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Frank Rosenthal’s Story in Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas

The story of Frank Rosenthal is clearly depicted in the book Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas by Nicholas Pileggi. The book captures the story of Frank Rosenthal and his accomplice Anthony Spilotro between the 1970s and 1980s. A film version was also produced in 1995 to cover the intriguing story of this gangster and casino guru. The book was released after the film, and they rapidly rose to popularity.

Martin Scorsese directed the film, and Robert De Niro featured as Sam “Ace” Rothstein, the main character. Sam Rothstein was a fictional character created to depict the character of Frank Rosenthal.

Frank was a smooth criminal who had links to the mafia underworld. He operated casinos and made a killing from manipulating odds and maximizing profits for his bosses. His entire life seemed to be a preparation for his future in the gambling sector. His father owned a horse track, and the boy was very keen to understand horseracing and betting. Later on, he developed an interest in learning the dynamics of sports betting, and he became a master.

As he grew older, he got involved in the dirty crime-related and illegal gambling sector of Chicago. He worked for a casino and always set the right odds for sports betting. These odds were inviting enough to attract players and smart enough to keep the casino winning. His works were close to what the machines and algorithms currently do in casinos.

Rosenthal’s talents were complemented by his ability to carry out comprehensive research. Hence, he made decisions based on research and his intricate knowledge and instincts. As a result, he always kept the house winning. Frank would probably be a fantastic developer of casino bonuses if he were in the industry today. He certainly knew how to attract gamblers to casinos, and these are the main means used today. Explore some of the best bonuses in online £1 deposit casino.

However, his successes were not entirely based on his skills. He also devised dubious ways of maintaining his reputation. He became a match-fixer and was convicted for it. He was also summoned by the Senate subcommittee on gambling to answer questions about his association with illegal acts like match-fixing. Here, he made history by invoking the Fifth Amendment thirty-eight times.

Frank Rosenthal moved to Miami where he was suspected of masterminding various crimes. Later on, he moved to Las Vegas, which was the gambling capital of the world.

Las Vegas

The life of Frank Rosenthal in Las Vegas was just as intriguing as before. Here, he met Antony Spilotro and started a betting parlour with him. Spilotro was his childhood friend, and their chemistry was admirable. While Frank was smooth and smart, his friend was brutal. He was a contracted killer for the mafia and was suspected of having murdered over twenty people. Actually, it was claimed that the crime rate in Vegas increased by 70% with his arrival.

Geri McGee, Frank’s bride, was also by his side, and he seemed to influence most of his decisions. They got married shortly after he moved to Las Vegas, and they got two kids. Not long after Frank moved to Las Vegas, his parlour was suspected for various illegalities though he won the case.

Stardust casino employed him in 1974, and his enviable talent came to play once more helping him to be promoted to the highest ranks. Soon, he gained control of the casino in addition to three others that were all affiliated to the Chicago Outfit. Each of these casinos had an innocent boss who seemed to run things as Frank actually ran things from the sidelines. Nevertheless, they all knew better not to offend the actual boss.

Frank was serious about his job and had no mercy for thieves. He once ordered his guards to break a gambler’s hand with a hammer because of being suspected for cheating. Despite his brutal ways, he maintained his smart side and always exemplified himself as one. He even had a TV show that hosted various guests where he displayed himself as a gentleman.

The exemplary skills of this character were undeniably beneficial. He always increased the profits of whichever establishment he set foot. For instance, he emphasized on sports betting in Stardust and preferred to hire female croupiers to entice more clients. As a result, the profits skyrocketed.

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The Downfall

The troubles of Frank Rosenthal kept pursuing him whenever he went. Due to his history with crime, he could not acquire a gambling license from any respectable jurisdiction. Nevertheless, he kept running casinos from the backdoor. His downfall was partly attributed to this issue in addition to his association with the criminal underworld, and betrayal by his close accomplices.

His problems began when Anthony Spilotro was caught because of his criminal ways. Frank later discovered that his friend was making lots of cash from the casinos without his knowledge. Moreover, McGee, his wife, was cheating on him with Spilotro. Thus, Frank fell out with his best friend and divorced his wife.

Frank’s association with his friend was proving to be more costly than he thought. In addition to the gross betrayal, the authorities questioned him severally because of this association. He was also suspected to be the mastermind behind all the criminal activities that occurred in the casinos he ran.

In 1982, there was an attempt on Frank’s life. He got into his car after leaving a restaurant, and it exploded, throwing him out of the car. A metal plate under his seat prevented him from experiencing the full effect of the bomb blast. He only suffered some scratches and a few broken bones.

However, the luck was not extended to his wife and best friend. Spilotro was brutally beaten and buried in Indiana while McGee died of an alleged drug overdose. As a result, Frank Rosenthal moved his children to California and later to Florida, where he died at the age of 79.

Fact & Fiction

The story of Frank Rosenthal was clearly exemplified in the movie Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas. The novel and the movie were an accurate account of his life. There are a few disparities in the fine details such as locations and the circumstances behind various actions. Nevertheless, most of the things actually happened.

However, despite his eventful lifestyle, Frank Rosenthal denies diverting the casino’s money to the criminal gangs. This denial makes us question the motivation behind his brutal acts.

Another questionable event was his survival following the car bombing. This event actually happened. The manufacturer placed the metal plate under the seat to sort a problem with its stability. However, it is not the only reason why he survived. He was probably lucky, and the fact that his door was still open played a part.

The Movie

A group of talented people acted in this movie, and the success of the film is partly attributed to their brilliance. Martin Scorsese was the director, and he worked with Nicholas Pileggi in the screenplay. Robert De Niro played Frank Rosenthal’s character, and the movie character was referred to as Sam Rothstein.

The ruthless Antony Spilotro was portrayed as Nicky Santoro in the film. Joe Pesci acted the part. Sharon Stone played as Frank’s wife, McGee. She earned an Academy Award nomination due to her role in this film.

Frank Rosenthal’s story in Casino: Love and Honour in Las Vegas are one of the most intriguing true-life stories. Frank was a master in the gambling sector, and he took maximum advantage of his skills and talents to benefit himself. You should certainly read the book or watch the movie for more details on the life of this man.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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