Bill Friedman speaks Las Vegas
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Friedman's Astonishing True Story
is Captivating and Memorable with
...a Touch of Humor


Members of four major organized-crime gangs made up 80% of the principal developers of the Las Vegas Strip during its Golden Era from the opening of the Flamingo in 1946 to the opening of Caesars Palace in 1966. Bill Friedman’s speech highlights the remarkable careers of these four gangs’ leaders during the three decades prior to their moving to Las Vegas.

Las Vegas Strip was financed  by Elegant Illegal Casinos

“45 years of research is just one-part of the ‘Untold Story.’ The most significant part is the many hours and years I spent with ‘The Four Gangs’ as they described to me their incredible journeys to become the pioneers of the Las Vegas Strip’s casinos.”

Three of these gangs were Prohibition’s largest and most successful by far. The smallest of these three elite gangs smuggled more than 100 million bottles of the world’s finest and most expensive liquors into this country every year during the Roaring ‘20s and the early Great Depression years of the 1930s. They faced serious threat from violent robbery the moment their oceanic freighters stopped at sea near the U.S. territorial boundary to transfer their valuable cargoes to fleets of high-speed boats. These raced to isolated shore enclaves while attempting to avoid the Navy destroyers’ powerful lights and large guns and the pursuit of fast Coast-Guard cutters and pirate craft. On shore they loaded their cargoes into long truck convoys. As they crossed the countryside they remained vigilant for possible ambush by hijacking gangs lurking along the route.

During the 1930s and 1940s after Prohibition, these four gangs operated illegal casinos across the country. Just like today casinos were wide-open to the public, but these gambling rooms were much more elegant than today’s Las Vegas Strip casinos and they attracted large numbers of high-end players. Each gambling room was fronted by the locale’s finest restaurant or leading nightclub. Some casinos required men to wear tuxedos in order to gain entry, and one even insisted men be in all-white tie and tailcoat tuxedos. The gamblers’ wives were adorned in their finest gowns, furs, and jewelry.


Each of these four gangs was based in a specific territory in four states, but their leaders frequently partnered in business and politics in various areas of the country. Their business alliances included immense alcohol enterprises not only during Prohibition but legal ones afterwards when they also opened up chic casinos and large bookmaking operations in several states.

Las Vegas Strip was financed  by Elegant Illegal Casinos

“This is the story of the Strip pioneers’ amazing and challenging three-decades that led them to Las Vegas.”

They controlled a number of powerful big-city political machines which allied to support mutual interests. The leaders also cooperated in the surprisingly complex politics of the underworld that more than once drew the major gangs across the country into wars that drove the members into secret hideouts.

Bill Friedman’s previously untold unique stories cover these men’s business challenges, competitive conflicts, underworld political intrigues and battles, law enforcement  prosecutions and persecutions, and threats by powerful and unscrupulous politicians with Machiavellian personal agendas. These seven gang leaders, along with some legitimate businessmen in various fields, became bigger-than-life heroes as they courageously tried to fend off the appalling actions of the most dastardly underworld gangsters and ruthless overworld politicians.

When these seven were young men they became gang leaders at the inception of organized crime and went on to become the most powerful criminals in history. They topped off their careers by pioneering the Las Vegas Strip resorts which accorded them legitimacy and respectability for the first time. Bill Friedman spent