THE MOB GREW LAS VEGAS PART II
Bugsy Siegal’s Flamingo Hotel
The Flamingo Hotel’s illustrious colors, illuminating the opulent hotel that opened in 1946, and, the hotel was located in the middle of the desert off Highway 91.
The concept for the Flamingo Hotel was Billy Wilkerson. Wilkerson was a prolific thinker and envisioned many hotels being built off Highway 91.
Wilkerson came into financial problems during the construction of the Flamingo, and he borrowed money from Bugsy Seigal who was a known mobster, gangster, and hitman.
When Wilkerson was unable to pay Siegal back, Wilkerson was coerced, under the threat of death, to give controlling interest over to Siegal.
This was the mob’s introduction to gaming and Siegal’s chance to seek out other money-making, illicit, golden opportunities. Siegal was often referred to as, “The gangster who built Las Vegas.”
The Chicago “Outfit” also saw gaming to be an extremely profitable enterprise and sent Bugsy Siegle to Las Vegas to oversee the “Outfit’s” investment into the Flamingo, the profits, and to make sure the “bosses” got their share of the profits.
Siegal borrowed $5 million to continue construction on the Flamingo. When the grand opening was a flop, the Chicago “Outfit” wanted their $5 million back, when Siegal refused, Lucky Luciano had Siegal killed.
Siegal never saw it coming. He was at his girlfriend’s home (Virginia Hill) as he sat on her couch, reading the paper, in front of a window when a man, put nine shots into Shiegal’s head and torso.
The “bosses” liked the money that one hotel brought in and began building several hotels/casinos.
The mob became deeply rooted in the gaming industry, which was the life-blood for Las Vegas. Whether Las Vegans like to admit it or not, the mob grew Las Vegas.