Carmine "Lilo" Galante – The Cigar

He was as vicious as Mafia boss Vito Genovese, as ambitious as Vito Genovese, and he was deeply involved in the heroin business as was Vito Genovese. However, Carmine “The Cigar” Galante, would not die of natural causes as did Vito Genovese (albeit in prison). Instead, Galante was murdered in one of the most memorable mob hits of all time. After his body was filled with lead, he lay sprawled on his back in the tiny backyard patio of a Queens restaurant, his trademark cigar clenched tightly between his teeth.

Camillo Galante was born on February 21st, 1910, at 27 Stanton Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Because both his parents, Vincenzo, a fisherman, and his wife (maiden name Vingenza Russo) had been born in the seaside village of Castellammarese del Golfo in Sicily, Galante was a pure first generation Sicilian/America. Galante had two brothers and two sisters, and when he was in grade school, Galante ditched his given name Camillo, and insisted he be called Carmine instead. Over the years it was shortened to “Lilo,” which was the name most of his associates called Galante.

Galante first got into trouble for petty theft from a store counter when he was fourteen years old. But since he was a juvenile at the time, an account of this arrest is not in his official police record.

At various times, Galante attended Public High Schools 79 and 120, but he dropped out of school for good at the age of fifteen. Galante was in and out of reform school several times, and was considered an “incorrigible delinquent.”

From 1923 to 1926, Galante was ostensibly employed at the Lubin Artificial Flower Company at 270 West Broadway. However, this was a ruse to satisfy the law that Galante was gainfully employed, when, in fact, he was engaged in a very lucrative criminal career.

In December 1925, Galante was arrested for assault. However, money changed hands between Galante’s people and crooked policemen, and as a result, Galante was released without serving any prison time. In December 1926, Galante was arrested again, but this time he was found guilty of second degree assault and robbery, and sentenced to two-to-five years in prison. Galante was released from prison in 1930, and in order to satisfy his parole officer, he got another sham “job” at the O’Brien Fish Company at 105 South Street, near the Fulton Fish Market.

However, it was not Galante’s nature to stay on the right side of the law. On March 15th, 1930, five men entered the Martin Weinstein’s shoe factory on the corner of York and Washington Streets in Brooklyn Heights. On the 6th floor of the building, Mr. Weinstein was in the process of getting his weekly payroll together, under the protection of police officer Walter De Castillia of the 84th Precinct. The five men took the elevator to the 6th floor. While one man stood guard at the elevator, the other four men burst into Mr. Weinstein’s office. They ignored the $7,500 sitting on the table, and opened fire on Officer De Castillia, a married father of a young girl, with nine years on the force. Officer De Castillia was hit six times in the chest and he died instantly.

The four men walked calmly back to the elevator and joined their cohort, who was guarding the elevator operator Louis Sella. Stella took the five men down to the ground floor. He later told the police that the men had exited the building, calmly walked to a parked car, got into the car, and fled the scene. When the police arrived minutes later from the station house just 2 blocks away, the killers were nowhere to be seen. Sella described the five men as “early to mid-twenties, with dark skin and dark hair.” Sella said the men were all “very well-dressed.”

The police theory was, that since no money had been taken, that this was a planned hit on Officer De Castillia. On August 30, 1930, Galante, along with Michael Consolo and Angelo Presinzano, were arrested and indicted for the murder of Officer De Castillia. However, all four men were soon released due to lack of evidence.

On December 25th, 1930, four suspicious men were sitting in a green sedan on Briggs Avenue in Brooklyn. Police detective Joseph Meenahan just happened to be in the area. He spotted the men in the sedan, drew his gun, and approached the sedan cautiously. One of the men shouted at Meenahan, “Stop right there copper, or we’ll burn you.”

Before Meenahan could react, the firing commenced from the green sedan. Meenahan was shot in the leg, and a six-year-old girl walking nearby with her mother was seriously wounded. The driver of the sedan had trouble starting the car, so the four men leaped from the sedan and tried to escape on foot. Three of the men manged to flee the area by jumping on a passing truck, but the fourth man slipped as he tried to get onto the truck and was apprehended by the wounded Meenahan. That man was Carmine Galante.

When Meenahan brought Galante to the station house, a group of detectives, angry that one of their own had been wounded, started to give Galante the “police station tuneup.” Despite getting his lumps, Galante refused to give up the identities of the men who had escaped. He was subsequently tried and convicted as one of the four men who had robbed the Lieberman Brewery in Brooklyn. On January 8th, 1931, Galante was remanded to Sing Sing Prison in Ossining, New York. He was later transferred to the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, where he remained until his release on May 1st, 1939.

While Galante was in prison he was given an IQ test that revealed he had a lame IQ of only 90, which, even though Galante was well into his twenties, equated to a mental age of 14-years-old. It was also noted that Galante was diagnosed as having a “neuropathic psychopathic personality.” A physical evaluation showed that he had a head injury incurred in a car accident when Galante was 10-years-old, a fractured ankle when he was eleven, and that Galante was showing the early signs of gonorrhea, probably incurred at one of the many brothels controlled by the mob.

In 1939, after he was released from prison, Galante was again given sham employment at his old job at the Lubin Artificial Flower Company. In February of 1941, Galante obtained membership in Local 856 of the Longshoreman’s Union, where he ostensibly worked as a ” stevedore.” However, it is likely Galante very rarely showed up for work; one of the perks of being a member of the Mafia.

There is no record of the exact date, but Galante was induced as a made member of the Bonanno Crime Family in the early 1940’s. Despite the fact his boss was Joe Bonanno, at the time the youngest Mafia boss in America, Galante performed many hits for Vito Genovese, all throughout the 1930’s and 1940’s.

While Genovese was in self-imposed exile in Italy (he was wanted on a murder charge and flew the coop before he could be arrested), Genovese became fast pals with Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. Mussolini had a stone in his shoe in America called Carlo Tresa. Tresa was causing Mussolini much agita by incessantly writing anti-fascist sentiments in his radical Italian-language newspaper, Il Martello, which was sold in Italian communities in America.

Genovese sent word back to America to Frank Garofalo, underboss to Joseph Bonanno, that Tresa had to go. Garofalo gave Tresa contract to Galante, who shadowed Tresa for a few days to determine the best time and place to whack him.

On January 11th, 1943, Tresa was walking along Fifth Avenue near 13th Street, when a black Ford sedan pulled up along side him. The Ford stopped and Galante jumped out, hot gun in hand. Galante blasted Tresa several times in the back and in the head, killing the newspaper editor instantly. Amazingly, Galante was seen by his parole officer fleeing the scene, but due to the wartime rationing of gasoline, the parole officer was unable to follow the black Ford containing Galante and the smoking gun. No arrest were ever made for the Tresa slaying.

In 1953, Bonanno sent Galante to Montreal, Canada to take control of the Bonanno Family interests north of the boarder. Besides the very lucrative Canadian gambling rackets, the Bonannos were heavy into the importation of heroin, from France into Canada, and then into America – the infamous French Connection. Galante supervised the Canadian drug operation for three years. But in 1956, the Canadian police caught wind of Galante’s involvement. Not having enough evidence to arrest Galante, they instead deported Galante back to America, classifying Galante as “an undesirable alien.”

In 1957, Genovese called for a big summit of all the top Mafioso in America, to take place at the upstate New York Apalachin residence of Joseph Barbara, a captain in the Buffalo crime family of Stefano Magaddino. In preparation for this meeting, on October 19th, 1956, several New York crime bigwigs were summoned to Barbara’s home to go over the guidelines of the proposed meeting; the prime purpose of which was to anoint Genovese as the Capo di Tutti Capi,” or “Boss of all Bosses.”

After the meeting ended, driving on his way back to New York City, Galante was nabbed for speeding near Birmingham, New York. Because his driver’s license had been suspended, Galante gave the police a phone one. He was immediately arrested and sentenced to 30 days in prison. However, the tentacles of the Mafia also reached right into the police department in upstate New York. After a few mobbed-up New York lawyers made the right phone calls to upstate New York, Galante was released within 48 hours. Yet, a state policeman named Sergeant Edgar Roswell took note of the fact that Galante had admitted to the police he had stayed the night before at the Arlington Hotel, as host of a local businessman named Joseph Barbara. This prompted Roswell to pay especial attention to the Barbara residence in Apalachin, New York.

Less than a month later, on November 17th, 1957, at the insistence of Don Vito Genovese, Mafia members from all over America made their way to the Barbara residence. These men included Sam Giancana from Chicago, Santo Trafficante from Florida, John Scalish from Cleveland, and Joe Profaci and Tommy Lucchese from New York City. Galante’s boss Joe Bonanno decided not to attend, and he sent Galante instead.

Sergeant Roswell took note of the fact that on the day before the nearby Arlington Hotel had been booked to the rafters with suspicious-looking out-of-towners. Roswell asked the right questions, and he was able to confirm that the man who made the reservations for these men was Joseph Barbara himself. Roswell drove to the Barbara resident and he spotted dozens of luxury cars parked outside, some with out-of-town plates.

Roswell called for back-up, and in minutes, dozens of state troupers arrived with guns drawn. The troupers raided the Barbara residence and chaos ensued. Men wearing expensive suits, hats, and shoes bolted from the house. Some were immediately arrested; some made it to their cars and drove off the property before roadblocks could be put in place by the police. Others jumped out of the windows and hightailed in through the thorny woods. One of these men was Carmine Galante, who hid in a cornfield until the police had left the Barbara residence. Then made his way back to Barbara’s home, and made arrangements for his safe passage back to New York City.

The next day, when the news of the raid on Barbara’s house hit American newspapers, blowing the lid off the misguided idea that the Mafia was a myth, Galante went into the wind, or in mob terms, he “pulled a lamski.” On January 8th, 1958, the New York Herald Tribune wrote that Galante had run to Italy to hook up with old pal Salvatore “Lucky” Luciano, who was in exile in Italy, after serving nine years in American prison on a trumped-up prostitution charge. Another report said that it was not Luciano Galante was with, but rather Joe “Adonis” Doto, another mob boss in exile in Italy. On January 9th, the New York Journal American said Galante was not in Italy at all, but in Havana, Cuba, with Meyer Lansky, a longtime member of the National Crime Commission, who had numerous casino interests in Cuba.

In April 1958, it was somehow leaked that Galante was now back in the United States and living somewhere in the New York area. The local law went to work, and in July, Galante was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Narcotics while he was driving near near Holmdale, New Jersey. He was charged with taking part in a major heroin deal, one of many Galante had been involved with. Also arrested in the same case were Vito Genovese, John Ormento, Joe Di Palermo, and Vincent Gigante. Galante, again making use of his cadre of New York attorneys, was released on $100,000 bail. Galante’s lawyers were able to delay any further legal proceedings for almost two years. It wasn’t until May 17th, 1960, that Galante was formally indicted, and again released on bail.

On January 20th, 1961, Galante’s trial finally began, and the judge, Thomas F. Murphy, revoked Galante’s bail, ordering Galante to be put right into the slammer. However, Galante’s luck held up when, on May 15th, a mistrial was declared. It seemed the foreman of the jury, a poor chap named Harry Appel, a 68-year-old dress manufacturer, had the misfortune of falling down a flight of stairs in a building on 15th Street in Manhattan. After the medics arrived and Appel was taken to a nearby hospital, it was determined that Appel had suffered a broken back. No one had seen Appel fall, nor did the hurt and frightened Appel say that anyone had pushed him. However, although they had no definite proof, law enforcement believed that Appel had been pushed by a cohort of Galante’s, with a warning not to say anything to anybody, and they would allow Appel and members of his family to live.

Galante, now feeling alive and chipper, was released from prison, secured by a bond of $135,000.

Alas, but all good things must come to an end.

In April 1962, Galante’s second trial commenced.

At the trial, there was a bit of mayhem in the courtroom, when one of Galante’s co-defendants, a nasty creature named Tony Mirra (who was said to have killed 30-40 people) became so unhinged, that he picked up a chair and flung it at the prosecutor. Luckily for the prosecutor, the chair missed him and landed in the jury box, forcing the frightened jurors to scatter in all directions. Order was restored to the court, and the trial proceeded, which was bad news for both Galante, and for Mirra. Both men were found guilty, and on July 10th, 1962, Galante was sentenced to thirty years in prison. Mirra also was sent to prison for a very long time. It is not clear if any additional time was tacked onto Mirra’s sentence for the chair-throwing incident.

Galante first was sent to Alcatraz Prison, which was located on an island fortress in San Francisco Bay. He was then moved to the Lewisburg Penitentiary, in Leavenworth, Kansas, before serving the final years of his prison term in the United States Penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia. Galante was finally released from prison on January 24th, 1974, all full of fire and brimstone, and ready to get back into business. However, Galante was to be on parole until 1981, so he had to be careful not to keep a high profile. Unfortunately, being in the background was not in Galante’s makeup.

While he was in prison, Galante made it known that when he got out of prison he was going to take control of the New York Mafia by the throat. The accepted head of the five New York City Mafia families at the time was Carlo Gambino, the head of the Gambino crime family. Gambino was shrewd, and generally quiet and reserved; well-respected for his business acumen, and his ability to keep peace amongst his own family, as well as the other Mafia families. However, Galante had to use for Gambino, or his method of doing business.

By the time of Galante’s release, his boss Joe Bonanno had been forced to “retire,” and was living in Tuscon, Arizona. The new Bonanno boss was Rusty Rastelli. But since Rastelli was in the slammer at the time, Galante took over as the “street boss” of the Bonannos. Still, Rastelli was considered the boss of the Bonannos, and was none too happy about how Galante was strutting his stuff on the streets of New York City.

Galante took the unusual step, and not appreciate by other Bonanno crime family members, of surrounding himself with Sicilian born Mafioso like Caesar Bonventre, Salvatore Catalano, and Baldo Amato. Theses men were derisively called “zips” by the American Mafia, due to the quick way they zipped through the Italian language. These zips were heavily involved in the drug trade, and in direct opposition to those in the Genovese Crime Family, which was run by Funzi Tieri, every bit as cunning and vicious as Galante.

Galante had a minor setback, when in 1978, he was arrested by the Feds for “associating with known criminals,” which was a violation of his parole. While Galante stewed in prison, he began ordering his men to kill mobsters in the Genovese and Gambino crime families, who were cutting in on Galante’s worldwide drug operation. With Carlo Gambino now dead (from natural causes), Galante figured he had the muscle to push the other crime family bosses into the background. From prison he sent out the message to the other bosses, “Who among you is going to stand up against me?”

On March 1st, 1979, Galante’s was released from prison and walking on air because he truly believed the other crime bosses were afraid of him. Like Vito Genovese before him, Galante envisioned himself as “Boss of All Bosses,” and it was only a matter of time before the other bosses cowered before Galante and handed him the title.

However, Galante underestimated the might and will of the other Mafioso bosses in New York City. While Galante swaggered around the streets of New York City, the other bosses held a meeting in Boca Raton, Florida, deciding Galante’s fate. At this meeting were Funzi Tieri, Jerry Catena, Paul Castellano, and Florida boss Santo Trafficante. These powerful men voted unanimously, if mob peace was to exist in the streets of New York City, Galante had to go. Rastelli, who was still in jail, was consulted, and even the aged Joe Bonanno, living in Arizona, was asked if he had any reservations at his former close associate being hit. Both Rastelli and Bonanno signed off on Galante’s murder contract, and Galante’s days were numbered.

On July 12th, 1979, it was a hot and sticky summer day, as the 69-year-old Carmine Galante’s Lincoln pulled up at 205 Knickerbocker Avenue, in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn. For more than 50 years, Knickerbocker Avenue had been the turf of the Bonanno crime family, and over the years numerous mob sit-downs had taken place in one of several storefronts on the block.

Carmine Galante stepped out of the Lincoln, then he waved goodbye to the driver: his nephew James Galante. Carmine Galante was wearing a white short-sleeved knit shirt, and, as was his custom, he was sucking on a huge Churchill cigar. Galante strutted inside the tiny restaurant, and was greet by Joe Turano, the owner of Joe and Mary’s Restaurant. Galante had made this visit to meet with Turano, and with Leonard “Nardo” Coppola, a close associate of Galante’s, over some undetermined mob business.

At approximately 1:30 p.m., Cappola strolled into the restaurant, accompanied by zips Baldo Amato and Cesare Bonventre, who were cousins, and from the same village as Galante’s parents: Castellammarese del Golfo. By this time Galante and Turano had already finished their meal, so while the three newcomers sat inside and had their lunch, Galante and Turano slipped outside into the backyard patio, and sat under a yellow-and-turquoise checked umbrella. After Cappola, Bonventre, and Amato finished dining, they joined the other two men outside. Galante and Turano were smoking cigars and drinking espresso coffee laced with Anisette (only tourists and non-Italians drink Sambuca).

Galante was sitting with his back to a small garden, while Amato sat to his left and Bonventre to his right. Turano and Cappola sat on the opposite side of the table, their backs to the door leading to the restaurant.

At approximately 2:40 p.m., a four-door, blue Mercury Montego double parked in front of Joe and Mary’s Restaurant. The car had been stolen about a month before. The driver, wearing a red-striped ski mask that covered his face, stepped out of the car and stood guard, holding a.3030 M1 carbine rifle menacingly in his hands. Three other men, also wearing ski masks, jumped out of the car and jogged into the restaurant. They sped past the few startled diners who were still eating lunch, and rushed into the patio area.

As they entered the patio, one masked man said to the other, “Get him, Sal!’

The gunman called “Sal” began firing a double-barrel shotgun several times at Galante, propelling Galante, as he was rising from his chair, onto his back. Galante was hit with 30 pellets, one knocking out his left eye. Galante was probably dead before he hit the ground, his cigar still stuck tightly between his teeth.

As Galante was shot, Joe Turano yelled,”What are you doing?”

The same gunman turned to Turano, and with the shotgun pressed against Turano’s chest, he blasted Turano into eternity.

Cappola jumped up from the table, and either Amato, or Bonventre (it’s not clear which one did the shooting) shot Cappola in the face, then five times in the chest. Cappola landed face down, and the killer with the shotgun, blasted off the back of Coppola’s head.

The three masked men then hurried from the restaurant, and into the waiting getaway car. According to witnesses outside the restaurant, the car sped up Knickerbocker Avenue to Flushing Avenue, then disappeared around the corner. Bonventre and Amato, who were both wearing leather jackets despite the stifling heat, soon followed the three gunman out of the restaurant. They calmly walked down the block, got into a blue Lincoln, and drove away, like they had nary a care in the world.

Galante’s body was laid out in the Provenzano-Lanza Funeral Home at 43 Second Avenue on the Lower East Side. The crowds that usual accompany a Mafia wake of this kind were notably absent. Galante was buried on July 17th at Saint John’s Cemetery in Queens. With the Feds doing the counting, only 59 people attended Galante’s funeral mass and burial. The Feds also reported that not one Mafia made man was captured on surveillance cameras, either at the wake, or at the funeral.

One Fed, commenting at the sparse turnout, said, “Galante was so bad, people didn’t want to see him, even when he was dead.”

Even though the newspapers played up the killing with gruesome front page photos, the general public seemed imperious to the magnitude of the event. A young boy strolled up to a police officer standing guard the wake.

“Was he an actor?” the kid said to the cop.

The cop replied, “No, he was a gangster.”

Howard Hughes and the Silver Slipper

Another of Las Vegas’ most iconic signs belonged to the Silver Slipper Gambling Hall. Originally opened in 1950 on the Last Frontier property, it was named the Golden Slipper because the Silver Slipper name was already taken, but shortly after they opened, the Silver Slipper folded and the name moved to its new home on the Las Vegas Strip. The Silver Slipper was never a big casino, but due to its central Strip location and proximity to the Last Frontier, it was very popular with families and offered the best 49-cent breakfast buffet in town.

I find it interesting from a marketing perspective that most of the Strip hotels used desert or pioneer themes for their casinos: Hacienda, Sands, Aladdin, Dunes, Frontier, Sahara, Desert Inn, Stardust, El Rancho Vegas, and the Bonanza. A few hotels even referenced their Cuban and South Florida roots: Flamingo, Tropicana, and the Riviera.

Considering that hotels and casinos on the Strip didn’t begin sprouting up until the late 1940’s with the El Rancho Vegas and Bugsy Siegel’s Flamingo, it’s interesting that they all chose to stay within a particular set of themes, but then again the mafia has never been known for their creativity or risk taking, unless said risk-taking involves a new and improved style of murder or extortion. I guess they were less concerned about design awards and more interested in the skim.

Riding the wake of the sale of his Trans World Airways for $546,549,171, Howard Hughes came to Las Vegas with an eye on the future and a boatload of cash, but Hughes wasn’t convinced Las Vegas was where he wanted to set up shop. After two years of bouncing back and forth between the East Coast and Las Vegas, and some careful study of Las Vegas’ financial potential, Hughes decided to stay and moved into the two top floors of the Desert Inn with the resolve to reshape the Las Vegas landscape. Why? Who knows, but Howard Hughes found sufficient intrigue to keep him an active participant in Sin City’s growth and with a billion dollar bankroll, he was an instant force. In fact, his name was so big, the Nevada Gaming Commission all but rolled over when it came time to review his application to own a casino. Something that took most potential owners months and years to complete, with Howard Hughes, the ink was dry before his aides left the hearing.

So what’s the Silver Slipper got to do with Howard Hughes? It seems fair to say that when Hughes’ moved to Las Vegas, his apparent bi-polar behavior and companion paranoia was well established. Hughes moved into the Desert Inn with the express agreement he would stay no longer than 2 months. This arrangement was fine with the ownership, but the penthouse suites on the top two floors were earmarked for the hotel’s stable of high-rollers that came to play over the Christmas holidays, and Hughes’ staff who were all Mormons, non-gamblers, non-drinkers, and they just weren’t spending money at the casino or bar. Hughes was asked to leave and when push came to shove, Hughes wrote a check for $13.2 million, assumed ownership of the Desert Inn, and launched a spending spree unlike anything Las Vegas had ever seen.

But Hughes wasn’t satisfied and as his neurosis and paranoia grew. Memories of the McCarthy anti-communist hearing also began to weigh on his psyche. This was amplified by the fact that his suite faced the Silver Slipper Gambling Hall across the street and the rotating slipper rotating on the Strip marquee would reflect light into his room. It not only get him up at night, he got the notion that hidden in the toe of the shoe were cameras with the sole intent of photographing the Desert Inn, his suite, and the hotel entrance all in an effort to chronicle his comings and goings. So incensed by the sign, Howard Hughes sent a telegram to his chief aide, “I want you to buy that place, that damn sign is driving me crazy, it goes round and round and round.” On April 30, 1968, Howard Hughes bought the Silver Slipper Gambling Hall for $5,360,000 million, and rumor has it that his first edict was to stop the rotating Silver Slipper and fill it with concrete. Surveillance cameras or not, Howard Hughes would finally get a good night’s sleep. Maybe.

The Hughes Corporation owned the Silver Slipper until June of 1988 when it was purchased by Margaret Elardi who owned the Frontier Hotel and Casino next door. The Silver Slipper was demolished shortly thereafter with plans to expand the Frontier, but a union strike and tough economic times put an end to that.

Today, the iconic Silver Slipper sits perched above Las Vegas Boulevard at the Neon Museum just north of downtown Las Vegas. The slipper is available to see 24/7, but the museum is only open by appointment only. Go to their website for more information about their tours and costs. For anyone who revels in the nostalgia of “Old Vegas,” a trip to the museum is well worth the trip.

Howard Hughes moved to Las Vegas on November 24, 1966 and died on April 5, 1976 at the age of 70. His impact on Las Vegas in the 60’s and 70’s is monumental and came at a time when mafia interests were waning and corporate Wall Street interest was on the rise. We’ll look into this fascinating time in Las Vegas’ history in future posts.

Origins of Baccarat

Baccarat is known as the card game of the rich and famous. Baccarat was so enigmatically linked with the wealthy upper classes and rich and famous and as a result many people shunned the game its triumphant emergence online.

Baccarat is one of the easiest of casino games to learn and play and can really generate some excitement when played at an online casino. There is no skill involved in the game as the rules determine each hands action. The only variable involved is the betting. In short, Baccarat is a game of chance.

Baccarat is thought to have originated in either France or Italy during the middle Ages. The word baccarat is a derivative of the Italian word for zero. In the middle ages the game was played using Tarot cards as opposed to the modern day card used today.

As Baccarat’s popularity increased across Europe, as with most of the other forms of gambling in those days there was some rigorous opposition from the Church. The Church viewed Baccarat as the game of the devil and those who played it were carrying out the devil’s work.

Tarot cards were first used in a game of Baccarat by Felix Galguiere. The Etruscan nine gods are said to be the basis for Galguiere’s version of the game. In this early edition of Baccarat, dice were rolled to determine the fate of a woman since the nine gods required the sacrifice of a blond virgin.

A roll of either an eight or nine made her a priestess; a six or seven and she was banned from religious activities; a number less than six and she walked into the sea and disappeared.

This early Baccarat variant became the game of choice for the upper classes and aristocracy and eventually evolved into ‘Chemin de Fer’ and European Baccarat it is thought that this took place at approximately 1500. The game, even though extremely popular, was illegal at first, as any form of gambling was. Eventually, the government made it legal and placed taxes on it. This made the game even more popular because people could rationalize that they were doing something for the good of the poor when they played baccarat thanks to the tax involved. The game began to lose its popularity during Napoleon’s reign when it was again outlawed. It remained illegal until the early 1900’s. At around this time many of the grand casinos were established along the French Riviera.

This version is the one that eventually made it way over to America but was a different version of the game that came from England. Baccarat was legal in England during the period that it was illegal across the rest of the Continent.

The English version of Baccarat reached the shores of Argentina in early 1950, where it was called ‘Punto y Banca’. When the game eventually reached Havana, the aim of the game had differed somewhat as now the player played against the house. It is this version, American Baccarat that was played in the casinos in Havana.

The Capri Casino version is the Baccarat variant that migrated to Las Vegas in the mid 1950s via Francis Renzoni, after a Las Vegas casino opened a baccarat pit. The game began it new life in America as an unpopular addition to the casino game selection. Las Vegas adapted the game and made the banker the UK casino or house position. This made it possible to bet for or against the house with the banker position. This is the Baccarat variant that is now so popular in the United States, England and Australia.

Before the game of baccarat had reached Las Vegas, it was already being played in New York and Florida. The game was played at the Saratoga race track and at the Palm Beach resort in 1910, forty years before it was played in Las Vegas.

Since its origins in the Europe during the Middle Ages, Baccarat has steadily made it’s way across each continent eventually becoming one of the most famous and respected casino games in the world.

There are variations in play depending on the location at which you are playing, so it is always best to check the house rules. And, as so may other forms of gambling, baccarat has made its way onto the internet. Most online casinos offer baccarat games with some variation in house rules; the biggest I have found is that there are only two hands: the banker and one player. Again, it’s advised to check the house rules before you play. Some online casinos also play the game with a single deck of cards, which is unusual in a land-based casino.

Florida Lotteries

Lotteries in Florida are controlled by the state of Florida. They were started in the year 1988 with the intent of using the proceeds to upgrade the standard of public education in Florida. Voters in the state approved the start of a state-conducted lottery that would help enhance public education in Florida.

Tickets for the Florida lottery are not sold over the Internet. They have to be purchased in person from authorized agents. Anyone above the age of 18 can play the Florida lottery. However, it is important that the tickets are purchased from an authorized retailer based in Florida. The rules of the lottery prevent the organizers, their relatives and the vendors from playing the lottery.

When the lottery results are declared, the winner has to submit the ticket, with personal details filled in on its back, to the organizers. The prize money has to be claimed within a limited period of time that is specified in advance. The time frame for claiming a prize varies from 180 days for online lottery games to 60 days for scratch-off games. In cases, where the prize money has not been claimed within the time frame, the funds are added to a prize-pool for future winnings.

The law in Florida makes it mandatory for lottery organizers to provide a winner?s personal information to any third party who requests the information. This includes details such as the name of the winner, city of residence, game, date won on and the amount. However, lottery winner?s addresses and telephone numbers are kept confidential.

As per the promise to voters, the organizers transfer the profits from the lotteries to the educational institutions in the state. The money is spent predominantly on student scholarships, purchase of books for the state libraries and for the up gradation of the infrastructure. The money collected from the ticket sales is transferred to the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund (EETF) and is granted to the various recipients by the Florida state legislature.