Gambling has always been very important for business in the Mafia. The Mafia earned all its cash from card games, betting on horses and any other sport they could bet on. They operated lots of illegal gambling operations throughout America. The Mafia bosses paid the police officers and law enforcement agencies to ignore the gambling operations. In 1931 Nevada legalised gambling which was a major change in the history of gambling and casinos in the United States.
The Mafia didn’t realise how much money Vegas could make until after the Second World War. Meyer Lansky and Bugsy Siegel were the two mafia bosses who realised the amount of potential Vegas actually had. As before Vegas was formed, American tourists had to travel to Cuba to have a good time.
The Mob Museum which is officially called the National Museum of organised Crime and Law Enforcement is a history museum that is located in Las Vegas. It opened its doors on the 14th February 2012. The museum is in dedication to the history, facts and stories of organised crime in the States as well as the reasons why law enforcement prevented crimes.
The museum was erected in the 1930’s and is situated on Stewart Avenue not far from Fremont Street. It was developed by Dennis Barrie and it is run by a profitless board. It is in dedication to Law Enforcement and organised crime containing the historical facts of Vegas and the whole of the United States.
In the year 2000 the government sold the courthouse and post office to the city of Vegas for one million dollars with intentions that the building would be restored to its authentic look. However the mayor at the time who was a former Mob defence lawyer came up with the idea for the mob museum in 2002. The budget for the project was around 50 million dollars including millions to restore the building.
Exhibitions are focused on mob violence and other illegal operations by Law Enforcement. There is a self-guided tour available and you can watch a short movie about the history of organised crime. One part of the exhibition has photos that are mob-related; these explain the importance of the images and what operations, individuals and events that they were associated with.
The visitors are able to see some rare material, e.g. photographs of famous victims that were murdered by the Mafia. These are quite rare and disturbing as they show the real bodies of the deceased people along with photographs and diaries of the worst gangster personalities. At the exit of the museum there is a wall containing images of actors who played famous mobsters in well known movies and series. A number of the exhibits are interactive and there are also different stations around the museum where film footage is played regularly. The Museum has a gift shop using displays, exhibits and photos and the visitors learn significant knowledge about organised crime. Visitors can also sit in a replica electric chair and listen to wire traps.