Let’s be straight- I’m not endorsing corruption or crime here.
I’m sharing an interesting take I heard from a tour guide of the Hoover Dam who lived in Vegas for 20 years, and watched first hand the transition from Vegas being a Mob-run town to a Corporate run town.
In the Mob run Vegas:
The business model was all about maximizing gambling income. Every single side business- restaurants, shows, bars, trade shows, prostitution- Was in pursuit of more gambling dollars. They knew their business and ran it well. Today, everything is segmented, so in effect, the bars, restaurants, shows and all other entertainments in Vegas are now competing for those gambling dollars. And the view of the worker on the strip is that most of the businesses are weaker for it. There is no longer a clear and coherent goal or Business Plan of the Vegas Strip.
More gambling is how the mobsters hid most of their money. The more money that flowed through gambling, the more money they could gamble with house money with, and cash it back out. Take out 10k in chips, and turn in 8k in cash 3 hours later.
Predatory crime was way down:
The mobsters made sure that pickpockets, petty thieves, muggers and all similar criminals knew that stealing from the tourists or their employees was a really bad idea. Yes, he was convinced that crime in today’s Vegas is up significantly.
There were safety nets:
When people working for the mobsters had problems, the mobsters took care of their family. Need a loan that the bank wouldn’t give? Talk to Tony in accounting tomorrow, he’s go over it with you.
Need a chunk of time off? Take as much as you need, give your supervisor a week to work you back in the schedule.
Point is- the mobsters took great care of anyone who worked for them, and knew many employees by name. Granted, the mobsters also knew that someone who had it out for them could easily snitch.
Things were better planned:
The mobsters had their business plan for Vegas- More Gambling. Any development that didn’t support that goal was not a priority, and was often discouraged.