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Review of the Mob Museum in Las Vegas – Take a Look Inside!

Key Points:

  • Sure, the information conveyed was interesting, but it was *how* that info was conveyed that made The Mob Museum stand out.
  • The museum leveraged audio, video, interactive stations, artistic sets, and physical artifacts to maintain engagement – There was something interesting around every corner.
  • Few attractions in Vegas can match the “bang for your buck” offered by The Mob Museum. It’s a winner.

The Mob Museum calls the former US Courthouse and Post Office building home, which was constructed in the 1930s and is historic in its own right, serving as a host to one of the Kefauver Hearings on organized crime in 1950.

Inside the museum are 3 floors of interactive exhibits dedicated to exploring organized crime across the country, in Las Vegas, and the law enforcement response it received.

Ranking as one of the most popular non-gaming attractions in Las Vegas, the Mob Museum is located steps away from the Fremont Street Experience next to Downtown Grand.

As I’m consistently asked about the Mob Museum, I figured it would be fun to stop by and share my perspective.

Of course, I’ll also share an abundance of pictures to give you an idea as to whether or not the Mob Museum is itinerary-worthy!

Exterior of the Mob Museum in Las Vegas on a sunny day

Mob Museum Cost

Mob Museum tickets come in 3 distinct flavors.

The baseline ticket costs $34.95 and provides access to all exhibits in the museum. This is the ticket I opted for.

Two additional elevated experiences include access to either one or two interactive experiences for $49.95 and $54.95 respectively.

Interactive experiences that you’re able to add include an exploration of forensic crime-solving techniques in the Crime Lab, a firearm simulator, and a distillery tour at The Underground Speakeasy.

View tickets, and buy in advance, here.

Note also that there is a Nevada Resident Discount.

Inside The Mob Museum

Upon stepping into the door at the Mob Museum, I was approached by an extremely friendly employee who explained the various ticketing options.

I opted for the baseline $29.95 general admission ticket, which gave me the ability to explore all 3 floors of the Mob Museum at my own pace. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to explore any of the interactive experiences.

I’ll note that getting there right when the museum opened allowed me to walk right up to buy a ticket and allowed me to enjoy the museum with few crowds.

On the way out, I noticed the line to buy tickets was significant, which likely means that the exhibits were more crowded.

After purchasing my ticket, I was directed by other members of the staff to take an elevator to the 3rd floor, where the tour starts, and work my way back down.

The museum guides you through the origins of organized crime, prohibition, the federal law enforcement response, the Kefauver Hearings, the mob’s involvement in early Las Vegas, how the mob was finally reigned in, and what organized crime looks like today both here, and around the world.

Here are the things that I enjoyed most about the experience.

Engaging Exhibits

What I enjoyed most about the Mob Museum was HOW they presented information.

The 3 floors of exhibits were an expertly crafted blend of imagery, audio, video, physical artifacts, interactive screens, and written placards. Consuming information never got boring.

Some of the most engaging pieces for me were wiretapped audio of conversations between mobsters, bullets from the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre along with the brick wall that victims were lined up against, crime scene photos, firearms, a model depicting El Chapo’s escape from prison, and the chair that the condemned actually sat in as they died in Nevada’s gas chamber.

Bricks from the St. Valentines Day Massacre Wall behind glass
St. Valentines Day Massacre Wall
Artifacts from the massacre behind glass
Additional artifacts, including bullets, from the St. Valentines Day Massacre.
A grey metal chair that used to be in the gas chamber
Chair from Nevada’s Gas Chamber
Old Casino artifacts like slot machines behind glass.
Old casino artifacts from early Las Vegas.
A 3D diagram showing the El Chapo escape tunnel.
El Chapo’s escape route.

While that’s a sampling of my favorites, you can rest assured that there is so much more. Of course, alongside each artifact, picture, audio recording, etc. is the story behind it.

In addition to interesting artifacts, I was floored by the creativity that went into creating each exhibit. It was almost like stumbling into a new movie set every time I turned the corner. The theatrics and presentation of each display were impressive.

Some of my favorite “scenes” in the Mob Museum included a cash-lined room, a step back in time to the Arizona Club casino, a room dedicated to historic Las Vegas artifacts, a replica electric chair, and a web depicting how organized crime had infected various civic institutions.

An artistic spider web with pictures and information depicting how organized crime had invected American institutions.
A web of corruption
A room with cash lining the walls, almost as if it was wallpaper
Pretty unique visual.
A display intended to mimic the Arizona Club Casino
Welcome to the Arizona Club
Cartoon images line the wall depicting the FBI fighting back against crime. In 2 show cases are weapons used by Law Enforcement at the time.
A red replica electric chair on display
This caught my attention.
A display  that pays homage to the "Fabulous Flamingo", complete with artifacts from the resort and an accompanying video screen.
The “Fabulous Flamingo”

Restored to its 1950s grandeur, the courtroom where the Kefauver Hearings actually took place was the crown jewel of the museum in my mind.

There, you could sit on the wooden benches and watch videos from the hearings that exposed organized crime in the US.

A 1950s syle courtroom with wooden benches and 3 video screens in front.
Pretty authentic stuff.

Vegas’ Mob History a Focus

Vegas history nerds like myself will really appreciate how much effort the Mob Museum invests in explaining the ties that early Las Vegas had with the mob.

You’ll learn about how legendary figures like Bugsy Siegel made their mark on the Skyline, the reasons that Las Vegas was an appealing destination, and how it all came to an end for the mob in Sin City.

There’s also information related to the beloved former mob lawyer and Mayor of Las Vegas, Oscar Goodman.

Along with the stories, are a myriad of artifacts from the old properties and personalities your grandparents told you about.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll spend a significant amount of time in this part of the museum, reading every word on every info card.

Illuminated Sands sign with a backdrop of other iconic Las Vegas casino signs
Large images of the early Las Vegas Strip on the wall
Two old school slot machines that are built into life size humans

Historic Las Vegas casino chips encased in chunks of concerete
Two old school looking slot machines with interactive, educational digital displays
A display case full of information on Oscar Goodman
Historic pictures of the Mob Museum builoding, Hoover Dam, hoover dam workers, and old Vegas on the wall

The Setting Was Perfect

The historic significance of the building itself wasn’t lost on me, and the folks behind the museum did a wonderful job of tying into that history.

A Speakeasy in the Basement

Visiting the Mob Museum without grabbing a cocktail at their basement speakeasy would be a travesty.

While the clandestine cocktail lounge is accessible from inside the Mob Museum building, it’s a lame way to get in.

Instead, check The Underground’s Instagram page for today’s password, go outside the building and find the green exterior door marked by a wooden barrel, and get in that way.

After all, if you don’t use the “secret entrance”, did you even visit a speakeasy?

Green door marking the entrance to the Underground Speakeasy
Find this door, and you’ve found the entrance.

What’s Not to Like?

I write a LOT of reviews and always feel it’s important to point out both positives and negatives to provide a well-rounded view of the offering.

I sincerely struggle to find negatives about the Mob Museum.

One thing I do think is worth mentioning is that crowds appear to be significant during peak times which could slow your movement through the museum as you’ll need to wait to read popular placards, etc.

If you want to avoid the masses, I’d recommend getting there right when they open or getting there later in the day.

In fact, you can score a $7 discount on admission online if you elect to arrive during their “happy hour”, which is before 11 am on Saturday, or after 5 pm Sunday – Friday.

Besides the potential for crowds, I just didn’t stumble across too many negatives during my visit.

Is The Mob Museum Worth the Money?

In my opinion, few attractions in Las Vegas offer more “bang for your buck”.

For $29.95, I was entertained for 2 hours, although I could have easily stayed longer if I didn’t have a hard commitment that forced me to move through the museum faster than I would’ve liked.

The Mob Museum is a “can’t miss” attraction for those interested in the history of organized crime, the law enforcement response, and the origins of Las Vegas.

More engaging than a typical museum attraction, The Mob Museum expertly leverages various types of media, artifacts, and exhibit design to capture and hold the attention of visitors.

Needless to say, I’ll be back.

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