The Most Famous Gambling Mobsters of the 20th Century

It is no secret that there have been some risqué characters in the gambling world over the years. While the majority of events that take place in the casino and gambling industry are above board, there is no denying that mobsters have their place in this world. There have been mobsters in the world of gambling since players first started playing poker and blackjack. Here we will take a look at some of the most famous gambling mobsters.

Meyers Lansky


Meyers Lansky was born in 1902 and is one of the most famous gambling mobsters. Born in Russia, he immigrated to the United States at the age of 9. In New York, he became good friends with Benjamin Siegel (another one of the most famous gambling mobsters), and the two of them ran the Bugs and Meyers Mob. This was said to have been the most violent gang during prohibition.

By 1936, Lansky had control of gambling operations in Cuba, Florida, and New Orleans. He used offshore bank accounts in Switzerland to hold his illegal funds and to launder his money.

Lansky's business partner Siegel owned the Flamingo Hotel at the time, and it was not performing well. His mafia investors were not happy, but they agreed to give him more time to turn things around before killing him off. However, after three meetings, it is believed that Lansky gave the final okay to kill off Siegel. Lansky then took over the Flamingo Hotel and ran it for the next 20 years. Lansky died at the age of 81 in 1983 from lung cancer. It is believed that he had accumulated over $300 million at the time of his death.

Moe Dalitz


Moe Dalitz was born on Christmas in 1899 in Boston, but he was not someone who had the Christmas spirit. Instead, he grew up to be one of the most famous gambling mobsters. He started out as a bootlegger during prohibition before he started operating illegal casinos in Ohio and Kentucky.

Dalitz also purchased the Desert Inn in Las Vegas along with a business partner. He opened the Stardust Resort and Casino inside it. By laundering money through his casinos, Dalitz was eventually able to found a real estate development company called Paradise Development. With this company, they founded several malls and clubs in the city of Las Vegas. Dalitz was extremely proud of his accomplishments and believed that he played a big part in turning Las Vegas into a tourist destination instead of just a gambling city. He eventually passed away in 1989 after being very ill for three years.

Tony Accardo


Tony Accardo, also known as Joe Batters, was born in 1906 in the city of Chicago, and he was one of the most famous gambling mobsters of the 20th century. He was getting in trouble from a young age, eventually earning an expulsion from school at the age of 15. After his expulsion, Accardo quickly joined the Circus Café Gang. He built up his reputation over the years and was eventually invited to join Al Capone's hit men crew. He earned the name Joe Batters for killing three men with a baseball bat during a dinner Capone was hosting.

After Capone was sent to jail for tax evasion, Accardo was given his own gang to run. He moved the gang to slots and gambling organizations after many famous crime bosses were incarcerated because of extortion. When Las Vegas was expanding, Accardo made sure that casinos only used slots and wire services. With these measures in place, he was able to make millions of dollars in profits. Accardo eventually died in 1992 from heart failure.

The gambling industry has been filled with many shady figures over the years. However, not all of them are famous amongst the current online casino communities, and very few of them built reputations that transcended the gambling world. Lansky, Dalitz, and Accardo were three of the most famous mobsters of the 20th century. They were known for amassing tremendous amounts of money, an incredible amount of violence, and their intellect. These three would not have achieved what they did without violence, but they also needed to be smart. There is a reason the three of them did not spend time in jail. This might scare you off of gambling, but it should not. For every person like Lansky or Accardo, there are thousands that doing everything above board. So, enjoy the stores of the most famous gambling mobsters, but do not worry about needing to deal with one if you head to Las Vegas.