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Beyond the Mafia: Italian Americans and the Development of by Alan Richard Balboni

By Alan Richard Balboni

While past the Mafia first seemed in 1996, it was once hailed as an important contribution to the historical past of Las Vegas and of ethnic minorities in the United States.

Author Alan Balboni strains the heritage of Italians in Las Vegas from the founding of town in 1905, recording their actions within the fledgling cost. As Las Vegas grew, Italian americans participated in each point of the city’s society and financial system, together with building, retail institutions, inns, and—after the statewide legalization of playing in 1931—the on line casino undefined. Basing his study on good over 100 interviews, in addition to the documents of Italian American corporations, public firms, and different assets, Balboni has produced a gleaming, farsighted, and carefully documented account of the background of 1 of Las Vegas’s so much innovative and efficient ethnic minorities.

This new paperback version comprises an afterword by way of the writer that brings the tale of Las Vegas’s Italian americans as much as the current.

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Louis Coniglio, the Italian-American partner, had come to Las Vegas from Los Angeles in 1946. ” These are typical of the comments the author heard about Louigi’s from men who worked in Las Vegas in the 1950s and 1960s. 28 Frank Sala, part owner of a race book and later a real estate business, recalled that patrons at Louigi’s would be four- or five-deep at the bar, waiting for an opportunity to dine. Some Italian restaurants had the added charm of being reputed hangouts for organized crime figures.

Even Italian-American casino supervisors enjoyed great mobility in an industry where shifting job conditions and personal loyalties shaped careers. Pete Brady’s career was somewhat similar to Pete Bommarito’s. He, too, had managed illegal gambling enterprises in the East before coming to Las Vegas after World War II. A Cleveland native, he had known Moe Dalitz, so it is not surprising that when the Desert Inn opened, Brady left his job as manager of a small Downtown casino and began working as a floorman in the Desert Inn’s 21 and roulette areas.

He then called KSHO to complain, only to be told that since Marion paid for the time, as TV host he could do what he wanted. Las Vegans tended to tolerate, indeed to enjoy, behavior that probably would have dismayed listeners or viewers in more socially conservative cities. ) Restaurateurs and Food and Beverage Managers Scores of Italian Americans owned or managed Strip and Downtown restaurants, many of which were among the finest eating establishments in Las Vegas. Italian Americans with experience in the restaurant business began coming to Las Vegas soon after the opening of the Flamingo in 1947.

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