By David Amoruso
Hollywood loves gangsters. Not because film makers condone their crimes, but because their stories make them lots of money. It’s difficult to name any other genre that has so many titles based on a true story. Yet, despite this label, the true story often gets twisted to fit the silver screen. That is why Gangsters Inc. shares its knowledge of the facts and truth behind these blockbuster gangster flicks.
Casino Back Home Years Ago
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When it comes to epic mob movies director Martin Scorsese outdid himself with Casino. It tells the true story of Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal and Anthony “The Ant” Spilotro and how the Chicago Outfit dominated gambling in Las Vegas and is based on the research and eventual book Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas by Nicholas Pileggi.
Back Home Years Ago The Real Casino
In the movie the names have been changed. Lefty Rosenthal turned into Sam “Ace” Rothstein while Spilotro was now named Nicky Santoro. Thankfully their actions remained the same and the acting of Robert De Niro as Rothstein and Joe Pesci as Santoro is, as you can expect from these two stars, top notch.
Where Scorsese had shown the gritty streets of New York City mob life in Goodfellas, in Casino he upped the ante and showed us the glamorous lives of the men who controlled a billion dollar industry. And, “how [they] messed it all up.”
The true story of Casino was featured in several Gangsters Inc. stories. Most dealing with the individual players or certain incidents more than with the exact plot of the movie. The men responsible for the Las Vegas skim and the money from the Teamsters were bosses Antonino “Joe Batters” Accardo and Joseph Aiuppa, while capo Joseph “The Clown” Lombardo saw to it their orders were carried out as commanded. We have profiled them all.
Spilotro was sent to Vegas to oversee the skim at the casino. He had made a name for himself back in Chicago after learning the ropes from “Mad Sam” DeStefano, one of the most evil mobsters ever to walk the streets of Chi Town.
All in all the violence portrayed in Casino did a good job at showing the capabilities of the group of stone cold killers the real Chicago Outfit had at its disposal. Like when Chicago boss Antonino Accardo needed to send a message to some guys wo burglarized his home.
In the movie Scorsese even cast real mob killer Frank Cullotta to play, essentially, himself as he shoots his way through the final scenes of the movie.
More on Casino:
- The story behind the documentary: Back Home, Years Ago: The Real Casino
Get the latest on organized crime and the Mafia at Gangsters Inc.'s news section.Casino slot games phantom thai treasures.
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Have you ever found yourself walking through a Vegas casino and all of a sudden you stop and say, that’s my song! Trust me — I felt the same way when I heard one of my favorite electro artists inside The Cromwell (it was Blood Orange, by the way).
Unlike your neighborhood drugstore that plays the saddest love songs ever, Vegas hotels and casinos find a way to keep everything upbeat. As much as we all love Eric Carmen’s ballad, “All By Myself,” that’s not exactly the best mood setter when you’re walking into a resort, right? It should be about a lively guest experience.
So how do hotels on the Strip go about choosing their music, anyway? We did a little digging and discovered a few fun facts about these “silent” DJs who control the tunes.
Wait, is that Rose McGowan or her hip lil’ sis controlling the tunes? Anyway, we’d love this as our side gig.
It’s really no accident. Yep, all those great tunes you hear are handpicked by those who work for the hotel. Palms hotel President and CEO Todd Greenberg personally selects much of the playlist that guests hear throughout the casino. So if you ever remember hearing a super eclectic mix, thank Mr. Greenberg for his taste in music. Songs range from Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made For Walking” and Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” to TLC’s “No Scrubs” and Beastie Boys’ “Sabotoge.”
“Many great movies have been enhanced by fantastic soundtracks, and I try to emulate that process for our guests to help maximize their casino experience,” Greenberg explained. “I want the music to be fun, interesting and accessible to everyone. It brings me great joy when I overhear a guest who is excited hearing a forgotten favorite song.”
It’s all about the balance. Similar to the Palms, the folks at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegasexplore all genres. The Cosmopolitan keeps the vibe alive by playing both cutting edge and familiar music, but not so much Top 40. According to the hotel’s rep, The Cosmopolitan likes to expose guests to new music from emerging, up-and-coming artists, all while letting them enjoy all the iconic classics.
Iconic classics include music from The Rolling Stones, Depeche Mode, David Bowie and The Cars. Music from up-and-coming artists ranges from Miike Snow and Allen Stone to Foals, Halsey and James Bay. The resort’s goal is to have a song list from different decades that blends well together, all while sounding both modern and timeless.
If you’ve ever been to a concert at the Hard Rock Hotel, then you know this place knows how to party. They host a great mix of mainstream and indie artists, and their casino music reflects that as well.
“No matter what, we keep the place rockin’,” said John Moss, Hard Rock hotel’s senior engineer. “We have one of the largest commercial music servers available, offering more music than a guest can hear in one stay.”
And it’s not just one genre — the Hard Rock offers a wide variety to meet the needs of guests. “Our music playlists are selected in many ways, whether it’s customized to honor bands in upcoming live shows at The Joint, or to show tribute to passing music legends like David Bowie, our goal is to give the guests a memorable listening experience.”
Yes! She’s really feelin’ the vibe. This should be the every Vegas casino’s goal when you walk in.
Work for marketing. Seriously, one of the perks of sitting at those long boardroom tables is picking out the jams. You’re basically a DJ, and that’s pretty sweet. If you ever caught yourself dancing in the check-in line at The LINQ or The Cromwell, thank the brand marketing team. The Cromwell plays more deep house and electro, while The LINQ has more of an open format. The folks at The LINQ will be switching out the playlist soon, but that’s what keeps things exciting.
The brand marketing team at SLS also hand selects the music. It changes throughout the day, so during earlier hours you’ll hear top hits from several decades. During evening hours and the weekend, you’ll hear Top 40, as well as pop and dance music.
Now that we’ve got that covered, we decided to include our dream playlist for Vegas casino music. (Keep in mind these aren’t all Vegas-related, but will get you in the groove. If you want to see our favorite Vegas music videos, we have that for you.) Feel free to add yours too. Happy listening!
- The Killers, “Shot At The Night”
- JMSN, “‘Bout It”
- Little Dragon, “Ritual Union”
- Chromeo, “Fancy Footwork”
- Lenny Kravitz, “Are You Gonna Go My Way”
- Miike Snow, “Black & Blue”
- Frank Sinatra, “Luck Be A Lady”
- Elvis, “Viva Las Vegas”
- MC Hammer, “Too Legit To Quit”
- Beastie Boys, “Fight For Your Right”
- Tone-Loc, “Funky Cold Medina”
- Santigold, “L.E.S. Artistes”
- Odesza, “Say My Name”