Decades Old Casino Seizure Leading to New Lawsuits

Written By Janice Doughtrey

When you mention the name Meyer Lansky, people know what kind of clout it carries. His grandson is looking to get compensation for when his grandfather has a seizure in a casino almost 60 years ago. The mobster died in the Habana Riviera hotel-casino in 1959. He was popular for helping to establish Cuba’s gambling. He wanted the place to be a regional gambling haven. This was before the Fidel Castro soldiers helped to overthrow the regime.

He was one of the mastermind’s behind the hotel. It costs a whopping $8 million to build this establishment. Back in 1957, that was a great deal of money. It was the last of the gambling resorts to open before the communists seized the country and outlawed gambling. Following the takeover, the US Government officially cut all ties with this country. This is a stance that the US usually doesn’t take without good reason. It wasn’t until two years ago when current President Barack Obama wanted to normalize relations between the two unions. This was a move that shocked many.Many claims have lain dormant since 1959 after the takeover. These were compensation claims that Cuba owed to the US that totaled over $1.9 billion. Cuba is also looking to the US for billions of dollars in reparation for the damages that have been caused by the embargo that the US put on the island. So where does the great mobster Landsky come into play in all of this?Well, in 1983 Lansky died. His grandson, Gary Rapoport spoke exclusively to the Tampa Bay Tribune and said that his mother and uncle are beneficiaries to the trust. Rapoport’s mother was Lansky’s only daughter. Though the family has not filed an official claim yet, they believe that they are due money for the loss of their grandfather in such a manner. It’s doubtful that the Cuban government will see things that way. Their constitution does allow for compensation for nationalized property, but he was not property rather an associate from the Batista regime.

There have always been rumors circulating about Lansky and his associations. In 1952, he bankrolled a military coup. Batista seized power of this. One of the rumors stated that he bankrolled the military coup, which Batista seized power of. He was repaid by allowing him and his acquaintances to set up their gambling establishments on the island. The Rapoport family knows that it is a long shot and they will have a hard time getting Cuba to pay compensation. However, he is optimistic that at some point and time the Castro brothers will be out of the picture and things will change. He doesn’t want that property to go to anyone else.

For those who don’t know, Lansky was the inspiration behind the Godfather Movie second edition. The character was played by Hyman Roth.