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Gangsters to Governors: The New Bosses of Gambling in America
by David Clary
Rutgers University Press, 2017
eISBN: 978-0-8135-8456-0 | Paper: 978-0-8135-8454-6
Library of Congress Classification HV6715.C53 2017
Dewey Decimal Classification 338.477950973

Winner of the 2018 Current Events/Social Change Book Award from the Next Generation Indie Book Awards
Winner of the 2018 Bronze Current Events Book Award from the Independent Publisher Book Awards

Generations ago, gambling in America was an illicit activity, dominated by gangsters like Benny Binion and Bugsy Siegel. Today, forty-eight out of fifty states permit some form of legal gambling, and America’s governors sit at the head of the gaming table. But have states become addicted to the revenue gambling can bring? And does the potential of increased revenue lead them to place risky bets on new casinos, lotteries, and online games?

In Gangsters to Governors, journalist David Clary investigates the pros and cons of the shift toward state-run gambling. Unearthing the sordid history of America’s gaming underground, he demonstrates the problems with prohibiting gambling while revealing how today’s governors, all competing for a piece of the action, promise their citizens payouts that are rarely delivered. 

Clary introduces us to a rogue’s gallery of colorful characters, from John “Old Smoke” Morrissey, the Irish-born gangster who built Saratoga into a gambling haven in the nineteenth century, to Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino magnate who has furiously lobbied against online betting. By exploring the controversial histories of legal and illegal gambling in America, he offers a fresh perspective on current controversies, including bans on sports and online betting. Entertaining and thought-provoking, Gangsters to Governors considers the past, present, and future of our gambling nation.  

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See other books on: 21st Century | Corruption & Misconduct | Entertainment | Gambling | Governors
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