Mob myopia in Two Way Hard Three

I finally read that LA Times piece on vintage Vegas venues (yay for alliterative ledes) and something in it provoked a response in me. So I wrote a Two Way Hard Three post until I expressed something close to what I was feeling:

Other people have already discussed the LA Times piece that featured “vintage Vegas” attractions, but I want to focus on a very narrow part of the set-up for the list of attractions, particularly this quote:

“It was better in the old days when the mob was still here,” said Aiko Shono, a 35-year resident of Sin City. “Everyone had a job, everyone was friendly [and] people were not rude.” (read full story here)

Coupled with longtime Golden Steer server Fernando Camacho’s description of Anthony Spilotro holding court at his private booth ("Anybody who came through that door had to kneel and kiss his ring"), it creates quite a disconnect.

via Mob myopia | Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog | from

I’d appreciate it if you could give it an honest read. I know it’s not very fashionable to be critical of mafia chic in Vegas right now, but I just can’t cheerlead that stuff. I explain my objections as well as I can in the piece. As someone whose career is centered on the history of Las Vegas and gambling, this is something I feel very strongly about and also something I’ve given a lot of thought to.

I’m really ambivalent about the whole fascination with Mob Vegas. On one hand, it’s good that people are interested in the past. On the other, it would be nice if they could get a more balanced look at history. The real history of Las Vegas, which includes but doesn’t end with organized crime, is really a lot more interesting an accessible than most people give it credit for. There are some great stories there.

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