By Alan Richard Balboni
Starting with old insurance of the migration of enormous numbers of Italian americans to Las Vegas after global battle II and the similar development of town, this booklet strikes directly to the difficulty of organised crime, and debates even if the shady recognition of Italian americans was once relatively deserved.
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Additional info for Beyond the Mafia: Italian Americans and the Development of Las Vegas (Wilbur S. Shepperson Series in History and Humanities)
They also recalled that Fava and a partner bought the Villa Venice Restaurant after Fava sold his partial ownership in the Westerner in 1960. They renamed the establishment Anjoe’s Café Continental and operated the business until 1962, when Fava returned to California. Italian Americans were well represented as owners and managers of a specialized type of gaming property— race books, which were located in the Downtown area. Race-book owners catered to tourists and locals who enjoyed betting on horse races (and later, other sporting events) even more than playing the slot machines or shooting craps.
Frank Modica and Frank Fertitta are two of the most successful Italian American gambling executives who started as dealers and worked their way up through the ranks. More than once, each left relatively secure positions in order to advance his career. Frank Modica, the recently retired chief executive officer of the Showboat, now a profitable hotel/casino on the Boulder Highway, had come to Las Vegas with his parents from Jamestown, New York, in 1947. He began his atypical career in rather standard fashion as a dealer at the Eldorado Club in the Downtown area.
As successful Italian-American gamblers sought out Las Vegas, the heart of the action, ItalianAmerican entertainers wanted to perform in the city widely billed as the Entertainment Capital of the World. When they arrived, they were well received. Many Italian Americans held important positions in the hotels, and others, some perhaps from the same hometowns or even the same neighborhoods (common for South Philadelphians), were already performing in Las Vegas. Every Italian-American entertainer interviewed for this book agreed that being an Italian American probably helped one’s career, that is, unless one was seeking a casino license.