Las Vegas embraces its mob roots

A limousine once belonging to mobster Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel is on display at the "Mob Experience" exhibit at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. (Associated Press)A limousine once belonging to mobster Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel is on display at the “Mob Experience” exhibit at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. (Associated Press)
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The Tropicana’s Mob Experience recently was sued by the daughter of notorious gangster Sam Giancana over an alleged breach of contract involving the purchase of Giancana’s furniture.

Critics have slammed the attraction for being too deferential to the family members of the gangsters. The exhibition glosses over the mob bosses’ violent histories while praising them as handsome fathers.

At the same time, the mob museum has been hounded by criticism that Mr. Goodman, a longtime mob ally, is glamorizing organized crime.

“Why are any of these brutal killers being honored? This is nothing but gross sensationalism,” said William Donati, an English professor at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas and the author of “Lucky Luciano: The Rise and Fall of a Mob Boss.”

“This is the image of Las Vegas that we want to portray?” Mr. Donati said. “What are they going to do next, have a show honoring the drug cartels of Mexico?”

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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