The blockbuster movie of 1995 was Casino, based on the book by Nicholas Pileggi and filmed by Martin Scorsese. Filled with stars like Robert DeNiro, Sharon Stone, and Joe Pesci, and the backdrop of Las Vegas in its heyday, Casino was another Mafia hit from the genre that gave us The Godfather and Goodfellas.
Audiences were taken back to a time when Vegas was ruled by the Mob, specifically the Chicago Outfit. Gaining a foothold in the gambling mecca meant millions were skimmed off the top, with no record, and delivered to the Mob bosses via Kansas City, St. Louis and Chicago. The film re-creates the true story of power, money, and murder and how it all came tumbling down.
Frank Cullotta played an integral part in the burglary operations of the Vegas crew known as the Hole in the Wall Gang because of their signature method of knocking their way into a business or home through the wall. In the film Cullotta’s character, Frank Marino, is played by veteran actor Frank Vincent and Cullotta plays a small part as a hit man, as well as serving as technical advisor.
As the story told in Casino ends, so does the life of crime for Frank Cullotta. After his years of Mob criminal activity Cullotta had enormous amounts of information, enough to indict many whom law enforcement were eagerly pursuing. Knowing that he was in a precarious position with both the Mob and law enforcement, Cullotta had to make a life changing decision, to save his own life by becoming a government witness and putting away dozens of his fellow mobsters.
20 years have passed since the release of Casino, but the story remains fascinating to tourists who visit Las Vegas every day. The glory days of the Vegas Mob are over, but attraction to the old ways and the stories about them can only be told by one who lived it, Frank Culllotta, the last of the Hole in the Wall Gang.
For dedicated and interested Mob history enthusiasts Frank Cullotta has created the Casino Movie Tour which offers guests a personal two-hour tour of the places where the incidents in the movie Casino actually took place. Guests learn the true details behind the events from Frank and surprise guests.
Frank Cullotta and Robert George Allen, who produce the highly rated Casino Movie Tour, are planning a series of events and Special Tours to commemorate this milestone. They will include a showing of the movie, followed by a panel comprised of Frank and others that were involved in the movie; Tours, with stops at locations not normally visited, with Frank as your host and special surprise guests, giveaways and photo ops. There will also be memorabilia, books and other merchandise available. And it will all happen in fabulous Las Vegas.
Casino (The Movie): 20 Years After