Nicky's volatile temper soon gets him banned from every casino in Las Vegas, so he, Dominick, and Frankie gather their own crew and engage in independent shakedowns and burglaries, instead. Sam disowns Ginger, as does Nicky.
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Piscano dies of a heart attack upon observing federal agents discover his notebook. Sam blames the incident on Nicky's recklessness, and the two argue furiously in the desert after Sam attempts to tell Nicky to leave Las Vegas.
Among those killed are three casino executives, Teamsters head Andy Stone, and money courier John Nance. Ginger subsequently turns to alcohol.
The FBI, investigating a separate crime, have wired Piscano's store, and Piscano's detailed complaints, complete with names, spurs the FBI to begin investigating the casino. Ginger then kidnaps their daughter, Amy, takes her to Los Angeles, and plans to flee to Europe with her and Lester. Ginger travels to Los Angeles and ultimately dies of a drug overdose in a motel.
Green decides to cooperate with the authorities. Sam subsequently retires to San Diego and continues to live as a sports handicapper for the Mob, in his own words, ending up "right back where I started".
Impressed with his work, Mafia boss Remo Gaggi sends Sam's childhood friend and mob enforcer Nicholas "Nicky" Santoro, Nicky's younger brother Dominick, and trusted associate Frank "Frankie" Marino to protect Sam and the whole operation. The corporations build new and gaudier attractions, which Sam laments are not the same as when the Mafia was in control.
InSam makes an enemy in county commissioner Pat Webb for firing Webb's brother-in-law Don Nero casino for incompetence. They conceive a daughter and marry, but their marriage is made difficult by Ginger's covetousness and love for her manipulative former boyfriend, con artist-turned pimp Lester Diamond.
Sam himself is almost killed by a car bomb and suspects Nicky was behind it. When Sam refuses to reinstate Ward, Webb pulls Sam's license from the backlog, forcing him to face a hearing for his gaming license, while secretly arranging for the board to deny Sam.
Piscano is unable to find the thieves, but keeps tabs on everything he knows about Las Vegas in a private notebook and rants about it in his grocery store. With the Mob now out nero casino power, the old casinos are purchased by big corporations and demolished. The FBI moves in and closes the casino in Ginger then approaches Nicky for help in getting her valuables from her and Sam's shared safety deposit box, and the two start an affair.
Nicky flees Las Vegas before he can be caught. The bosses are arrested and put on trial and decide to eliminate anyone involved in the scheme to prevent them from testifying.
Sam convinces Ginger to come back with Amy, and then scolds her for stealing his money and kidnapping their daughter. Even though she succeeds in taking all of the money from the safety deposit box, she is arrested by the FBI as a material witness.
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Meanwhile, the casino counters begin skimming money for themselves, prompting the Midwest Mafia bosses to put Kansas City underboss Artie Piscano in charge of overseeing the transactions. Taking advantage of gaming laws that allow him to work in a casino while his gaming licence is pending, Sam doubles the casino's profits, which are skimmed by the Mafia before being reported to income tax agencies.
A furious and drunk Ginger crashes her car into Sam's driveway, making a scene, and retrieves the key to their deposit box after distracting the attending police. Before Sam can take revenge, Nicky and Dominick are ambushed by Frankie and their own crew, beaten, and buried alive in a cornfield, the bosses' having had enough of Nicky's behavior and suspecting his role in Sam's car bombing.
After he overhears Ginger talking on the phone about killing him, Sam kicks her out of the house, but soon relents. Lester is beaten severely by Sam and Nicky after they catch him conning Ginger out of some money.
Tired of her alchoholism, Sam finally seeks to divorce Ginger. Sam discovers this after finding Amy tied to her bed by Ginger, who is with Nicky at his restaurant.
Sam meets and falls in love with a hustler and former prostitute, Ginger McKenna.