When you think gambling, it’s hard to forget about the glittering lights and nonstop pace of Las Vegas Strip. Every day of the week, there are thousands of people waiting to win big at the roulette or blackjack tables. Gambling has been a controversial topic for a long period. The history of gambling in the United States goes back far before Las Vegas.
Gambling dates back as far as the 17th century, when it was first introduced by settlers. As each settlement was founded by different British colonies members, the attitudes regarding gambling were different. The Puritans outlawed all forms of gambling, even dice, cards and private tables. It was frowned upon that anyone would make gambling their profession. The English, on the other side, saw gambling as a fun and harmless distraction from their daily lives and considered it a common pastime. People began to put the blame for the problems in the new colonies on gambling. Acceptance of gambling began to decline.
Gambling was still widespread in the United States even though it had changed a lot since the early 19th-century. Lotteries were a popular method to raise revenue for the state. The lottery profits were used to construct public buildings such as schools, churches, and other public facilities. Horse racing was another form that became popular in the 19th-century. Although not as big or organized as horseracing today, it is the first time gambling is taking on new forms.
Gambling was a part of American settlements as they moved west. It took on a more formal form in the shape of casinos. However, these establishments were not intended to generate income for the community. They were meant to be a way to benefit those who made the long trek west. The 1800s saw a rise in moral criticism for gambling. Social reform was successful in ending all forms of gambling in the United States.
California was hit by the gold rush in mid 1800s. People wanted to spend their wealth, and gambling became the new hot spot. The state saw gambling flourish like wildfire and both private as public parties were dependent on the revenues. Finally, California became the center of anti-gambling sentiments and laws were passed to limit gambling. While most forms gambling were illegal by the turn of the 19th Century, this didn’t stop people. It simply drove them away from the authorities.
The limits on gambling started to recede in the 20th Century. However, by the 1930s when the Great Depression hit, attitudes towards gambling were much more relaxed. Gambling became a tool to boost the economy and was no longer considered a criminal offense. These were the years that saw huge returns to gambling forms such as horse racing or bingo. Gambling as an industry was created in Nevada by organized crime specialists during the 1930’s. When it comes to gambling, there is still a fine line that must be crossed between the legal political and criminal worlds. Gambling other than government-regulated lotteries is illegal in most of the states. This country will see gambling differently, although there won’t ever be an agreement regarding the moral consequences of this practice. However, gambling will continue its evolution.