Bugsy Seigel Invented Las Vegas

Since Turnbull posted the correct story somewhere else I'm gonna use that. Hope you don't mind TB.

Yes, the story of Bugsy Siegel and the Flamingo encapsulates all the BS about the Mob--what people like to write about, and what really happened:

Bugsy Siegel didn't "invent Las Vegas." When he took up residence ca. 1940-41, it was a boomtown with seven hotel/casinos, some of them air-conditioned. The Flamingo had been named by its builder, Billy Wilkerson, the publisher of the Hollywood Reporter, a degenerate gambler whose debts left him unable to finish the hotel. Siegel bought him out and got his NY pals to invest.

The only thing new about the Flamingo was that it was the first Vegas hotel/casino to be built in a "modern," "eastern" style, not the western "corral" style of the El Rancho Vegas or the the other six hotels. Siegel lost his shirt on the
Flamingo. But after he was assassinated, his successors (Gus Greenbaum, Little Moe Sedway, and especially, Moe Dalitz) made a fortune on the Flamingo's model.

Just to elaborate a bit on this. The opening night wasn't exactly the dismal failure made out in the movies etc. Although most could'nt make it there were some celebs there ( George Raft, Jimmy Durante, bandleader Xavier Cugat, Rose Marie ) and the place was packed, probably more locals than out of towners. The big mistake was that the hotel itself was not finished so there were'nt any rooms for guests. The house lost big that night and the winners went to other casinos for the night and gambled with the Flamingo winnings there. Biggest rule is to keep the gamblers in the house.