Mob Museum in Las Vegas Ranks High in National Newspaper Poll

Posted on: June 1, 2021, 03:21h. 

Last updated on: June 2, 2021, 05:46h.

The Mob Museum in Las Vegas ranked near the top in a recent USA Today Top 10 poll of the nation’s best history museums.

Mob Museum
Visitors walk past a sign on display at the Mob Museum in Las Vegas. The museum was built in a former courthouse and US Post Office. (Image:

The Gannett-owned national newspaper this week released its online survey naming reader choices for “Best History Museum” in the nation. The Mob Museum, which opened in 2012 near the downtown Las Vegas casino district, ranked fourth. 

The Mob Museum is located in a 1930s restored former federal courthouse and US Post Office. Its displays include artifacts from decades ago when mobsters controlled many Las Vegas casinos. 

Some of the Mob-connected casinos from that period, including the Sands, Dunes, and Stardust, have been demolished. Those three properties were on the Las Vegas Strip. 

The Sands was imploded and replaced by the Venetian. The Bellagio is located where the Dunes once stood. The $4.3 billion Resorts World Las Vegas is set to open June 24 where the Stardust was located.

Other older hotel-casinos, such as the Fremont and El Cortez in downtown Las Vegas and the Tropicana on the Strip, are still in operation, but are no longer Mafia-affiliated. 

The Flamingo, which mobster Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel opened in December 1946, is still at the same location on the Strip, though none of the original buildings remain. The Flamingo is owned by Caesars Entertainment.

The Top 10

For the online survey, USA Today editors and experts selected the nominees. Readers then went online to vote. Nominees used social media sites to encourage their followers to vote.

In the Best Museum category, the Top 10 in order are the National Infantry Museum & Soldier Center in Columbus, Ga., the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Va., the Mob Museum in Las Vegas, the USS Constitution Museum in Boston, the Museum of History and Industry  in Seattle, the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia, the National WWII Museum in New Orleans, the Museum of Native American History in  Bentonville, Ark., and the Henry Ford  in Dearborn, Mich.

The USA Today editors wrote that the Mob Museum, whose official name is the National Museum of Organized Crime & Law Enforcement, “documents the darker side of American history by examining the effect organized crime has had on society.”

“Exhibits cover the Prohibition era, organized crime today, forensic lab techniques, and law enforcement methods,” the editors wrote.

Murder Trial Has Las Vegas Link

Reminders of Las Vegas’ organized crime past continue to crop up even today.

For instance, a murder trial is underway in Los Angeles in the shooting death of a former Las Vegas mobster’s daughter.

New York multimillionaire Robert Durst is accused of killing his friend Susan Berman. He allegedly killed her with a gunshot to the back of her head in 2000 at her home in Southern California. She is the daughter of David Berman, a Las Vegas casino operator whose underworld associates included Siegel and others active in Southern Nevada in the late 1940s and beyond.