Tuesday, August 03, 2004

a Brief History of Gambling in the US

Gambling has roots in history

Gambling in America had a history as soon as Christopher Columbus sailed the oceans blue and the colonists first set foot along the East Coast.

Here's a quick timeline of the historical and political influence of gambling in America

1492: The crew on Columbus' 3 ships gambled the throughout the voyage by playing cards
1612: four lotteries were approved by the king to help the struggling colony of Virgina
1665: the first oval-shaped horse-racing track opened in Long Island
1832: there were 420 major lotteries in the US and plenty of scandal.
1833: Andrew Jackson passed laws outlawing lotteries. They continued illegally
1877: Charles Fey invented the nickel slot machines.
1919: Arnold Rothstein bribed the Chicago White Sox to lose the World Series.
- Bugsy Siegel used organised crime money to help develop Las Vegas and built the Flamingo Casino

Politics
- Revolutionary War: 4 lotteries were established to help provide supplies to George Washington's troops
- Thomas Jefferson gambled on blackjack. He then held a lottery to pay off personal debts
- Benjamin Franklin, a frequent lottery player, owned the printing shop that printed the tickets
- Andrew Jackson - one of the biggest gamblers amongst early presidents, bet everything he owned on one race. It was his horse, Truxton, versus another named Greyhound. Thankfully Jackson won, which bailed him out of serious financial difficulty in which his money was tied up in undeveloped land - later to become Memphis, TN. Jackson once killed a man in a duel over a gambling debt
- Lotteries were used to finance the development of Yale, Harvard, Princetown and Dartmouth Colleges. They also helped build Washington DC

In other words, gambling is as old as America itself.


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