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Part Five

The Argent Empire

‘Mobbed Up’ podcast: ‘The Argent Empire — Part 5’

Updated June 16, 2020 - 9:00 am

Mirrors on the ceiling as part of the furnishings preserved during a tour of Lefty Rosenthal's ...
Mirrors on the ceiling as part of the furnishings preserved during a tour of Lefty Rosenthal's former home on Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, in Las Vegas. (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Left_Eye_Images

The former Las Vegas home of mob associate Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal is built like a fortress.

“Supposedly these doors are bulletproof. You can see how heavy they are,” says the home’s current owner, an attorney named Jim Morgan, as he knocks on the home’s front gate.

Throughout much of the 1970s, Rosenthal, a longtime oddsmaker from Chicago, looked after the Chicago mob’s interests at casinos in Las Vegas. He designed his home in the Las Vegas Country Club to allow him to work remotely.

Owner Jim Morgan shows off the master bedroom during a tour of Lefty Rosenthal's former home on ...
Owner Jim Morgan shows off the master bedroom during a tour of Lefty Rosenthal's former home on Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, in Las Vegas. (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Left_Eye_Images
Owner Jim Morgan shows off some of the extensive wiring used for casino monitoring during a tou ...
Owner Jim Morgan shows off some of the extensive wiring used for casino monitoring during a tour of Lefty Rosenthal's former home on Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, in Las Vegas. (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Left_Eye_Images
Owner Jim Morgan shows off some of the cool lighting preserved during a tour of Lefty Rosenthal ...
Owner Jim Morgan shows off some of the cool lighting preserved during a tour of Lefty Rosenthal's former home on Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, in Las Vegas. (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Left_Eye_Images

A wall of monitors in an upstairs office gave Rosenthal eyes on casinos around the city, even during periods of time when Nevada gaming authorities barred him from setting foot on casino floors.

Just inside the home’s bulletproof front gate, on the walk up to the front door — also bulletproof — there is a small electrical room housing a maze of wires and electrical boxes.

Any time I have any electrical stuff done at the house, they’re all fascinated.

Jim Morgan, Home’s current owner

The large fuse box to support all the extra electrical lines during a tour of Lefty Rosenthal's ...
The large fuse box to support all the extra electrical lines during a tour of Lefty Rosenthal's former home on Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, in Las Vegas. (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Left_Eye_Images

“Any time I have any electrical stuff done at the house, they’re all fascinated,” Morgan says as he points to Rosenthal’s name scribbled on an electrical box. “There’s tons of wiring all over this house.”

Stardust marquee 09/09/71
Stardust marquee 09/09/71
The Gold Rush Limited, a jewelry store at 228 West Sahara Avenue, allegedly used by Anthony Spi ...
The Gold Rush Limited, a jewelry store at 228 West Sahara Avenue, allegedly used by Anthony Spilotro to conduct illegal bookmaking operations and racketeering activity.

‘Mobbed Up — Part 5: The Argent Empire’

Frank Lawrence "Lefty" Rosenthal - 1984
Frank Lawrence "Lefty" Rosenthal - 1984
Allen Glick
Allen Glick

Part 5 of “Mobbed Up” transports listeners to Las Vegas in the 1970s, when a holding company called the Argent Corporation began buying up casinos using loans from the Teamsters Union Central States Pension Fund.

By the mid-1970s, the Argent Corporation’s ‘empire’ comprised four casinos: the Fremont, the Hacienda, the Marina and, most famously, the Stardust.

Las Vegas casino operator Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal, left, waits as his attorney Oscar Goodman lo ...
Las Vegas casino operator Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal, left, waits as his attorney Oscar Goodman looks over an information board that contains Rosenthal's gaming history before the start of a hearing before the Nevada Gaming Commission in Carson City, Nev., in 1988. (Jeff Scheid / Las Vegas Review-Journal/)

Where and how to listen

“Mobbed Up: The Fight for Las Vegas” is available for free on all major podcasting platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and more.

Search for “Mobbed Up” on your preferred mobile podcasting app and tap “subscribe” or “follow,” or click here to listen to the series on the Review-Journal website.

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