Document Type



Gambling has had a convoluted legal history in the United States, with alternating periods of prohibition and government endorsement, usually at the state level. For the most part, before the 1960s, gambling was largely prohibited in the United States, with some exceptions. The current near-ubiquity of legal gambling in the United States is an outgrowth of the development of public-interest gaming, initially in the 1920s. In this model, gambling was legalized, but regulated and taxed by a state explicitly for public policy purposes: to combat illegal gambling, create jobs, and enhance state revenues. Today, 48 out of 50 states have some form of legal gambling.


Gambling – History; Gambling – Law and legislation; United States


Gaming and Casino Operations Management | United States History


Chapter 8


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Publisher Citation

Schwartz, D. (2011). Gambling. In W. Chambliss (Ed.), Key Issues in Crime and Punishment: Crime and criminal behavior. (pp. 99-113). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. doi: 10.4135/9781412994118.n8

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