Mobbed Up: The Fight for Las Vegas
Threats, Bombs and Stings | S2E5

Threats, Bombs and Stings | S2E5

July 12, 2021
Armed with a mass of FBI wiretap transcripts, newly sworn-in Nevada governor Robert List was embarking on one of the most critical tasks in the history of the state - breaking the mob’s grip on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. During his term, he received death threats, wore a bulletproof vest, and faced an undercover sting. Other officials found bombs in their cars. The FBI was stepping up the pressure on Mafia families and their hidden influence downtown and on the Strip. Among the casinos named: the Aladdin, Stardust, Tropicana, Dunes, and Fremont.
Wayne Newton’s ‘nightmare’ | S2E6

Wayne Newton’s ‘nightmare’ | S2E6

July 19, 2021
It’s a moment of jubilation for Wayne Newton in September 1980 as he appears before the Nevada Gaming Commission. He has just been approved as the new co-owner of the Aladdin. But he and his attorney are confronted by an NBC crew, asking questions about alleged ties to the mob. An investigative report out days later came as the Midnight Idol’s career was rocking. He was not only a casino owner but also the biggest draw on the Strip. Fallout from that broadcast would be big news in Las Vegas for years. And Newton vowed a “fight that could last the rest of my life.”
A judge falls from grace | S2E7

A judge falls from grace | S2E7

July 26, 2021
Federal judge Harry Claiborne frustrated federal prosecutors hunting the mob in Las Vegas - he was not afraid to block efforts if he thought they were being unfair. The judge also fought with gaming regulators over his decision to wrestle away control of the Aladdin. In 1986, Claiborne became the first federal judge in 50 years to be impeached, convicted and removed from the bench by Congress because he refused to resign after he was convicted in court of filing false tax returns and not reporting income. It was a long fall for a man who had become a legal legend.
Aladdin‘s curse | S2E8

Aladdin‘s curse | S2E8

August 2, 2021
On the evening of April 27, 1998, there was an almost festive atmosphere on the Las Vegas Strip. Television news helicopters were hovering and an estimated 20,000 onlookers gathered on the streets. At 7:30 p.m. the financially unstable Aladdin Hotel tumbled down in a coordinated implosion. Some say it was cursed since its days of pillaging under hidden mob control. With all of its troubles, the resort played a key role in the history of Las Vegas. It ignited the campaign to push the mob off the Strip, paved the way for corporate America to take over, and transformed Nevada’s gaming process into the world's gold standard.
Bonus: Stories from the Steer

Bonus: Stories from the Steer

August 17, 2021

A bonus episode for Season 2 of Mobbed Up. Jeff German, Review-Journal investigative reporter and host for Season 2, interviews longtime Golden Steer waiter Venko Nikolov about his memories of mob hitman Frank Cullotta at the iconic Las Vegas steakhouse.

Bonus: Season 2 Epilogue

Bonus: Season 2 Epilogue

September 15, 2021

Longtime gaming executive and consultant Ed Nigro was in the middle of the battle between Wayne Newton and Johnny Carson to buy the Aladdin Hotel after the mob was kicked out. 

 

Nigro was appointed to manage the Aladdin until it could be sold to reputable buyers, and then partnered with Carson in his bid to take over the Aladdin.  

 

In this season-ending forum at The Mob Museum, Nigro joins Season 2 host Jeff German and former Gov. Robert List in a discussion about the Aladdin’s troubles under the control of the mob and how the state and the courts dealt with it.

 

Nigro also provides a revealing look behind the scenes of the high-stakes battle between Carson and Newton. 

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