Test Your Knowledge: Las Vegas Mobs

HISTORY

10 PLAYS

Staff

5 Min Quiz

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About This Quiz

For decades, Las Vegas has been known for its ties to organized crime. How much do you know about these Vegas mobsters?

What was Benjamin Sigel's nickname?

He wasn't just a vicious gangster; he was a celebrity who had a huge name in Vegas and around the country.

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Why did Bugsy get into the gambling business in 1933?

The end of Prohibition meant that illegal booze didn't have the same profit margins.

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What sort of front business did Herbert Blitzstein run with John Spilotro in the 1990s?

The business was on West Sahara Avenue and gave them cover for their illegal activities.

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Geri McGee was a model who wound up in a relationship with which gangster?

She died young from an overdose that could be viewed with suspicion.

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What was Murder, Inc.?

And Bugsy Siegel was a primary leader; altogether, they may have organized 1,000 contract killings.

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Which gangster was nicknamed "The Ant?"

He was an enforcer for the Chicago Outfit.

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Why was one Vegas group called the "Hole in the Wall Gang?"

They smashed through walls and grabbed whatever they felt like taking.

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When did the mob first realize the immense potential for profits in Las Vegas?

The town grew into a city in just a few years and gangsters soon realized it was a haven for criminal activity.

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Why did the CIA recruit gangster John Roselli in the 1960s?

Roselli and his associates tried unsuccessfully to poison Castro.

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In 1997, why was Herbert Blitzstein murdered by members of another gang?

They murdered him, execution-style, in his own home.

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After the developer ran out of money, Bugsy Siegel stepped in to help finish which casino-hotel?

He threatened the owner, who then fled the country to avoid reprisals from Siegel's men.

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Before Vegas became a gambling mecca, where did Americans go to lose their money?

Then Cuba's Revolution took hold, leaving Vegas as the only real alternative for avid gamblers.

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In Vegas, what's the "black book?"

Many mobsters were on this list for their known criminal activities.

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As more mob families began operating casinos in Vegas, how did they collaborate?

That way they all shared in the immense profits and protected each other from legal repercussions.

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Which gangster earned the nickname "Lefty?"

He was particularly well-known for his sports betting acumen.

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In 1976, where was John Roselli's body found?

He sleeps with the fishes; no one knows who murdered him.

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Charles Baron was mobster who was also an official greeter for which hotel?

He was a successful businessman in Chicago but eventually wound up in the Sands hotel.

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In the late 1960s, who changed the way business was done in Vegas?

Hughes bought up many casinos, uprooted mob ties and gave corporate giants a foothold into the market.

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How did Bugsy Siegel die?

An unknown person gunned Siegel down through a window as he sat in his girlfriend's home.

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Which gangster's life is highlighted by the 1995 movie "Casino?"

Robert De Niro plays the part of "Lefty;" Sharon Stone played the role of his wife Geri.

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How did David Berman die in 1957?

He died as doctors removed colon polyps that may have otherwise led to cancer.

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Which casino did Anthony Spilotro open with the help of Herbert Blitzstein?

Their casino also had a jewelry and electronics store inside.

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Anthony Spilotro was suspected in how many gang-related murders?

In the end, he himself was murdered by associates.

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In what year did a special Senate committee first investigate organized crime in Vegas?

The city had a population of only 20,000 at that time but the mob was already digging in.

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What was "The Green Felt Jungle?"

The book highlights gangster activity and how corporations eventually took over the city.

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What sort of assassination attempt did Frank Rosenthal survive in 1982?

An (OEM) metal plate in his Cadillac diverted much of the blast and saved his life; he retired soon afterwards.

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Why was the construction of the Flamingo shut down in 1947?

Bugsy Siegel's skimming was so rampant that the company couldn’t even afford to complete the job.

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Why did mobster David Berman enlist in the Canadian Army in World War II instead of signing up in the U.S. Army?

"Davie the Jew" got a measure of revenge on the Nazis by serving on the front lines with the Canadians.

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Why was Gus Greenbaum murdered?

The Chicago Outfit decided that they wanted revenge on Greenbaum for his stealing.

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Where were the bodies of the Spilotro brothers found?

The Chicago Outfit (brutally) murdered them and buried them in a cornfield.

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