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It’s 1943 and Newport, Kentucky (aka Little Mexico) is the bawdiest spot in America. Dozens of illegal casinos and brothels line the major thoroughfares of this outlaw hideaway just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, providing entertainment for the thousands of otherwise honest, law-abiding citizens swarming in from hundreds of miles around. This is the gambling Mecca of America, years before Las Vegas is a twinkle in Bugsy Siegel’s eye.
The Cleveland Syndicate controls almost all the major sources of gambling in the area, as well as the mayor, city council, police chief, and anyone who matters in Newport’s city government.
Nick Cavanaugh, a sailor on leave, finds himself taking sides with independent casino owners Carl and Pearl Jules against the powerful Syndicate, which wants to keep this territory all to itself. …[more]