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Gangsters to Governors : The New Bosses of Gambling in America - by David Clary (Hardcover)

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"As legalized gambling continues its march across America, governors are in the curious position of managing enterprises that had long been the dominion of gangsters. Their current embrace of gambling is a reversal of the traditional view that gambling needed to be suppressed for the good of society. However, banning gambling meant states received no revenue from a flourishing underground activity, corruption crippled local law enforcement, and, worst of all, crime syndicates asserted control of gambling. Betting poolrooms linked to racetracks, casinos (legal and illegal), and the numbers rackets all fell under the sway of gangsters. One form of gambling led to others being legalized. When states approved parimutuel wagering on horse races, it undercut arguments against establishing lotteries. Once governors got a taste of lottery revenue, it set off a stampede for more. State after state lifted bans on gambling and approved dockside casinos, riverboat casinos, big-city casinos, small-stakes casinos in old mining towns, and casino/resort complexes on tribal reservations. Today, every state except for Hawaii and Utah has some form of legal gambling. Governors are now the unquestioned masters of gambling, but their enthusiastic embrace of more casinos, slot machines, higher betting limits, and richer lotteries is tipping the business out of balance. When neighboring states ramp up their gambling portfolios, they saturate markets and cannibalize profits as in Atlantic City. Too often, governors exaggerate what expanded gambling can deliver to their states in terms of jobs and revenue when making the case to voters. Gangsters to Governors provides essential historical context for understanding the current debate over legalizing online gambling and sports betting"--

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