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By Jack E. Sheehan

Las Vegas has been defined as "the final nice, mythic urban that Western civilization will ever create, " and its short, exceptional background has been mostly formed by means of a handful of colourful and astute on line casino operators who became a dusty barren region city into the gawdy, booming vacation mecca that it truly is this present day. The essays during this booklet introduce us to those "players" and description the selections that led them and their selected urban remarkable heights of luck. we find how early leaders like Cliff Jones, Moe Dalitz, and Benny Binion first grasped Las Vegas's capability as a middle for high-stakes playing, and we learn of mobster "Bugsy" Siegel's efforts to deliver to truth one other man's dream of a glamorous resort-casino on a then-remote web site on the fringe of city. different visionaries like Jay Sarno, Sam Boyd, and Jackie Gaughan helped flip casinos into islands of delusion, replete with lavish leisure spectacles, that experience develop into the norm for next building within the urban, and so they begun the now-standard perform of mass-marketing the Las Vegas event to heart the US. the coming of eccentric Howard Hughes brought a brand new sort of company administration to an hitherto led by way of self reliant marketers and their households - a method of administration considering the fact that carried on via Kirk Kerkorian and Steve Wynn.

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Others later came from Texas, the Midwest, Florida, New Yorkfrom wherever illegal gambling had thrived with the tacit approval of local public officials. As a result of this influx, Nevada's gaming industry grew to the point where the state realized that sizable tax money could be gathered from the casinos. In 1945 the state legislature placed casinos under the authority of the Nevada Tax Commission, which already supervised the collection of taxes from such industries as mining and ranching. The tax commission was granted authority to issue, deny, and revoke state gaming licenses.

Wiley, Peter. Empires in the Sun: The Rise of the New American West. New York: Putnam, 1982. Page 22 4. Glass, Mary Ellen. Nevada's Turbulent '50s.

Kerkorian might have stayed to himself, acting somehow unworthy to be in the presence of such entrepreneurial genius, but quietly confident in the knowledge that his bank account was deeper than any of theirs. Whatever the texture of the dialogue, it certainly would have been worth eavesdropping on. It was with that guiding spirit, to endeavor to collect many of these gaming and hotel entrepreneurs' pertinent stories in the same volume, that Bill Boyd contacted me not long after the death of his fa- Page xii ther, Sam, to see if it would be possible to gather much of this information before any more time, and Las Vegas legends, passed on.

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