This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger
Take Jimmy Hoffa and Bugsy Siegel, and Howard Hughes as well, away from Las Vegas and that city might still be a desert town, a country town, perhaps a place where people go to get some peace and quiet, but not the the entertainment capital of the United States that it is today. This city was literally built with blood money from the Italian and Jewish mobs, but also from crooks in organized crime such as Jimmy Hoffa, Sr.
Good business people, whether legitimate characters or crooks, are always looking for the next profit and investment where they can make that next fortune. There was no one in Vegas 80 years ago, a city of perhaps 10,000 people, similar to Bethesda, Maryland, if you are familiar with my area, which was, pre-1970 at least, just a stop on the way to somewhere like Washington or Baltimore, but that started to change in the late 1930s and early 1940s as the mobs discovered Vegas.
That is what you see in this video about the men who built Las Vegas and gave the Southwest and the broader West and even the United States (once the word was out that Vegas was a great place) the opportunity to either lose or make money, but Vegas was also a great place to have a good time just a 4-hour drive from Los Angeles. It gave the State of Nevada a serious revenue source to build its infrastructure, schools, and everything that States need to do well.