United States Gambling
By Reno Rollins
Gambling in the United States of America is a major industry, generating more than 80 billion dollars per year. Over one-million jobs have been created, and money in excess of $5.2 billion has went towards state and local tax revenue.
A Brief History of USA Gambling
In the early history of the United States, various colonies held to very different beliefs when it came to gambling. In Pennsylvania and New England, for example, Puritan ideals towards gambling were adopted. In some cases, this made it illegal for a person to own cards, dice or even gaming tables. This was eventually softened to allow gaming for recreation, although professional gambling was still restricted.
Other colonies adopted a more British attitude towards gambling, and it was viewed as nothing more than a harmless way to pass the time. In these colonies, gambling was allowed for games which were considered proper diversions for gentlemen.
19th Century American Gaming
By the mid to late 1800s, public opinion had turned against gambling. In the state of California, laws were passed to ban both gamblers and gambling.
After the Civil War, the southern states began to use the lottery to help with the rebuilding process. These lotteries, however, were often plagued by scandals and corruption. This led to an increase in state and federal legislation against lotteries. By 1878, Louisiana was the last state to have a lottery, and it was abolished in 1895.
U.S. Gambling in the 20th and 21st Centuries
In 1931, the state of Nevada legalized most forms of gambling in order to capitalize on the tourism expected from the completion of the Hoover Dam. However, the states gambling industry wouldnt really take off until after the post-World War II boom.
There was no legal lottery in operation in the United States from 1894 until 1964. New Hampshire finally voted to have a state lottery, and New York followed in 1967. The first successful modern lottery was launched by New Jersey in 1971.
In 1978, New Jersey became the second state to legalize casino gambling. They did so in an effort to revitalize the resort area known as Atlantic City. The plan was a success, and many other states would follow suit in the decades to come.
Gambling continues to be a polarizing issue in the United States. Supporters point to increased revenue on the state and local level, additional jobs and recreational benefits. Opponents cite higher crime rates, gambling addiction and moral concerns.
Types of Gambling Allowed
Below are the types of gaming allowed in the United States. In several cases, I have provided the gross revenue generated for 2005.
Tribal games are divided into three categories: Class I (traditional Indian gaming for minimal prizes), Class II (bingo-style games and non-banked card games) and Class III (includes traditional casino games and slot machines). ($22.62 billion)
Gambling By State
The following is a state-by-state breakdown of what games can be found throughout America. Please note that bingo can be found almost everywhere in some form, but I have tried to list those states which specifically feature bingo halls.
Some states require casinos to be located on a body of water. In many cases, this has resulted in riverboat casinos built on stilts or surrounded by a moat. After Hurricane Katrina (in which many of these facilities were completely destroyed), a number of states now allow their casinos to be build on land, although they must still be within a certain distance of a navigable waterway.
The online gambling industry in the United States suffered a major setback in 2006 with the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. This title (which was tacked on to the SAFE Port Act) prohibits the transfer of funds from a financial institution to an Internet gambling site. In the wake of this legislation, many top online casinos will no longer accept U.S. customers.
United Kingdom Gambling
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