Gambling in America

Archive Report

New Movement Toward Legalization

Gambling as Fertile Source of Public Revenues

Gambling is assumed to be the biggest business in the United States—a business in which eight of every ten Americans are believed to participate to some extent. There are no exact figures on how much is wagered every year, but there is unanimous agreement that the amount bet illegally is many times greater than that which is bet legally. The President's Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice (Crime Commission) estimated in 1967 that up to $50 billion was spent annually in illegal gambling on “numbers,” horse racing, sporting events and dice games. By contrast, federal officials calculated that in 1970 legal bets totaled $4.7 billion.

It is not surprising then that many a financially ...

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