What Did Billy Wilkerson Have to Do With Las Vegas?
Billy Wilkerson was an American businessman and entrepreneur who was involved in the development of several iconic properties in Las Vegas. In the 1940s, Wilkerson purchased the land where the Flamingo Hotel and Casino was later built, but he eventually sold the property to mobster Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel.
Wilkerson was also the founder of The Hollywood Reporter, a prominent entertainment industry publication, and he used his connections in the entertainment world to bring celebrities and high rollers to Las Vegas. In addition to his involvement in the Flamingo, Wilkerson also owned the legendary Sunset Strip nightclub Ciro’s, which was a popular destination for Hollywood celebrities.
Despite his contributions to the development of Las Vegas, Wilkerson’s involvement in the gambling industry was not without controversy. He was known to have connections to organized crime figures, and he was later forced to sell his interest in the Flamingo after conflicts with Siegel and other investors.
Overall, Wilkerson played an important role in the early development of Las Vegas and the growth of the gambling industry in the United States, although his legacy is somewhat overshadowed by his connections to organized crime and the controversies surrounding his involvement in the Flamingo.
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