Mafia Casino Skim

Mafia casino skimmers

Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal infiltrate the Tropicana casino. I use the below actual wiretap audio to help tell the story. Nick Civella is concerned with the skimmers stealing and Civella wants a moratorium on all Tropicana skimming.

Skimming refers to the illegal transfer of funds from casinos to outside personnel without official documentation. Skimmed money is usually transferred in cash to evade taxes and to fund organized crime anonymously. The quantities of money skimmed are usually small portions of the casino's total profit so as not to arouse suspicion from regulators or law enforcement.


The casinos involved in these illegal operations became the equivalent of piggy banks for the Midwest crime bosses. The feds launched two major investigations of the skim, called Strawman 1 and 2. They focused on the properties owned by the Argent Corporation and the Tropicana Hotel and Casino. FBI agent tells of overhearing mafia plan to skim Nevada casino. In the racketeering trial of alleged Detroit mafia boss Jack Tocco and four alleged associates. 200,000 a year in skim. In the 1995 movie Casino, the Mob’s control of skimming at Las Vegas casinos is exposed when authorities learn about it from a surveillance microphone in a Kansas City grocery store. That’s not exactly how it happened. In reality, the bug was planted at a dinner table with bench seats in a now-demolished Kansas City pizzeria, the Villa Capri.

'In May of 1963...the FBI turned over to the Justice Department a two-volume document called 'The Skimming Report,' which detailed the illegal siphoning off of gambling profits by Las Vegascasinos to avoid taxes.'[1] The report documented how pre-tax profits from casinos were being routed to various organized crime syndicates across the nation. No one could be prosecuted as the FBI obtained its information by illegally bugging casino money rooms. The money rooms are where the cash from the betting floor is counted and recorded on the casino's books.

Skimming by diverting pre-tax profits is just one of many possible methods. In casinos the patron is betting against the house, so the house has an incentive to fix the games (cards, roulette, slots, etc.). In pari-mutuels (horse and dogtrack, jai alai) the house instead gets a fixed percentage of the total amount bet, so is theoretically less likely to fix the games. However, pari-mutuels use sophisticated computer systems to handle customer bets and a major scandal involving Autotote, a major supplier of these systems, has been exposed.[2]

Mafia Casino Skimmer

Other methods of skimming, such as arranging for particular employees[example needed] of organized crime to be allowed to win in rigged games, were sometimes[when?] used.[citation needed]


  1. ^Victor Navasky, Kennedy Justice, (Lincoln:, Inc., 2000), p 89.
  2. ^2002 Breeders' Cup betting scandal, 2002 Breeders' Cup betting scandal
  • Pileggi, Nicholas (1995). Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas. Simon & Schuster. ISBN0-684-80832-3.

Mafia Casino Skimmers

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