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Until the early 1980s, The Mafia had a huge stake in Las Vegas.

You've got to give them the key to everything that's yours. And for a while, I believed, that's the kind of love I had." is a 1995 film directed by Martin Scorsese, starring Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Sharon Stone, who earned a Golden Globe and an Academy Award nomination for her role as Ginger.

But while they ran the casinos, they didn't run the town. I mean, you gotta have the hole already dug before you show up with a package in the trunk.

They had to use fronts to get their men in to run everything. Otherwise, you're talking about a half hour or 45 minutes of diggin'.

One of these fronts is Sam "Ace" Rothstein (De Niro), a Jewish gambling prodigy who, having made big money for his Mafia associates in the past, is sent to Vegas to run the Tangiers casino-hotel. And who knows who`s gonna be comin' along in that time? After the Tangiers, the big corporations took it all over. And while the kids play cardboard pirates, Mommy and Daddy drop the house payments and Junior's college money on the poker slots.

Rothstein, a ruthlessly logical and efficient character, soon turns the Tangiers into a successful and profitable organisation for the Mob bosses, but things start go shaky when Rothstein falls head-over-heels in love with Ginger (Stone), a beautiful and seductive but manipulative and troubled casino hustler, and when Rothstein's old friend Nicky Santoro (Pesci) arrives in town. Before you know it, you gotta dig a few more holes. In the old days, dealers knew your name, what you drank, what you played. And if you order room service, you're lucky if you get it by Thursday. You get a whale show up with four million in a suitcase, and some twenty-five-year-old hotel school kid is gonna want his Social Security Number.

Santoro, a psychotically hot-headed mobster, is sent by the bosses to watch over things and make sure no one interferes with Rothstein's operation, but soon decides to make Las Vegas his personal kingdom, bringing much undesired attention on Rothstein himself and creating tension between the two men that will end up bringing the whole thing crashing down on top of them. After the Teamsters got knocked out of the box, the corporations tore down practically every one of the old casinos.

The film is loosely based on the story of Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal, who unofficially ran three casinos for the bosses in Chicago and who served as the inspiration for the Rothstein character. And where did the money come from to rebuild the pyramids?

Although the film isn't an exact account of what happened (a lot of that is Artistic License), it does provide a good overview of it.

Nicholas Pileggi explained in interviews that Nicky: I think in all fairness, I should explain to you exactly what it is that I do. crack your fuckin' head wide-open in front of everybody in the bank.

For instance tomorrow morning I'll get up nice and early, take a walk down over to the bank and... And just about the time that I'm comin' out of jail, hopefully, you'll be coming out of your coma.

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