Nicholas Pileggi gave an in-depth assessment of Las Vegas, the current state of affairs, and of course, what it was all about back in the day. Talking to Casino.org, Pileggi explained that while the city has always flaunted its magic, its current state is spectacular.
In the past, the hotel-casinos were way smaller. Staff and customers could engage at a close level. Legendary entertainers such as Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra (of the famous Pack) could joyfully intermingle with customers after their performances.
According to Pileggi, the 1950s to 1970s saw a more intimate Vegas.
Pileggi, currently 87 and based in New York, is a former Associated Press reporter. He co-wrote the Las Vegas Mafia movie Casino alongside director Martin Scorsese. The movie was released about 25 years ago, and exhibits of its memorabilia were recently on display at the Mob Museum Las Vegas. The film features Robert De Niro and Sharon Stone and is a fictional account of Mafia associate Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal's conflicted matrimony to Geri Rosenthal, a former dancer.
Pileggi also has the Goodfellas movie under his name, having co-written it alongside Scorsese. It is based on his true-crime book, Wiseguy.