Many of us have traveled to Las Vegas for a weekend away from it all expecting to have ourselves some excitement and hoping foolishly that our time spent on the Strip in Sin City will turn out to be a lucrative one—ah, we foolish mortals that can only wish, but nevertheless hundreds and thousands of us flock there year after year to enjoy a celebration, stag or hen party or to simply get away from the daily grind—if only for a couple of days or so.

If Las Vegas happens to be penciled in on your agenda then you might want to take the book Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas to read if you have not already done so. Written by the crime reporter Nicholas Pileggi, the book is the basis for the amazingly popular film Casino, and the screenplay was written by Pileggi and the insanely talented Martin Scorsese, who talked Pileggi into releasing his book after the film.

It’s really one of those must-haves reads, probably better than any Las Vegas guides as it covers those years through the seventies into the eighties when the Mafia controlled great chunks of Las Vegas and the casinos.

The book focuses on Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal (Lefty?) who was a bookie working for organized crime, and his friend and Mafia member Anthony Spilotro, the muscle of the duo as Lefty supervises the casino operations. Spilotro also has a side line of masterminding jewelery raids which gets his crew the name of the “Hole in the Wall Gang.”

The Stardust, Fremont, Marina and the Hacienda casinos were all under the control of Rosenthal, who also happened to create the first sportsbook that operated from within a casino. This led to the Stardust becoming one of the world's leading centers for sports gambling. Lefty also had the bright idea of bringing in more female Las Vegas blackjack dealers, which doubled the Stardust's income in only one year.

All this and without a Nevada gaming license in sight, and just imagine telling the stories to your party about all the shenanigans that happened over those years while trying your hand at one of the tables.

Of course, not all of us can look forward to walking in the footsteps of all that organized crime, but there is a way to enjoy the thrill and excitement of Las Vegas, and that is by playing at a pay by phone casino UK where you can find some fantastic casino games, including all the most popular versions as well as those live games which happen in real-time from a brick and mortar venue.

Not only can you enjoy your games whenever and wherever you happen to be, you can also pay for them using either your phone bill or your pay-as-you-go balance. This payment option is on top of all the other tried and tested methods and is increasingly becoming popular due to its extra layer of safety—unlike those casinos back in the seventies and eighties, you won’t have a heavy mob turning up on your doorstep.

See new PIC posts via Twitter, Facebook, or email.

Sign up for comedy writing or stand-up classes at The Second City - 10% off with code PIC.