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Atlantic City Casinos: the Birthplace of the Modern USA Mafia

The USA congress passed a bill in 1955, allowing the state of New Jersey to grant gambling licenses in the yet to be built resort of Atlantic City. At once this became of interest to the local New York Mafia, many of whom had their entire operation in New Jersey, as it afforded them a quiet and affluent space in which to live and work.


As soon as the Atlantic City casinos foundations were laid, the Mafia already had considerable influence in the resort, and this fledgling operation was soon to affect the whole of the USA.

 
 

Senators were bribed and casino bosses were replaced, or left of their own accord after receiving threats from USA Mafiosi. It wasn’t long before the New Jersey Mafia were making a considerable amount of money from their casino ventures, as they also provided a perfect means of laundering cash from their other nefarious deeds.


Where the Mafia made a lot of their money initially during the prohibition era, the USA was stable once more in the fifties and the Mafia desperately needed another source of income besides racketeering and stolen goods. The casino offered the perfect solution.


It wasn’t long before the USA Mafia needed another place to invest their money; such was their recent acquisition of wealth. They looked to the desert, to the state of Nevada, and more specifically, Lake Tahoe and of course Las Vegas.


Las Vegas, while certainly not the traditional Mafia Environment, was a perfect breeding ground for criminal endeavors. Backed by investors in Cuba, the USA mafia started building some of the biggest, most impressive monuments to gambling ever seen.


Many of these casino hotels still exist today on the Strip. It would be impossible to say exactly which hotels were built with USA Mafia money, but there is one school of thought that implies that the gaudier the façade, the more dubious the investors.


The USA Mafia still exists in Las Vegas, the only difference being that their business is now more legitimate, as the casino industry brings in large sums of money. Where that money is invested, however, is a different matter.

 
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