Because there have been so many mass shootings in the United States, unfortunately they all seem to blend together after a while. Though the one in Las Vegas three years ago should stand out. It was the deadliest mass shooting in American history. Money Machine is a documentary about the shooting by Ramsey Denison and comes at it from the angle of exposing the alleged cover-up by the Las Vegas Police department, casino owners and MGM Resorts International. This is something that happened in Vegas and should not stay in Vegas.
At the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival which took place in Las Vegas on October 1, 2017 something horrific happened. There was a crowd of more than 20,000 in attendance watching the Jason Aldean show. Out of nowhere the joy people were feeling turned to horror and panic as millionaire gambler Stephen Paddock opened fire on the crowd killing 58 people and injuring hundreds more.
In a matter of minutes hundreds, if not thousands of lives were changed. From his hotel room at the nearby Mandalay Bay Paddock took aim again and again. Just a few years later it seemed to anyone who cared to look that most had forgotten what happened. This film says it is more sinister than that.
What casino owners in sin city know is that mass shootings are not good for business, so they had to make the memory of what happened in October 2017 go away. They put in the work to make this one disappear. Vegas to be Vegas had to be seen as a fun city filled with all kinds of opportunities for people to flock there. They had to feel safe. There is definitely a dark side to the Vegas economy and this is part of it.
The Vegas police department and other political officials also participated in this cover up. They wanted their city to go back to what it was before, so kept secrets and hid things. The Vegas Money Machine quickly kicked into action to make our collective memory of the shooting disappear.
One of the big questions asked is what happened to the millions of dollars raised for victims through the #Vegasstrong campaign? It certainly did not go where it was believed to. Another shocking aspect of this documentary is the issue of the lawsuit which was brought against the victims of this tragedy.
Using interviews with Vegas residents, several of the injured and even the brother of the killer, Eric Paddock, a light is shone on the corruption and cover-up. There is also some rather frightening video footage of the actual shooting. We are forwarded premises of why Paddock, a seemingly mild mannered man, was driven to commit such a horrific act.
It is disturbing and powerful. Hard to watch at times. Hard to see the faces of the victims, the blood and then hear the interviews with the survivors. What they had to go through. How the damage was more than the bullets. Makes you think that the mob days of Vegas were not so bad.
Money Machine has been released on VOD, so you can see it via the usual platforms.