This is the second part of the two-part series on Las Vegas from "The American Experience". Like part one, it's very well made--and well worth your time.
Part two picks up in the 1960s where episode ended. In response to mob control of various casinos, the government begins to pressure the casinos and owners--and eventually, several big-wigs are indicted. However, according to the show, what really helped to give the town a better image was Howard Hughes moving into town and buying up many of the once mob controlled casinos. This led to improved public relations and the city began to flourish. However, as you noticed in my summary, this did not last and the late 70s and early 80s were a VERY tough time for the city. With the advent of gaming in Atlantic City and American Indian casinos, there was now a lot of competition. But, with the late 80s came a reinvention and huge boom. On a prophetic note, the film ends by discussing the town's growing problems--how such incredibly unbridled growth must eventually come to a slow down or halt. Ironically, today, the city is contracting greatly and the city ranks at or near the top in mortgage defaults. But, if the pattern is to continue, you have to assume a period of growth is yet to come once again.
Overall, a fascinating portrait of the town and it's much better than average for the series--and full of a lot less prose and over-analysis that occasionally mars episodes of the series. Well worth seeing.
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