History Of Gambling In United States

U. S. gambling history shows how gambling has been a source of both pleasure and moral disapproval for Americans. Many classified it with idleness and waste, fearing its effect on the poor. However, gambling did not originate in U.S. Most of the popular gambling games played in the American casinos today have their origin in various foreign locales.

History of gambling in United States dates back to until about 1830, when people gambled in taverns and cockfights was a favorite past time for most Americans. Some gentlemen also bet on horse races. Gambling, at those times, seldom involved persons who earned a living by promoting it. Indeed, later state governments sometimes chartered lottery companies to raise money for local improvement. The 1840s saw the ban on lotteries under pressure from reformers. The same period saw the emergence of a gambling culture and of illegal gambling entrepreneurs. Ever since, America has witnessed a shifting struggle between antigambling forces and an assertive gambling culture.

It was only until about 1900 that the state gambling laws became more specific as per the gambling history of USA. But the police were expected to fight gambling, while the moral reformers mounted antigambling movements. But the gambling culture continued to flourish. Professional gamblers offered travelers card games and other games of chance. Several gambling houses sprung up in cities and frontier settlements. A new way to bet on a daily number, numbers gambling, was introduced into Harlem around 1920. Local governments often overlooked the bingo games in churches and the slot machines.

1950s saw a revived war on gambling. For the first time, the federal government entered the fight against gambling, using strict federal laws that climaxed with the 1970. Concurrently, licensed casino gambling and state operated lotteries gained popularity. This was chiefly to raise state revenue plus to undercut illegal gambling. In Nevada, licensed casino gambling had existed since the early 1930s.Las Vegas blossomed as a gambling and entertainment center after 1945.

By 1994, twenty-four states had or were planning licensed casinos, with more than thirty states following suit. This resulted in an increase both in compulsive betting by Americans and in the gaming industry's political power. State economies increasingly became dependent upon the finances and jobs the gambling casinos created. Today gambling is legalized in about 80% of states in the United States. The history of gambling in United States is certainly a long and interesting one.


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