Cover

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Title Page, Series Page, Copyright, Epigraph

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Foreword

Ann Fabian

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pp. ix-xiv

In the late 1970s, when I started working on a PhD dissertation on gambling, my mother warned me that no one would read my book. “Readers don’t gamble. Gamblers don’t read,” she said. She was teasing me, I knew, speaking for her nongambling self but also sure that I’d set...

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Introduction

Jonathan D. Cohen and David G. Schwartz

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pp. 3-14

Gambling represents a major economic and cultural phenomenon in the twenty-first-century United States. Forty-eight states have legalized either casinos or a lottery and, in the coming years, gambling may become nearly ubiquitous as it expands onto the internet. Meanwhile...

Part One. Policing

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1. “The News from Brooklyn Is Disturbing”—Corruption, Big-City Police, and the Dilemma of Gambling

Matthew Vaz

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pp. 17-43

“Every effort shall be made to place gambling law enforcement in proper perspective,” New York City Police Commissioner Patrick V. Murphy declared in early 1972. For Murphy, that “proper perspective” meant that gambling should not remain a police priority: “Due to the...

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2. “The Ever Watchful Eye of the Magnate”—Policing and Ballpark Gambling in the Twentieth Century

Seth S. Tannenbaum

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pp. 44-70

I have attended several hundred baseball games in my life and few things at the park catch me off guard. But on a summer afternoon at the ballpark in 2016, during yet another disappointing season for my beloved Philadelphia Phillies, I was surprised when I overheard a...

Part Two. Promoting

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3. “Avoid Advertising the Obvious”— Gambling and the Chamber of Commerce Promotion of Las Vegas in the 1950s

Larry Gragg

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pp. 73-96

In early 1951, Hank Greenspun, the mercurial publisher of the Las Vegas Sun, told his readers that the city’s “Chamber of Commerce has a big selling job to do on the outside world or else we will get a reputation of being a sinkhole of iniquity.”1 Residents reading Greenspun’s column...

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4. The Business of Gambling — How Press Releases Helped Legitimize the Gaming Industry in Las Vegas

Jessalynn R. Strauss

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pp. 97-114

The hotel-casinos of Las Vegas faced many challenges during their evolution into world-renowned, respectable moneymaking enterprises. Gambling provided Las Vegas with the foothold it needed to survive, allowing the city to grow from a small train stop in the desert to a...

Part Three. Proliferating

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5. Something for Nothing — The Fiscal Alchemy of Lottery Legalization

Jonathan D. Cohen

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pp. 117-144

In the early 1960s, the state of New Jersey turned to legalized gambling to solve a fiscal crisis that had been years in the making. During the post–World War II period, the state government rapidly increased its spending to improve its infamously inadequate public services...

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6. No End in Sight — How the United States Became a Gambling Nation, 1950–2000

David G. Schwartz

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pp. 145-170

Gambling in the United States has had a volatile past century. Legal gambling of all forms (casino, lottery, pari-mutuel, and charitable) reached its low point in the late 1910s when only two states — Maryland and Kentucky — permitted any form of legal wagering.1 That Progressive...

Part IV. Praying

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7. In the Lion’s Den — Evangelicals on the Las Vegas Strip and the Meaning of Billy Graham’s 1978 Crusade

Michelle Robinson

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pp. 173-201

In the mid-1970s, two national surveys suggested that Christians in the United States were profoundly opposed to the spread of legalized gambling. In 1974, the Commission on the Review of the National Policy Toward Gambling issued “Moral Views on Gambling Promulgated...

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8. Sanctity, Pragmatism, and Paying the Bills—The Controversial Use of Bingo in Synagogues

Dan Judson

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pp. 202-220

In 1961, United Synagogue — the synagogue arm of Conservative Judaism — expelled sixteen synagogues from the Conservative movement for running bingo games. Only a few synagogues had been expelled from the movement since its founding in 1913, so the expulsion of sixteen...

Part V. Playing

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9. Rolling the Dice — The Rise of the Reservation Casino and the Native American Fight for Cultural Survival

Seema Kurup

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pp. 223-246

In Louise Erdrich’s novel The Bingo Palace (1994), the Ojibwe protagonist, Lipsha Morrissey, embarks on a vision quest in the woods on his ancestral tribal land.1 Though he has distracting visions of Big Macs and the Godfather trilogy, a skunk ultimately visits him in the night...

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10. The Neoliberal Lottery — Elliot Rodger and the Affective Economy of Masculinity

Daniel Ante-Contreras

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pp. 247-272

On May 23, 2014, Elliot Rodger stabbed his two roommates and their friend to death in his Isla Vista apartment near the University of California, Santa Barbara. After this brutal attack, the twenty-three- year-old went to Starbucks, where he bought a coffee, before returning to...

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Contributors

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pp. 273-274

Daniel Ante-Contreras is a PhD candidate in English at the University of California, Riverside. His areas of research include masculinity, adolescence, and violence in twentieth-century American literary and visual culture. His dissertation uses methodologies from gender studies, neoliberal studies, and disability studies...

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About the Editors

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pp. 275-276

Jonathan D. Cohen is a PhD candidate at the Corcoran Department of History, University of Virginia. His dissertation, “For a Dollar and a Dream: State Lotteries and American Inequality,” examines the history of state-run lotteries in late twentieth-century United States. He is also the managing editor of...

Index

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pp. 277-284