CURIOUS FACTS FOR THE CREATOR OF THE FIRST CASINO FLAMINGO IN LAS VEGAS
In the middle of 20th century, hardly anyone imagined that in the middle of the desert in Nevada state, an entertainment centre will be built. The name “Las Vegas” is associated with numerous casinos, offering unforgettable experience to their customers.
But the beginning of this entertainment destination is entirely merit of Benjamin Siegel, who was born in 1906 in New Your, in the family of famous Jews. The neighbourhood, in which he grew up, was called at that time “Kitchen Hell”. This neighbourhood was located on the outskirts of New York Williamsburg, where in constant quarrel there were three mobs. Benjamin grew up on the street, but he learned how to survive in this environment. Only 12 years old he learned how to racket the local traders. When he encountered resistance from a trader how didn’t obey the demands of the extortionists, Benjamin took gasoline and burned the shop.
In one of the conflicts with the other mobs, one of his friends was shot and Benjamin without hesitating directed a gun to the perpetrator, but at that point he was caught from the leader of the band, who told him he was pretty brave and offered Benjamin to work for him.
This is also the beginning of the friendship between the 12 years old Benjamin and the 19 years old Meyer Lansky. In character, it could be said that both of them complementary each other.
At the age of 22, Benjamin is very popular among the gangsters with a lot of money and female admirers. Al Capone is close friend of his, because Benjamin has saved him from certain death, pulling him out of the paws of an Irish gang.
But the police came on his foots and he also received death threats from other gangs. Lansky gave him an advice to take control over the organisation in California. Benjamin received the support from the most respected gangsters in New York and from New York, Benjamin headed to Hollywood. With the onset of WW II in USA, all gambling games were banned. But there was only one state, where the ban was not in force and this was Nevada. There was a small village called there Las Vegas. At that time Benjamin has an intimate relationship with the younger debutant actress Virginia Hill. The year was 1945 and the war was over. Then the idea of creating a casino in the middle of nowhere was born. Benjamin wanted to enjoy his beloved, who he called Flamingo. So he put all his money and built the first casino, which he called Flamingo, in honour of Virginia Hills.
The most beautiful FLAMINGO opened in 1946 along with magnificent flats, two swimming pools, huge garden and of course, a huge number of slot machines and table games. Many of the trusted and close friends to Benjamin didn’t approve his venture and even they called him crazy to put so much money in that business. Benjamin only received approval from his best friend Lansky, who endorsed his investment.
The opening of Flamingo Casino was complete failure, because no one wanted to travel so far away just to play Roulette. A year later, on 20th June 1947, Benjamin was shot dead. Shortly after that, two men entered at the Casino and claimed that they are the new owners. The following year, the name Las Vegas is known all over America. Flamingo Casino made hundreds of millions dollars’ turnover. And now, still in the oldest casino in Las Vegas you can see at the entrance a gold plaque with the inscription “Founded by Benjamin Siegel in 1945”.