Vegas casinos. It covers much of the same ground covered by the movie "Casino", focusing on mobster Tony Spilotro (the Joe Pesci character in "Casino" is based on Tony Spilotro). The story of Las Vegas and the mob has always fascinated me. This book goes all the way back to Bugsy Siegel but focuses mostly on Spilotro. It also goes into the skimming operations where the Chicago and Kansas City mob ...more
Jan C
Jun 29, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A lot of focus on Tony Spilotro. Once he and his brother get whacked and buried in an Indiana cornfield a lot of the air goes out of the story. I have heard that there is no more mob in Vegas but I don't know whether to believe that. And this book didn't help clear it up. It just kind of left the reader (or in this case the listener) hanging.

A lot of repetition if, like me, the reader has read Casino by Nicholas Pileggi. Let alone, seen the movie.

Kind of disappointing.
Dan Richter
Mar 03, 2013 rated it liked it
If you've seen the movie "Casino" then you've read this book. Casino consistently makes my top ten list of movies of all time, so reading this was pleasurable, but not necessarily novel in content. I was in Las Vegas when I read this, so it kind of put things in a different context, raising my interest in this book. If you haven't seen Casino, then check this out. If you've seen it and don't care for it so much, then pass this up. If you really like it and don't have anything else to read that t ...more
Eric Pulsifer
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Battle For Las Vegas shows what Vegas was like before it tried to go mainstream and family-friendly, when organized crime ran it instead of corporations.

Griffin tells a good story, researches it well and puts it together into a fast-moving narrative. My main knock is that reading it is like reading a police report ("the subject was observed ..."), but Griffin had been a cop for something like 20 years.

A good read, though. If you saw the movie Casino and want to know the story behind it, it'
Nate Niesen
May 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Lots of good information in here. The author does his homework thoroughly, getting interviews from the important players, court documents, newspaper articles, and whatever else he can get his hands on.

It's not tremendous writing, and the author does give the law enforcement the benefit of the doubt for some very unsavory tactics, but overall it's a nice read.

Recommended for people who loved the movie "Casino" and want more background on those events that transpired - apparently about 95% of th
Jun 02, 2009 rated it liked it
This book is rather interesting. It ties the glory days of Vegas to the modern era. The mob cancer that developed and how it was rooted out has been the subject of movies and folklore. The same corruption can get started anywhere without the vigilance of dedicated law enforcement and a citizenry that will not tolerate it. Read and learn. This is a recommended book!
Nov 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Being a Las Vegas native and having grown up knowing two of the law enforcement people mentioned in the book I had to read it. It didn't let me down. What a great story and I loved learning more about the people I grew up with. I think if I'd known this much about them earlier on, I probably would have gone into law enforcement.
May 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Interesting view of the law versus the mob in Las Vegas. It truly only hones in on one mob figure (Tony Spilotro) while other well-known mobsters are on the fringes. There's also VERY little talk about celebrities and their connections to the mob. Not a bad read, but I wish there was more about other figures and how the law handled them.
Jessica Lave
Mildly interesting, really short, very dry.
The subject matter and the people were interesting, evidenced by some of the interviews the author quoted, but there was too little of that and too much back and forth between dry summary and colorful commentary.
Audiobook narrator talks pretty quickly and can't really differentiate between who's speaking very well.
Apr 14, 2012 is currently reading it
This book so far is a vivid account of the whole story behind the activities surrounding Las Vegas when it was first built and how it was conquered by the Chicago Mob.It is actually the real events that took place which are portrayed in the movie "Casino".So far it is interesting and I don't plan on stopping as I continue to get further into the book........
Brent Dyer
Mar 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
A great history of Las Vegas and the organized crime that built it. It can sometimes get a little dry, and better exposition of some of the pivotal characters is needed, but those are minor blemishes on an otherwise gripping book.
Nov 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a good book about when The Chicago Mob ran everything in Las Vegas and how the law finally got rid of them.
Jim Cramer
Sep 03, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: murder-mysteries
This book was a rehash of the movie "Casino"
Tori Scharadin
Oct 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
non-dramatic account of the before, during, and after of Las Vegas' mob days, specifically the skim. Easy to follow web of events, intriguing display of information
David Magnenat
Jun 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
OK, but a bit ponderous, especially for a "mobbed up Las Vegas" book.
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I moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, in 1994, after a 20-year career in investigations and law enforcement in New York State. I began writing my first novel, The Morgue, in 1996. In 2000, I started work on a Las Vegas-based trilogy of mystery/thrillers. Killer In Pair-A-Dice was followed by One—Armed Bandit. The third book, Vegas Vixen, was published in November 2008.

In 2001 I turned my attention to non