Fiorello La Guardia loathed gambling because it ruined families and put children on the path to immoral lives. No sooner had LaGuardia taken office then he started after the Mafia by targeting the slot machines of Costello and others.

The machines spread throughout the city, with mobsters often trying to skirt the law by dispensing slugs that could be used to buy cigarettes or candy mints. The courts ultimately backed the police in which hundreds of Frank Costello’s slot machines were seized, under LaGuardia’s campaign. The mayor then made a big show of smashing some of them with sledgehammers and having them taken out to sea and dumped.