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The Nation

March 30, 2011

Las Vegas embraces mob roots with new attractions

(Continued)

LAS VEGAS —

Unlike in other cities, where mob bosses fought for territory, Las Vegas was deemed an open playground for gangsters of all nationalities.

"This was the golden goose," said Michael Green, a historian at the Community College of Southern Nevada who is working with the mob museum. "Las Vegas was a young enough city not to be bound by old elites and old rules."

Nevada's tightening regulations and increasingly corporate culture began to turn off mobsters in the 1970's, allowing Las Vegas to become the corporate-run tourist mecca it is today.

There are still those who long for the past. Longtime casino workers frequently reminisce of the days when mob bosses delivered flowing tips and safe streets.

Asked about the mob's decline, Goodman jested, "The real mob disappeared a long time ago. That's the reason why I became mayor. I had no more clients."

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