Through the years, gambling has become America's pastime. Over 60 million Americans make some sort of wager every day.1 When compared to other recreations (in billions of dollars) in 1990, gambling institutions made 2.2 more than magazine sales, 8.3 more than book sales, 20.9 more than theaters, and a whopping 21.8 more than movies.2 This number has increased to this high level because of the growth in the amount of legalized gambling establishments and the accessibility to these establishments, both of which increases the number of gamblers. The compulsive or pathological gambler affects society most. .
According to Stuart Winston, The compulsive gambler is the backbone of gambling. Without the compulsive gambler, there would be no Las Vegas, no Off Track Wagering. Two thirds of the race tracks in America would close. The attendance of sporting events would drop 50%, and T.V. wouldn't bother with sports beyond championship events.
The compulsive gambler bets a piece of his life everyday, and a piece of his family's. The other 45 million people who gamble are having fun.(Out of the 60 million who gamble every day)3 These gamblers often resort to crime to pay off their debts and anger. Even though legalized gambling has changed through time, and has been accepted in America today, it remains detrimental to society, and should not be legal anywhere. American gambling can be traced back to the early years of the nation.
Different forms of gambling, such as lotteries, remained popular until 1890, when U.S. jurisdiction made lotteries and all other forms of gambling illegal by direct prohibition.4 Gambling had become more and more a low life thing to do. These low lifes, called rowdies, would bet or take a bet on anything. Most tried to look different from everyone else by wearing thick imitation gold chains, a dyed black mustache, a velvet coat, and long hair. New York City alone had about 30,00 people earning a living from gambling in the 1890's.