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After years of trying to re-position itself as a destination for all the family, Las Vegas is finally reverting to its Sin City image and embracing its mobster past.

Site of Mob Museum

The city that owes its origins and notoriety to such notorious Mafia mobsters as Bugsy Siegel, Meyer Lansky, Anthony “Ant” Spilotro and Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal, is about to open the Las Vegas Museum of Organised Crime and Law Enforcement, known locally as The Mob Museum—a $42 million project in the downtown area that looks at how the mob built Las Vegas and the efforts of law enforcement to wrest control of the city.  

But Las Vegas officials have been beaten to the punch by the Las Vegas Mob Experience, a similar but privately-run museum which opened two months ago at the Tropicana Hotel. 

Bugsy Siegel

The Mob Experience has assembled a vast array of mob-related artifacts and memorabilia, including a pair of creepy clown-motif bookends that belonged to Mickey Cohen and a note sent by Frank Sinatra to Vincent “Jimmy Blue Eyes” thanking him for sending flowers to his father’s funeral. One of Meyer Lansky’s love letters to his wife on display ends with the exhortation: “Keep your legs crossed and go to sleep.”

Mayor Oscar Goodman

The city-backed Museum of Organised Crime and Law Enforcement is not due to open until December but Mayor Oscar Goodman, who was himself a mob defence lawyer, dismisses the rival Mob Experience with the comment: “It’s not a museum and it’s not competition for us.”



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