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History of Gambling in America

In the United States there was a long history of legalized gambling and, to a certain extent, illegal gambling was tolerated.  People could tolerate and accept either legal or illegal gambling.  The situation could be shifted rapidly.

The gambling history in America from the prohibition to gambling legislation, it could be divided into three stages:–

(i)    The first stage was occurred during the colonial period and continued until mid-nineteenth century (1600's to Mid-1800's);

(ii)   The second stage was occurred at the end of the civil war and long lasted until the early twentieth century (Mid-1800's to Early 1900's);

(iii)  The third stage was occurred during the Great Depression until now (Early 1930's to Present).

Recalling the gambling history of the United States in nineteenth century, people had different attitude on gambling issues.  The early American were divided into two categories by historians:(i) British with traditional ideas and beliefs;(ii) Puritan.  The Puritan introduced poker, dice and table games, treated this kind of games as “innocent and appropriate entertainment”.  They did not consider these games as a kind of business.  The gambling activity to the British was even more popular.  They regarded that gambling was an activity with no harm, and that was a common and widely accepted activity.  Legal gambling even became proper activity for gentlemen, such as poker, dice and animal racing.

The purpose to develop lottery was increasing revenue.  It helped to build universities and maintain churches and libraries.  At that time, lottery was not the only gambling activity.  Shortly thereafter, horse racing had become gambling activity as well, however only between horse owners and their friends.  In 1665, the first racecourse in North American was established in Long Island.  In 1769, some people tried to oppose the occurrence of lotteries.  Lottery activities continued to be a popular game in the nineteenth-century.

It began to develop into casinos slowly.  Firstly, dice and card games were allowed in taverns and inns.  In the early nineteenth century, following the population increased, luxurious casinos were built in some densely populated areas.  During this period, gambling became legal and an organizated enterprise in the Mississippi Valley.  In Mississippi, there were many travelers with a lot of cash, they often went to casino for gambling.  These professional gamblers were also called a liar.  They often acted with dishonest fraud and set deception to make money from travelers.  Around the 1930s, the people, who opposed gambling, noticed that those actions by professional gamblers would put impact on economic growth, crime increase and have negative effect on social ethics.  Earlier in the nineteenth century, it was based on moral foundations and religious beliefs, people began to take action to against gambling.  In 1835, there were five liar gamblers in Mississippi was lynched to death.  Therefore, the professional gamblers moved from the town into the riverboat.  Some gamblers were called “Blackfoot”, they behaved even more worse than before.  They set up some frustrated person with super cheatting skills.  During an era of the gold rush, New Orleans has been replaced by San Francisco as a gambling center.  From 1849 to 1855, gambling industry in California reached to its peak.  During this period, there were poker and blackjack everywhere.  Until the 1870s, “Faro” became the most popular stuff, followed by Brag, Monte (Spain card games), dice and other stuff.  The first slot machine was invented in San Francisco in 1895.  It became legitimate activity in California until 1911.  In 1931, the world's largest non-general casino in Las Vegas unveiled.



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