Document Type



Gambling has undergone as considerable evolution in the United States; while it was once almost universally considered a crime, many forms of gambling are now considered businesses and receive sanction from states that are active partners via their tax collections, which can range from 7 percent to as much as 75 percent of the total take. Additionally, many states own lottery operations outright, making states agents of promoting gambling. This shift from criminality to co-option took place over the second half of the 20th century and was the result of both social and economic changes in the United States. Loosening social mores and economic necessity both contributed to turning several American jurisdictions from policing to promoting gambling in many forms.


Gambling – Law and legislation; Lotteries; United States


Criminology and Criminal Justice | Gaming and Casino Operations Management | Gaming Law | Legal Studies | Policy Design, Analysis, and Evaluation | Policy History, Theory, and Methods


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Publisher Citation

Schwartz, D. (2012). Gambling. In Wilbur R. Miller (Ed.), The social history of crime and punishment in America: An encylopedia. (pp. 664-668). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. doi: 10.4135/9781452218427.n259

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