Gambling, Space and Time
Shifting Boundaries and Cultures
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: University of Nevada Press
List of Illustrations
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Gambling, our current reading of the archaeological evidence and historical conjecture suggests, has been around nearly as long as human social life itself. A traveler surveying gambling on Earth, throughout time and across space, would find quite a diversity of expressions of humankind’s gambling impulse.1 Betting on contests, both human and animal, subsumes a large part of gambling, from wagering on the results...
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Chapter 1: Moving the Line: A Postfrontier Reinterpretation of American Gaming
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Virtually every culture toys with the intersection of stochastic play and relevant stakes known as gaming or gambling. It is not surprising that Americans, long characterized by their drive and inventiveness, have been fecund gamblers. From carefree cavaliers “bowling in the streets” of Jamestown to California stockbrokers pushing sports betting on the Internet, Americans have proven themselves willing to wager in a variety of milieus. Even so, because of the vividness...
Chapter 2: Within Boundaries: Indian Gaming in North Dakota and Beyond
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Americans, it seems, love to gamble. As the congressionally mandated National Gambling Impact Study Commission noted in its 1999 final report, “Once exotic, gambling has quickly taken its place in mainstream culture.”1 All but two of the fifty states, Utah and Hawaii, permit some form of legalized gambling, including gaming in riverboat or land-based casinos, racetrack pari-mutuel wagering...
Chapter 3: Gambling, Space, and Boundaries in Finland
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The Finns are gamblers. Eighty-seven percent of the country’s 5.3 million people participate in some form of gambling during their lifetimes, and an average household spends roughly 200 euros on gambling per year.1 Gambling is a prominent part of Finnish everyday culture and landscapes. Games are available at the nearest kiosk and grocery store...
Chapter 4: Waterfront Rise: Urban Casino Space and Boundary Construction in the Netherlands
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Modern casinos confine gambling activities to the casino premises and typically present and organize gambling as an entertainment product. In many cases singular establishments are part of major commercial enterprises, which together make up a global gambling industry. The strong commoditized nature of contemporary casinos implies that gambling opportunities are offered in a carefully designed context of intense service and close surveillance...
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Chapter 5: Trotting Territory: The Cultural Realm of Swedish Horse Betting
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Human beings in social interaction create life worlds with shared symbols, meanings, and values. Some forms of gambling, among them horse betting, therefore tend to evolve into bounded cultural domains with specific beliefs, norms, and traditions. Gambling becomes the core of a “world-building activity,” and previous research has concluded that a racetrack may constitute “a little cosmos of its own...
Chapter 6: The Cultural Impacts of Casino Gambling in the Deep South
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In a significant foray into the area of culture and gambling policy, authors William Thompson, Carl Lutrin, and Asher Friedberg note that “[if] gaming companies seize upon a political opportunity to enter a market and they do not weigh the cultural match between the political forces in the society and gaming . . . the result may be new restrictions on the manner of doing business...
Chapter 7: The Risk in Using Gambling to Create “America’s Playground”: Las Vegas, 1905–60
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In her book The Age of Chance: Gambling in Western Culture, Gerda Reith argues that gambling, “while still retaining some moral ambiguity, has shed its pariah status and become fully incorporated into western capitalist economies as just another type of commercial enterprise.” Noting gambling’s rapid proliferation “throughout Europe, the Americas, Australasia, Africa, the former east European communist bloc and the developing countries of South East Asia,”...
Chapter 8: The Power of Place: Experiencing Las Vegas Through Popular Writing and Fiction
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“No, this not a good town for psychedelic drugs,” wrote Hunter S. Thompson in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and concluded, “Reality itself is too twisted.”1 This was an apt confirmation that places have an impact on us. Their atmosphere and local culture may please or intimidate, and evoke strong images and memories...
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Page Count: 224
Illustrations: 12 b/w photos, 10 maps
Publication Year: 2011