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Mob Museum Unveils Exhibit on Flamingo Casino, ‘Bugsy’ Siegel

The Mob Museum in Las Vegas unveiled an exhibit on Friday detailing the origins of the Flamingo hotel-casino and gangster Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel’s role in its history.

“This exhibit and its artifacts aim to pierce the myths and set the record straight,” Geoff Schumacher, the museum’s vice president of exhibits and programs, wrote in a blog post.

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The Flamingo opened under Siegel’s direction in December 1946 on the highway heading toward Southern California from downtown Las Vegas. 

That road, then a remote ribbon slicing through desert landscape, now is the Las Vegas Strip, crowded with massive hotel-casinos. The Flamingo is at the same location, though none of its original buildings remain. Many years later, Mob-connected resorts on the Strip were demolished over the years. These include the Desert Inn, Sands, and Dunes.

Siegel also briefly was part-owner of the El Cortez in downtown Las Vegas. This resort is still in operation, with some of its original structure intact.

Siegel had taken control of the Flamingo from its original builder, Billy Wilkerson, who ran Hollywood nightclubs and published the Hollywood Reporter newspaper.

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