About Major A. Riddle
After growing up in Kentucky and Indiana, he moved to Chicago and started a trucking company that became one of the most prominent in the Midwest. While everyone was going broke during the Depression, Riddle grew fabulously wealthy. Not all the money he made was on the up and up, however. He was often linked with the mob and was not above his own dirty dealings. He allegedly made his drivers buy their trucks from him on a payment plan, and just as they were nearly done paying off the loan Riddle would fire them and repossess the trucks. In 1956, he left Chicago and moved to the burgeoning town of Las Vegas, Nevada where he bought the struggling Dunes Hotel. Together with Bill Miller, Riddle began devising ways to make the hotel more financially stable. One of his more successful ideas was hosting the famed Minsky’s Follies in 1957, making Riddle the first man to stage a topless cabaret on the Strip. Despite the uproar in the State Legislature, the show attracted 16,000 customers in a single week, a record that stood for over 30 years. When Riddle wasn’t busy overseeing the management of his hotel, he could usually be found sitting in a card game, and if he was in the game you could be sure that the table would be full and have a long waiting list. Not only was he a bad player with deep pockets, he was also easily cheated. The notorious mobster Tony Spilotro, along with a couple of his cronies, habitually took thousands of dollars off Riddle using the “three-pluck-one” scam. Others conned Riddle into taking proposition bets he had very little chance of winning.