Behind The Wild Life Of The Jewish Mobster Who Helped Build The Las Vegas Strip

Long before the first casino opened up on the Las Vegas Strip, Benjamin Siegel had already embarked on a life of crime. Decades later, his name is still associated with the birth of Sin City as we know it. And his grim reputation adds a thrilling layer of darkness to the glamorous and glitzy history of Vegas. 

Bugsy Siegel

Waltzing through the Flamingo Hotel with a beautiful moll on his arm, it must have seemed as though Siegel had it all. But all the money and connections in the world could not buy safety from the terrifying world of organized crime. And before long, his blossoming career as a casino owner would be cut brutally short. 

The brains behind the Strip

Today, Siegel is credited as one of the brains behind the Las Vegas Strip — a man who gambled on building a hotel in the middle of the desert and won. But his colleagues weren’t quite so impressed with his dodgy business dealings. And when he was fatally shot in Beverly Hills, it sparked a mystery that’s never been solved. 

Las Vegas

When Siegel arrived in Las Vegas in the 1940s he saw a world of opportunity at his feet. From humble beginnings in New York City, he had risen through the ranks of organized crime, making several powerful friends in the process. But now, with the law hot on his trail, he was looking to turn his hand to a legitimate occupation.

The Flamingo Hotel

To Siegel, the struggling Flamingo Hotel was the perfect project to get behind. As one of the first hotels on the Las Vegas Strip, it was ideally placed to take advantage of the burgeoning gambling industry. But the owner had run out of money and was in desperate need of someone with connections to fund the construction.