65°F
weather icon Mostly Cloudy

Knowing Vegas: What’s the story behind Nevada’s Black Book?

If you think the Black Book is something you don’t want your name in, you’re right: It’s the common name for the list of people authorities have barred from entering Nevada gaming establishments. It’s an exclusive club, and the only way out is death.

There are 33 people currently on the list. At its inception in 1960, the Black Book — officially known as the List of Excluded Persons — included 11 names, most added to the list because of their mob ties:

  • Marshall Caifano, Las Vegas enforcer and Chicago mob member
  • Louis Tom Dragna, one-time Los Angeles mob boss
  • Carl James Civella, Kansas City, Mo., mob boss
  • Nicholas Civella, Kansas City, Mo., mob boss
  • Sam Giancana, Chicago mob boss
  • Murray Llewellyn Humphreys, alleged lieutenant of Chicago mobster Al Capone
  • Joseph Sica, Los Angeles mobster
  • Michael Coppola, New York City mob enforcer
  • John Louis Battaglia, Los Angeles mob member
  • Robert L. Garcia, Southern California mob member
  • Motel Grzebienacy, Kansas City, Mo., mob member

Sam Giancana was a Chicago mob boss with CIA ties who gained control of many Las Vegas casinos in the 1950s and 1960s. Skimming at the Sands, Riviera and Desert Inn generated $2 billion a year for the mob, according to the FBI.

John Battaglia was a Los Angeles mobster and prominent gambling figure with known ties to Johnny Roselli, who spent the 1950s and ‘60s knee-deep in Las Vegas mob activity.

Louis Tom Dragna, a third name on the original list, is the only original member whose name remains in the Black Book. Dragna “was considered to be the boss of the Los Angeles organized crime family. He has an arrest record dating back to 1946,” according to the Nevada Gaming Commission.

The Black Book — which wasn’t black for long and isn’t actually a book anymore — was created to prohibit people with felony convictions against the gaming industry from entering a casino, and those on the list are committing gross misdemeanors if they choose to enter a casino despite their ban. In the book’s first 40 years, there were 49 people added to the list. Since 2000, fewer than a dozen have been added.

The most recent addition to the list? Roderick William Dee II, a convicted slot cheat who was added to the book in 2013 and removed earlier this year after dying of cancer in December.

Contact Stephanie Grimes at sgrimes@reviewjournal.com. Find her on Twitter: @stephgrimes

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Week in Pictures: April 28-May4

Take a look at some eye-catching pictures from Las Vegas Review-Journal photographers in the past week, including Las Vegas Science & Technology Festival, Pirate Fest, weather and Canelo vs. Jacobs. Children play inside a hot air balloon provided by Las Vegas Balloon Rides during the Las Vegas Science & Technology Festival on Saturday, May 4, […]

Week in Pictures: April 21-April 27

Take a look at some eye-catching pictures from Las Vegas Review-Journal photographers in the past week, including Golden Knights playoffs, Raiders draft and WBA lightweight championship bout. The Meadows School third baseman Sam Kaplan looks in a high ground ball during fielding practice, he will play at Cornell University next year on Wednesday, April 24, […]

Week in Pictures: April 14-April 20

Take a look at some eye-catching pictures from Las Vegas Review-Journal photographers in the past week, including Golden Knights playoffs and Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend. The Pink Moon, the nickname for April’s full moon, is not pink at all but yellow and sets in the west behind the Raiders Stadium early on Friday, April […]

Week in Pictures: March 17-March 23

Take a look at some eye-catching pictures from Las Vegas Review-Journal photographers in the past week, including Vegas Golden Knights, Cesar Chavez Day festival, prep baseball and El Cortez shooting. Brooklyn Ruiz, 10, center, of Redlands, Calif., jumps out of the pool while playing with her cousin, Analyce Lopez, 11, of Redlands, Calif., left, and […]

Week in Pictures: March 10-March 16

Take a look at some eye-catching pictures from Las Vegas Review-Journal photographers in the past week, including the West Coast Conference tournament, the Mountain West tournament and the Pac-12 tournament. The Stanford Cardinals celebrate after defeating the Oregon Ducks during a NCAA college basketball game in the final of the Pac-12 women’s tournament at the […]

Week in Pictures: Jan. 14-20

Take a look at some striking pictures from Review-Journal photographers in the past week, including weather features, a boxing match and the super blood wolf moon. Ronald Holmes plays the alto saxophone on The Strip as dark clouds move in on Monday, Jan. 14, 2019, in Las Vegas. Clouds, rain and snow are expected in […]

7 ways autocomplete can get smarter

Autocomplete is one of the best (or depending on how hastily you push ‘send’ – worst) things in the world. We rely on it so much that Google plans to let us autocomplete whole emails. Here are seven ways predictive input can improve. 1. Recognizing names from previous emails Jakub Kokoszka has a tough name to […]

Movie posters might soon be based on your clicks

You may have thought you left Blockbuster behind, but the basic way we browse movies hasn’t changed all that much. We peruse poster after poster, kind of like walking the aisles of a ‘90s-era video store. That one poster image, meant to appeal to as many people as possible, is often all we see before […]

What I’ll be covering at NAB 2018

The National Association of Broadcasters show kicks off this weekend in Las Vegas.  The show focuses on new and emerging technologies and trends in relation to the media and entertainment industries. As it’s not open to the public, I’ll be at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Saturday, Monday and Wednesday to share some of […]