Book review – Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas by Nicholas Pileggi

Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas is based on the true story of the rise and fall of Tony “The Ant” Spilotro — a legendary mob hitman in the early ’70s. The Ant was a cold and effective mobster whose primary objective was to protect the gambling businesses and interests of Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal.

Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas by Nicholas Pileggi


This book shows how the mob operated in the past – how it was back then, from the glamorous casinos that entertained the well-dressed elite to the brutal assassinations initiated by the mob in Sin City. Guests weren’t protected back then, and were encouraged to gamble as hard as they could, compared to now, where each gaming provider is required to offer a “Responsible Gaming” service to its patrons. PocketFruity, a leading online operator in the UK, describes the service as their responsibility to provide an environment in which players can have fun while playing in a safe, fair and above all responsible manner.

Before businessmen could freely operate in Las Vegas, the Chicago mob pretty much controlled everything, including Stardust – which the book’s movie-tie up cleverly disguised as The Tangier. Skimming profits was the mob’s main business, and Lefty had a specialty of being the “best handicapper of all time.” Everything operated like a well-oiled machine until Lefty’s most trusted muscle, The Ant, became entangled in a horrible mess that dragged not only Lefty in the entire mess, but all of the mob-controlled casinos in Sin City. Rosenthal still lived up to 2008, and has a website of pretty much everything that went on in his life as a mob boss. Spilotro, on the other hand, meets his demise at the end of the book, and learns the hard way that messing around with the mob, and skimming their skim, has very deadly consequences.

Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas is a great read before watching the film. Although, as with most book-to-movie adaptation, the book has a better way of detailing the shady business dealings, betrayals, politics, and the personal lives of the mob.


About Julia Kent

Julia is an outgoing and energetic writer and food blogger from Halifax. Five years ago, Julia started The Unputdownable Book Club and her food blog, The Domestic Blonde. A graduate of Carleton University’s journalism program, Julia currently works in Ottawa in public relations. As a former broadcast journalist and with a background in musical theatre, she is a natural presenter. In her free time, she recipe-tests, reads, runs, hosts a podcast called Young PR Pros, watches bad television and plays competitive soccer. She’s addicted to Canadian Living and Chapters Indigo. Her favourite books include A Thousand Splendid Suns, Pride & Prejudice and The Book of Negroes. Twitter: @kentjulia
This entry was posted in Book Review, General and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s