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Organized crime

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Organized crime refers to crimes that are planned and carried out on a large scale by powerful gangs. In no way does Wikivoyage mean to indicate any approval of organized crime activities. However, many tourist attractions are known for their current or historical ties to organized crime, and this page aims to provide an overview of such destinations.


North America[edit]

United States[edit]

The history of organized crime in the United States reflects the diversity of origin of the American people. The first groups to come to prominence include the Irish-American mob and the Italian-American mafia, many of whom were to play huge roles in operating speakeasies (secret bars where alcohol was sold) during the Prohibition era (1920-1933), when the sale and consumption of alcohol was illegal in the United States. The immediate Postwar period would see the rise of street gangs in the form of greaser gangs in the white ethnic neighborhoods, largely divided along ethnic lines, as well as African-American and Hispanic street gangs. The greaser gangs would lose prominence following the exodus of much of the white population to the suburbs as a result of redlining and blockbusting, and much of the inner city streets were taken over by African-American gangs, the most famous perhaps being the Bloods and the Crips. Another type of gang that gained prominence in the Postwar period were the outlaw motorcycle clubs, also known as bikie gangs, the most famous of whom are perhaps the Hells Angels. The stereotypical bikie gang member is a racist white man who is shaven bald and with a long, unkempt beard. Many offshoots of Latin American gangs like MS13 have also established a presence in the United States.

  • Chicago — The second most famous city in the United States for organized crime, with Al Capone perhaps being its most famous gangster in history. The Green Mill is a jazz bar that Al Capone used to frequent, with his booth still in place and available to those who get there early enough. The Green Door Tavern is home to an authentic Prohibition-era speakeasy that was frequented by Dean O'Banion, one of Al Capone's rivals.
  • Las Vegas has been closely associated with organized crime and shady casino bosses for decades, and particularly since the start of construction on the Hoover Dam in 1930, which brought an all-male crew to the area, hungry for showgirls. After World War II, Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky of the Jewish mob opened the Flamingo casino, and Allen Dorfman, an associate of corrupt Teamsters' Union boss, Jimmy Hoffa and a member of the Chicago Outfit of mafiosi (see the Chicago entry below) lent money to numerous casinos in the 40s and 50s. The city nowadays cultivates a more family-friendly image, but it can't quite escape its nickname of Sin City.
  • New York City — Perhaps the most famous city in the world for organized crime, with the Italian-American mafia historically having a large presence that has been immortalized in the famous film The Godfather



  • Melbourne — The famous bushranger Ned Kelly was hanged at the Old Melbourne Gaol. His armour is only display in the State Library Victoria. Melbourne has also known to be the heart of the Italian mafia in Australia, with the suburb of Fitzroy known for its gang wars in the post World War I period.

See also[edit]

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