The local mob is killing off the small operators who are horning in on their gambling business. Nick flashes some cash and gets invited to one of the mob's casinos where he plays like he's a tough guy. This catches the boss' eye because he's always looking for new thugs.
Nick wants to get hired by a gang planning on cleaning out the vault at a jewelry store. He makes sure he's seen as a flashy thug who needs work after a dame (who works for them) slips him a mickey and cleans him out.
Posing as a businessman representing an electronic firm, Nick gets in with a mayoral candidate who's part of the mob. He offers Nick some free city land if he'll help frame the current mayor with a phony bribery set-up.