The Mob Museum was originally the brainchild of Oscar Goodman, the longtime Las Vegas criminal defense attorney who specialized in organized-crime-related clients and cases, then served three terms as the city's mayor. In 2002, as mayor, Goodman proposed a museum that would "tell the story of how Las Vegas got started" (never mind that Las Vegas got started between 40 and 100 years, depending on how you're counting, before gangsters arrived here).
Goodman said that he'd donate mob memorabilia from his personal collection, accumulated from when he defended the likes of Meyer Lansky, Nick Civella, Tony Spilotro, Philip Leonetti, Natale Richichi, and Charles Panarella, to name a few.
The question was asked on the Las Vegas Advisor Q/A; I thought a brief refresher would be interesting to our readers of the Chipboard. As you know the CCA has a display of our chips at the Museum--and to L.V. visitors it is a "must see" event.
Here is the L.V. answer today to the question.
"The Museum is set up as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. It cost a little more than $40 million to construct and open. The funding came from numerous local, state, and federal grants, particularly from the National Park Service, Nevada Commission for Cultural Affairs, the Commission for the Las Vegas Centennial, and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. Money from the city's General Fund was allocated in 2004.
"Along the way, the idea attracted a team of world-class museum designers, whose credits also include the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C.
"The Museum relies on an Advisory Council of around 60 volunteers with expertise in the fields of law enforcement, journalism, intelligence, academia, and the criminal justice system. There's also a 22-member Board of Directors and 10 top executives, including Geoff Schumacher, senior director of content, who edits our annual edition of Vegas Writes, which is due out any day now."