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City godfathers

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Construction costs in Las Vegas are 15 to 20 per cent higher than in cities such as Houston. The reason for this has to be described euphemistically. One newspaper attributed the differential to 'the extremely tight supply of labour'.

For which read Mob control of building unions. Vegas is still what one cab-driver described to Astragal as a 'Mobbed-up' town.

Cabbies can neither buy nor lease their cars, for example. They work for a percentage of the fare on the meter, plus tips. The rest goes to you-know-who. And, in a town of 1.2 million people, there is only one sanitation company. Vegas founder Bugsy Siegel would have been proud.

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