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High Stakes Tuesday, 20 March, 2001, 12:48 GMT
High Stakes: Easy money
High Stakes: Easy money
The Strip

"First time you always win. You think, that's not bad - good, easy money to come." Abdul Khouri, Middle Eastern High Roller

By the 1970's the gaming industry was trying to grow out of its criminal origins. In America Howard Hughes - the reclusive American billionaire - had emerged as the biggest owner of casinos in Las Vegas.

We talk to Hughes' man in Vegas and to members of his Mormon entourage.

We also interview the authorities who frequently wondered whether Hughes was still alive, so reclusive was his lifestyle.

Bunny Girl
The programme features the second wave of high rollers from the oil rich Middle East. It tells the story of London's (often dirty) casino wars fought between Playboy and Ladbrokes over the custom of the Arab high rollers.

We highlight the high cunning and low tricks and how, in the end, everybody lost out.

And, as gambling became industrialised through the advent of large scale slot-machine operations, we talk to the real characters behind the movie Casino starring Robert De Niro.

We feature the true story of the mob's 'last hurrah' in Vegas told from all sides - the mobsters, the casino managers and the law-enforcers.

EASY MONEY: Tuesday 27th March 10.35pm BBC1

Links to more High Stakes stories are at the foot of the page.


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