Gambling, the risky enterprise of chance, is one of America’s favorite pastimes. Office March Madness brackets, a day at the race track, a friendly wager, the random ridiculous Super Bowl prop bet, bingo night, or the latest media frenzy over the Powerball jackpot—all emphasize the ubiquity of this major economic force and cultural phenomenon. Approximately 70 percent of Americans regularly engage in some form of betting, amounting to over $140 billion in combined casino and lottery revenue every year. A hundred years ago, however, legal gambling was a rarity in the United States.
A fresh take on the history of modern American gambling, All In provides a closer look at the shifting economic, cultural, religious, and political conditions that facilitated gambling’s expansion and prominence in American consumerism and popular culture. In its pages, a diverse range of essays covering commercial and Native American casinos, sports betting, lotteries, bingo, and more piece together a picture of how gambling became so widespread over the course of the twentieth century.
Drawing from a range of academic disciplines, this collection explores five aspects of American gambling history: crime, advertising, politics, religion, and identity.
In doing so, All In illuminates the on-the-ground debates over gambling’s expansion, the failed attempts to thwart legalized betting, and the consequences of its present ubiquity in the United States.
By 1963 public lotteries—a time-honored if tarnished method of raising revenue for everything from the Roman roads to Washington’s Continental Army—had been outlawed in the United States for seventy years. The only legal gambling in America was found in Nevada, where mob involvement had at first been an open secret, and then revealed as no secret at all. In New Hampshire—a conservative, rural state with no sales tax and persistent problems with funding education—state legislator Larry Pickett had filed a bill to establish a lottery in every legislative session since 1953. To the surprise of many, it won passage a decade later and was signed into law by John King, the state’s first Democratic governor in forty years. American Sweepstakes describes how King assembled an unlikely group of supporters—including a celebrated FBI agent and the staunchly conservative publisher of the state’s leading newspaper—to establish the first state lottery in the nation, paving the way for what is today a $78 billion enterprise. Despite the remonstrations of the Catholic Church, the threat of arrest by the federal government, the strident denunciations of nearly every newspaper editorialist in the country, and the very real fear that the lottery would be co-opted by the mob, eleven thoroughbred racehorses leapt from the gate on September 12, 1964, in the first New Hampshire Sweepstakes, ushering in the lottery age in America.
Before Indian casinos sprouted up around the country, a few enterprising tribes got their start in gambling by opening bingo parlors. A group of women on the Oneida Indian Reservation just outside Green Bay, Wisconsin, introduced bingo in 1976 simply to pay a few bills. Bingo not only paid the light bill at the struggling civic center but was soon financing vital health and housing services for tribal elderly and poor.
While militant Indian activists often dominated national headlines in the 1970s, these church-going Oneida women were the unsung catalysts behind bingo’s rising prominence as a sovereignty issue in the Oneida Nation. The bingo moms were just trying to take care of the kids in the community.
The Bingo Queens of Oneida: How Two Moms Started Tribal Gaming tells the story through the eyes of Sandra Ninham and Alma Webster, the Oneida women who had the idea for a bingo operation run by the tribe to benefit the entire tribe. Bingo became the tribe’s first moneymaker on a reservation where about half the population was living in poverty.
Author Mike Hoeft traces the historical struggles of the Oneida—one of six nations of the Iroquois, or Haudenosaunee, confederacy—from their alliance with America during the Revolutionary War to their journey to Wisconsin. He also details the lives of inspirational tribal members who worked alongside Ninham and Webster, and also those who were positively affected by their efforts.
The women-run bingo hall helped revitalize an indigenous culture on the brink of being lost. The Bingo Queens of Oneida is the story of not only how one game helped revive the Oneida economy but also how one game strengthened the Oneida community.
In 1980, when the Cabazon Band first opened a small poker club on their Indian reservation in the isolated desert of California, they knew local authorities would challenge them. Cabazon persisted and ultimately won, defeating the State of California in a landmark case before the Supreme Court. By fighting for their right to operate a poker club, Cabazon opened up the possibility for native nations across the United States to open casinos on their own reservations, spurring the growth of what is now a $30 billion industry.
Cahuilla Nation Activism and the Tribal Casino Movement tells the bigger story of how the Cahuilla nations—including the Cabazon—have used self-reliance and determination to maintain their culture and independence against threats past and present. From California’s first governor’s “war of extermination” against native peoples through today’s legal and political challenges, Gordon shows that successful responses have depended on the Cahuilla’s ability to challenge non-natives’ assumptions and misconceptions.
In this work, author E. Malcolm Greenlees provides detailed information about the role of state governments in the regulation of gaming. He also discusses the dominance of slot machines as the major revenue source in most casinos; he provides information about changes in the types and operation of slot machines, as well as accounting procedures for slot revenues.
The book covers every aspect of the financial management of a casino, from the details of licensing and regulation to revenue taxation; the management of slot machines and other gaming devices, table games, and betting operations; revenue flows and internal cash controls; cashiering; accounting; and financial reporting.
Casino Accounting and Financial Management has been recognized as the essential manual for gaming industry professionals since its first publication in 1988. This 2008 edition is updated throughout and greatly expands the original text, addressing growth and changes in the casino industry as gaming has spread into new venues both nationwide and internationally, incorporated new games and new technology, and become subject to new management policies and new government regulations.
The past twenty-five years have seen enormous changes in Native America. One of the most profound expressions of change has been within the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. The Nation has overcome significant hurdles to establish itself as a potent cultural and economic force highlighted by the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center and Foxwoods, the largest casino in the Western Hemisphere. In Casino and Museum, John J. Bodinger de Uriarte sees these two main commercial structures of the reservation as mutually supporting industries generating both material and symbolic capital.
To some degree, both institutions offer Native representations yet create different strategies for attracting and engaging visitors. While the casino is crucial as an economic generator, the museum has an important role as the space for authentic Mashantucket Pequot images and narratives. The book’s focus is on how the casino and the museum successfully deploy different strategies to take control of the tribe’s identity, image, and cultural agency.
Photographs in the book provide a view of Mashantucket, allowing the reader to study the spaces of the book’s central arguments. They are a key methodology of the project and offer a non-textual opportunity to navigate the sites as well as one finely focused way to work through the representation and formation of the Native American photographic subject—the powerful popular imagining of Native Americans. Casino and Museum presents a unique understanding of the prodigious role that representation plays in the contemporary poetics and politics of Native America. It is essential reading for scholars of Native American studies, museum studies, cultural studies, and photography.
Delving into the history of gambling and corruption in intercollegiate sports, Cheating the Spread recounts all of the major gambling scandals in college football and basketball. Digging through court records, newspapers, government documents, and university archives and conducting private interviews, Albert J. Figone finds that game rigging has been pervasive and nationwide throughout most of the sports' history. The insidious practice has spread to implicate not only bookies and unscrupulous gamblers but also college administrators, athletic organizers, coaches, fellow students, and the athletes themselves.
Naming the players, coaches, gamblers, and go-betweens involved, Figone discusses numerous college basketball and football games reported to have been fixed and describes the various methods used to gain unfair advantage, inside information, or undue profit. His survey of college football includes early years of gambling on games between established schools such as Yale, Princeton, and Harvard; Notre Dame's All-American halfback and skilled gambler George Gipp; and the 1962 allegations of insider information between Alabama coach Paul "Bear" Bryant and former Georgia coach James Wallace "Wally" Butts; and many other recent incidents. Notable events in basketball include the 1951 scandal involving City College of New York and six other schools throughout the East Coast and the Midwest; the 1961 point-shaving incident that put a permanent end to the Dixie Classic tournament; the 1978 scheme in which underworld figures recruited and bribed several Boston College players to ensure a favorable point spread; the 1994-95 Northwestern scandal in which players bet against their own team; and other recent examples of compromised gameplay and gambling.
The story of the Wire Act and how Robert Kennedy’s crusade against the Mob is creating a new generation of Internet gaming outlaws.Gambling has been part of American life since long before the existence of the nation, but Americans have always been ambivalent about it. What David Schwartz calls the “pell-mell history of legal gaming in the United States” is a testament to our paradoxical desire both to gamble and to control gambling. It is in this context that Schwartz examines the history of the Wire Act, passed in 1961 as part of Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy’s crusade against organized crime and given new life in recent efforts to control Internet gambling. Cutting the Wire presents the story of how this law first developed, how it helped fight a war against organized crime, and how it is being used today. The Wire Act achieved new significance with the development of the Internet in the early 1990s and the growing popularity of online wagering through offshore facilities. The United States government has invoked the Wire Act in a vain effort to control gambling within its borders, at a time when online sports betting is soaring in popularity. By placing the Wire Act into the larger context of Americans’ continuing ambivalence about gambling, Schwartz has produced a provocative analysis of a national habit and the vexing predicaments that derive from it. In America today, 48 of 50 states currently permit some kind of legal gambling. Schwartz’s historical unraveling of the Wire Act exposes the illogic of an outdated law intended to stifle organized crime being used to set national policy on Internet gaming. Cutting the Wire carefully dissects two centuries of American attempts to balance public interest with the technology of gambling. Available in hardcover and paperback.
The glitter and excitement that tourists associate with casinos is only a facade. To the gaming industry's front-line employees, its dealers, the casino is a far less glamorous environment, a workplace full of emotional tension, physical and mental demands, humor and pathos. Author H. Lee Barnes, who spent many years as a dealer in some of Las Vegas's best-known casinos, shows us this world from the point of view of the table-games dealer. Told in the voices of dozens of dealers, male and female, young and old, Dummy Up and Deal takes us to the dealer's side of the table. We observe the "breaking in" that constitutes a dealer's training, where the hands learn the motions of the game while the mind undergoes the requisite hardening to endure long hours of concentration and the demands of often unreasonable and sometimes abusive players. We discover how dealers are hired and assigned to shifts and tables, how they interact with each other and with their supervisors, and how they deal with players—the winners and the losers, the "Sweethearts" and the "Dragon Lady," the tourists looking for a few thrills and the mobsters showing off their "juice." We observe cheaters on both sides of the table and witness the exploits of such high-rollers as Frank Sinatra and Colonel Parker, Elvis's manager. And we learn about the dealers' lives after-hours, how some juggle casino work with family responsibilities while others embrace the bohemian lifestyle of the Strip and sometimes lose themselves to drugs, drink, or sex. It's a life that invites cynicism and bitterness, that can erode the soul and deaden the spirit. But the dealer's life can also offer moments of humor, encounters with generous and kindly players, moments of pride or humanity or professional solidarity. Barnes writes with the candor of a keen observer of his profession, someone who has seen it all—many times—but has never lost his capacity to wonder, to sympathize, or to laugh. Dummy Up and Deal is a colorful insider's view of the casino industry, a fascinating glimpse behind the glitter into the real world of the casino worker.
A collection of essays in which a dozen historians and novelists present their impressions and concerns about "end of the century Nevada." Human expectations and illusions are seen as a backdrop for today's Nevada as a new human frontier. As an overview of Nevada society, this study deals with culture as well as economics, with tradition as well as rapid population growth. The essayists inquire whether the friction between acquisition and preservation, quick wealth and refined sensitivity, will build a more humane and enlightened society.
First Nations Gaming in Canada
Yale D. Belanger University of Manitoba Press, 2011 Library of Congress E98.G18F57 2011 | Dewey Decimal 338.477950899707
While games of chance have been part of the Aboriginal cultural landscape since before European contact, large-scale commercial gaming facilities within First Nations communities are a relatively new phenomenon in Canada. First Nations Gaming in Canada is the first multidisciplinary study of the role of gaming in indigenous communities north of the 49th parallel. Bringing together some of Canada’s leading gambling researchers, the book examines the history of Aboriginal gaming and its role in indigenous political economy, the rise of large-scale casinos and cybergaming, the socio-ecological impact of problem gambling, and the challenges of labour unions and financial management. The authors also call attention to the dearth of socio-economic impact studies of gambling in First Nations communities while providing models to address this growing issue of concern.
The widespread legalization of gambling across the U.S. has produced concerns for serious social, economic, and health problems. For the first time in this country, an entire generation of young people has reached adulthood within a context of approval and endorsement of gambling as a source of entertainment and recreation. Compared with their adult counterparts, these young people have evidenced a higher level of gambling related problems. In Futures at Stake, specialists in psychology, medicine, law, public health, economics, casino management, psychiatry, and criminal justice examine this problem from the perspective of their various disciplines, producing an intelligent, thought-provoking, and valuable survey of what is fast becoming a leading social-health problem across the nation. Foreword by Thomas N. Cummings.
The cards are turned, the chips are raked. In casinos all over the country, Native Americans are making money and reclaiming power. But the games are by no means confined to the tables, as the Mashantucket Pequots can attest. Although Anglo-Americans have attempted to undermine Pequot sovereignty for centuries, these Native Americans have developed a strategy of survival in order to maintain their sense of peoplehood—a resiliency that has vexed outsiders, from English settlers to Donald Trump.
The Pequots have found success at their southeastern Connecticut casino in spite of the odds. But in considering their story, Paul Pasquaretta shifts the focus from casinos to the political struggles that have marked the long history of indigenous-colonial relations. Viewing the survival of Native communities in the face of genocide and forced assimilation as a high-stakes game of chance, he examines gambling metaphors in historical and literary contexts to reveal strategies employed by several tribes as they participate in various "games" with white society--whether land re-acquisition, political positioning, or resistance to outside dominance.
Through a comparative analysis of texts spanning four centuries—colonial war narratives, nineteenth-century romance fiction, tribal memorials, Native American novels—Pasquaretta provides a framework for understanding Indian-white relations and the role of "chance" in the realm of colonialism. He explores two intertwining themes: the survival of indigenous peoples in the face of the European invasion of North America and the ongoing contest of Natives and newcomers that has transpired in the marketplace, on the battlefield, and in the courts. In so doing, he considers the impact of reservation gambling on the development of contemporary tribal communities and the role of traditional Indian gambling practices and stories in the survival of indigenous cultural traditions.
Gambling and Survival in Native North America is a wide-ranging book that shows how Native Americans have become active participants in their own survival despite the popular belief that Indian tribes, as "conquered peoples," have been rendered helpless for over a century. Working within a system devised to confine and even destroy them, they have found ways to remain in the game—and, against all odds, have learned to play it well.
The only ethnography devoted to the practice of gambling as its core subject, Gambling Life considers the stakes of social action in one community on the island of Crete.
Backgammon cafés, card clubs, and hidden gambling rooms in the city of Chania provide the context for Thomas M. Malaby to examine the ways in which people confront uncertainty in their lives. He shows how the dynamics of gambling -- risk, fate, uncertainty, and luck -- are reflected in other aspects of gamblers’ lives from courtship and mortality to state bureaucracy and national identity.
By moving beyond risk and fate as unexamined analytical categories, Malaby presents a new model for research concerning indeterminacy, seeing it as arising from stochastic, performative, and other sources. Gambling Life questions the longstanding valorization of order and pattern in the social sciences.
In the decades since the passing of the Pamajewon ruling in Canada and the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act in the United States, gaming has come to play a crucial role in how Indigenous peoples are represented and read by both Indians and non-Indians alike. This collection presents a transnational examination of North American gaming and considers the role Indigenous artists and scholars play in producing depictions of Indigenous gambling. In an effort to offer a more complete and nuanced picture of Indigenous gaming in terms of sign and strategy than currently exists in academia or the general public, Gambling on Authenticity crosses both disciplinary and geographic boundaries. The case studies presented offer a historically and politically nuanced analysis of gaming that collectively creates an interdisciplinary reading of gaming informed by both the social sciences and the humanities. A great tool for the classroom, Gambling on Authenticity works to illuminate the not-so-new Indian being formed in the public's consciousness by and through gaming.
Gambling on Ore examines the development of the western mining industry from the tumultuous and violent Gold Rush to the elevation of large-scale copper mining in the early twentieth century, using Montana as representative of mining developments in the broader US mining west. Employing abundant new historical evidence in key primary and secondary sources, Curtis tells the story of the inescapable relationship of mining to nature in the modern world as the United States moved from a primarily agricultural society to a mining nation in the second half of the nineteenth century.
In Montana, legal issues and politics—such as unexpected consequences of federal mining law and the electrification of the United States—further complicated the mining industry’s already complex relationship to geology, while government policy, legal frameworks, dominant understandings of nature, and the exigencies of profit and production drove the industry in momentous and surprising directions. Despite its many uncertainties, mining became an important part of American culture and daily life.
Gambling on Ore unpacks the tangled relationships between mining and the natural world that gave material possibility to the age of electricity. Metal mining has had a profound influence on the human ecology and the social relationships of North America through the twentieth century and throughout the world after World War II. Understanding how we forged these relationships is central to understanding the environmental history of the United States after 1850.
The eight essays in Gambling, Space, and Time use a global and interdisciplinary approach to examine two significant areas of gambling studies that have not been widely explored--the ever-changing boundaries that divide and organize gambling spaces, and the cultures, perceptions, and emotions related to gambling. The contributors represent a variety of disciplines: history, geography, sociology, anthropology, political science, and law.
The essays consider such topics as the impact of technological advances on gambling activities, the role of the nation-state in the gambling industry, and the ways that cultural and moral values influence the availability of gambling and the behavior of gamblers. The case studies offer rich new insights into a gambling industry that is both a global phenomenon and a powerful engine of local change.
The United States has a long and unfortunate history of exposing employees, the public, and the environment to dangerous work. But in April 2009, the spotlight was on Las Vegas when the Pulitzer committee awarded its public service prize to the Las Vegas Sun for its coverage of the high fatalities on Las Vegas Strip construction sites. The newspaper attributed failures in safety policy to the recent “exponential growth in the Las Vegas market.” In fact, since Las Vegas’ founding in 1905, rapid development has always strained occupational health and safety standards.
Gambling with Lives examines the work, hazards, and health and safety programs from the early building of the railroad through the construction of the Hoover Dam, chemical manufacturing during World War II, nuclear testing, and dense megaresort construction on the Las Vegas Strip. In doing so, this comprehensive chronicle reveals the long and unfortunate history of exposing workers, residents, tourists, and the environment to dangerous work—all while exposing the present and future to crises in the region. Complex interactions and beliefs among the actors involved are emphasized, as well as how the medical community interpreted and responded to the risks posed.
Updated through 2020, this second edition includes new and expanded discussions on:
Union activity, sexual harassment and misconduct, and race and employment
The change to Las Vegas’ “What happens here, stays here” slogan
The MGM Grand Fire and 1918 influenza pandemic
Work-related musculoskeletal disorders in the service industry
Legionnaire’s Disease outbreaks at resorts
Effects of the Route 91 Harvest Festival Shooting
The COVID-19 pandemic
Few places in the United States contain this mixture of industrial and postindustrial sites, the Las Vegas area offers unique opportunities to evaluate American occupational health during the twentieth century, and reminds us all about the relevancy of protecting our workers.
Winner of the 2018 Current Events/Social Change Book Award from the Next Generation Indie Book Awards
Winner of the 2018 Bronze Current Events Book Award from the Independent Publisher Book Awards
Generations ago, gambling in America was an illicit activity, dominated by gangsters like Benny Binion and Bugsy Siegel. Today, forty-eight out of fifty states permit some form of legal gambling, and America’s governors sit at the head of the gaming table. But have states become addicted to the revenue gambling can bring? And does the potential of increased revenue lead them to place risky bets on new casinos, lotteries, and online games?
In Gangsters to Governors, journalist David Clary investigates the pros and cons of the shift toward state-run gambling. Unearthing the sordid history of America’s gaming underground, he demonstrates the problems with prohibiting gambling while revealing how today’s governors, all competing for a piece of the action, promise their citizens payouts that are rarely delivered.
Clary introduces us to a rogue’s gallery of colorful characters, from John “Old Smoke” Morrissey, the Irish-born gangster who built Saratoga into a gambling haven in the nineteenth century, to Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino magnate who has furiously lobbied against online betting. By exploring the controversial histories of legal and illegal gambling in America, he offers a fresh perspective on current controversies, including bans on sports and online betting. Entertaining and thought-provoking, Gangsters to Governors considers the past, present, and future of our gambling nation.
Written by a lawyer and an economist, Governing Fortune summarizes the legal framework supporting the gaming industry and reviews the costs and benefits of casinos by showing how tax base and job growth vary widely with site-specific factors. The book sets forth an innovative proposal for the licensing of gamblers as a means to balance the liberty interests of individuals against the social costs generated from problem gambling behavior. Morse and Goss offer both regional and sector comparisons of the gaming industry and accessible data about every aspect of the gaming environment, including the impact of gambling on economic and social environments.
"Goss and Morse provide an outstandingly sound economic understanding of the function and place of casinos in American society, including essential heretofore unavailable grounding in the legal issues that the book accomplishes remarkably effectively. Moreover, this wealth of economic and legal information is transmitted in an engaging and readable manner. Scholarly, thoughtfully collected and authoritative, the book is of interest to any learner of the gambling industry, including students, civic activists, legislators, and scholars."
— Earl Grinols, Baylor University
"In this book, Morse and Goss make important contributions to our understanding of the negative outcomes of the expansion of gambling in America."
— Jon Bruning, Nebraska Attorney General
Edward A. Morse is Professor of Law and holder of the McGrath North Mullin & Kratz Endowed Chair in Business Law at Creighton University School of Law. Ernest P. Goss is Professor of Economics and MacAllister Chair at Creighton University and was a 2004 scholar-in-residence with the Congressional Budget Office.
In 1979, Florida Seminoles opened the first tribally operated high-stakes bingo hall in North America. At the time, their annual budget stood at less than $2 million. By 2006, net income from gaming had surpassed $600 million. This dramatic shift from poverty to relative economic security has created tangible benefits for tribal citizens, including employment, universal health insurance, and social services. Renewed political self-governance and economic strength have reversed decades of U.S. settler-state control. At the same time, gaming has brought new dilemmas to reservation communities and triggered outside accusations that Seminoles are sacrificing their culture by embracing capitalism. In High Stakes, Jessica R. Cattelino tells the story of Seminoles’ complex efforts to maintain politically and culturally distinct values in a time of new prosperity.
Cattelino presents a vivid ethnographic account of the history and consequences of Seminole gaming. Drawing on research conducted with tribal permission, she describes casino operations, chronicles the everyday life and history of the Seminole Tribe, and shares the insights of individual Seminoles. At the same time, she unravels the complex connections among cultural difference, economic power, and political rights. Through analyses of Seminole housing, museum and language programs, legal disputes, and everyday activities, she shows how Seminoles use gaming revenue to enact their sovereignty. They do so in part, she argues, through relations of interdependency with others. High Stakes compels rethinking of the conditions of indigeneity, the power of money, and the meaning of sovereignty.
Russian life and literature of the nineteenth century abounded with scenes of gambling--nowhere more prominently than in the lives and work of three of Russia's greatest writers: Pushkin, Tolstoi, and Dostoevskii. Focusing on the intersection of gambling performances in society and in literature, this book reveals the significance of gambling as an index of character in nineteenth-century Russia and traces its role in the fate of the gentry over the course of the century.
During the reigns of Alexander I and Nicholas I, Ian Helfant argues, gambling became an essential proving-ground and symbolic locus for noble identity in Russia--a way for the nobility to assert its values (fearlessness, disdain for money, implacable self-possession, deification of whim and will, and stylish performance) against nineteenth-century economics and bourgeois sentimentality. In <i>The High Stakes of Identity</i> Helfant's twin concerns are to analyze the structural components of the myth of the noble "beau joueur" and to show how gambling performances in society and in literature reciprocally reinforced, complicated, and eventually disintegrated its mystique.
Using a broad variety of sources--memoiristic, epistolary, journalistic, legal, fictional, theatrical--Helfant reconstructs both the prevalence and the particular codes of gambling's cultural system in the first few decades of the nineteenth century. These codes allow him to interpret the iconoclastic performances of truly legendary gamblers and to assess the importance and purpose of gambling in works ranging from Pushkin's "Queen of Spades" to Lermontov's "Masquerade." Throughout, Helfant gives voice to the rich variety of discourses, from tsarist laws to moralistic tracts, that came to bear on the culture of gambling in the 1830s and eventually led to its displacement as the key marker of nobility.
Las Vegas in Singapore looks at the collision of the histories of Singapore and Las Vegas in the form of Marina Bay Sands, one of Singapore’s two integrated resorts.
The first history begins in colonial Singapore in the 1880s, when British administrators revised gambling laws in response to the political threat posed by Chinese-run gambling syndicates. Following the tracks of these punitive laws and practices, the book moves into the 1960s when the newly independent city-state created a national lottery while criminalizing both organized and petty gambling in the name of nation-building. The second history shifts the focus to corporate Las Vegas in the 1950s when digital technology and corporate management practices found each other on the casino floor. Tracing the emergence of the specialist casino designer, the book reveals how casino development evolved into a highly rationalized spatial template designed to maximize profits. Today an iconic landmark of Singapore, Marina Bay Sands is also an artifact of these two histories, an attempt by Singapore to normalize what was once criminalized in its nationalist history.
Lee Kah-Wee argues that the historical project of the control of vice is also about the control of space and capital. The result is an uneven landscape where the legal and moral status of gambling is contingent on where it is located. As the current wave of casino expansion spreads across Asia, he warns that these developments should not be seen as liberalization but instead as a continuation of the project of concentrating power by modern states and corporations.
The lottery called the jogo do bicho, or “animal game,” originated as a raffle at a zoo in Rio de Janeiro in 1892. During the next decade, it became a cultural phenomenon all over Brazil, where it remains popular today. Laws of Chance chronicles the game’s early history, as booking agents, dealers, and players spread throughout Rio and the lottery was outlawed and driven underground. Analyzing the game’s popularity, its persistence despite bouts of state repression, and its sociocultural meanings, Amy Chazkel unearths a rich history of popular participation in urban public life in the decades after the abolition of slavery in 1888 and the establishment of the Brazilian republic in 1889. Contending that the jogo do bicho was a precursor to the massive informal economies that developed later in the twentieth century, she sheds new light on the roots of the informal trade that is central to daily life in urban Latin America. The jogo do bicho operated as a form of unlicensed petty commerce in the vast gray area between the legal and the illegal. Police records show that players and ticket sellers were often arrested but rarely prosecuted. Chazkel argues that the animal game developed in dialogue with the official judicial system. Ticket sellers, corrupt police, and lenient judges worked out a system of everyday justice that would characterize public life in Brazil throughout the twentieth century.
Special Award of the Jury Winner — 2018 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards
In only a decade, Macau has exploded from a sleepy backwater to the world’s casino capital. It was bound to happen. Macau, a former Portuguese colony that became a special administrative region within the People’s Republic of China in 1999, was the only place in China where gambling was legal. With a consumer base of 1.3 billion mainland Chinese deprived of casino gambling, and the world’s largest growing consumer class, international corporations rushed in to enter the games. As a result, the casino influx has permanently transformed the Macau peninsula: its ocean reclaimed, hillside excavated, roads congested, air polluted, and glimmering hotel towers tossed into the skyline, dwarfing the 19th century church towers.
Essays by a number of experts give a deeper insight on topics ranging from the myth of the Chinese gambler, the role of feng shui in casino design, the city’s struggle with heritage conservation, the politics of land reclamation, and the effect of the casino industry on the public realm. Drawings and photographs in vivid color visualize Macau’s patchwork of distinct urban enclaves: from downtown casinos, their neon-blasting storefronts eclipsing adjacent homes and schools, to the palatial complexes along a new highway, a Las Vegas-style strip. They also reveal how developers go to great lengths to impress the gambler with gimmicks such as fluorescent lighting, botanic gardens, feng shui dragon statues, cast members’ costumes, Chinese art imitations, and crystal chandelier-decked elevators. It is a book that helps readers grasp the complex process of the development of the casino industry and its overall impact on the social and architectural fabric of the first and last colonial enclave in China.
The advent of gaming on Indian reservations has created a new kind of tribal politics over the past three decades. Now armed with often substantial financial resources, Indigenous peoples have adjusted their political strategies from a focus on the judicial system and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to one that directly lobbies state and federal governments and non-Indigenous voters. These tactics allow tribes to play an influential role in shaping state and national policies that affect their particular interests. Using case studies of major Indian gaming states, the contributing authors analyze the interplay of tribal governance, state politics, and federalism, and illustrate the emergence of reservation governments as political power brokers.
Las Vegas was largely shaped by a handful of colorful and astute casino operators who turned a dusty desert town into the gaudy, booming holiday mecca that it is today. The essays in this book introduce us to these players. We discover how early leaders like Cliff Jones, Moe Dalitz, and Benny Binion first grasped Las Vegas’s potential as a center for high-stakes gambling, and we read of mobster Bugsy Siegel’s efforts to bring to reality another man’s dream of a glamorous resort-casino on a then-remote site at the edge of town. Other visionaries like Jay Sarno, Sam Boyd, and Jackie Gaughan helped turn casinos into the islands of fantasy, replete with lavish entertainment spectacles. The arrival of eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes introduced a new style of corporate management --one carried on by Kirk Kerkorian and Steve Wynn to an industry previously led by independent entrepreneurs and their families. In preparing their essays, the authors consulted a wide range of sources and conducted interviews with many of the surviving players and their families and associates. The result is an engaging, highly informative account of a city’s growth through the visions, energies, and decisions of some remarkable gambler-businessmen.
The phrase “Harlem in the 1920s” evokes images of the Harlem Renaissance, or of Marcus Garvey and soapbox orators haranguing crowds about politics and race. Yet the most ubiquitous feature of Harlem life between the world wars was the game of “numbers.” Thousands of wagers, usually of a dime or less, would be placed on a daily number derived from U.S. bank statistics. The rewards of “hitting the number,” a 600-to-1 payoff, tempted the ordinary men and women of the Black Metropolis with the chimera of the good life. Playing the Numbers tells the story of this illegal form of gambling and the central role it played in the lives of African Americans who flooded into Harlem in the wake of World War I.
For a dozen years the “numbers game” was one of America’s rare black-owned businesses, turning over tens of millions of dollars every year. The most successful “bankers” were known as Black Kings and Queens, and they lived royally. Yet the very success of “bankers” like Stephanie St. Clair and Casper Holstein attracted Dutch Schultz, Lucky Luciano, and organized crime to the game. By the late 1930s, most of the profits were being siphoned out of Harlem.
Playing the Numbers reveals a unique dimension of African American culture that made not only Harlem but New York City itself the vibrant and energizing metropolis it was. An interactive website allows readers to locate actors and events on Harlem’s streets.
The history of Reno during the first half century is to a great degree the history of Reno’s gaming industry. Between 1931 and 1981, the economy, skyline, and lifestyle of “the Biggest Little City in the World” were strongly influenced by the city’s casinos and the people who created and operated them. In The Rise of the Biggest Little City, longtime Reno gaming executive Dwayne Kling records the fruits of his fourteen years of research into the history of Reno’s casinos, from the backroom (and often illegal) dives of the industry’s beginnings to the elegant casino-hotels of today. Arranged in encyclopedic form with historic photographs (many never before published), the book offers the stories of such famous establishments as Harolds Club, the Cal-Neva, the Sands, and Harrah’s, as well as defunct clubs like the Cedars, the Silver Spur, and the Bank Club. We also find the stories of the men and women who created Reno’s gaming industry—such as James McKay and Bill Graham, who came from the rough-and-tumble saloons of boom-town Tonopah and developed a chain of illegal gambling clubs and brothels into Reno’s first major casino, the Bank Club; the Smith family—Raymond I. “Pappy,” Harold Sr., Raymond A., and Harold Jr.—whose Harolds Club was a prime downtown attraction for over fifty years and brought Reno national fame as a destination for fun and gambling; Bill Bailey, an African-American whose Harlem Club—one of the first integrated casinos in Reno—attracted such show-business luminaries as Louis Armstrong and Pearl Bailey (his cousin) for late-night jam sessions; William Harrah, who parleyed a string of small bingo parlors into a major gaming empire; and Jack Douglass, a slot-route operator in the early days of legal gaming who became a major figure in Reno’s modern casino industry. There are more. Kling records the stories of hundreds of gaming establishments, most of them long forgotten, stretching geographically from the Mount Rose Highway to the north end of town, from Verdi to Sparks; and of dozens of men and women who shaped the industry, for better and for worse. We learn from that Reno was the true pioneer of the gambling industry. It was here that big-name entertainment was first offered in a casino setting; that elegant hotel rooms and fine dining were first offered as amenities of the casino experience; that a casino corporation first traded its stock on the New York Stock Exchange; that ethnic minorities first owned and operated casinos, and first integrated them. The Rise of the Biggest Little City will engage readers with its authoritative account of the rise of modern Reno and of the colorful history that lies beneath today’s neon and glitz.
Every day in the United States, people test their luck in numerous lotteries, from state-run games to massive programs like Powerball and Mega Millions. Yet few are aware that the origins of today’s lotteries can be found in an African American gambling economy that flourished in urban communities in the mid-twentieth century. In Running the Numbers, Matthew Vaz reveals how the politics of gambling became enmeshed in disputes over racial justice and police legitimacy.
As Vaz highlights, early urban gamblers favored low-stakes games built around combinations of winning numbers. When these games became one of the largest economic engines in nonwhite areas like Harlem and Chicago’s south side, police took notice of the illegal business—and took advantage of new opportunities to benefit from graft and other corrupt practices. Eventually, governments found an unusual solution to the problems of illicit gambling and abusive police tactics: coopting the market through legal state-run lotteries, which could offer larger jackpots than any underground game. By tracing this process and the tensions and conflicts that propelled it, Vaz brilliantly calls attention to the fact that, much like education and housing in twentieth-century America, the gambling economy has also been a form of disputed terrain upon which racial power has been expressed, resisted, and reworked.
In 2012, over 50 percent of those patronizing a casino were over 50 years of age. Have casinos become today's senior center? Come with Amy Ziettlow as she travels through America's casinos, eating at the buffets, playing the slots, and talking to as many seniors as she can. A stark picture emerges.
Now that the goverment is the biggest sponsor of casino gaming, all of us--even those who never visit casinos--have to ask: Are we turning a blind eye to a government-sponsored predator that creates false community, drains personal finances, and undermines dignity for those most vulnerable among us? Read this first-hand report from the glitzy, senior-filled trenches of "Casino Land."
Gambling is everywhere, on our TVs and phones, on billboards on our streets, and emblazoned across the chests of idolised sports stars. Why has gambling suddenly expanded? How was it transformed from a criminal activity to a respectable business run by multinational corporations listed on international stock markets? And who are the winners and losers created by this transformation?
Vicious Games is based on field research with the people who produce, shape and consume gambling. Rebecca Cassidy explores the gambling industry's affinity with capitalism and the free market and how the UK has led the way in exporting 'light touch' regulation and 'responsible gambling' around the world. She reveals how the industry extracts wealth from some of our poorest communities, and examines the adverse health effects on those battling gambling addiction.
The gambling industry has become increasingly profitable and influential, emboldened by thirty years of supportive government policies and boosted by unnatural profits. Through an anthropological excavation, Vicious Games opens up this process, with the intention of creating alternative, more equitable futures.