From bingo in the United Kingdom, to rdslots in Las Vegas and Sydney, and ‘jambo’ in Cameroon, gambling is a feature of societies across the world. Gambling Cultures explores the complex relationship between cash and culture as gambling emerges as a global phenomenon. Traditional accounts of gambling’s pleasures and dangers talk in terms of addiction, compulsion, greed, profit and play. By contrast, this work focuses on modern gambling as it has emerged as a commercial industry, analyses the ambiguous relationship between morality and risk taking and looks at the contradictory stance of governments. Providing a range of case studies from Africa, Australia, the USA and Europe, Gambling Cultures offers a unique, comparative framework for the historical and cultural analysis of contemporary gambling practices. Contributors: Vicki Abt, Gabrielle A.Brenner, Mark Dickerson, Rachael Dixey, David Dixon, John Dombrink, William R.Eadington, Sytze Kingma, Martial Lipeb, David Miers, Wendy Selby, Jean-Michel Servet, James F.Smith, Michael Walker, Peter Williams. Editor: Jan McMillen is Chairperson of the Australian Institute of Gambling Research and lectures in public policy at the Queensland University of Technology.

Series editors: Tony Bennett, Jennifer Craik, Ian Hunter, Colin Mercer and Dugald Williamson

What are the relations between cultural policies and cultural politics? Too often, none at all. In the history of cultural studies so far, there has been no shortage of discussion of cultural politics. Only rarely, however, have such discussions taken account of the policy instruments through which cultural activities and institutions are funded and regulated in the mundane politics of bureaucratic and corporate life. Culture: Policies and Politics addresses this imbalance. The books in this series interrogate the role of culture in the organization of social relations of power, including those of class, nation, ethnicity and gender. They also explore the ways in which political agendas in these areas are related to, and shaped by, policy processes and outcomes. In its commitment to the need for a fuller and clearer policy calculus in the cultural sphere, Culture: Policies and Politics aims to promote a significant transformation in the political ambit and orientation of cultural studies and related fields. ROCK AND POPULAR MUSIC: politics, policies, institutions Edited by: Tony Bennett, Simon Frith, Lawrence Grossberg, John Shepherd, Graeme Turner BIRTH OF THE MUSEUM: History, Theory, Politics Tony Bennett FILM POLICY Edited by: Albert Moran

Studies in history and interpretation

Edited by Jan McMillen

London and New York

First published 1996 by Routledge 11 New Fetter Lane, London EC4P 4EE Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada by Routledge 29 West 35th Street, New York, NY 10001 Routledge is an International Thomson Publishing company This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2005. “To purchase your own copy of this or any of Taylor & Francis or Routledge's collection of thousands of eBooks please go to” © 1996 Collection and editorial material, Jan McMillen; individual chapters, the contributors All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book has been requested ISBN 0-203-99350-0 Master e-book ISBN

ISBN - (Adobe e-Reader Format) ISBN 0-415-06820-7 (Print Edition)

List of illustrations List of contributors vii viii







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1 Consumer expenditures on legal gambling (million guilders) 12. Senegal(%) Age distribution: lottery players and the total Cameroonian population Age distribution: lottery players and the total Senegalese population 147 155 157 158 187 11.1 Commercial gambling outlets in the European Community 266 .2 9.1 11.2 Distribution of casinos in the Netherlands.1 Comparison of the DSM IIIR criteria for substance dependence 205 and pathological gambling 15. high-frequency and problem slots players Preferred gambling type.3 9. 1990 Gaming legislation in the Netherlands 184 189 TABLES 8.2 8.3 Average stake of adult gamblers in one Australian state (NSW) 144 on lottery.1 9.ILLUSTRATIONS FIGURES 11.1 Frequency of gambling by form by adults in one Australian state (NSW) where all three forms had been available for at least ten years(%) 142 8. slots and off-course betting (A$) Gambling characteristics of low/medium-.

She is currently researching women’s leisure and health. UNIDO and CIDA. She has published widely on gambling. He is the author of From Prohibition to Regulation: Bookmaking. and advised governments on related policy issues. and is currently writing a book on the role of the media on changing definitions of deviance. She has done consulting work for a number of organisations. He has also served as a consultant to private and public sector gambling organisations. with William N.Brenner. Gambling and Speculation (Cambridge University Press. University of New South Wales in Sydney. Macarthur. Sytze Kingma is a sociologist with a general interest in consumer culture. He has written over fifty articles and edited five books that deal with various aspects of gambling and public policy. 1985). 1990). She is Professor of Sociology at Penn State University. David Dixon is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law. including the World Bank. Law and Society in the School of Social Ecology at the University of California. Leeds Metropolitan University. and is author of The Last Resort: Success and Failure in Campaigns for Casinos (University of Nevada. Anti-gambling and the Law (Clarendon Press.Eadington is Professor of Economics and Director of the Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commerical Gaming at the University of Nevada. Gabrielle A.CONTRIBUTORS Vicki Abt has written extensively on the management of gambling and is co-author of The Business of Risk: Commercial Gambling in Mainstream America (University of Kansas Press. forthcoming). England. He has published numerous articles on the criminal law and vice. Rachael Dixey is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Health and Social Care. John Dombrink is an Associate Professor in the Department of Criminology. Dr Abt is a board member on the National Council of Problem Gambling and has been a book review editor for the Journal of Gambling Studies. Thompson). Irvine. William R. He is a Research Fellow at the Universities of Tilburg and Amsterdam. 1990. and is editor of the Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology. including several on gambling. including her book with R. More recently he has conducted multidisciplinary research into the social impacts of gaming machines. 1991) and Law in Policing: Legal Regulation and Policing Practices (Clarendon Press. He is currently working on an analysis of the legalisation of physician-assisted suicide in the United States. Mark Dickerson is Executive Director of the Australian Institute for Gambling Research and Associate Professor at the University of Western Sydney. Reno. Dr Eadington has organised the International Conferences on Gambling and Risk-taking since 1974 which provide a forum for researchers in the field from several continents.Brenner is an Associate Professor of Economics at the Business School of the University of Montreal. He has conducted a sequence of studies exploring the psychological processes of problem gambling. He also teaches .

Victoria. He has worked in West Africa since 1970. Martial Lipeb lectures in management at the ESSEC of Douala (Cameroon). Jean-Michel Servet is Professor of Economics at the Faculty of Economic Sciences and of Management at the University of Lumière-Lyon. . He is the author of The Psychology of Gambling (Pergamon Press. Macarthur. He is also co-editor of the Complete Economic Works of Auguste and Leon Walras. and is the editor of the Cameroon Review of Management. She has published widely on gambling development and casino policy. Griffith University. Peter Williams researches relations of culture and power in Australia since the 1940s. Finance and Banking. Australia. Brisbane. particularly health policy. Australia. 1992). Michael Walker is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Sydney. More recently he has acted as a consultant to the Home Office on gambling issues. His field of interest includes savings in the informal sector—especially the phenomena of rotative savings and loans associations—and the role of lotteries in the African context. James F. She also chairs the Australian Institute for Gambling Research based at the University of Western Sydney. and lives in the La Trobe Valley. His research interests include gambling. where he heads the graduate program of Money. David Miers is a Professor of Law and Director of the Centre for Professional Legal Studies.sociology at the Tilburg Academy of Architecture and manages Pleasure Watch. gaming and lotteries.Smith. His most recent work concerns the regulation and implementation of the new National Lottery. Her research interests include the impact of public policy on women. UK. Queensland University of Technology. in particular in Great Britain. and the post-Second World War baby boom generation. In 1990 he was appointed Specialist Adviser to the parliamentary Home Affairs Committee to assist in its review of the regulation of betting. Jan McMillen lectures in public policy in the Faculty of Business. Brisbane. and currently works on the study of comparative monetary systems as well as the different theories of money and savings. co-author of The Business of Risk (1985). Wendy Selby is a Fellow in the Faculty of Humanities. popular culture studies. Abington—Ogontz Campus. a research and consultancy agency. and has been appointed to independent gaming commissions in Victoria and Queensland. is Professor of English and American Studies at Penn State. Cardiff Law School. He has many years’ experience analysing the regulation of commerical gambling markets.

but it has been legalised and commercialised on a grand scale only since the 1960s. social psychology and law. and have yielded a growing body of literature about the complex character and dynamics of modern gambling. philosophy. These symposia are indicative of a mounting concern with the economic. Governments have been spurred to legalise gambling by the prospect of additional revenues and the need to control the spread of existing illegal activities. The book as a whole has an international focus which addresses the symbiotic and changing place of modern gambling in contemporary societies. notably the expansion of mass tourism and entertainment industries. Britain and Europe). commercial interests have seen gambling as a new opportunity for profitable investment. As well as exploring gambling in different social contexts. feminist theory. the study of gambling has begun to emerge as a legitimate academic concern. others reveal both the diversity and the international character of contemporary gambling cultures. The organisation of regular international gambling conferences by Bill Eadington at the University of Nevada-Reno has been the catalyst for the establishment of a number of national associations (in the United States. Popular gambling practices have been reorganised to conform to commercial criteria and new forms of gambling have been introduced to entice new players. Since the proliferation of commercial gambling in Britain and the United States during the 1970s. Fuelled by growing middle-class affluence and the liberalisation of social values in western industrialised nations. social and cultural aspects of gambling development. While gambling has always attracted attention from observers intrigued by the universality and diversity of society and culture. however.INTRODUCTION Jan McMillen Gambling in one form or another has been a feature of all cultures. traditional gambling cultures have been incorporated into broad policies of economic development. political economy. until the 1970s articles on gambling were published mostly in peripheral journals as if it was not a serious subject for scholarly analysis. In the case of horseracing and casino games. providing a range of explanations of the ways that contemporary gambling and the policies which shape them have come to be enmeshed in social and cultural life. the various authors adopt different disciplinary approaches which encompass social history and cultural analysis. This book focuses on modern gambling from a variety of approaches. its eclecticism reflects the . Some chapters emphasise a comparative approach between different types of gambling and between nations. There are many different forms of gambling. each with its own mix of institutions and relations. It examines the phenomenon of gambling both as a pervasive and diverse cultural expression and as a growing field of political and commercial activity. Australia. The individual chapters offer a sampling of the variety of current gambling research. Although the collection of readings is far from comprehensive. each with the goal of encouraging gambling research and analysis.

The complex system of legal statutes and enforcement mechanisms which regulate gambling is an important element in conveying a particular image of how a society should be organised and managed. focusing on the historical relationship between explanations for gambling. political and human aspects as well. The fact that some authors have given more attention to political. In Chapter 2. David Dixon in Chapter 4 contrasts the different social control policies of British and Australian law . Set against a background of policy changes which have opened the way for more legal gambling. sociologists and policy analysts for their relevance for a general understanding of gambling as a set of social relations. changing socio-cultural values and national gambling policies. In a similar way. In Chapter 3. popular practices and policies. examining contributions by historians. Wendy Selby continues the comparative theme by exploring the significance of public morality. The authors express divergent views on these matters. John Dombrink examines the varied and contradictory process whereby gambling in the United States has come to be treated differently from other social ‘vices’ subject to official prohibition and sanction. national culture and policy priorities in the different histories of the lottery in Australia and the United States. underlining the prominence of cultural factors in the practice and organisation of modern gambling. The first chapter sets the scene by considering theoretical developments in gambling studies. economic and legal concerns than others reflects the issues being debated today and the increasingly critical state of thinking within the heterogeneous community of gambling specialists. and is now defined as a legitimate leisure activity. the next three chapters examine the transformation of gambling in various historical and geographical contexts. Several of the chapters also discuss this theme in the wider context of the new global order—that is. The chapter begins with a critical review of theories of gambling. both in economic assumptions of the merits of growth and in its social. They focus on how modern gambling policies have been formed and the historical factors which have contributed to the changing relationship between gambling and different cultures. the rapid spread of (frequently American) commercialised gambling-practices and technology across national boundaries—which is increasingly coming to compete with traditional cultures and social practices in shaping the policy agenda. Every chapter focuses to some extent on the relationship between gambling policy and the socio-cultural environment. the very character of modern gambling is being challenged. I have tried to bring a measure of coherence to the book by formulating guidelines to authors and questions directed to socio-cultural aspects of gambling development. Jan McMillen examines the various theoretical and empirical understandings of gambling by exploring the diverse and changing explanations of gambling in different countries.Gambling cultures 2 diversity of the modern gambling phenomenon and suggests lines of inquiry which could lead to still more fruitful research in the future. At the risk of over-simplification. The fundamental aim of the book is to set gambling in the wider context of development and to pose questions which fall within the general considerations of policymakers. The point is made that the varied and shifting national perspectives on gambling have reflected changing moral attitudes and specific political-economic contexts as much as the divergent and narrow disciplinary viewpoints of practising researchers. Despite these differences. but one theme which continually emerges is the importance of culture in gambling politics.

The next four chapters present case studies which give a more specific focus to some of the general cultural concerns raised in earlier chapters. exploring the implications of bringing informal and traditional aspects of gambling into the area of economic activity. this research shows that the players. Hardy’s populist portrayal of gambling is seen as a representation of the political struggle by society’s ‘battlers’ to challenge economic uncertainty and the authority of the powerful. In Chapter 9 Gabrielle Brenner and her colleagues discuss their studies of gambling behaviour in two African countries. arguing that bingo provided working-class women with valuable social interaction and stability when traditional social structures were being dismantled. and contends that by turning acts of spontaneous play into commercial transactions. In Chapter 10 Vicki Abt’s critical analysis of the rapid expansion of commercial gambling in the United States also considers the pressures which have prompted state governments to reverse their opposition to gambling. the new culture of gambling has diminished its social value. In her view. Issues common to these three studies include the ambiguous relation between public and private aspects of gambling. Cameroon and Senegal. one of Australia’s most notable writers and staunch defender of the working class. mostly young educated men. In Chapter 5. His research into regular players in New South Wales clubs seeks to identify the psycho-social factors which differentiate most players from those who develop a problem with their gambling. sometimes reinforcing existing patterns and in others changing them.Introduction 3 enforcement agencies to deal with persistent illegal betting. This section of the book raises questions about the political-economic aspects of modern gambling practices. political struggles of the Church and other oppositional interests. where lotteries are a growing source of government revenue. cultural practices and social structure. By stressing the importance of cultural and non-material aspects of gambling. In various ways. and the significant and contradictory role of the state. James F. these chapters provide insights into the deeply entrenched popularity of gambling in different societies. highlighting the implications for traditional American social values. From a sociological perspective. While the state has legalised lotteries to alleviate its economic problems. highlighting the location of gambling in the structure and culture of contemporary society. they distinguish between gambling under capitalism and gambling in other socio-cultural systems.Smith examines the historical relationship between gambling and popular culture in the United States. are attracted by games that offer prizes big enough to allow them to better themselves economically. in Chapter 7 Rachael Dixey explores the positive contribution of bingo to the lives of working-class women in a British community. Chapter 8 presents a psychological explanation by Mark Dickerson of the appeal of machine gaming for players. national chauvinism and specific values within popular culture. Controls over gambling are applied selectively and unequally across society. the complexity of moral debates and the diversity of interests around gambling issues. The next three chapters illuminate the relationship between modern commercial gambling policies. Chapter 6 presents Peter Williams’s literary analysis of gambling as a consistent theme in the writings of Frank Hardy. Each chapter examines how commercial gambling and state policy can foster inequalities. The emphasis here is on different forms of gambling as distinct cultural practices. Dixey explains the popularity of bingo in the context of broad social changes which occurred in British cities in the 1960s. the emphasis on consumerism and immediate wealth in the promotion of commercialised gambling has eroded the culture of .

Chapter 15 examines these trends from a legal viewpoint. there are some obvious and important omissions from this collection. so that gambling is increasingly accepted as a mainstream leisure activity. David Miers’ analysis of the various regulatory regimes which have evolved to control gambling development compares the underlying principles and characteristics of national regulatory systems. However. identifying factors which can result in the erosion of those control objectives. Given the centrality of gambling to many Asian cultures and the emerging importance of Asia as a potential market. Although many of these concerns have been eased by changes in social values and the effects of government policy. changes to the character and capacity of regulatory regimes. To the extent that definitions of problem gambling reflect the existing socio-cultural situation. Within the general trend to globalisation and transnational investment by casino corporations. In Chapter 12 Michael Walker offers a critical perspective on the tendency in some countries to continue to see ‘excessive’ gambling by some individuals as a medical problem. In a different context. In Chapter 13 William Eadington discusses the social ambiguities and moral dilemmas which have been associated with the legalisation of gambling in various nations. Debates about the sociocultural status of gambling. The final group of chapters raises questions about the future directions of gambling policies from a variety of theoretical perspectives. some old problems persist and new ethical issues have emerged which continue to challenge policy-makers. Despite my best efforts. It is important to note that there have been significant changes to gambling developments and policies since these chapters were written. In Chapter 14. He makes the important point that a transformation of traditional forms of gambling often accompanies increasing commercialisation but does not necessarily lead to degeneration of the local or regional culture. most of the analyses originate from western industrialised (often predominantly Protestant) countries. the policy response is likely to represent and reinforce the views and interests of the more powerful groups. and the aggressive commercial pursuit of new gambling markets continue to reshape modern gambling at both national and global levels. Confucianism) and belief . Asia.Gambling cultures 4 play in gambling. Jan McMillen discusses the rapid expansion of legalised casinos around the world since the 1970s and considers the extent to which the basic culture and socio-political structure of each country conditions casino policies. Chapter 11 presents Sytze Kingma’s analysis of the historical relationship between legalised gambling and the cultural underpinnings of the Netherlands. for example. I was unable to locate anyone to write a suitable chapter on gambling in. this is a major gap in the overall picture of gambling culture and policies. In summary. and conflicts with the productive ethos which has generated the material benefits of American society. from a political perspective. A comparative analysis of the social and cultural implications of gambling policies in countries with different religious traditions (Islam. the book points to the merits of an interdisciplinary understanding of gambling in contemporary societies. Walker challenges the adoption of the medical model of gambling ‘addiction’ which has been institutionalised in the United States and often accepted by researchers in other nations. she examines the means at the disposal of destination countries to ensure that casinos contribute to national goals and are compatible with the local culture.



systems also would be illuminating. Nor is there much reference in this volume to the difference between gambling in countries which pursue a broadly socialist policy and those which do not. Apart from some state involvement in lotteries, in most of the countries discussed in the following chapters the private sector has been given a predominant role in gambling development. The studies offered here are only beginning to touch on the issues. In the field of gambling studies, as in any other, it will take time for a substantial body of knowledge and theoretical discourse to develop. This book represents one step in the attempt to analyse gambling in the light of different cultures and different theories. I hope the information and ideas raised here will serve as a stimulus to more coordinated and comprehensive explanations of gambling in the future.

History, concepts and theories
Jan McMillen

Gambling is one of the few social activities that occurs in nearly all cultures and in every period of time: in this respect it can be said to be virtually a universal phenomenon in human societies (Wykes 1964; France 1974). Chinese gambling, for example, can be traced back more than 4,000 years. Excavations at Ur (2000 BC), Crete (1800 BC), Egypt (1600 BC) and India (1000 BC) have unearthed dice and gaming boards; betting on horse-racing was common among the Hittites (4000 BC). Archaeological records show that for over 2,000 years many ancient Asian and Arabian societies have tossed tokens or coins to guide decisions; similar games were popular with the Greeks and Roman legions. Gaming was so popular with soldiers during the Crusades that in order to maintain discipline King Richard I forbade gambling among soldiers below the rank of knight. Governments and philanthropists long ago recognised the potential of popular gambling to generate extra revenues for public works. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, during the reigns of Queen Elizabeth and Queen Anne, state lotteries raised funds for London’s water supply, to pay the salaries of civil servants, and to finance the colonisation of America. In North America throughout the eighteenth century, lotteries were an accepted means of financing public projects such as bridges and roads, churches and universities. Despite its apparent universality, the concept of gambling has no intrinsic meaning; rather, its meaning always depends on the socio-historical context in which it occurs. The perception and experience of gambling vary significantly—in its history, its organisation and its meanings—according to different types of gambling, the various groups involved, and the particular society within which the gambling takes place. As it is understood in modern societies, gambling commonly refers to risk-taking activities which can be found in almost every aspect of social life, from personal relationships to international politics. In contemporary academic research, however, ‘objective’ criteria are used to distinguish gambling from other risk-taking social behaviours. The convention is to define gambling narrowly in terms of financial transactions—the staking of money, or an item of economic value, on the uncertain outcome of a future event. It is significant that this definition excludes both informal private gambling, where money is merely circulated among players without generating a profit, and investment in the stock market, where speculation is for long-term financial or commercial gain through industrial activity (Abt et al. 1985:37; Huizinga 1949:52–3). Although this narrowly economic definition has currency in twentieth-century capitalism, gambling has different components and meanings in other socio-historical contexts. In pre-capitalist societies, such as Bali, China, Africa and Australian Aboriginal communities, gambling traditionally has been

Understanding gambling


primarily for socially defined ends, often organised around religious or communal activities with little direct economic significance (Altman 1985; Geertz 1972; Maclean 1984). In capitalist societies, gambling activity increasingly takes place in circumstances which allow an individual, group or organisation to extract a profit from the transaction. Yet until recently gambling has been subjected to considerable intellectual and political disapproval with strong moral overtones. There has been a long history of British and European states submitting gambling to a variety of regulations under the guise of preventing exploitation, public nuisance controls and the eradication of ‘vice’ (Miers 1980; Wykes 1964). Even when public lotteries were used to fund popular and prestigious causes, such as the establishment of the British Museum and north American universities, inadequate government supervision and the discovery of frauds and widespread cheating frequently caused a public outcry which fostered an anti-gambling response by governments. Analytical definitions of gambling are particularly sensitive to such shifts in social conditions and ideologies of control. Periodic reformulations of the relation between gambling and society have been related to culturally and historically accepted definitions of what gambling is, influenced by fluctuating conceptions of morality which reflect prevailing social and political-economic conditions. Understandings of gambling are determined more by the perspectives and purposes of the analyst than by the inherent nature of the subject. All commentaries on gambling, even the most determinedly ‘objective’, proceed from a particular historically and socially determined point of view.

THEORETICAL AND HISTORICAL FOUNDATIONS A central theme of this chapter is that studies of gambling, while entrenched in specific disciplinary traditions, have reflected the more general historical development of social science theories and the sensitivity of theorists to contemporary social issues. Within the broad intellectual developments of the post-war period emerged what has come to be understood as ‘gambling studies’ (Caldwell et al. 1985; Campbell and Lowman 1989; Eadington 1976, 1982d, 1986b; Eadington and Cornelius 1991; Frey and Eadington 1984; McMillen 1985; Walker 1987). This encompasses a fragmented and diverse body of work which includes behavioural studies of gamblers, the investigation of ‘problem’ gambling, mathematical analysis of different forms of wagering, economic analysis of gambling patterns and studies of gambling policy and the law. Many of the assumptions underlying different explanations for gambling derive from the particular disciplinary or theoretical perspective of the researcher. Differences in approach and subject matter also stem from the divergent origins of national philosophies and the changing national-cultural contexts of gambling itself. Even so, it is possible to recognise structural correlates and common trends in scholarship related to the changing status of gambling in society. Whenever gambling is being analysed, fundamental questions are raised about the actual and potential relationship between gambling, the state and civil society, both in general and in particular nation states. In American gambling studies, for instance, analysis has shifted since the 1970s from a focus on the dysfunctional and immoral aspects of gambling which prevailed in the prohibition

Gambling cultures


climate of pre-war years (Devereux 1968a; Frey 1984; Rosecrance 1988a:12–52, 58–62; Skolnick 1978:3–34) to a more recent emphasis on economic and legal-administrative factors associated with the smooth operation of a newly legal industry (Aronson and Miller 1980; Eadington 1976, 1982b, 1990, 1991; Dombrink and Thompson 1986; Lehne 1986; Rose 1987; Rosecrance 1988a: 63–7; Skolnick 1978, 1979b; Weinstein and Deitch 1974). The British state has taken a less moralistic but more regulated approach to most forms of public gambling, and the British analytical preoccupation with political and legal processes has been reflected in contributions from public administration, criminology and the history of law (Dixon 1980a, 1983, 1984, 1989; Miers and Dixon 1979; Hood 1972, 1976:169–207; Miers 1980, 1981, 1984, 1985, 1987). In turn, prevailing assumptions and knowledge about gambling have had important implications for policy outcomes. Either directly or indirectly, public morality and the type of information available about gambling at any specific time have been important factors in the state’s policy approach. The ostensibly neutral data and explanations which have resulted from academic research and government reports have provided normative and often ethnocentric accounts which variously endorse or condemn particular gambling practices and their effects. The understanding of gambling produced by researchers has informed policy decisions about the further expansion of gambling facilities or the type of legislation or regulation that is required. This chapter will discuss the divergent and changing explanations of gambling, situating different types of gambling analysis within their particular historical-national contexts and underlying philosophies. It will argue that explanations of gambling have been dominated by normative and culturally specific theories of liberal social science. The liberal and individualistic assumptions of these theories pose conceptual and methodological problems which limit their capacity to explain the emergence and nature of modern commercial gambling. When social scientists have investigated gambling, the emphasis in most studies has been on the empirical observation of individual behaviour rather than a broader understanding of the changing gambling phenomenon. A core theme of this critique is that liberal theories fail to recognise that contemporary gambling is not governed primarily by the actions of individuals, but is conditioned by capitalist social relations and political-economic forces, of which individuals are an integral part. Moreover, with an analytical emphasis on individual behaviour and motivations, many analysts have defined gambling in terms of generalised, abstract concepts such as ‘rational behaviour’ and ‘leisure’. Such perspectives make a number of covert assumptions about common, defining characteristics of gambling which do not stand up to historical scrutiny of its diverse forms and locations. Legal gambling shows marked variations in its composition, when and how it is introduced, whose interests it furthers and in its effects. Although often presented in terms of increasing public ‘access’ to gambling, legalised gambling is as oppressive of some activities as it is liberating. The ‘freedom’ to gamble is not universal or evenly distributed. Discriminations are embedded in institutions and routinised in commercial activities and administrative procedures, so that a distinction between legal and illegal gambling is rendered normal. Similar criticisms can be made regarding the overgeneralised explanations of gambling. Even those analysts who do acknowledge the close relation between gambling, culture and the nation state frequently do not take into account the heterogeneous character of the state and the lack of socio-cultural homogeneity. Analysis of the nature

Understanding gambling


and extent of modern gambling in capitalism requires examination of the profoundly contingent and selective content of government policies and commercial activities. From this perspective, research questions about the post-war global expansion of legalised gambling should probe the complex social relations lying beneath the surface data of legal gambling, rather than, as in conventional sociology, concentrating on what gambling means for participants (Goffman 1967; Caldwell 1974, 1985a; Rosecrance 1985, 1987), or as in liberal economics and political science, being content to merely identify what contributions gambling has made to economic development or successful government (Alchin 1989; Cabot and Schuetz 1991; Eadington and Hattori 1976; Gruen 1976; Haig 1976; Hood 1972, 1976:169–207; Johnson 1976, 1985; Lehne 1986; Suits 1977, 1979). It will be argued that conventional theories of gambling have diverted attention from the fact that contemporary gambling, whether legal or illegal, is as much an expression of capital-state relations and political-legal decisions as of individual behaviour. Gambling receives much of its definition from the institutions of state (Parliament, political parties, agencies of administration and law enforcement) and capital (private gambling corporations, marketing agencies) through which it is organised, regulated and experienced. From the vast range of possible ways that gambling could be conducted, state activities give certain forms of gambling an official seal of approval, and suppress, marginalise and erode others. An understanding of the changes and growth of modern gambling therefore must consider the role of the state in determining what types of gambling are available. Furthermore, gambling has become an important component of modern leisure industries, run as a business for profit by both private and public enterprises. The individualism of many liberal approaches to gambling analysis diverts attention from the historically specific system of power in capitalist society which produces and reproduces gambling and structures behaviour in the interests of profit. In summary, this chapter raises theoretical and empirical issues concerning the relation between gambling practices, policies and theories in different socio-historical contexts. It will examine: 1 the growth of legal gambling as a specific socio-historical phenomenon, with specific attention to the historical diversity of practices and trends in gambling policies; 2 the diverse and changing range of theories which have been applied to gambling in its various manifestations. The chapter proposes that gambling is best explained by investigating the interaction between political, industrial and socio-cultural forms in contemporary capitalism. The discussion is divided into four sections. The first section opens with a critique of negative explanations of gambling which have frequently been made by psychologists, economists and sociologists. Many past and present theorists have perceived gambling in a pejorative sense as a psychological, social and moral problem. This section will consider debates over gambling and social order, particularly the sociological view of gambling as deviant behaviour. Such perspectives on gambling have been compatible with the prevailing policies of constraint and prohibition in the major theoretical nations (Britain, the United States). The second section will discuss the post-war theoretical shift to a more liberal view which attempts to explain the social persistence and political liberalisation of gambling.

Gambling cultures


The main focus will be to summarise and critically evaluate the most influential post-war contributions to a general theory of gambling. This discussion begins by examining the shift in the focus of gambling analysis from deviance to leisure within liberal social science in the United States, Britain and Australia. While acknowledging the contributions of these studies to gambling policy and understanding, it will be argued that analysis needs to depart from the sociological conventions of associating gambling primarily with the leisure experience of individuals, and of using the concept in a universal sense devoid of politics. The third section will centre on the relevance of the public choice explanation of gambling policy which has dominated US explanations for the post-war evolution of commercial casinos and lotteries. This raises theoretical and empirical issues of the complicated relation between the contemporary gambling industry and state regulation. Finally, the chapter will conclude by considering critical contributions from within radical criminology and the history of law which explore the ambivalent character of modern forces of gambling control, whether concerned with liberalisation or with regulation. Gambling studies from Britain, Canada and the United States have exposed the dialectical relationship between the state and the private sphere in the production of social order. Their insights into the interactions between politics, law and public morality reveal both the complexity and the ubiquity of legalised gambling.

GAMBLING AND SOCIETY: CONVENTIONAL VIEWS Many analysts share several core—but problematic—assumptions about relations between gambling and society. With few exceptions, post-war accounts of gambling have been retarded by three interrelated influences on the approach and subject matter of gambling analysis. First, conservative moral forces have exerted subtle but powerful influences over academic inquiry. Historical-theoretical assumptions about relations between morality and legality, work and leisure, production and consumption, politics and economics, the past and the present, have combined to produce a conservative approach to gambling analysis which tends to legitimate the prevailing state of affairs. Second, the post-war dominance of the positivist tradition which assumes the existence of value-free facts has produced an unreflective approach which is blind to the sociopolitical construction of gambling illegality and legality. Third, most theories and explanations of gambling behaviour have been produced in isolation from histories of gambling politics and social relations. Changes in gambling legalisation are viewed merely as unproblematic sign-posts along the road to modern gambling practices (Blakey and Kurland 1978; Cornell Law School 1977; Cornish 1978). Rarely has contemporary gambling been examined with the objective of providing an account of the sociohistorical specificity of policy development or an adequate general explanation of the growing commercialisation of the industry (Dessant 1976; Herman 1976:115). In the absence of a theoretically informed critique of such changes, the narrow focus of gambling studies restricts the extent to which they explain the phenomenon. Several interrelated criticisms may be made of conventional gambling studies. In general, they

5 assume an ahistorical or static conception of gambling which does not account for the dynamics of gambling structures and processes. it has accepted (usually without question) the structural and political-economic aspects of gambling. between capital and the state or between national and global dimensions. 3 implicitly or explicitly have seen gambling as a ‘problem’ of social control and administration. That is. 2 reflect liberal ideologies specific to the socio-historical development of capitalism. they pose the issue with three broad themes. 4 adopt an economistic stance which prescribes analytical separation of economic and political realms and a conception of culture as a reflection of the economic base. the family and public attitudes. the sociology of gambling has traditionally looked more broadly at the social functions of gambling. 6 adopt a positivistic approach to gambling research which apprehends the appearance of the social and political-economic relations in gambling as if they are natural. debates about the morality and legality of gambling often emphasise that it has potentially disruptive social tendencies. By and large. aggravated by the absence of an explicit comparative perspective of different political-cultural contexts. notably individualism and economic rationality. The negative view: gambling as a social problem Many studies to some extent or other have continued to endorse the negative assumptions and legal sanctions towards gambling which prevailed in most western countries in the pre-war period. where gambling has been widely accepted.Understanding gambling 11 1 treat gambling as a universal constant. a social activity analytically distinct from the realm of work and production. While the social administration approach takes the distributional and developmental aspects of gambling participation as its major concerns. this sort of interpretation concentrates on the functional and dysfunctional consequences of gambling in society. With an emphasis on social harmony. concentrating on the content of gambling behaviour. and 8 are unable to accommodate a dialectical conception of gambling relations—between competing classes. Changing conceptions of gambling have been linked to prevailing political and cultural norms and to disciplinary concerns for social order. 7 suffer from empirical ethnocentrism. without adequate differentiation between various forms or considering the variable moral and political forces underlying their construction. Conventional approaches to gambling analysis have constructed two distinct yet interrelated methodological tendencies—functionalism and positivism. . the role of gambling in reinforcing and enhancing social values and the ways that gambling has evolved or adapted to wider changes in the nature of other social institutions such as work. Social theories of gambling reach their most sophisticated form in the sociology of gambling behaviour and social administration. Even in Australia. This is most clearly manifest in the sociological conceptualisation of gambling as leisure. Most studies generally have either implicitly or explicitly entailed a functionalist perspective (Newman 1972:11).

Significantly. deviance and ‘normal’ behaviour.Gambling cultures 12 1 It is assumed that the primary determinant of gambling participation is individual choice. it is assumed to be. The genesis of the widespread condemnation of gambling is complex. 1976. Huizinga 1949). Bergler 1957. Peterson 1951). a social ‘problem’ which needs to be controlled (Dielman 1979. Lesieur and Custer 1984. sociological studies of gambling increased during the 1960s and 1970s in Britain and the United States when it appeared to thrive in defiance of legal prohibitions. Oldman 1978) and of society (Bloch 1957. it has been the strength of Protestantism in western capitalist societies (Weber 1976 [1904–5]. and of social science theories which considered gambling as destructive of the individual (Simmel 1920. This conception is reinforced by the a priori assumptions of economic studies which have perceived gambling as selfdefeating irrational behaviour leading to financial problems at a personal and social level (Rosett 1965. 3 Gambling and its consequences are examined within an implicit ethical framework which reflects prevailing legal definitions and discriminations. It is accepted as self-evident that state intervention to restrict certain forms of gambling is essential for the common good. Freud 1928. rest on common ideas of its possible harmful implications. This is aptly illustrated by sociological studies which present gambling as deviance or crime. but if one agency is more responsible than any other. The negative and pejorative way gambling is presented. so that patterns of legalised gambling have little to do with the social environment in which they occur. Halliday and Fuller 1974. Rosecrance 1988a:32–7. For example. Newman 1975). Lesieur 1984. Herman 1967. it demarcated a distinct object of knowledge—the gambler—thus separating the study of gambling from the workings and theory of social relations. that gambling is primarily an attempt by the gambler to make ‘easy money’ (Turner 1965) and thus is a denial of the work ethic and a threat to production. 2 Gambling can be distinguished from other forms of ‘playful’ or leisure activity in moral or ethical terms. Miers 1980). Rubner 1966. This approach derives from the notion. the conceptual distinction historically made between gambling and stock market speculation or insurance investment rests on normative perceptions of gambling as devoid of useful economic functions (Paton 1946). As sociology sought to establish itself as an independent and objective discipline. and acceptance of the state’s claim to authority and resources to determine the nature and extent of gambling in the community. Psychologists and psychiatrists have played a key role in arguing that a proportion of gamblers are unable to resist impulses to gamble and consequently compromise. Cowan 1974). A fundamental reason for this is the general perception that gambling is essentially an aspect of ‘play’ (Caillois 1961. The conceptual connection between social science. rationalisation and social control in contemporary policy has produced a ‘social engineering’ approach which conceptualises gambling in terms of predetermined notions of legality and illegality. widely held during the period of post-war industrial reconstruction. disrupt and damage personal. at least potentially. Lesieur and Puig 1987). Using aspects of ‘control . Underlying this view of gambling is an explicit endorsement of the liberal state as the proper mechanism of control. family and work relations (Dickerson 1984. Political and legal interpretations of gambling and its supposedly disruptive social effects have permeated the analysis of gambling at every level.

Dombrink 1981. In Britain. O’Hara 1988). with no agreement about either the nature or the extent of the problem (Rosecrance 1985b. prisoners) get out of gambling (Polsky 1971. McCall 1963). However. King 1969. at least implicitly. where unusually liberal laws have made a variety of gambling forms relatively respectable (McMillen and Eadington 1986. particularly in casinos (Albanese 1985. A great deal of American research in this field has attempted to discover what people in ‘deviant’ minority groups (the poor. Grichting 1986. In Australia. Particularly in the United States. Furthermore. ethnic communities. Despite . gambling therefore must be constrained. these studies exclude any consideration of the character of law. of politics or socio-economic relations. by explaining gambling by reference to the intrinsic characteristics of gamblers themselves. they have not considered that gambling may be beneficial to individuals and society in the same way. The answer initially was found in the fatalism and recklessness of these individuals and their socio-cultural predispositions. With the expansion of legalised gambling in the 1980s. these analytical ambiguities and policy discriminations have taken different cultural forms. Some psychologists and medical practitioners have drawn a direct association between crime and ‘pathological’ gambling which presents a further threat to public morality (Brown 1987. especially among the working class (Dixon 1989. In America. strong moral and legal condemnation of gambling has been exacerbated by the traditional involvement of criminals. Dombrink and Thompson 1986. Reuter 1983. however. 1984. the conceptual distinction between ‘social’ recreational gamblers and so-called ‘pathological’ or ‘compulsive’ gamblers is less certain. legal constraints have reflected a view that gaming is a more likely source of criminal activity and greater potential threat to public morality than betting. it has been less common for gambling to be conceptualised as deviant or criminal behaviour. Light 1977a. As a threat to the equilibrium of society. Chambliss 1978. Lesieur 1987. gambling studies have argued that gambling remains outside and in opposition to dominant values (Devereux 1968a. Rosecrance 1988a:58–63). In other nations. Because these analysts accepted without question the legal restrictions and moral condemnation of gambling. Reuter and Rubenstein 1981). Blaszczynski et al. 1977b. which have been overwhelmingly positive with important beneficial consequences for individuals and society. a structural link between gambling and socioeconomic conditions has been constructed through a variety of factors which indicate a decline in rational behaviour or moral standards—for instance. 1988a:106–21). the legal premise that gambling is a vice which if unconstrained has fundamentally harmful effects for society in general (Zola 1967 [1963]). Miers 1980). Even radical sociologists who suggested that gambling may be in some respects rational with socially beneficial effects for working-class groups accepted. the possible involvement of criminals and political corruption associated with gambling and the possible disruptive social effects of ‘excessive’ gambling and criminal infiltration remain central themes for analysis and policy. the erosion of positive social influences such as religion. such as the ‘culture of poverty’ or the institutional climate of prisons. Accepted definitions of legality also have meant that social science has stressed the criminal behaviour associated with illegal gambling. 1989).Understanding gambling 13 theory’ (Downes and Rock 1982). This negative psychologistic approach to gambling as deviance contrasts sharply with conventional interpretations of other leisure-related activities.

has been implicitly earmarked as the domain of political science. has had little impact on gambling studies.Gambling cultures 14 its legal status. Post-war economists agreed that gamblers are capable of making logical choices to improve their wealth and socio-economic position (Friedman and Savage 1946. opportunities for the ‘affluent worker’ (Goldthorpe et al. Long before. the ‘lofty subject’ of the state. With increased legalisation and respectability. Even so. 1969) to participate in organised gambling increased dramatically in several countries. or the nature of what . a problem of control and technical administration. Sociologists have usually dealt with issues such as the social content of gambling situations—ethnographic studies of gambling settings. gambling was no longer seen simply as a social pathology which would lead inevitably to moral decay and crime. society and the state. Gruen 1976). gambling is considered to be a marginal social phenomenon. however. Downes et al. Underlying this common negative perception of gambling is a particular view of the relationship between gambling. namely. state intervention conventionally is seen in the liberal sense as neutral and necessary to sustain the preconditions of social order and conformity—the central concerns being gamblers’ behaviour and the precise mode of regulation. Becker’s influential critique. Deviancy theory was notable for the insight that ‘deviance is not a quality of the act the person commits. 1976). Sociological studies tend to understate the central role of the state in the creation of gambling deviance and to view the state’s role in the definition of gambling behaviour as devoid of moral choice and political decision. From a functionalist perspective. By definition. which pointed sociology towards the problematic operation of control institutions and macro-structural analysis. the work of deviancy theorists is important for gambling analysis because it heralds the more critical concern for the aetiology of illegality and problems of the state which became the concern of radical criminology in the 1970s and of British gambling studies in the 1980s. As Matza suggests. some research showing that gambling participation is more typical of Veblen’s high-status ‘leisure class’. 1968b. the belief that the state provides the only viable or legitimate means for mediating between people and gambling operations. In the post-war period. others that gambling is primarily a working-class activity (Pryor 1976). for example. However. Veblen had suggested that members of affluent social groups in the nineteenth century were able to display their social superiority and wealth through conspicuous consumption of leisure activities such as gambling (Veblen 1953 [1899]). Economic explanations of gambling motivations have been inconsistent. but rather a consequence of the application by others of rules and sanctions’ (Becker 1963:5). Positive perspectives: gambling as leisure What can be called a liberal sociological analysis of gambling gained strength in the years following the Second World War. On this interpretation it would seem to follow that the concept of ‘the state’ which devised rules and sanctions would be at the core of the study of gambling. ‘unrelated to so seamy a matter as deviation’ (1969:143). presenting a more positive explanation of gambling as a legitimate leisure activity (Devereux 1968a. it began to be investigated both as an instrumental activity directed to an economic end (‘winning’ defined primarily in terms of economic success) and as an expressive social activity enjoyed as an end in itself (the intrinsic social and personal rewards of ‘playing the game’).

an issue only because of the debilitating nature of modern work. The most illuminating work within the post-war liberal sociology of gambling has been interactionist in its approach. While gambling provides a substitute for challenges removed from ordinary life. his analysis contains an implicit recognition that gambling contributes to the moral and political regulation of society by reaffirming conventional values. and juxtaposed to work and other activities with recognisable social obligations. stifles creativity (Parker 1976. courage and honesty. Zola 1967 [1963]). 1976:72–5). sociologists have suggested that gambling functions both as recuperative ‘adult play’ or as an escapist ‘safety valve’ from the burden of work (Herman 1967. he argued that gambling provides players with an opportunity to demonstrate strength of character and commitment to valued social codes such as risk-taking. Many studies have directed a psychologically orientated focus exclusively on the motivations and behaviours of individuals involved in the gambling process. and as an effective opportunity for self-realisation and creativity lacking in the workplace (Goffman 1967. as an integral element of working-class culture which seeks to overcome lack of success and security (Dennis et al. At one level Goffman ‘lifts gambling out of the moral abyss into which successive generations of commentators and reformers have consigned it and renders possible a consideration of its meaning which is freed from a priori associations of a negative kind’ (Downes et al. it is argued. sluts and perverts’ permitted the flourishing of sympathy with social ‘outsiders’ and hostility to social control (Becker 1968). Devereux 1968a). participation in gambling is regarded as an institutionalised leisure activity compensating for the dysfunctional and unfulfilling aspects of contemporary society. Drawing on a range of theoretical perspectives. is normal and thoroughly integrated with other practices and institutions of the society within which it occurs. although often distinguished from other legitimate leisure activities by its illegality and social stigma. 1976:17). which. From this view. From this broad view. concentrating on the immediate social relationships between individuals in the gambling context. gambling is enjoyed and participated in for its own sake. The traditional focus by the sociology of deviance on ‘nuts. Goldthorpe et al. it also is given an added civilising function as a beneficial agency of socialisation and social control. like leisure. Rather than deviant behaviour. the majority of studies have been mainly concerned with questions about who gambles and why they gamble in particular ways (Scimecca 1971). Even where gambling is considered as being apart from ‘normal’ behaviour. From this perspective. 1969). At the same time. Gambling. Herman 1976. Smith and Preston 1984). hence. as an outlet for gamblers to test chance and skill (Oldman 1974. The attraction of contemporary gambling and the commitment of regular gamblers . as ‘deviant adaptations’ to anomie (Martinez 1983) or to alienation (Downes et al. The major theoretical contribution of sociological studies has been a more positive conception of gambling incorporated into the realm of leisure. interactionist studies have considered the possibility of positive consequences and meanings of gambling from the player’s viewpoint. Leisure activities such as gambling are considered to be an essential component in the maintenance and equilibrium of the social structure. The central theoretical formulation which has provided the sociological basis for a more positive perspective on gambling was developed by Erving Goffman (1967). Bloch 1957. gambling.Understanding gambling 15 they term ‘gambling careers’. Campbell 1976). is defined in terms of ‘play’ or ‘free time’. 1956.

gambling has been seen as a positive force. McMillen 1986a. McMillen and Lafferty 1991. Rosecrance 1985a. 1985:207. not least because Australian gambling has been characterised by an unusually high level of government involvement (McMillen and Eadington 1986. the pervasiveness of popular gambling in Australia is celebrated as an important part of the national culture. 1986a. For many. 1986b.d. Clear sociological evidence for a positive social effect of gambling is still lacking (Abt et al. More significantly. Rosecrance 1988b. Few western societies have legalised gambling to the extent that it has been in Australia. Woung 1980). in Australia gambling has been tolerated as an ‘instinct’ and a ‘natural propensity of workers’. Australian gambling policies have taken particular directions which reveal interesting comparisons with gambling policies in other nations. and persistent claims by psychologists and medical practitioners of its supposedly endemic dysfunctional tendencies have not made it any more convincing as a legitimate social activity. Charlton 1987). The state rhetoric which has legitimated the high level of legal gambling in Australia has been in keeping with prevailing views on morality and emphasised the state’s paramount concern for social priorities. Hayano 1982. 1987–88. While Australian governments have legalised . Lynch 1990. where the fear of individual excess and threats to public order had prompted severe restrictions on most forms of gambling. Rosecrance 1987:157). 1986b. In marked contrast to the US and British experience. 1988. But even among liberal sociologists in the United States. 1991). rather than simply as vice or crime. Hardy 1958. Compared to pre-war attitudes and prohibitions. Inglis 1985. 1987. These studies have examined the subcultural careers of professional gamblers whose disciplined and calculated approach embodies conventional cultural norms of economic gain and the development of specialised skills (Hayano 1984. 1986c. The cultural acceptance of gambling has emerged within a constantly changing political-legal framework which is the product of heated debates and conflicts over the specific nature of gambling policies.Gambling cultures 16 even in the face of consistent losses have been explained predominantly in terms of the rewards gained from social interaction and group association (D’Angelo 1985. In Australia. Caldwell 1974. education and recreation (Capling and Galligan 1992:20–69. Thorp 1962. no doubt it is. Herman 1967. in much the same way as the state assumed responsibility for protecting other valued aspects of social life such as health. Martinez 1983. gambling has relatively low prestige. 1988a:53–87). 1993. The characteristics of Australian gambling are such that many social scientists and popular commentators have claimed that Australia has developed a distinctive gambling culture (Ward 1958. O’Hara n. the legalisation of gambling and its administration by government agencies have meant it has been widely accepted as a legitimate activity from an early period.1 This cultural attitude to gambling as the ‘right’ of every citizen has been reflected directly and indirectly in public and official statements since the nineteenth century. Relatively few studies have recognised that for some players gambling constitutes work. What has not been so well recognised is that gambling is also an essentially political issue. 1990. seems to be a triumph of liberalism and humanity. reflecting the egalitarianism and hope of Australian society (Caldwell 1974. Unlike Britain and the United States. the post-war understanding of gambling as ‘leisure’. Painter 1990. Encel 1970:55–66). O’Hara 1988. O’Hara 1988).

In a landmark analysis of the gambling industry in the United States. In a theoretical break with the ‘sociology of the gambler’. They propose that while the new gambling policy is the outcome of a changing but ubiquitous cultural consensus. paralleled by complex social and economic changes which ultimately benefit powerful business interests and the state. They argue that the erosion of cultural norms that had prohibited gambling permitted this form of entertainment to enter mainstream America. law and socio-cultural change than earlier gambling analyses. Gambling in its various forms has become a highly organised and business-like enterprise. Historically.Understanding gambling 17 popular gambling to an unusual extent. analyses of Australian gambling which have celebrated and romanticised gambling as a ‘national pastime’ have avoided a close and critical examination of the historical links between gambling and powerful economic groups. Whereas previous studies had shown that in its material causes and in the values it evoked. escape—have been changed into yet another set of rote behaviours that serve institutional purposes rather than social needs (Abt et al. safe risk. the revenue imperative. A recent interdisciplinary extension of the positive approach to gambling analysis has explored the link between changing public attitudes and the commercial and political processes generating policy change. In their view. as it became clear that economic and state resources and opportunities were limited. Yet too often. By exploring the historical connection between the development of commercial gambling. but it repeats many of the functionalist assumptions common to liberal gambling studies. this study is more alive to an interpretation of politics. 1985:202). political institutions and the nature of capitalist society in general (McMillen 1993). For example. have made an important contribution to the understanding of contemporary gambling as a profitable and legitimate business which has an intimate and compatible relationship with American society and core institutions. they retain the culturalist notion of gambling as a leisure activity which mirrors and reinforces core social values. Abt et al. This analysis has asked important questions about the objectives and effects of the growth of the gambling industry. and undoubtedly benefit from the revenues which are generated. individualistic picture of the ‘irrational’ or ‘immoral’ gambler. (1985) have comprehensively traced the development of legal gambling into a powerful socio-economic force which has profound implications for the values and institutions of contemporary American society as well as important practical policy consequences. has rapidly transformed gambling and its social meanings. they reveal the social and moral ambiguities about gambling which persist in contemporary American society. The successes of capitalism paradoxically erode the traditional impulses which created them: ‘Gambling thus . The very qualities that gave gambling a unique social value—excitement. they also have been concerned with the social disorder associated with illegal gambling. have operated with a more holistic notion of the aetiology of gambling than the conventional. cultural values and institutional conflicts. the impetus occurred at a time of general cultural re-evaluation. the irony is that the mechanism responsible for this change. the focus of commercial competition and policy disputes. Abt et al. They show that the legalisation of commercial gambling in America has been a contested process. Abt et al. prevention of criminal exploitation and the use of gambling revenues for welfare services. these new values threaten social stability. gambling relates to issues central to social order.

Others have attempted to integrate empirical knowledge about gambling with middlerange theories to investigate how its very nature and development are influenced by social and environmental factors. 1985:217). the picture presented is one of rational negotiation and fundamental harmony. Like American deviancy theorists. As part of the expansion of legalised gambling in the 1970s. orderly and integrated society. Abt et al. Commission of the Review of the National Policy toward Gambling 1976 [Morin Commission]. of self-denial and capital accumulation. has been replaced by an ideology of hedonistic consumerism’ (Abt et al. in Britain and the United States an increasing number of large empirical studies of current gambling practices and institutions began to inform gambling policy (Campbell 1976. The research reorientation to large-scale empirical studies of gambling patterns was a product of changing political and social conditions in Britain and the United States in the 1970s. In this they share liberal assumptions which have characterised American and British social science. in order to compete with other enterprises and to attract gamblers they must provide a high standard of integrity and service. they are sceptical of the capacity for the state to act in an impartial and altruistic way in gambling administration: ‘government is an interested party—both because of its extraordinary claim on gambling revenues and because it directly operates lotteries and off-track betting’ (Abt et al. Thus the profit motive is seen to be an adequate mechanism to constrain commercial excesses. and consequently their influence over the nature of contemporary gambling. investigating whether legalised gambling has had harmful effects on society.Gambling cultures 18 exemplifies a reversal of American values: the ethic of saving. 1985:22). active role of governments in American gambling administration. expressing the interests of American commerce. particularly the proliferation of state lotteries which began to appear in the United States in the late 1970s (Abt et al. Whatever commercial ambitions individual gambling proprietors may have. their conceptualisation of the state is narrowly defined as the institutional mediator of competing demands and market forces. Kallick-Kaufman 1979. responsible for sustaining the preconditions of a more crime-free. academic . Tec 1965. Royal Commission on Gambling 1978 [Rothschild Report]. They view with concern the increasingly central. Their view is that contemporary gambling will operate most effectively through a market economy and a pluralist polity. the critical thrust is directed towards the role of the state in gambling policy. As gambling has become increasingly complex and differentiated. Downes et al. Positive perspectives: social administration A number of official studies also have extended the analysis of gambling beyond the cultural or psychological world of the gambler. support the view that state intervention is necessary to correct malign tendencies which may appear in gambling relations. 1976. With policy shifts from gambling suppression to increased legalisation. the state has a positive but limited role as guardian of public welfare. Heavily influenced by the American ideology of ‘free enterprise’ and a liberal suspicion of state intervention in the market. Significantly. However. Weinstein and Deitch 1974). Many of these studies are tinged with a liberal concern for the injustice of social inequalities. 1985:218). Within the market. most of these studies began to assert that gambling is related to features of the socio-economic structure within which it occurs.

Dowie 1975. persistent doubts about the prevailing philosophy of gambling prohibition. Rothschild Report 1978). functionalism. The sociological account of British gambling by Downes et al. The emergence and definition of gambling as a social problem was related primarily to the existence in society of opposing values of leisure and consumption. it was assumed that the primary motivation remained with the individual.2 These empirical studies have been dominated by the domain assumptions and methods of positivism. the social system itself is considered to be the main determining influence in gambling practice and institutions. The accelerated commercial promotion of betting and new post-war developments such as commercial casinos further boosted academic interest in gambling as a topic of inquiry. alienation. Many of these studies had a strong institutional base. Blascovich et al. work-centred leisure or homecentredness). is especially helpful in clarifying the methodological preoccupations which characterise the positivist approach. and were often made possible by state sponsorship or financial support to conduct research into the extent of gambling in the community. Underlying the institutional sponsorship of much of this gambling research was the state’s responsibility for crime control and the mitigation of dysfunctional features of the social structure through social and welfare policies. Rather. Kallick-Kaufman 1979. Downton 1969. Oldman 1974. such as sex. is to shed some light on empirical regularities in gambling participation. The state became involved in gambling research only after indications of the persistence. decision-making. on the one hand. 1976. 1976:42). workingclass culture. expressed procedurally in an emphasis on the importance of quantifiable concepts and propositions in theory and research. survey methods examine only those social variables which are associated with gambling. The most that such an approach can achieve. Scimecca 1971). status and class (Adler 1966. age. of a wide spectrum of illegal gambling. and work and production on the other (Downes et al. Downes et al. for example. Yet. The revised liberal approach to gambling research and the methods of positivist sociology were compatible with contemporary policies of gambling expansion.Understanding gambling 19 contributions increasingly were sought for policy formation. Questions of gambling provision and organisation were not considered. Numerous detailed and somewhat inconclusive studies have outlined gambling patterns in terms of the natural. There were. it does not provide an understanding of the historical origins of those regularities. recommended as the best means for systematically assembling hard data on gambling. This contrasts with surveys in the United States which have shown that ‘the factors that most . race. perhaps even of growth. have been seen to satisfy the disciplinary requirements of policy rationalisation and development in the field of gambling research. Survey methods. The tendency for the overwhelming majority of contemporary definitions to equate gambling with leisure also accounts for many of the analytical difficulties encountered by researchers. Downes and his colleagues tested a number of theoretical propositions about gambling (anomie. They reported that none of the theories alone could conclusively be substantiated as adequate explanations for participation in gambling. risk-taking. occupation. constitutional propensities of gamblers. however rigorous and thorough. in the search for quantifiable data. arbitrarily defined in terms of official definitions (Reuter 1979). Kaplan and Maher 1970. 1976. of directing public money at problems without demonstrable social gains (Morin Commission 1976.

Omission of the political and historical dimensions of gambling has produced a conception of gambling which postulates that it serves a sui generis function (leisure) for a society devoid of structural or cultural differences and conflicts. Though sufficient for some policy purposes. Contextual factors. positivist data on gambling can be conceived of as social products. without examining the vital questions of how these gambling relations have been produced and reproduced. They therefore underestimate the sources and nature of control over the gamblers and institutions they study. for example. the economic. the diversity of positivist studies of gambling reveals that there is no general agreement about the social . To this extent. social and ideological conditions of capitalist society constrain women’s gambling activities in ways that are significantly more restrictive than in the case of men. studies of women’s experience of gambling. Gambling also is funda-mentally subject to the direct effect of systems of legitimation and power. nor do they explicate the structural factors and power relationships which influence. physical. these are very superficial views of gambling. The focus on individuals. have shown how it is structured by their subordinate position in capitalist society (Summers 1975:69–77. Dixey 1984). Even when the same definition of gambling is shared between nations or across historical periods. avoids conceptions of power and structure. rather than objective facts. are rarely brought into the discussion. Inevitably. However. Social surveys and trend indicators are indispensable in social and policy analysis. Just as they do in so many other areas. Studies which insulate gambling from society and the state do not examine or explain why certain forms of gambling are more prevalent at certain times than others. the explanations which result provide no more than descriptive and normative accounts of the prevalence of gambling and its latent social ‘functions’. Many of these studies have provided some valuable and insightful knowledge which confirms that gambling does have integrating qualities. thus preventing a systematic examination of shifting relationships and broader historical processes which are major mechanisms of change. but with what is legally defined as legitimate or unacceptable behaviour. providing statistical information about the composition. This is not to say that the research agenda of positivism (and its many variants) is worthless or theoretically unimportant. They neglect to convey the dynamic and contested interdependence between gambling relations and the sociocultural context. the nature and direction of gambling development. Collectively. the research procedures which apply the formal definition may embody different operational definitions.Gambling cultures 20 consistently differentiate gamblers from non-gamblers are the degree of an individual’s exposure to gambling and the availability of that activity’ (Kallick-Kaufman 1979:24). The analytical importance of this lies in the fact that gambling. such as the emergence of transnational gambling corporations and the state’s varied and contradictory role in the transition of gambling from illegality to legality. Yet gambling is open to subtle forms of social constraint and determination which contradict this definition. is defined by state action and legislation which specify what is allowed and what is not. Although it has received little attention from researchers. and are influenced by. incidence and development of gambling patterns which is otherwise unavailable. in theoretical assumptions and in the neglect of collectivities. more than most other forms of leisure activities. the survey method confines itself to the measurement of gambling as it is found in contemporary capitalist society. Positivist studies of gambling are not concerned merely with universally agreed practices.

1986. 1987. how the interplay of socio-cultural interests have combined.d. Dixon 1984. historically and materially. cultural meanings and determinants of different forms of gambling have seldom been given serious consideration. or why questions of power. 1993). Such gambling studies on the whole have not reflected on the historical course of gambling development. it is necessary to look at other contributions from the 1980s which offer systematic critiques of the nature and practice of modern gambling. 1989. within a functionalist framework. In summary. but it cannot. Researchers do not ask. The positivist approach has provided valuable data on. many historians also make primary reference to interrelations between leisure and the social system. McKibbin 1979. But it does so ahistorically and within a theoretical context which accepts the status quo and discourages development of a radical critique. Social historians have pointed to the tendency of gambling to periodisation (Bolen 1976. to produce discri-mination. social differences in gambling participation or in gambling facilities. for example. Questions of why so much gambling is now organised on commercial principles or why traditional gambling cultures are being colonised by a global gambling culture are conspicuously absent. relinquishing explanation of the degree of complementarity or tensions between issues of popular culture and collective agency on the one hand. In seeking to explain these periodic shifts in gambling. Before turning to these. What follows is a . profit and government capacity in gambling are (or are not) seen as social issues. Hill 1987. makes certain theoretical statements about the social as opposed to the purely psychological aspects of gambling. McMillen 1991. however. or its likely future direction. 1985:35–113) and in the historical forces which are particular to their development. provide adequate explanations of the creation and sustaining of such differences. Although games differ in their structural characteristics and their relevance for players (Abt et al. and issues of social structure and conditioning specific to the social formation on the other. its contemporary structural and ideological character. These issues form the basis for theoretical developments which are beginning to emerge from a more interdisciplinary and critical framework. conventional explanations of gambling have been restricted by analytical models which focus on gamblers rather than on gambling as a specific socially determined phenomenon. Chafetz 1960. Accounts from several countries suggest that the nature. for instance. sexism and racism in gambling. with cyclical alternation between waves of extended gambling and phases of repression or social reform. Lemon 1972. Theoretical barriers inhibit a holistic account of the broad interrelations involved in gambling developments such as the recent incorporation of legalised commercial casinos into mass tourism (Eadington 1982c. many place a functionalist emphasis on the conditioning of internalisable norms and values. because of its atheoretical and static methodalogy. O’Hara n. Like sociologists. Vamplew 1976). Very few of these studies have recognised that legal gambling is organised along business lines with organisational characteristics and commercial objectives similar to other industries. Conventional sociology. McCoy 1980. Most ignore the fact that gambling is commercially stimulated by public and private enterprises to the extent that it has become a major transnational industry operating within a complex system of nation states and cultural globalisation.Understanding gambling 21 constitution of gambling. extent and intensity of gambling in any society fluctuate. the more precise structural qualities.

McMillen 1987. Cabot and Schuetz 1991. As gambling acquired legitimacy and new forms were legalised.Gambling cultures 22 brief outline of the development of the theory and practice of liberal policy studies and radical critiques of contemporary gambling in America and Britain. Suits 1977. Canada and the United States. It is significant that in Britain. 1979). The dramatic reversal of anti-gambling policies in these and other nations coincided with changing conceptions of gambling and renewed interest in its regulatory and administrative aspects. 1985:211–22. 1993. political and economic insights in their particular interpretations of gambling law. Analysis of gambling administration and the history of law have moved away from the positivistic approach and taken explanations of gambling relations considerably further. Rose 1986) and to the administration of gambling institutions and control agencies (Abt et al. 1989). The general trend towards legalisation and commercialisation of gambling encouraged research from a range of new theoretical perspectives. Thus economists often view government influence over gambling as a ‘public good’ with government as the market for supply and demand (Self 1989:92). Political scientists focus primarily on the institutions and processes of government policy-making. Theoretical interpretations shifted to a wider ‘macro’ focus on policy issues related to revenue collection (Abt et al. Rubner 1966. 1989. different levels of governments. Gambling and policy analysis By the 1970s gambling was at the crossroads in many capitalist nations. Miers and Dixon make considerable use of social. there was a shift in the nature of state regulation. Weinstein and Deitch 1974). while legal analysts concentrate on the making and interpretation of gambling laws and the respective powers of government vis-à-vis citizens or. political and economic theories which have emerged about contemporary legalised gambling. . particularly with regard to the role of the state. 1990. Lehne 1986. This period was most notable for the emergence of gaming (lotteries. Hood 1976:169–207. casinos) as a major force exerting political and cultural influences over economic policy (Eadington 1982a. Yet as analysts have moved from concepts like deviance and leisure. in federations. their concern is with predicting and measuring the allocation of costs and benefits. Different methodologies conceal these similarities. The rapid expansion of legalised commercial gambling in countries where it previously had been prohibited raised questions about policy and strategies of social regulation. Ransom 1991. Eadington 1984. the dominance of deviancy studies and positivism in gambling research was challenged from two quarters: economic and policy analysis in the United States and a more critical analysis of gambling law and the state in Britain and Canada. By the late 1970s and 1980s. In Britain. 1983. Miers 1981. 1985:223–56. Newman 1972. Skolnick 1978. placed in their social and economic context. public lotteries were legalised for the first time since the nineteenth century and casinos acquired greater commercial importance and public respectability under new regulatory regimes. In Britain. Kozlowski 1985. to gambling law (Rose 1979–80. some analytical problems are solved but others are created. Canada and the United States the boundaries between these different disciplines have become blurred as analysts have moved into one another’s traditional domains. There are important linkages which exist between legal.

from the viewpoint of government and public opinion. In particular. 1980b. this approach is wedded to notions of consumer choice. Cornish 1978:213–28. public choice theory has been increasingly influential in the analysis of institutions involved in US casino policy. At one (mainly British and Canadian) extreme. gambling (and particularly the casino industry) continued to be seen primarily as a serious problem of crime and control (Campbell 1987. In the United States. because resource allocation is best left to the operation of ‘free’ market mechanisms. there has been a resurgence of studies which are both political and economic in character. the most recent trend within gambling studies in the United States has been to depict gambling as a ‘democratised’ institution. 1982. competition between gambling providers and a limited role for government. albeit one subject to an unusual degree of state regulation. Young 1988). The expansion of legal casinos in the United States during the 1970s was described as ‘the legalisation of deviance’ (Skolnick 1978:24–34). a systematic interventionist state role is seen as necessary to rectify the various inefficiencies and injustices of pure market systems. Public choice analysis The public choice perspective which predominantly informs explanations of US casinos as a particular form of contemporary gambling closely reflects the political ideology of liberalism and economic growth behind the setting up of the casino industry. Gambling studies which emerged and flourished in the United States during the 1980s have been dominated by the study of commercial policies and practices. and competing value judgements in their normative conclusions about the direction and effects of gambling policy. 1987. Eadington 1982a). However. 1984. Miers 1980. reflecting a conventional interpretation of the historical control of American casino gambling by ‘organised criminals’. during the 1970s commercial investment by respectable publicly traded corporations gave casinos a legitimacy lacking in other forms of gambling (Eadington and Hattori 1976. a changing view recognised by social scientists who began to analyse casino gambling as an expanding new industry. 1987. While there are variants on this approach. it is assumed that state intervention should be minor. Dixon 1980a. interest-group . 1991).Understanding gambling 23 Similar interdisciplinarity also has enriched the recent contributions of Canadian criminologists.3 As with other developments in social science. with the expansion of commercial casinos and state lotteries in the late 1970s. 1985. in the United States. the context was set for the growth of economic and policy analysis which attempt to identify and respond to the problems and demands of the market. These theories also embody significant. 1983. the priority of economic and policy studies in the United States and the versatility of state-centred critical criminology in Britain and Canada in the 1980s are as much a product of different social and political conditions in these countries as they are of separate intellectual traditions (Garland 1985:59–66. By contrast. At the other (predominantly American) extreme. an important product of the ‘post-industrial’ era of mass consumption which has required the intervention of state bureaucracies in the interests of rationalisation and consumer choice. Taking its inspiration from neo-classical models of competitive markets. In Britain and Canada. The earliest studies of American casinos explained casino development in terms of the deviancy model. Campbell and Ponting 1984.

The trend to laissez-faire developments in Nevada. Some analysts have been more concerned with the normative implications of constitutional conditions without which market exchange would not work. Research questions are typically posed in terms such as the effects of legalisation on gambling patterns. Rose 1986b. factors determining casino location. the problems to which most American casino studies have addressed themselves are usually connected with the functioning or malfunctioning of economic and regulatory policies. 1985:191–210).Gambling cultures 24 politics. price competition and responses to market forces (Johnson 1976. Economic studies premised on the centrality of markets and consumer sovereignty have emphasised issues of profit maximisation. Informed by a philosophical acceptance of market liberalism and the methodology and axioms of economics. 1985). some analyses also include more imprecise comments on the socio-cultural effects of casino gambling (Abt et al. reflects the concern of economists and policy-makers about the distorting effects of government regulation on the market and on governments themselves. focusing on the issue of challenges to individual rights (Rose 1987. self-interested state response to upward trends in public expenditure. including the use of federal powers to provide public goods such as protection against organised crime and state guarantees of autonomy for American Indians (Cohen 1993. what share of American gambling revenues should return to the state. Shonkwiler 1993). From a similar perspective. for example. The preference of US analysts for this view has been a major influence in the formulation and direction of casino policy. 1991. Other contributions have been within a public law framework. decision-making and change. 1986). and what proportion of this should be spent on the local community as opposed to the whole jurisdiction. The more interventionist regulatory regime in New Jersey is explained as a rational response by government to avoid the worse prospect of federal intervention to . specialist industry publications and business analysts apply marketing and management theories to the expanding and increasingly competitive American gambling industry (Eadington and Cornelius 1991b. Thompson and Dombrink 1989) and constitutional tensions related to Indian gaming (Eadington 1990). government-business relations. Compelled by pluralist politics to respond to pressure groups with costly spending programmes. particularly in terms of technical issues such as tourist flow predictions. Gaming and Wagering Business. Macomber 1984). policy-making and state organisations than other approaches to gambling analysis. Lowenhar et al. and regional impacts of casino expenditures (Ebel 1990. Similarly. attempts to decriminalise illegal gambling (Dombrink and Thompson 1986. Ransom 1991). The expansion of legal gambling is seen primarily as a rational. Other analysts have suggested that state intervention has been the source of regulatory problems which have impeded commercial development (Cabot and Schuetz 1991. 1986c). governments have used gambling as a source of ‘invisible taxation’ both to secure an adequate revenue base and to obscure the pressures on public expenditures. public choice theory explains political decisions to expand legalised gambling and the dynamics of gambling policies in terms of state economic imperatives. This approach is distinguished by its policy orientation and also by its willingness to use insights from a range of disciplines in order to solve particular technical problems. A great deal of the American literature on the contribution of casinos to economic development is devoted to narrowly defined cost-benefit analyses. Research demonstrates more concern for empirical detail of management strategies.

creating an organic link between state policy and the study of that policy. he is very much alive to the social and symbolic as well as the instrumental aspects of casino policies. social and economic force within a region. The emphasis is on state decentralisation to avoid excessive concentration of power. Eadington’s analysis is built on an implicit advocacy of commercialisation. For example. regulatory objectives). Lehne is one of the growing number of American analysts who recognise that problems can occur with a shift in political and economic power when casinos become a major political. One important contribution from Lehne’s research has been a more grounded understanding of the internal workings of the state’s institutions for gambling policy and legislative change. 1982b. In this regard. In Eadington’s view.Eadington. moral and urban deterioration and ‘pathological’ gambling. management strategies. William R. he shows that the casino policy process is shaped less by considerations of electoral representation and public demand than by the different . Because adverse community impacts have the capacity to undermine the principles of social justice as well as to erode economic benefits. Focusing on the composition and practices of casino regulatory agencies. More significantly. The contribution of American casino policy studies. scholars have played distinct roles in the actual creation and implementation of policy itself.Understanding gambling 25 ensure honest operations. it involves a limited conception of state functions as the restriction of corporate misconduct and the bolstering of public morality. Like those of many of his American contemporaries. is important both for a proper understanding of the expansive nature of commercial casinos and because it marks a notable generation of interest in gambling from the perspective of mainstream American political and economic thought. 1987–88. and on individual rights and constitutional rules to control and limit the use of government power. 1989). However. in that he is concerned primarily with both the processes and the content of casino policies (Lehne 1986). Lehne is concerned with the broader significance of the interdependent relationship between casinos and state agencies for power relations and policy implementation. More than this. reflecting the pro-market philosophy of Nevada’s laissez-faire approach to casino development. Lehne’s analysis of New Jersey casino developments can be seen as an important advance within casino analysis. especially that of the foremost and most prolific exponent. the potential for such problems justifies the exercise of a limited degree of coercion by the state. The development of gambling research centres in Nevada universities following the expansion of the casino industry during the 1960s and 1970s is a clear reflection of the symbiotic relationship between academic study and casino development and policy. In a number of areas (casino development.4 He attempts a detailed evaluation of the specific institutional arrangements and organisational dynamics of New Jersey’s control agencies as they attempt to balance competing public concerns with the drive for economic development. he is sensitive to the varied effects that different social and political circumstances can have on casino policies as well as the potential social costs of casino developments in terms of crime. casinos and the regulatory agencies of the state are interconnected realms which cannot be considered in isolation from a broader analysis of the social context. It therefore is firmly located within the notions of liberalism and capitalism which dominate American society. Eadington investigates the legitimation and dramatic growth of the American casino industry and identifies the historical factors underlying the patterns of casino development which have emerged (Eadington 1982a.

and regional differences in gambling patterns are all important in building up a picture of the characteristics of gambling under capitalism.) operate with a more ethical notion of the emergence of the casino industry than the standard view of the abstract rational economic actor in American social science. this research reveals a network of economic and socio-cultural processes interplaying with political choice. but only in so far as it remains unobtrusive and does not extend into the activities of individuals or the commercial activities of the casino corporations themselves. In general. But for all its liberal and capitalist assumptions. Such tensions span more than economics and politics to involve other aspects of social relations. the different utilisation of gambling facilities and state resources by different social groups. and if this involves the subordination or the incorporation of citizens and their cultural practices. Abt et al. rather than as a complex historical product which itself requires examination. and to secure popular allegiance. US proponents of the public choice approach to gambling policy take the liberal view that state intervention is accepted as compatible and necessary to a competitive market economy. most of this research suffers from a common deficiency: despite the . Because they remain within the liberal perspective. the liberal public policy approach has helped explain the relationship between gambling. and therefore not modifiable. Information concerning historical differences in gambling policies and practices. The political effects of such thinking are to express both the typical viewpoint of American social science and the dominance of economic forces. There are other important questions of conceptualisation to be reconsidered. they have not developed the categories for a critical account of private ownership or of capital-state relations or of the variable socially determined uses to which casinos are put. In public choice studies. the state and social and legal order which was ignored by most analysts for decades. while there is increased awareness of the dissensus and instabilities in gambling policies and the extended role of the state in seeking to deal with social turbulence. Lehne. While sociology and the positivist school have contributed towards an understanding of patterns of gambling behaviour. The question thus becomes what are the most technically efficient ways in which the state can deal with the high social and crime risks of gambling activity? Questions are not asked of how the state balances the often contradictory requirements for public welfare and capital accumulation. The specific commercial form of casino gambling is represented as natural.Gambling cultures 26 conceptions of rationality and public interest held by commercial and government organisations themselves. Irrespective of the particular disciplinary position taken. In summary. public choice analysis merely confirms the apparent necessity of existing social relations. Through an understanding of institutional processes it can contribute to the development of a more critical understanding of commercial gambling and social welfare. the large commercial casinos which have been introduced to Nevada and Atlantic City are taken as an adequate analytical starting point. Some of its advocates (Eadington. state intervention in casino development is advocated in limited terms as the necessary precondition for safeguarding the core of the ‘free-enterprise’ system and the rights of property. In the absence of historical theoretical categories and a systematic methodology which explores beneath the surface data of state-endorsed commercialisation.

A small number of Canadian and US criminologists have attempted to distinguish between different facets of state activity. Criminology and the history of law A recent strand in the explanations of legalised gambling is the appearance of a critical analysis of gambling which explicitly recognises the complexity of its political-legal aspects. Similar developments have occurred in Canada and the United States with the advance of critical criminology. Campbell and Ponting 1984. Since the 1970s. such as tensions between the state’s general functions in preserving social order and creating the necessary conditions for accumulation and the specific use of state power to promote particular social and economic interests (Campbell 1987. Cressey 1969. this theoretical reorientation sensitised criminologists to the analytical neglect of relationships of state agencies with socio-economic interests and of crimes of ‘the powerful’ more generally (Box 1983). despite the long history of anti-gambling moralism. Importantly. Dombrink. Osborne and Campbell 1988. As Lehne’s study shows. Reuter and Rubenstein 1978. the increasing involvement in gambling of large. often operating through government bureaucracies.Understanding gambling 27 contemporary concern for the processes and practices. for example. 1979b). has turned private interests into policy objectives. functions and outcomes of stateregulated gambling systems. Many commentators with social democratic ideals opposed the institutional links of establishment social science with the repressive strategies of the Home Office. This issue became crucial as more and more Canadian provinces and American states legalised gambling. In Britain as in the United States. or how or where it is directed. Chambliss 1976. drawing on O’Connor’s . But policy studies have confined their investigations to identifying possible organisational obstructions to the achievement of possible policy outcomes. forcing overt recognition of the increasingly interventionist role of the state in sustaining social order. the political emphasis on social control went hand-in-hand with support for positivist social science to differentiate problems for gambling policy. the study of gaming law in Britain has been transformed within the realist tradition to examine the gap between legal theory and practice. transnational corporations. Skolnick 1978. Kornblum 1976. In neither case is there critical confrontation of the power behind the state machinery. Yet the law. for example. as the branch of the state which openly specialises in the social control of organised gambling. Dombrink 1981. These theoretical explanations of gambling policies returned to the criminology agenda during the 1970s when crime and law and order were important public issues. while sociologists and economists have concentrated mainly on revealing those outcomes. precipitating a decade of theoretical and political controversies about state-defined conceptions of crime (Young 1988). confidence in old liberal notions of self-adjusting social equilibrium was dwindling with the growing involvement of the state in facilitating economic development and controlling disorder. unabashedly claims its right to make political and economic as well as moral judgements. Of particular note has been the emergence of challenging and sophisticated explanations for gambling policy drawing upon substantive developments in criminology and legal history. In Britain. 1979a. there is little consideration of the political or ideological implications of state involvement in what is essentially a profitable economic enterprise.

Gambling cultures


understanding of the varied and often contradictory functions of the state (O’Connor 1973), suggests that legalisation of gambling has appealed to American authorities for several reasons. The primary attraction is that gambling provides significant tax revenues which have helped to ease the worsening fiscal crisis of the state. However, the state also acts to facilitate the accumulation of wealth by private sector interests in the gambling industry. The state’s role in legalising gambling legitimates the ‘free enterprise’ system to those who are not its prime beneficiaries, and thus helps to maintain the conditions necessary for social harmony. To the extent to which gambling contributes to these fundamental functions of the state (revenue allocation, accumulation and legitimation), it will appeal to policy-makers who may resist attempts by the anti-gambling lobby and regulatory agencies to restrict legalised gambling. These studies also make the important point that governments are constrained and complex forums for competing ideas, rather than the autonomous and single-minded organisations assumed from a paradigm of economics and public choice. They stress the importance of structural and local cultural factors to show how the power politics of casino development have been played out within a distinctive socio-cultural framework and how the limited institutional powers and contradictory economic choices available to the state have defined and restricted policy options. This emphasis on the way competing values, interests and resources are shaped by structural arrangements can be seen as giving a more complete understanding of the complexity and unpredictability of the gambling policy process. Significantly, there also emerged in Britain in the 1980s a conception of gambling, social order and control which is more alive to a critical interpretation than most American policy studies. These studies developed out of debates within criminology and the history of law which have altered the tone and conceptual structure of gambling analysis by examining in detail the structures, ideologies and interrelationships between the public and private. The British socio-political climate is more sympathetic to theoretical critique than America, producing a critical legal history which offers an alternative competing paradigm critical of the endemic problems of gambling policies. In British gambling studies, the illuminating historical works of Dixon and Miers have developed a theoretically informed analysis of the often contradictory aspects of the state and law. Dixon’s analysis of the 1906 Street Betting Act starts from the recognition that crime is a major problem precisely for the most vulnerable sections of the population (Dixon 1984, 1989). He reveals the ambiguous role of police who are obliged to enforce unpopular and unenforceable anti-gambling laws, showing how these ‘instruments’ of state authority in fact became critical agents for the liberalisation of betting policies. In a more contemporary vein, Miers’s evaluation of the rationale, actions and effectiveness of the British Gaming Board has examined the particular character of British casino law and regulations, identifying the political and legal problems associated with attempts to impose strict regulations on an industry which had operated on the fringe of the law for decades (Miers 1980, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987). British insights into the origins, ambiguities and limitations of state authority have been extended by Canadian criminologists such as Campbell and Ponting (1984), who have investigated the historical tensions between federal and provincial governments and the fragmentation and inconsistencies of Canadian gambling laws. Their study highlights the structural and

Understanding gambling


cultural limitations of the regional state when dealing with national and transnational political-economic forces. It is notable that these contributions signal a change of focus from the equation of gambling with individual behaviour to a broader conception of gambling which explains specific legal developments in the context of broader political-economic and sociocultural transformations. As previously explained, in early post-war sociological studies, gambling as a legal or illegal activity involved a model of the coercive and punitive role of the state. The deeper theoretical reorientation of radical criminological studies involves a quite different conception of the political-legal order which examines the total system of social relations subject to regulation. A further modification in the treatment of gambling embodies revision of an historical materialist perspective and methodology. Although analysis of specific law-making has long been been part of liberal gambling studies, this new historical approach to gambling analysis involves a critical examination of the dynamic relation between state actions and the transformation of economic and social relations. It is a recognition that the legal definition of gambling no longer merely constrains the under-classes but also creates and mobilises the ideological legitimation of the capitalist social order. A further feature of contemporary developments in the analysis of gambling is that it rises above the intellectual sectarianism which characterised earlier studies. In its formative years of development, the study of gambling exhibited a narrow, disciplinary exclusivity; each perspective, in seeking to establish its own field, held to a rigid boundary maintenance. For example, most American studies of gambling law, dominated by legal positivism, tend to ignore the contributions of other disciplinary fields. The work of Campbell, Dixon, Dombrink and Miers makes a positive contribution to debates about the relation between the gambling industry and the state by locating them within a broader interdisciplinary perspective. Included in their point of contact with sociology and political economy are the key contemporary issues of power and control, as embodied in the philosophical traditions of Marx and Weber. This trend thus signifies a ‘leftist’ shift which rejects liberal sociology (gambling as a reflection of society) and positivism (gambling as a reflection of neutral and rational law).

CONCLUSION The purpose of this chapter has been to outline and evaluate prevailing explanations for gambling in order to illustrate the diverse points of entry into an understanding of contemporary commercial gambling which have emerged. It has traced the impacts of national gambling practice and policy on theoretical development and revealed the analytical limitations of narrow disciplinary frameworks. In the process, it argues for the ability of gambling analysis to go beyond the limits of earlier theoretical foundations which explained gambling by the behaviour and attributes of gamblers. This chapter does not claim to represent a comprehensive survey of the field. As an introduction to gambling theory it necessarily concentrates on only the major themes and contributors. There also are significant empirical and theoretical gaps in gambling research which have not been addressed: gambling in modern Asian cultures has rarely been studied; and the theories of signification and power deriving from Barthes (1973

Gambling cultures


[1957]) and Foucault (1974 [1969], 1980), and the broad area of women’s studies provide fertile sources of further insight and stimulation. It is difficult to understand why gambling has attracted so little attention from cultural studies and feminist analysis which have made such important contributions to explanations of contemporary society since the 1980s. National and historical differences in the dominant mode of explanation of gambling can be understood partly through changes in theoretical emphasis in the social sciences themselves and partly as the result of national policies prescribing stages of gambling legalisation which set the moral and research agenda. Despite their potential importance for a contemporary understanding, sociologists and policy analysts interested in gambling have made little use of the frameworks and concepts provided by other disciplines and accounts in other countries. In each case, analysis has been contained within a localised framework in which attention has been concentrated on particular groups of gamblers and policies to the exclusion of more general, international processes. The dominant values in analysis tend to reflect the dominant values of that society. The pluralism of recent American casino studies stresses the rise of markets, the progressive dispersal of power, the rise of elites and the separation of ownership from state control, whereas British and Canadian critiques have stressed the accelerating concentration of economic and state power. There has been a recent convergence towards acknowledgment of the central role of capital and state in gambling development and of the significance of their interconnections with socio-cultural forces. Research has shown that the quality as well as the quantity of gambling is historically specific. The nature of gambling in pre-capitalist societies differs from gambling under a system of global capitalism. The shape of modern gambling not only reflects the nature of social relations in any society, but also powerfully determines new social and political outcomes. Without grappling with these central conceptual issues, many gambling studies remain entrapped, albeit un-intentionally, within a narrow liberal orientation which limits their concerns to descriptive analysis of the functioning of gamblers and gambling institutions. An understanding of contemporary gambling and its rapid global expansion requires different conceptual tools and a more explicitly political project.

1 See, for example, the Petition to the Queensland Legislative Assembly, 1 September, 1898; and the South Australian Report of the Commission on Betting (1933). 2 Although sharing a concern for social and welfare policies, it is worth noting that the Australian state has not supported academic gambling studies in the same way. There was no comparable institutional funding for academic research into Australian gambling during this period. Only in the 1990s have some Australian states (Queensland and Victoria) begun to investigate the social effects of their gambling policies (McMillen 1994). 3 For discussions of public choice theory, see Dunleavy 1991; March and Olson 1989; Olson 1965; Niskanen 1971; Posner 1974; Stigler 1971, 1972; Self 1985. 4 See also Skolnick (1979a, 1979b) and Dombrink (1981).

Understanding gambling


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——(1984) ‘A zoning merit model for casino gambling’, in J.H.Frey and W.R. Eadington (eds) Gambling: Views from the Social Sciences, The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences 474:48–60. Smith, R.W. and Preston, F.W. (1984) ‘Vocabularies of motives for gambling behaviour’, Sociological Perspectives 27(3):325–48. Stigler, G.J. (1971) ‘The theory of economic regulation’, Bell Journal of Economics and Management Science 2:3–21. Suits, D. (1977) ‘Gambling taxes: regressivity and revenue potential’, National Tax Journal 30(1):19–35. ——(1979) ‘Economic background for gambling policy’, Journal of Social Issues 3(3): 43–61. Summers, A. (1975) Damned Whores and God’s Police, Ringwood, Victoria: Penguin. Tec, N. (1965) Gambling in Sweden, New Jersey: Bedminster Press. Thompson, W.N. and Dombrink, J. (1989) ‘A politically acceptable model of casino gaming for American jurisdictions’, in C.S.Campbell and J.Lowman (eds) Gambling in Canada: Golden Goose or Trojan Horse? Vancouver: Simon Fraser University: 337–70. Thorp, E.O. (1962) Beat the Dealer, New York: Random House. Turner, W. (1965) Gambler’s Money: The New Force in American Life, Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Vamplew, W. (1976) The Turf: A Social and Economic History of Horse Racing, London: Allen & Unwin. Veblen, T. (1953 [1899]) Theory of the Leisure Class, New York: Mentor Books. Walker, M. (ed.) (1987) Faces of Gambling. Proceedings of the Second Conference of the National Association for Gambling Studies, Sydney: National Association for Gambling Studies. Ward, R. (1958) The Australian Legend, Melbourne: Oxford University Press. Weber, M. (1976 [1904–5]) The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, London: Allen & Unwin. Weinstein, D. and Deitch, L. (1974) The Impact of Legalised Gambling: The Socio-economic Consequences of Lotteries and Off-track Betting, New York: Praeger. Woung, S. (1980) Professional Blackjack, Atlantic City, NJ: Boardwalker Magazine. Wykes, A. (1964) The Complete Illustrated Guide to Gambling, New York: Doubleday. Young, J. (1986) ‘The failure of criminology: the need for radical realism’, in R. Matthews and J.Young (eds) Confronting Crime, London: Sage: 34–48. ——(1988) ‘Radical criminology in Britain: the emergence of a competing paradigm’, British Journal of Criminology 28(2):159–83. Zola, I.K. (1967 [1963]) ‘Observations on gambling in a lower class setting’, in R.D. Harmon (ed.) Gambling, New York: Harper & Row: 19–31.

Social movements, public health and public policy in the United States
John Dombrink1

The politics of the criminalisation, decriminalisation, legalisation or recriminalisation of vice in America has deep roots and complex forms. Other western industrialised countries have used the criminal law to control vice, but in the twentieth century, the United States has displayed a stubborn attachment to the use of the criminal sanction in the area, a prime example being the prohibition of alcoholic beverages in the 1920s. Meanwhile, Britain and Germany have chosen less punitive forms of control, utilising medical and market models to restrict citizen access to possible harmful substances. However, a comparative approach examining various countries’ practices on regulating vice is beyond the scope of this chapter. What follows is a comparison within the United States of the status of legal treatment of several types of vice. While the discussion may not be easily related to other countries, even those with similar economic and social structure or shared cultural traditions, it is hoped that the comparative analysis of gambling to other vices within the United States is useful. I aim to explain why gambling has been an exceptional case in the legal treatment of vice, as well as to gauge the extent to which it resonates with elements of deep-seated debate over family, sexuality, privacy, the limits of the criminal sanction and the role of government in matters of personal morality. Skolnick and Dombrink (1978) have identified various factors which would lead towards or inhibit effective legalisation of the ‘classic’ vices—gambling, abortion, homosexuality, drug use, pornography and prostitution. This was more than a decade after a group of socio-legal scholars had argued for or predicted the liberalisation of criminal laws affecting these areas of victimless or consensual crime, advocating in the context of a model penal code the adoption of policies limiting the reach of the criminal sanction, an examination initiated by the British Wolfenden Report (Committee on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution 1963). Indeed, by 1978 the US Supreme Court had already provided American women with access to abortion through its 1973 ruling on Roe v. Wade;2 various states had addressed marijuana decriminalisation; and sodomy laws were changing. Above all, gambling was undergoing enormous change, as states legalised lotteries (Clotfelter and Cook 1989) and casino gambling in New Jersey (Dombrink and Thompson 1990) in what has been termed the ‘third wave’ of legalised gambling in American history (Rose 1980).

Gambling and the legalisation of voice


By 1992, however, there was a conservative backlash against the trend to liberalisation of vice. The thrust of the arguments of many who have analysed vice, morality, law and society is that resentment among the lower middle class and others who perceive threats to their social status is responsible for the endurance of vice as a political issue. In the United States, the issues of sexuality and drugs were central to many of the cultural shifts of the 1960s and 1970s, and the liberalised public policy responses of those times created social dissent across the dimensions of age, religion, region and political orientation. One of the emblematic phenomena in the United States in the 1980s was the furthering of a conservative social agenda, which can be mapped in several ways. Several authors (Himmelstein 1990; Hunter 1991; Luker 1984) have written about the ways in which issues related to law and morality have become a key feature of conservative activists, especially those referred to as the ‘religious right’ (Marty and Appleby 1992; Sullivan 1993). These issues can be contrasted with the economic issues on which other conservative activists and politicians focused. The treatment of abortion in American law and public policy in different eras— sometimes unregulated, sometimes prohibited, sometimes medicalised, sometimes regulated and legalised—represents a wide range of legal models for the treatment of vice. Abortion provided a key issue of this focus, with the main goal of many conservative activists being to overturn the right of a woman to choose an abortion, as held in Roe v. Wade. Luker (1984), in her study of pro-choice and pro-life activists, emphasises the extent to which their positions reflect disagreement on a constellation of values and issues related to the changing nature of women’s and men’s roles, of sexual mores and sexual practices, of women’s roles in the marketplace, and the changing natures and functions of the family. While stating that many media reports have provided caricatures of these conflicts, Hunter (1991) none the less describes them as ‘culture wars’ reflecting the deep division over definitions of personal and public morality involved. The ‘war’ against drugs had been as captivating as any public policy issue in recent times. While the American economy emerged as a topic of primary concern in the current recession, the issue of drug control had risen dramatically (from 1 per cent identifying it as the most important national issue rising to 38 per cent a few years later). Attempts by the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) to limit funding for artists whose work offends certain social mores resulted in an explosive debate over freedom of expression, government censorship and the First Amendment rights of free speech (Bolton 1992). In a celebrated incident in 1992, President Bush removed the chief of the NEA when it became clear that Bush’s conservative challenger in the nation’s Republican primaries was prepared to make a campaign issue of that agency’s funding of art he thought obscene—in particular, a film about gay black males. This had followed widely publicised events in which the Senate debated the nature of the art funded by the NEA, such as the homoerotic photographs of the late Robert Mapplethorpe, which had also been the focus of an earlier obscenity prosecution against a Cincinnati museum director (Gurstein 1991; Paglia 1991). At the same time, attempts by state legislatures to pass laws mandating warning labels on recordings containing possibly offensive language have met with legal challenges, mixed judicial success, and strong opposition from the arts community and recording industry.

patriotism. Even so. ethnic and religious— who left the party of ‘abortion. Kamisar 1991. in which smokers were segregated. recognising or regarding it as an acceptable lifestyle. among them various pro-life groups (Becker 1963. In Oregon. until a 1992 Supreme Court ruling held to the traditional separation of Church and state. Luker 1984. In several municipalities. the politics of vice at the level of New Right consciousness and activity has been a chequered one. Some have commented that these federal judicial appointments could end up as the most significant legacy of the Reagan administration. but did see their stances on issues like abortion. especially women. recent emphasis on ‘second-hand smoke’ has spotlighted the non-smoker as unwilling victim. and lost votes among more socially tolerant middle-class voters. even though their candidates are often referred to as ‘stealth candidates’. willing ‘victims’ and public health. have led to those topics being analysed along with the classic vices as situations involving consensus. which has sought to maintain the allegiance of disenchanted Democrats (or ‘Reagan Democrats’)—often blue-collar. as a price of allowing the religious right and other conservative activists too much say in the party’s platform (Wills 1992). developments related to euthanasia. the political organising of the Christian Coalition in school board races in small towns and big cities continues apace. a hotly contested referendum in 1992. such as in ‘smoking sections’ of restaurants or public facilities. conservative federal trial and appellate judges were appointed over the course of those eight years who were thought to have survived a litmus test on abortion. Vorenberg 1991) and public smoking controls (Pertschuk and Shopland 1989). School prayer was a vibrant issue in a similar way. vice or the range of personal and lifestyle issues at debate in the ‘culture wars’. However. Legal reform related to homosexuality also has been a key issue of those with a conservative social agenda. While smoking limitations were first sought as a classic vice control. in a city in which . the election of Democrat Bill Clinton in 1992 portends that conservative court majorities for those issues might not be forthcoming in the near future. In both the abortion and school prayer issues. Tribe 1990). evolving world events or shifts in public attitudes toward crime. such as failed initiatives for physician-assisted suicide in Washington in 1991 and California in 1992 (Humphry 1991. was defeated. the Christian Coalition distributed lengthy guides to the candidates in the usually low-turnout school board elections. which would have declared homosexuality a perversity and restricted state institutions from teaching. more abstractly. Many political analysts argue that these people did not gain economically from such political shifts. homosexuality and. Himmelstein 1990.Gambling cultures 42 At another level. school prayer. The 1992 Republican National Convention in Houston was perceived as showing too much intolerance on these issues. Colorado passed a referendum that prevents any municipality from enforcing an ordinance that would provide civil rights protection for homosexuals. amnesty and acid’ (and affirmative action) in 1968 and thereafter. school prayer and other closely held beliefs held by the moral entrepreneurs in the ‘moral majority’. In New York City in 1993. affirmed in political discourse. Certainly. because of their purposeful low profiles. one less likely to be overturned by changing domestic or economic priorities. Still. despite the expectations of conservative activists. The issue of abortion has been problematic for the Republican Party. referendums reversed previously passed ordinances adding sexual orientation to the list of protected classes under civil rights provisions. however.

In this view the criminal law is an appropriate and necessary measure to maintain societal stability and to enforce common morality. its legalisation. Hart 1963). Schur and Bedau 1974) and later Geis (1972) elaborated on the variety of activity and lawenforcement activity associated with each vice. In the aftermath of the Wolfenden Report in Great Britain. prostitution and drugs. a practical effort to encourage implementation and standardisation by relevant jurisdictions of the reforms they espoused. Schur (1965. 1980. sexual activity and sexual mores. its perceived lack of seriousness—a primary reason is that it has not generated as much of the cultural conflict and moral resentment associated in the last decade with the other vices. a British jurist. SOCIO-LEGAL ANALYSIS. like Skolnick (1968). a debate was conducted in the United States between these prominent legal scholars and defenders of the existing use of the criminal sanction in which the central issue was the effect on society of an individual’s choice to pursue activities. homo-sexuality. its pervasiveness. even as that generation was experimenting with new forms of drug use. Packer (1968) discussed in depth how the effort to enforce morality through the legal system effectively proved the limits of the criminal sanction. A series of studies and analyses called into question the philosophical and practical bases for the use of the criminal law in the legislation of morality.Gambling and the legalisation of voice 43 multicultural curricula and the use of books explaining same-sex couples to primary schoolchildren were heatedly discussed (Sullivan 1993). a group of legal scholars began a comprehensive and critical analysis of the limits of the criminal sanction in the area of vice in the United States. attacked the precept of John Stuart Mill (1956 [1859]) that a person should be allowed to go to hell in his or her own way. . Many of these scholars contributed to the drafting of the Model Penal Code. if gambling is now separate from the list of the classic vices—because of its acceptance. a core theme of this chapter will be developed: one way in which gambling has diverged from the other vices is that it has not played any role in this politicisation of vice. including at that time state proscriptions related to abortion. and drew the attention of an entire generation of socio-legal scholars and students to the significance of ‘victimless crime’. decried the ways in which this ‘coercion to virtue’ was a misuse of the criminal sanction which engaged the police in the difficult enforcement of consensual crime. Gambling has been most noticeable for its inability to produce much in the way of moral resentment. Others. Sir Patrick Devlin. and demanding liberalised abortion laws. VICE AND THE CRIMINAL LAW In the late 1960s. Against this background. Indeed. Some involved in that debate cautioned against negative consequences in relation to the legitimacy and effectiveness of the criminal sanction by over-criminalisation (Kadish 1967). ingest substances or modify behaviour in ways which could cause them harm. pornography. which argued for the decriminalisation of certain vices.3 In defence of existing criminal laws. with few complainants and consequent evidential constraints. gambling. and argued that the web of society is torn by the collective actions of individuals causing vice-related harm to themselves (Devlin 1965.

Indeed. in evaluating the potential commercialisation of the various vices. in addition to the perception of seriousness and harm. if much gambling is engaged in by those who are occasional or recreational gamblers. Skolnick and Dombrink (1978). sexual identity and sexual practices than is gambling. wagering discretionary funds. One reason for this assessment is the level of harm which gambling may do to an individual. gender roles. 1988). . During several distinct periods in US history. they are more likely to strike a deep chord within ongoing cultural debates over the role of the family. have not usually been determinative. 1967–92 Each of the six ‘classic vices’. Horse-racing was considered sport. For example. Gambling Several studies have noted that gambling was deeply ingrained in colonial America. it is not perceived as severely as some of the sexually orientated vices. which has not been a central factor in gambling legalisation discussions. there have been movements to limit or repeal gambling. will be that several of the vices are concerned with sexuality. At the same time. gambling has been interpreted. lotteries were used in colonial times to support public works projects and the construction of some of America’s leading universities (Cornell Law Project 1977). and the concept of chance argued to be at odds with their emphasis on hard work. Nor is the physical harm of gambling as pronounced as drug use. In the sections that follow. First. However. as being the least harmful of the vices and that which has been socially sanctioned in many societies. especially among the new country’s ruling elites. suggested that gambling would emerge as the most socially acceptable vice. for several reasons. along with alcohol and other vices. it is clear that a deep-rooted ambivalence has existed in American law and public policy towards gambling throughout the country’s history (Skolnick 1978. has changed in so many significant ways between the 1960s and 1990s that they each seem to now represent a new type within a general typology of vice. various forms of gambling have been tolerated at different times in US society. The issue of the morality of gambling was of concern to Puritan groups. Consequently. the harm of their gambling is perceived as minimal. Moreover. Like other societies. both by public and scholars (Geis 1972). except when combined with fraud or public scandal—such as the Louisiana Lottery scandal of the mid nineteenth century—or corruption in the political process.Gambling cultures 44 CHANGES IN THE LEGAL AND SOCIETAL TREATMENT OF VICE. the legal treatment of each will be discussed and contrasted with the legal treatment of gambling. along with the worker safety and intemperance arguments of the anti-alcohol campaigns of the early twentieth century (Gusfield 1963). The attacks on gambling because of its inherent immorality. however. while some religious groups in western industrialised societies do oppose gambling. such as when the Progressive Movement targeted the saloon as a corrupting institution. Perhaps one of the most compelling differences. a key basis for the protection of these activities has been the right to privacy. even if they once occupied a relatively common conceptual place in the United States.

presents a negative view of problem gambling in legalisation discussions. examined in depth by an array of international scholars of a variety of disciplinary backgrounds. prosecutorial decisions to charge and public opinion polls. but has not foreclosed New Orleans. Tax revenues from such forms have risen in a corresponding manner. Legal gambling has risen dramatically at double-digit annual increase in gambling handle figures throughout the 1980s. and increased as state-run lotteries. added knowledge of or focus on problem gambling. making the arguments for their prosecution in a resource-scarce environment that much more difficult. At the same time. working through a network developed in large part by the University of Nevada. Recent efforts for casinos in the smaller north-eastern states of Rhode Island and Connecticut have yet to come to fruition. or state-operated brothels. seemed more appropriate for gambling than state-operated drug clinics. Some analysts have raised the issue of the regressivity of lotteries as a form of taxation (Clotfelter and Cook 1989). and a problem gambler does not pose the threat that a drug addict or prostitute might. Third. focusing more on some areas (for example. This rise has been uneven. publications and sharing of research and practitioner results. casinos). judicial sentencing. the criminal justice system has been unable and unwilling for some time to assign penalties of even a moderate magnitude to gambling offences. with their higher return to the state as operator. Reno. as in the British model. That focus limited the inclusion of New York City in the 1980s state proposal for casinos. Since the 1970s. Gambling has been reduced in seriousness as a crime. the possibilities of state ownership. legal gambling in the United States has changed in the following dramatic ways. motivated by the fear of the influence of organised crime and political corruption. In sum. for these various reasons. the successful attacks on gambling have more often been on their collateral effects or institutional forms than the nature of gambling itself. but the focus on the individual gambler has had its main impact on legalisation debates which question the desirability of certain urban centres as casino gambling sites. and diversified at the same time (Abt et al. Several scholars have noted that. and the trend towards legalisation was furthered by the report of this inquiry (Commission on the Review of the National Policy toward Gambling 1976). American national policy towards gambling was examined and articulated in a national review. through more than a decade of international conferences. Gambling has emerged as a serious public policy issue in the United States. have increased as a share of the total gambling dollar (Christiansen 1990. as measured by crime seriousness surveys. the average gambler is not a problem gambler. These issues have proved paramount in the slowing of the anticipated trend . lotteries) than others (sports gambling. while not absent in the other cases. the medical explanation for these problem gamblers can blunt the issue’s negative effect. This has happened at the same time as excellent research on problem gambling in recent years has been published (Volberg and Steadman 1992). On the one hand. Kaplan 1984). has thwarted Chicago’s emergence as a potential locale. it has attached to the gambling operator.4 The stigma attached to other forms of vice has not continued to attach to the player or consumer in the case of gambling as it attaches to the heroin-user or the prostitute. 1985). Where the stigma has attached.Gambling and the legalisation of voice 45 Second. given the large poor and working-class population living in these cities. whether in celebrated cases or in society as a whole.

and projected shifts in voting behaviour at the national level and other levels have made abortion an issue of extreme importance in the United States. the women’s movement argued persuasively for the validity of personal choice and rights to privacy as imperative. in contrast with the seemingly painless approval of state-run lotteries by state after state (Clotfelter and Cook 1989). the definition and redefinition of an activity as legal or illegal. Kennedy and Souter forming that bloc.Gambling cultures 46 towards legalisation of Las Vegas-style casino gambling or sports gambling in the United States. the interplay of politics. with Justices O’Connor. lobbying. public opinion and influence matters. Californian physicians were approving 99 per cent of requests for abortion in the period preceding Roe v. even as other decisions limited the access of certain types of women—those needing federal funding. while allowing for some limitations on access. and the role of the legal system in personal spheres. The resulting protests. issues which affect all of the vices discussed in this chapter. analysts and activists were predicting that the growth of a conservative majority on the US Supreme Court was certain to lead to an outright reversal of Roe v. Wade. Dombrink and Thompson (1990) argue for the salience of a ‘veto’ model to explain why the opposition of a single significant political or economic elite helped thwart casino legalisation in many states. or the empowerment of trained professionals to use their expertise and discretion—sometimes under strict state rules. Wade. thus begging the question of why abortion on demand should not be legalised. In this instance. medicalisation. it is either a clear crime (resembling murder) or a clear surgical decision. abortion remains one of the most problematic because. Yet in the face of the emerging riverboat gambling phenomenon and the expansion of gambling on Indian land. Abortion thus has had an historic and contested category in the earlier treatments of vice. By 1992. since the medical model was in fact delivering that (Luker 1984). Abortion also remains an active example of the mobilisation of public and resources. or those under 18 years of age. rather than the empowerment of medical professionals. organisation of electoral politics. Once criminalisation was overturned. Abortion Of other classic vices. . Wade in 1973. drafting of new legislation.5 it preserved the concept of Roe v. For example. related to privacy and the individual rights of women. This surprising result reflected the new ‘centre’ of the court on this issue. abortion laws followed a medicalisation approach. When the Casey decision was handed down in 1992. for example. as some have stated. however. In the 1960s and early 1970s. renewed interest in and enduring proposals for the legalisation of various forms of gambling suggest that the chequerboard pattern of gambling legalisation in the United States may change in the next decade. at other times under more ambiguous regulations—was a transitory phase. and unrelated to the pursuit of pleasure as the other vices are.

prostitution has neither been defined as a woman’s choice as a right of privacy. or police officers (Symanski 1981). Second. unlike abortion. but Americans have not been anxious to adopt such models. has probably undercut whatever slim chance there was in any locality for a decriminalisation movement. much of it historical. as is the case of lesbian/gay rights. in its sparsely populated rural counties. while raising public health issues such as that which fuelled earlier ‘purity crusades’ (Pivar 1973). Only Nevada. rather than eradicated. Walkowitz 1980). Pornography The issue of pornography and obscenity is fraught with difficulties of definition. have not even achieved the referendum stage. whether organised by sex workers or others. Still. In only a few places has it grown in importance in the policing of public disorder (Bursik and Grasmick 1992. Several reasons might be given for this. easily integrated into all sectors of society (Goldman 1981. including important feminist treatments of the meaning of tolerated prostitution. In some cases . has a tradition of legalised prostitution (Symanski 1981). Community organisations in affected communities have opposed prostitution and used zoning laws to preserve community stability. Third. there has been an increase of solid research. First. as US Supreme Court cases and enforcement efforts as well as public discussion and policymaking efforts have shown (Hawkins and Zimring 1988). there is an active debate in which some feminist scholars and activists have taken the role of opposition previously occupied by conservative and religious opponents. juries and judges. nor as instrumental in the development of women’s lives. prosecutors. careers or standards of living. and the movements for legalisation described by Weitzer and Jenness (Jenness 1993. the civil rights of sex workers are not as clear a focus (and do not represent as many persons) of a movement for equal treatment. Several themes characterise sexually explicit images and their production and distribution at this time. as is being argued regarding the ‘war on drugs’. police forces have treated prostitution as a crime to be controlled. This is a direct contrast to the appeal of legal gambling. Some European countries could serve as models generally for the alternative treatment of prostitution. At the same time. Fourth. There has been no connection to larger movements or larger concerns. There have been no wide-scale moves for the legalisation of prostitution in the United States. because of the lesser seriousness and lower sentencing. despite estimates of the cost to the legal system of each prostitution case processed. and the incidence of AIDS among street sex workers. there is no perception that an expensive police effort is producing mixed results in the case of prostitution. in many ways. remains a vice that resists full or formal decriminalisation or legalisation but which is not seen as a serious issue by the American public. Skogan 1990). Weitzer 1991).Gambling and the legalisation of voice 47 Prostitution Prostitution. There are no current situations that indicate that the types of rationale that have prompted gambling legalisation since the 1970s will lead to any substantial reform of prostitution laws in the United States. there has been little suggestion of the tax revenues or economic development possible by either a state-owned and -operated or privately run legal prostitution operation. First.

Whereas prostitution has encouraged feminist analysis of the complexity of roles and power relationships surrounding gender. Kutchinsky 1992). Zurcher and Kirkpatrick 1976). the availability of more ‘couplesorientated’ sexually explicit material. policy-making and social science research. 1992. seen as reflecting the male domination of the legal profession. Over more than two decades. as Greenberg (1988) and others (Faderman 1991) have noted. Third. most of the focus has been on state laws and state legislatures. In the United States.butors. the controversial forfeiture of property (a video store) under ‘proceeds of crime’ legislation (in a case reviewed in 1993 by the US Supreme Court). Segal and McIntosh 1992. Even as the legal basis for local ordinances has been challenged. rape fantasies and the degradation of women in general. With the structure of gambling laws. or material with more of a woman’s perspective (Williams 1989). pornography has been included as a predicate crime under the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organisations (RICO) statute resulting in. Kimmel 1990. pornography and obscenity have generated a strong debate over their effects on violence and aggression against women. Yet the United States Supreme Court refused to hear a case which struck down a municipal ordinance using civil remedies under civil rights provisions to sanction pornography distri. the separation of child pornography as a category without redeeming value and illegal by definition (since it involves under-age actors) has made it more difficult to combine other forms with it legally and morally. with several possible legal reforms available. Psychologists have attempted to measure and predict the propensity for aggression among subjects who watch sexually explicit movies with violent themes. has weakened some of the charges of sexism. The Canadian courts have upheld a similar law. discussions and social movements in many western industrialised societies have brought the issue of sexual orientation to the forefront.Gambling cultures 48 feminists have formed unlikely coalitions with those groups (Downs 1989. One development in this debate has been a previously missing feminist critique of pornography and pornography laws. Greek and Thompson 1991. Second. Homosexuality Homosexuality was one vice identified in the Wolfenden Report as an activity which warranted the withdrawal of the criminal law (Committee on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution 1963). The battle over pornography has generated new uses of the law to control its distribution. and some state legislators in the United States are considering bills to effect similar legislation (Downs 1989). In the decades since that report. however. falling into groups Altman described as pursuing ‘assimilationist’ strategies. among other things. Fourth. Altman notes that movements among homosexuals for better treatment by society have followed the model of the African-American civil rights strategies. the struggle over the . creating a new population of consumers. while others see the suppression of erotic works as censorship and denial of freedom of speech and expression (Childress 1991. the growth of home video technology has enabled the use of sexually explicit materials in the privacy of one’s own home. as in the passage of various municipal ordinances to counteract the perceived negative effects of pornography. and those choosing confrontation (Altman 1982). as opposed to pornography or ‘sex’ shops.

and without the possibility of a wide selfinterested support of the kind an abortion rights movement might have. One strategic decision they have made is to run candidates for local school board seats. In the United States. gambling eludes much of the acrimony of the divisions which characterise debates over homosexuality. the organising potential of gay rights as a rallying cry for fundamentalist religious groups and conservative activists has been pronounced (Greenberg 1988:478–80). They may have shared common elements twenty-five years ago. whose guide to candidates was also distributed by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese. However. This reform has been applied to a variety of other groups. at least. including stories for primary school students about gay couples. A major effort to protect gays and lesbians in the US military is generating public discussion and debate (Shilts 1993). Shilts 1987). Another type of legal reform has been the increased focus on the use of ‘hate crime’ statutes to prosecute those whose assaults and other crimes against gays and lesbians are accompanied by selection of their victim because of his or her actual or perceived sexual orientation (Comstock 1991). Drugs The drugs that are currently criminalised in the United States and draw the most attention because of the frequency of their use are primarily heroin. for better or worse. abortion. Several dozen cities and counties have enacted legislation affecting all employment. By comparison. The growth in anti-discrimination protections for lesbians and gays has flattened out. as Altman (1982) and others (D’Emilio 1983. but it is difficult to find such commonality in the present and projected near future. gay rights have followed more of a civil rights model. Another type of legal reform effort is directed at states. which chose to decriminalise sodomy. cocaine and crack cocaine. often a public office for which few citizens vote. However. There are also law enforcement emphases on methamphetamine. accommodation and other areas (Meeker et al. AIDS and other issues in the classroom. and marijuana. followed a nationally prominent debate over the use of multicultural curriculum items. Marotta 1981) have pointed out. especially to racial minority groups. rather than a commercial model (as with gambling). A 1993 New York City campaign by the Christian Coalition. the comparability of the public debate and discourse over these issues has radically diverged.Gambling and the legalisation of voice 49 ‘construction’ of homosexuality has been waged in American culture at the same time as legal reform has been sought. Only a few states have adopted wide-scale protections for gays and lesbians using civil rights laws. Unlike the other vices. in some cases because of the diversion of resources to the fight against AIDS (Hunter and Rubenstein 1992. 1985). most forms of housing. but has been limited to date by a US Supreme Court ruling. municipalities and other entities to add sexual orientation to the list of protected classes under civil rights laws. counties. not all American states did so. and most of those have limited the scope to state or public employment. Groups like California’s Reverend Louis Shelton and his Traditional Values Coalition and the Christian Coalition have become commonplace lobbyists against attempts by public entities such as school districts to discuss sexuality. and the US Supreme Court ruled in the 1980s that sodomy laws were constitutional. debate over . One legal reform model is represented by states such as California.

In the most salient example of decriminalisation. such as ecstasy. During that time. coinciding with this rise of mandatory prison sentences. and investigation of the basic cause leading to the proliferation of drug use’ (Administrative Office 1991:8). statements from the new Attorney-General of the United States indicated that increased emphasis on treatment for drug use would be accompanied by a reduction in the criminalisation response. largely white use of . and economist Milton Friedman) (Nadelmann 1991. as opposed to the affluent. Kaplan 1970. use among non-white urban populations. Members of the elite whose children were users were outraged that lengthy prison sentences could be given for possession of minor amounts of the substance. The Director of the President’s Drug Policy Office argued in the 1980s that marijuana’s legal treatment undercut the efforts to target drugs with stiffer penalties. Many brilliant analyses of the genesis of American drug laws have been published since the 1970s (Bonnie and Whitebread 1974. At the same time. the ageing of many marijuana users placed them in positions of legal authority. The ‘war on drugs’ became an important feature of the Reagan and Bush administrations. a steep rise in the use of imprisonment (and gaol and prison overcrowding accompanying it). The rise in drug sanctioning (for sales and use) at the state level has crowded courts to the extent that there is a crisis in the ability of courts to handle civil cases. With the rise in rock cocaine. such as judges or legislators. Lindesmith 1965. criminal justice system and correctional system. the use of probation and parole. mandatory sentences and mandatory minimum sentences. a movement typifying criminal justice reform in the 1980s. In recent years. the seriousness of marijuana use diminished during the 1960s and 1970s. increased use of the death penalty. policy-makers and other influential persons of liberal. Several states decriminalised marijuana use.6 The federal criminal justice system reports that roughly half of its criminal cases are concerned with drugs. the United States has witnessed attempts to recriminalise marijuana. In 1993. However. as a result of either the evaluation of its effects or its increased use by white middle-class college students. despite the vociferous arguments for legalisation by sociological scholars. Vila 1993). As Himmelstein (1983) notes. education. issuing only citations for possession of amounts under 28 grams. the reformulation of marijuana from ‘killer weed’ to ‘drop-out drug’ accompanied this transformation. and a reduction in emphasis on the rehabilitative ideal. the vitality of drugs as a vice issue with connections to other features of American life has operated in at least three ways. Musto 1973) at the same time as policy discussions of the appropriateness of the criminal sanction have taken place (Currie 1993. or crack. Full-scale legalisation generally lost support after these reforms. Grinspoon and Bakalar 1976. treatment. and argued for recriminalisation. and attempts to address the root causes of crime. Kleiman 1992). Even conservative jurists have called for more attention to be paid to ‘early intervention.Gambling cultures 50 the appropriateness of weight-related minimum sentencing laws which include the weight of the wrapping around LSD doses. began to have an impact on America’s legal system. 1983. Also. a pattern reflected in the prison population. the public has often viewed drugs as America’s most important public policy issue (Colasanto 1990). libertarian and even conservative bent (such as former Secretary of State George Schultz. Himmelstein 1983. and concern over synthetic ‘designer’ drugs.

as noted above. drug use and drug sales—in this case. not liberalisation. Still others (Inciardi and McBride 1991. consistent with many of the other forms of vice. The opinion and editorial pages of newspapers are rife with arguments for the reform of drug law from liberal. In recent years. academics and an elite group of societal influentials. Jacobs 1990. without addressing the problems of poverty and unemployment that contribute to drug use and sales. the issue of illicit drugs contains some similar elements to the case of gambling. less judicial discretion. At a second level. The 1960s and 1970s witnessed the emergence of several viable grassroots movements for the decriminalisation or legalisation of many forms of drug use. However. At a third level. the punishment of drug users can be seen in the same traditional light as the rationale for other punishments of dangerous classes. longer sentences. drivers’ licences and the like. use drugs implicitly or explicitly as the foundation for arguments about the need for stricter laws. like New York Congressional Representative Charles Rangel. are reluctant to endorse drug legalisation. the fiscal crisis of states and cities is implicit in arguments for shifting the law. African-American policy-makers. carrying at the same time many of the preconceptions of race and class conflict that are mentioned above. whether expressly about drugs or not. drug-control policies can be seen as resonant of larger racial and class-based cleavages in American society. no matter where they take place in the social strata—are portrayed as a sign of general moral weakening in society. many anti-crime measures. but the movement in legislation so far has been toward recriminalisation. the calls for re-examination of American drug policies in the 1990s have come from judges. new twists. Commercial models could be employed. As such. school loans. can be seen as representing the depth of drug use as a public health topic. However. and part of the permissiveness that threatens American economic and social strength. which is the most common argument in gambling campaigns. Kleiman 1992) have argued for prudence and scepticism in adopting drug legalisation as a response. because of the adverse public health effects such a legal change would have on America’s non-white population. Skolnick and Dombrink (1978) have suggested a variety of models that might be followed. the intervention of the state into the lives of ‘crack babies’. British medical models have long been suggested as a possible alternative for American laws (Kaplan 1983). Unlike homosexuality or abortion. but closely related. the emphasis has been on the reduction of expenditures on the ‘war on drugs’. drugs have become a surrogate term for all crime. libertarian and even conservative commentators. other western industrialised countries have produced very different models over the twentieth century for dealing with drugs. Rather than emphasising the state tax revenues that would proceed from legalisation. By comparison. and even the suggestion of revived orphanages in drug-impacted neighbourhoods. At the same time. such as the criminalisation of pregnant women who are drug users. Thus. .Gambling and the legalisation of voice 51 powder cocaine during the 1970s. Kaplan 1983. the loss of public housing privileges. or progressive criminologists such as Currie (1993). fewer rights and more uses of incarceration as a sanction. although most proponents of legal reform in the drug area emphasise the substitution of public health goals rather than revenue raising (Skolnick 1992). such as burglary or robbery.

and declines in lottery excitement and revenues over time in certain places. has almost moved beyond the other vices in its sense of legal inevitability so as to warrant exclusion from the category of vice. while at once representing the most harmless of the vices (Geis 1972). some US gambling operators expressed fear that if there was a potential scandal in a state initiating relatively small-scale riverboat gambling.Gambling cultures 52 At the same time. GAMBLING’S STATUS AMONG THE VICES What. that have not been legalised. and types of gambling. the vitality of the lotteries reminds us of the colonial . make the case for or build the momentum for more large-scale development? Or. it might impair the eventual ability of larger operators and larger developments to follow. divergent theories can be seen as possibly being supported. conversely. Admittedly. in a revenue sense (for example. in 1990. None of the other classic vices has demonstrated in any way the powerful commercial potential of legal gambling. such as in the gay rights or marijuana examples. Similarly. and thus undercut any simultaneous impetus for legalisation of cultivation and sales. such as sports gambling (Frey 1992). In the case of gambling. one argument given by at least some members of the five-member majority in the US Supreme Court’s ruling that upheld the state of Georgia’s sodomy statute was that it was not really enforced. even as people grumble about the real fiscal impact upon education. there have been campaigns that failed. the questions that need to be addressed relate to a social change or social movement model. can be said about gambling’s position between 1967 and 1992 in America. Lotteries have become so widespread since New Hampshire became the first state to bring back the state-sponsored lottery in 1964 that it is hard to remember a time without them. does the passage or proliferation of those smaller forms satisfy the demand for gambling.8 An opposing theory would hold that the proliferation of smaller-scale gambling erodes the opposition to other forms and larger venues. then. For example. ‘softening’ or increasing the conduciveness of populations to accept legal gambling. For example. does the passage or proliferation of smaller forms of legal gambling. its removal was not mandated by a compelling civil rights protection argument (Harvard Law Review Editors 1990). riverboat gambling). But gambling has not drawn a renewed moral wrath. law enforcement or other targeted beneficiaries of the lottery revenues. More directly. thus limiting the perceived need for further expansion in form.7 Therefore. the statute did not essentially threaten homosexuals in that state or in the other states which still maintain such laws. Consequently. and new games attempt to rekindle the public participation. under that de facto decriminalisation. There has been very little gambling backlash or ‘rollbacks’. nor been deeply associated with crime problems in general. Even as their sales dip. it must be stated that gambling has not been the subject of the recriminalisation sentiments. and its position vis-à-vis the other vices? One of the central themes of this chapter has to do with the models of legalisation which apply in the area of vice. one reason commonly given why the decriminalisation of marijuana in the 1970s in the United States did not lead to legalisation of the substance was that the reduced criminal penalties satisfied the majority of users. type or size? For example. an activity which.

Certainly. However. and fears that such gambling would lead to a rise in corruption in sports. marches and intense public scrutiny placed on the ‘constituency-based’ vices or the highly politicised activities such as abortion rights. small-scale casino gambling has been permitted in states along the Mississippi River. such as prostitution. and even California is considering offshore gambling ships again. has been kept from legalisation in large part because of the efforts of a professional sports organisation. one could postulate that gambling. sponsorship and public use. vulnerability because it could easily be portrayed as a ‘special interest vice’ in the same way that the tobacco and alcohol industries and lobbies are limited in their opportunities for advertising. In the last few years. casino gambling has only spread in its Las Vegas style to one state (New Jersey). and its Colorado counterparts have also legalised small-scale casino gambling. Columbia) and public works projects. Rose 1992). before scandal and prohibition caused their decline (Cornell Law Project 1977). However. powerful and influential elites. Old Western towns like Deadwood. adds both protection and vulnerability—protection because it is perceived as less harmful and possesses socially valued fiscal abilities. despite the attempts by many others to permit it. Still. Sports gambling. on time away. and one that would have an enormous legal market in the United States. in the context of ‘riverboat gambling’. South Dakota. so that the battles for gambling growth are often conducted by competing groups of business and political elites. admittedly the largest illegal form of gambling.Gambling and the legalisation of voice 53 days when they were commonly used as revenue-raising mechanisms for universities (Harvard. In fact. Legalisation has been accompanied by the growth of legal gambling industries. even as valuable research about the incidence and prevalence of such problem gambling has been undertaken. and of the political process generally. In this context. as ‘sin taxes’. as have fears of collateral vice growth. This is far different from the mobilisation. affluent gambler using discretionary income in limited betting has supplanted images of the problem gambler. consultants and experts. at the same time as Indian reservation gambling has proliferated under the unique jurisdictional laws governing American Indian sovereignty (Eadington 1990. as it has inched away from the other vices. public opinion polls show strong public support for assessing higher taxes on both alcoholic beverages and tobacco products. In part. it is largely because of the careful publicrelations work of legal gambling operators. unlike the other vices. however. Indeed. During the same period as lotteries have flourished. or the nineteenth-century presence of the lottery. to raise more revenues for increased health coverage nationally. gambling has emerged from this remarkable period of growth—what Rose has termed the ‘third wave’ of legal gambling in the United States— with neither the political concern for damages to the individual who engages in the activity. This fear of corruption. nor with an active social movement supporting either its legalisation or criminalisation. critiques questioning the actual performance and contribution of lotteries and casinos (Clotfelter and Cook . this is reinforced by the notion that gambling is something done on vacation. with the public included generally as referendum voters responding to the packaged media efforts for the opposing sides to portray revenues or crime/corruption as the inevitable outcome of such a legal reform. has been behind some of the casino opposition. the image of the wilful. the National Collegiate Athletic Association. in lieu of a wide-scale social movement. organisations and coalitions have arisen during campaigns to defeat certain types of gambling legalisation (Dombrink and Thompson 1990).

Drugs seemingly have become too integrated with the politics of race and crime in America for the failure of the war on drugs or the public cost of the criminal justice system’s being overwhelmed with drug cases to have much impact. Even if there were to be no legalisation of drugs. Wade. which is generally localised. Justice Blackmun. such as Himmelstein’s analysis of the transformation of marijuana from ‘killer weed’ to acceptable recreational drug when white. these studies provided a framework for understanding the symbolic power of vice in American society. Gusfield’s classic study of the symbolic politics of alcohol prohibition (1963) spawned later studies. The courting of these ‘Reagan Democrats’ was seemingly without cost until the emergence of white supremacist candidates. during the 1970s and 1980s to reap political advantage out of the willingness of voters whose economic interests might not lie with Republican policies to vote Republican because of its positions on abortion. public financing and health access issues accentuate class concerns. who located the impetus for much legal action against vice and other activities in the disinterested impulses and resentment of the lower middle class (see also Duster 1970). Luker’s depiction of the world view of opposing abortion activists (1984) amidst conflict over women’s roles. the discussion is more vibrant. and the loss of the votes of prochoice middle-class women in the 1992 presidential campaign. Meanwhile. Still. This is certainly the case with gambling. in his opinion in Roe v. at least at the national level. may have provided the legal support for the philosophical underpinnings of the way in which vice and its legal treatment may ultimately have its most lasting impact on American society: the right of privacy. sexual preference. middle-class college students (and some of their elders) began smoking marijuana in the 1960s (Himmelstein 1983). the analyses.Gambling cultures 54 1989. the Republican Party was able. The emergence of abortion as an important issue suggests that gender issues exist across the social strata. drugs and ‘moral permissiveness’. One classic commentary on vice and class resentment was made by Ranulf (1964). racial issues. and debated more nationally. challenging not the moral basis of a vice activity but its actual societal contributions. CONCLUSION Many of the classic studies of the criminalisation of vice have described the role of class conflict. Alongside other studies of the class-based nature of the emergence of non-vice laws. than the discussion of the other vices. arguments and opinion/editorial articles in leading newspapers keep the question of the legalisation of now illicit drugs in active discussion. moral entrepreneurs and moral panics in the establishment of laws prohibiting vice. race. Certainly. Sternlieb and Hughes 1983) represent a new era of scholarship. sexuality. It used vice issues as a critical wedge among persons with economic class similarities. When the victims of a too intrusive state policy on vice are essentially . women’s workplace participation and the relationship between men and women is a powerful commentary on the larger connections of vice to the social structure generally.9 The location of the crux of the abortion rights argument on precisely the grounds that remove these activities from excessive public intervention—that of privacy—creates the possibility for the strength of a concept that transcends class and thus negates that which Ranulf describes.

gambling still maintains its curious membership on the list of vices. At the same time. both private and public. Irvine. One of the attractions of legal gambling is that it provides tax revenues for its jurisdictions. Karol Kurata.Gambling and the legalisation of voice 55 marginalised drug addicts. David Maples. are derived by the size of constituencies. and its separation from the other classic vices listed in the 1960s. Gary W. .Evans. using various rationales. have potentially wider bases of support. might well settle for such an entrenched status. As such. sex workers or degenerate gamblers. and their relative powerlessness. the movement of gambling towards acceptability and legitimation. and Gilbert Geis. and the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Criminology. Mark Kimura. taxes have their own problems in regard to support from the citizenry. and the current anti-incumbent mood in the United States suggests that a sin tax may not necessarily have as stable a status as it might seem. middle-class recreational activity. Because legalisation of this vice has been framed in the language of privilege. Audra Simon. Principal Investigator. such as their illness or vulnerability. their vulnerability to control and restriction might increase (Rose 1991). they do not fear outright prohibition. at least in the case of smoking. At one level. rather than right. maintaining legal gambling will depend more on lobbyists. The limits for social movements. University of California. In other words. the rationale for liberalised social policy in this area is essentially other-considering. If gambling operations come to be viewed as privileged special interests. gambling operators. such as those concerning privacy or affecting tax revenues. and the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates Site Grant at the Program in Social Ecology. NOTES 1 Earlier versions of this chapter were delivered at the Eighth International Conference on Risk and Gambling. perceived as an acceptable. and. Both tobacco and alcohol have high levels of revenues and are well integrated into American society. Reforms in which more persons have a stake. Thus. corporate entities and government bodies rather than the protesters in the streets that abortion rights or gay rights can provide. Unfortunately. the notion of a ‘sin tax’ is often viewed as a mature and reasonable approach for societies as they consider the mechanisms for the treatment of some of the above-mentioned vices. have severely changed the expectations of public behaviour. London. and legal reform. rather than any grassroots movement or wider public good. public health themes have fuelled movements for the limitation or reduction of use of these two substances. San Francisco. Ms Negrete’s participation was supported by the Pregraduate Mentorship Program of the Office of Academic Affairs of the University of California. as used by socio-legal scholars. support for the continuation or expansion of various forms of gambling might be perceived as limited to a small number of well-placed and self-interested public and private parties. The author thanks Nicole Negrete. Irvine. Aric Lasky and Biljana Korac for their contributions. Still. Against this background. society shifts legal policy to avoid doing harm to some class of individuals. or criticised for failing to meet their proponents’ expectations. Consequently. 15–17 August 1990. 20–23 November 1991. None the less. Jerome Skolnick and Joseph Scott for their helpful comments. gambling has moved closer to the status of alcohol or tobacco in its treatment in the United States. if not commercial availability. might present it with a host of new vulnerabilities in future years.

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A combination of six factors persuaded the Queensland government of 1920 that public outcry would be minimal and that the lottery would be popular. Child Welfare and Hospital Fund. So successful was this fund-raising activity that another four Caskets were held over the following three years to raise money for victims of the war. However. especially George Adams Tattersall’s lottery which began to operate publicly from 1881. lotteries have always been a popular form of working-class gambling and lotteries have been common throughout the world. This lottery began in 1916 when the Queensland Patriotic Committee. Lotteries. the Queensland government owned and operated a lucrative and popular lottery. Tattersall’s is unique because it is the only . Clotfelter and Cook 1989:38). and in June 1920 the Queensland government decided to take over the Golden Casket Art Union and place all profits into the newly created Motherhood. Agitation for anti-gambling legislation came from the revitalised evangelical movement and those wanting to impose middle-class values of savings and industry.3 SOCIAL EVIL OR SOCIAL GOOD? Lotteries and state regulation in Australia and the United States Wendy Selby At a time when gaming and betting were thought to be immoral and socially threatening. and their influence was most pronounced in the United States (O’Hara 1988). a non-profit charitable organisation. so it is of historical interest to understand the circumstances that enabled this lottery to survive and prosper. the Golden Casket Art Union. Attempts by private entrepreneurs to operate lotteries were also subject to restrictive legislation. once popular fundraisers with governments in the Middle Ages. Britain outlawed lotteries in 1809 and the United States began prohibiting lotteries from 1833 (Wilson 1980:41. 1985. The Golden Casket’s success as a source of revenue was closely watched by other governments both in Australia and overseas. had been outlawed in most countries since the nineteenth century and were no longer seen as an area of enterprise suitable for governments. with or without legal sanction (Abt et al. Charlton 1987). In 1919 the Home Office1 approved the use of another Casket to assist the Hospital for Sick Children in Brisbane. sought permission to conduct a lottery for their soldier repatriation fund. Other early Australian lotteries will be discussed also. This chapter will consider the unique set of circumstances that made the state government of Queensland the first Australian government in the twentieth century to own and operate a lottery. Today the Golden Casket continues to provide the state government with a much-needed source of revenue. Operating a lottery in 1920 was highly controversial. The lead taken by Queensland was innovative in the climate of the early twentieth century and its special Motherhood Fund was arguably the first of its kind in the world.

Lotteries offered the possibility of a large return for a small investment and it was feared that sudden windfalls to the lower classes . ‘socialist’ state governments led by the Australian Labor Party (ALP) were keen to use a revenue source that did not require increasing income taxes. as well as a general overview of lotteries in the United States. previously tolerated and even encouraged as a form of recreation. A brief analysis of the differences between Queensland’s Golden Casket and the first state lottery to operate in the United States in the twentieth century will be undertaken. Despite the importance of access and legitimacy as factors which influence participation. the revitalised evangelical movement and the establishment of the industrial work discipline by the middle classes together transformed traditional leisure and recreation in many countries such as England and the United States. 1985:191–7). Gaming and betting. and the first lottery with cash prizes was held in Florence in 1530 (Wilson 1980:63). there were 128 state lotteries in England. a particularly popular working-class gaming activity. lotteries as well as other forms of gaming and betting have been subject to increasing censure and control. and continue to be. and the lottery. it will be shown that legislation banning lotteries does not necessarily mean that people were not enjoying the prospect of winning large amounts of money. In Australia. Lotteries continued to be popular in colonial America and were viewed as charitable contributions for public purposes (Clotfelter and Cook 1989:35). Between 1769 and 1826. gambling. OUTLAWING LOTTERIES Lotteries were popular fund-raisers with governments in the Middle Ages. The dominance of Puritan values blocked the legalisation of lotteries in the United States far longer than most other western countries (Abt et al. A series of lotteries was held to assist British settlement in the ‘New World’. England’s first national lottery was sanctioned by Elizabeth I in 1567 and lotteries continued to flourish in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (O’Hara 1988:5). was regarded as having damaging social consequences for both the individual and the community as a whole. principally Virginia. and were not blocked from doing so by federal policies and legislation. North American lotteries make an interesting comparison to Australian lotteries because their legalisation and proliferation have been quite recent. one of the most popular working-class gambling practices. provided at a critical time in Virginia’s early European colonisation.Social evil or social good? 61 privately owned and operated lottery to survive the legislative restrictions introduced to control private enterprise involvement in lotteries in Australia. The proliferation of illegal lotteries throughout the seventy-year ban on lotteries in the United States suggests that lotteries have been. However. along with alcohol and ‘idleness’. saved the venture from extinction (Wilson 1980:64). came to be seen not only as immoral but also as a threat to individual and national efficiency (Dixon 1991:63). yielding £35 million to government revenue (Wilson 1980:72). especially Queensland. During and immediately after the Industrial Revolution. Revenues from the lotteries. According to Dixon (1991). as were the state governments in the United States. since the nineteenth century. was specifically targeted by the legislators in the early nineteenth century. for instance. Legislation was introduced world-wide to ban most forms of gambling.

Gambling cultures 62 would undermine the middle-class value system of savings and industry (O’Hara 1988). while the Churches were preoccupied with educational and sectarian issues. In the Australian colonies.2 It was the growth of sweeps beyond the boundaries of clubs and into the public sphere that intensified anti-gambling reformers’ criticisms of lotteries and forced the New South . other forms of mass gambling were beginning to appear. Despite Australia’s comparatively liberal approach to gaming and betting (McMillen and Eadington 1986). However. lotteries remained controversial because they are a highly visible and accessible form of gambling. prescriptions do not necessarily equate with practices. during the anti-gambling crusades in other countries gambling practices continued. As with most intrusive social legislation. even where there was strict anti-gambling legislation such as the United States (Clotfelter and Cook 1989:39. including sweepstake consultations and land lotteries. The first known attempt to organise a state lottery in Australia was in 1844. Illegal lotteries were common in both England and the United States. were an innovative way of sidestepping laws forbidding games of chance and they became very popular in Australia from the 1870s (O’Hara 1988:77. For instance. on the other hand. were strictly controlled not only in procedure. The imperial government was no longer prepared to sanction an activity now seen by British authorities to be immoral. Dixon 1991:321). Wilson 1980:28). In Australia. Although Australian colonial governments were unable to hold lotteries. allowing gambling to be widely accepted in nineteenth-century Australian society (O’Hara 1988:28). Lotteries. George Adams. Lotteries were outlawed in England in 1809 and in the United States from 1833. gambling had greatly increased (Dixon 1991:320–1). Australian colonial governments may have been more tolerant of gaming and betting than other jurisdictions but they wanted it removed from the public eye. Most other lotteries held in Europe were banned throughout the nineteenth century. such as totalisators. lotteries based on the results of horse-races. but also in the physical space in which the gambling operated. Ward 1958:34). a British Royal Commission investigating lotteries and betting in 1932–33 found that prohibition had failed to prevent gambling. in fact. The first public sweep was held in Sydney in 1881 by the most successful gambling entrepreneur of this period. Those forms of gambling which were legalised in Australia. The idea was scrapped only because legislative changes to hold the lottery required approval from Britain (O’Hara 1988:41–2). it is often argued today that Australians are a nation of gamblers (Macintyre 1986:65. Adams’s business was based at his famous Tattersall’s Hotel in Sydney and until 1881 Adams restricted sales of tickets to members of his club (Wilson 1980:28– 46). All colonies between 1876 and 1897 enacted legislation designed to stop gambling in public spaces (O’Hara 1988:115). Gambling reform movements were unable to win enough support to transform the widespread gaming and betting practices of the convicts and other immigrants. Sweepstakes. were conducted in areas frequented by the general population and open to all who could afford to buy a ticket. This made lotteries more suspect in their potential to attract both more clientele and criminal behaviour. Because Australian governments were more tolerant of gambling practices. reformers had less impact upon gambling legislation. when the New South Wales Legislative Council proposed a lottery to save the Bank of Australia. the middle classes were small and lacking in political and cultural influence.

(Hanlon 1938:1126) . but also any business considered to be acting as an agent. Adams’s successful business continued to attract controversy and obstructive government legislation. In doing so. The introduction of the 1901 Postal Act gave the federal government the right to refuse to handle or deliver mail. Government encouragement of lotteries in the 1950s was a far cry from the situation in earlier decades. blacklisted not only Tattersall’s mail. the Queensland government stumbled upon a ‘sure bet’ with the Golden Casket Art Union. they might as well have a gamble on something that will do the community some good instead of on something that will make some private exploiter rich. At least one has contributed a few shillings to help the institutions along. after paying £10. Victorians were Tattersall’s major customers and the trustees decided the move was in the best interests of the company. This began a thirty-year battle between Tattersall’s and the Postmaster-General who. before the Queensland government introduced the Suppression of Gambling Bill which aimed to prevent private gambling entrepreneurs from operating by defining sweepstakes as a form of lottery. in an effort to prevent the lottery from operating anywhere in Australia. Tasmania responded predictably and initially banned Tattersall’s from operating in the state and attempted to start another lottery in 1954. allowing Tattersall’s to operate interstate more successfully. The subsequent failure of the lottery forced Tasmania to allow Tattersall’s once again to operate legally in the state. where it was thought there would be less opposition to sweeps. It was not long. where it remains today.000 for a licence. QUEENSLAND’S GOLDEN CASKET If people must have a gamble. Despite government obstruction. with a profitable. Wilson (1980) argues that no government was more active in its attempts to suppress Tattersall’s (as Adams’s business was known) than the federal government after 1901.Social evil or social good? 63 Wales government to outlaw sweeps. At the turn of the century no Australian state dared to operate a lottery because of the general fear of the moral implications of such an enterprise. state-protected monopoly in Victoria and Tasmania. Adams and other sweepstake entrepreneurs moved their activities to Queensland. Tattersall’s survived to become Australia’s only privately operated lottery. The passing of this bill in 1895 forced Adams to move to Tasmania. consultations and other games of chance in 1891. Yet in 1920 one state dared to take the plunge. where the state government allowed him to operate by post. In the early twentieth century every state other than Tasmania attempted to prevent Tattersall’s agents from operating. The move was a result of Tattersall’s fears of the Victorian government starting a state lottery coinciding with the Tasmanian government’s proposal to raise its lottery tax (Wilson 1980:186–91). The South Australian government even made it an offence to be found in possession of a Tattersall’s ticket (Wilson 1980:153). Despite this move. This was a political coup for Victoria as it gained both a reputable operator and a new state tax. In 1953 the Victorian government invited Tattersall’s to operate in the state and the business moved from Hobart to Melbourne in 1954. however. In 1930 the Commonwealth postal ban was lifted.

Labor had found that. Queensland’s Secretary for Health and Home Affairs. was referring to the Golden Casket Art Union. state butcheries and cattle stations. the Labor government introduced a number of social reforms. The reformist socialist philosophy of the government was clearly articulated at its biennial state conventions. To understand why the Queensland government owned and operated a lottery before any other Australian government in the twentieth century. Once in power. the government was able to ‘purify’ the profits of gambling by using the money to finance an extensive state-operated maternal and infant welfare scheme. a time when gambling was seen by many to be highly immoral and socially threatening. that another £250. once in office.500 square miles but the majority of residents lived within 200 miles of Brisbane. Since 1905 Labor had been committed to the nationalisation of public and charitable hospitals.4 The population was considered far below a level sufficient for the state to prosper. Much of the state was unpopulated. a fear which intensified with the First World War. and underpopulation remained an issue for much of the twentieth century. Queensland was a large state of 670. however. conceding to popular demand. As well as Germany’s and Holland’s imperialist ambitions in the Pacific. held office until 1957. especially in the northern and western regions. such as making workers’ compensation compulsory. under the leaderships of Thomas Ryan (1915– 19) and Edward Theodore (1919–25). Queensland feared an invasion from its northern neighbours. including a state cannery.3 The government believed that only the state could be guaranteed to operate key industries fairly in the interests of the general public. tightening laws governing industrial accidents and starting several state enterprises. A second influence on the government was its concern about the military vulnerability of the state. There are six factors that together explain the unique circumstances which led to the Queensland government owning and operating a lottery in 1920. and solving the problem of growing demand for government assistance in health and hospital facilities. declared his firm belief in the principle of state socialism and the party’s aim for ‘every man and woman to be freed from the system of wage slavery’ (Bowman 1910:11). It was an ingenious way of silencing gambling opponents. when policies and issues of concern were debated. Labor was elected to power in 1915 and. Most hospitals in Queensland survived by voluntary subscriptions.Gambling cultures 64 Edward Hanlon. Lack of funds to carry out an important plank of the Labor Party’s platform was a constant source of embarrassment to the government. with some assistance in the form of government endowments. In its early years the government was vigorously reformist. It was estimated. At the 1910 Labor-in-Politics convention the President of Labor’s central political executive. David Bowman. The opportunity to gain access to an additional source of funds from lotteries without increasing taxation levels must have seemed very attractive. Once it was established that a white . and it was of great concern to the rank and file members that this was not achieved after the party came to power in 1915 (Jordan 1980:314). the state government’s lottery. Desperate for post-war reconstruction and welfare programmes. in the south. one needs to understand first the objectives of the Queensland branch of the ALP and its commitment at the time to state enterprises and the nationalisation of health. it had more pressing needs for its limited revenue.000 per year was needed to nationalise these hospitals. with the exception of one term (1929–32). an amount far beyond the financial capabilities of the government in 1919.

that the government’s decision to take over the Golden Casket was made within a month of the blockade being imposed. the additional source of funds was considered a ‘blessing’. decentralisation policies. Edward (Red Ted) Theodore. not just statistically but ‘in the sense that [Queensland] most readily and warmly accepted its Catholic citizens’ (O’Farrell 1977:307). were directly attributable to the blockade (Cochrane 1989:141–5). placed an additional drain on the public purse. including the state’s proposed steel works. In addition to these regional concerns. The Labor government was seen as a threat to capital. Of the sixty-seven Labor members in the Legislative Assembly during the 1920s. left for London in March 1920 to raise finance for the state.300. Queensland was the most Catholic state in Australia. It was an opportunity for revenue that was too good to lose. all Australian state governments were dependent upon London financiers for loans for developmental works and special works requiring extensive capital outlay. It was no coincidence. The government desperately needed funds and each Casket which had been held by the Queensland Patriotic Committee had yielded a profit of £7.6 A federally paid maternity allowance of £5 for every birth after 1912 had done little to encourage women to have larger families. which enabled Labor to increase pastoral rents from 12 to 59 shillings per square mile. therefore. was without precedent in the history of Australia and its effect on Queensland was disastrous. which lasted until 1924. and as Queensland was in no position financially to provide these services in 1920. during the Ryan leadership in particular. A recession. increased unemployment. This blockade. When the Premier of Queensland. known today as ‘the Queensland loans affair’. together with other states. As it was a common view that better medical and hospital facilities would decrease maternal and infant mortality and encourage women to have more children. The fifth factor that was conducive to a lottery was the influence of the Roman Catholic Church in Queensland politics and society and the more secular and liberal form of Protestantism in Australia. This was the third factor which precipitated the decision to take over the lottery. many Catholics were promoted . The wartime European turmoil and the civil war in Russia only intensified their mistrust of socialism and the Labor Party. A fourth and very important factor for the government lottery was the financial crisis of 1920. the Queensland government. both within the state and abroad (Cochrane 1989). 44 per cent were Catholics (MacGinley 1982:159). which had been steadily decreasing since the 1890s (Quiggin 1988:19–20).5 However. Since 1915 the Queensland Labor government’s socialist policies had been monitored with concern by the propertied classes. including the provision of social and health services. Catholics exercised a disproportionate political influence in Queensland and.Social evil or social good? 65 race could survive in the tropics. and the conservatives aimed to bring down the government by convincing London to impose an economic blockade on Queensland. a delegation of three of Queensland’s ‘oldest active conservative men of influence’ also left for London (Cochrane 1989:7). The final straw for Queensland’s capitalists was the passing of the Land Act Amendment Act in 1920. was alarmed about the declining birth rate. Never before had an Australian state been refused loans from London. At the time. the Labor government was committed to encouraging settlement in the more remote regions (Cilento 1961–62:922). forced retrenchments and the abandonment of many government schemes. According to O’Farrell.

the Hospital for Sick Children in Brisbane. Gambling was a highly controversial issue in the 1920s. The most contrived aspect of the policy was the plan selected for the use of the Golden Casket Art Union’s profits. In doing so. Charles Chuter. rising through the ranks to become Assistant Under Secretary of the Home Office in 1922 and Under Secretary in 1935. Once the government assumed responsibility for the Golden Casket. ‘motherhood’ being the most highly esteemed of female occupations. James Duhig. the Golden Casket owed both its inception and its operation during the first fifteen years to a key bureaucrat in the Home Office. It would appear that the ALP wanted the state to benefit from lottery profits (which. In 1917 the government took over the finances of the Brisbane General Hospital from the hospital’s voluntary committee and Chuter. claiming that ‘if a man had money to risk. This began a long involvement between Chuter and Queensland’s health and hospital administration. at that time Chief Clerk of the Home Office. the Catholic Church was not opposed to gambling per se (O’Hara 1988:132). Finally. To ensure that the profits would be used on the most ‘sanitised’ community project.7 The profits of the sixth Casket were used by Chuter in 1919 as a one-off solution to the hospital’s relentless pleas for financial assistance. Chuter joined the Queensland public service in 1898. neither he [n]or any one else could condemn him as doing a moral wrong’ (Duhig 1933). One hospital in particular. as a party. Although it is not known who approached the government in 1920 with the plan for owning and operating the lottery. as the brief history just noted has shown. but at the same time had to be respectful of the wider community’s suspicions of gambling practices.8 . British and American state lotteries of earlier centuries had set a precedent of using lottery profits for funding community projects. The large Catholic sector of the Labor government and public service helped enable the lottery to proceed despite concern for its supposed immoral influence. Government records held in the Queensland State Archives document Chuter’s astute business skills and suggest that Chuter was responsible for organising and implementing Queensland’s famous public hospital system. Chuter was most likely to have recommended the takeover. All correspondence from hospital committees requesting financial assistance was directed to Chuter. Chuter stumbled across an easy solution for the Labor government’s financial problems. Chuter remained its key administrator and directed the spending of all the Casket’s profits for the next fifteen years. Labor did not morally oppose). was given responsibility for the hospital’s financial administration. No person in the Home Office was more likely to have understood the government’s financial predicament in 1920. The influential Archbishop of Queensland. Improved facilities for mothers and babies was one of the most popular social reforms for Australian governments at this time. supported the Golden Casket.Gambling cultures 66 into key positions in the public service (Fitzgerald 1984:11–14). So desperate was the children’s hospital for funds that the committee threatened to resign if no help from the government was forthcoming. had for years been pleading with the government for help. it was decided to direct all of the Golden Casket’s profits into financing maternal and infant welfare facilities. Because lotteries both in Queensland and in southern states were popular with the working classes and because Australian Catholicism was based on working-class alignments and cultural values.

a special Motherhood.000 tickets and.300 for the Motherhood Fund and £1. As the Golden Casket increased in popularity (and profitability).000 tickets with a first prize of £6. excluding taxation. The Casket’s profits neatly solved a number of problems confronting the government in 1920 and enabled them to provide a service widely thought to be important to the state. The Golden Casket proved to be an enormous fund-raiser for Queensland.298. ABC of Queensland Statistics 1936:137). ninety-four maternity hospitals and more than 100 baby clinics were in operation. Child Welfare and Hospital Fund was created.110 had been placed in the Motherhood Fund (Queensland Government. depending on the price of the ticket. the second Casket took ten weeks and by 1922 a Casket was being drawn every three weeks. Each decade the lottery became more popular. the Home Office was completely responsible for its distribution. In 1933 an ordinary Casket sold 100. fifty-seven fully equipped maternity hospitals and ten baby clinics had been built. The Motherhood Fund’s principal aim was to finance the building of maternity hospitals and baby clinics throughout Queensland. had a first prize of £20.000. as well as a training centre established in Brisbane for infant welfare nurses. £2. The opening of every maternity ward or baby clinic was a gala occasion.10 Initially these ‘mammoth’ lotteries had a specific fundraising purpose. The Maternity Act was publicised as being ‘the noblest legislation ever placed on the Statute book’. The first Casket in 1916 took seventeen weeks to sell all the tickets. The Motherhood Fund completely financed this extensive building programme. such as the building of the Women’s Hospital in Brisbane.250 in state taxation (Queensland Parliamentary Papers 1925).9 In its first year of government management the Casket made a net profit of £190. Throughout the 1920s the Labor government repeatedly emphasised the ‘noble cause’ on which the profits were spent and. £25. The government spent over £314. were able to use the maternal and infant welfare programme to their political advantage. in 1933.000. By 1938. stated clearly Labor’s feelings about the Golden Casket: ‘It was realised by the vast majority of citizens of the state that the mothers of the next generation.000 on maternity hospitals and baby clinics in the first ten years. the Fund was increasingly the major revenue source for Labor’s public hospital scheme. A ‘mammoth’ Casket issued 200. Furthermore. the State Treasury had no control over the fund. were being given that idealistic treatment that only Casket funds have made an actuality’ (Hanlon 1933).224. each ticket holder hoping for the first prize of £5. The Golden Casket Art Union was so popular that. and the children being born in the world.000. the government began to run ‘mammoth’ lotteries. While most . all profits went to this fund.Social evil or social good? 67 So that the public could see the good use to which the Golden Casket’s profits were put. Any remaining profits of the Casket were used as special grants to hospitals. responsible for ‘saving the lives of thousands of young Queenslanders and their mothers’ (Australian Labor Party 1926). Initially tickets cost 5 shillings. and one Home Secretary.000. Within three years. with politicians making numerous speeches about Labor’s latest ‘monument to motherhood’ (Warwick Daily News 1939). The Maternity Act was passed in 1922. because of the popularity of the policy. Every Casket made a profit of £7. Instead of adding the profits from the lottery to general revenue. by the 1940s there were drawings every few days. After ten years of operation. where the prize money was greatly increased. and Chuter began work on drafting the Maternity Bill to implement this plan in 1920.000 or £50. Edward Hanlon.

The Premier. So successful was the Casket and so much a part of the Queensland way of life. a stance seen by some to be unpatriotic. However. and in 1934 there were 129 people working in this subdivision of the Home Office. The first scandal involved the manager of the Casket. from operating in Queensland. ignored this legislation in 1916 when he granted the War Council permission to hold the first Casket. It was only in 1930. Gaming and Other Offences Bill. The Home Office had a difficult time in the early years of the Casket’s operation. that legislation was quickly added to the Vagrants. It is also likely that because the Suppression of Gambling Act was only introduced to block private gambling enterprises. when a new government made numerous inquiries into the Casket’s and Chuter’s activities.Gambling cultures 68 tickets for the Golden Caskets were sold in Queensland (66 per cent) and New South Wales (31 per cent). both ensuring that the lottery was run without fraud and convincing the general public that all ticket-holders had a fair chance at first prize. As the Casket grew. The committee’s role was to oversee the work of the manager. Theodore and Lucas had fought continuously for . Ryan was an ardent anti-conscriptionist. attend each drawing and to scrutinise the accounts. including the distribution of tickets and prizes. Archer Lucas. the Casket began to attract a large international patronage after 1932 (Home Office 1923–30. controlled by a government-appointed manager. it was not seen by Ryan as an obstacle to government involvement in lotteries. When the Queensland government took over the Golden Casket in 1920.11 After fifteen years of operation the Golden Casket was legalised. with the Premier’s wife appointed as the first president. Queensland Parliamentary Papers 1937). and it is thought that Ryan was concerned that his patriotism would be further questioned if he refused the War Council permission to raise funds (Charlton 1987:190). which was passed in 1931. In order to prevent corruption and fraud. To protect the committee from charges of corruption. It is not clear from the surviving records what his alleged misdemeanours were. also appointed by the government. Chuter was well aware of the technical illegality of the government’s lottery in 1920 but he either decided to ignore the legal implications or was unable to convince his Minister. the lottery did attract some controversy. Chuter was a member of this committee for sixteen years and president from 1924 (Home Office 1920–39). the government established two levels of control. so did its staff. such as Tattersall’s. Thomas Ryan. it rekindled the arguments against gambling and against lotteries in particular. that the government never bothered to change legislation which had banned the operation of lotteries in the state since 1895. Each member of the Committee was carefully selected. of the importance of changing the law. William McCormack. and any member of the general public could inspect the books at any time. an audit of the Casket’s operations was conducted each year by the Auditor-General’s Department. ENSURING SUCCESS Despite the success of the Golden Casket and the shrewd tactics used by the government to minimise criticism. The second level of control was the Golden Casket Committee. recommend changes in the running of the Casket. The first level was a special subdivision of government office staff. Despite these safeguards the Casket had some problems. Their task was the handling of all the administrative and clerical work of the lottery.

Social evil or social good?


two years over errors in the Casket’s accounts and cheques not being properly signed (Home Office 1920–39). When Lucas took three months’ salary and was ‘absent without leave’ in 1922, he was sacked and quickly replaced by a new manager, William Noble. To avoid losing public trust, the government announced that Lucas had resigned due to war injuries. On another occasion two members of staff of the Home Office were caught trying to cheat the Casket and were tried and imprisoned (Home Office 1920–39). The most serious problem for the Golden Casket’s smooth operation concerned the method chosen for drawing the lottery. The committee had considered many possibilities and initially selected a ‘double draw’ system, involving two octagonal revolving barrels. One barrel contained 100,000 marbles numbered consecutively and the second barrel had 813 marbles, with the values of each prize stamped upon them. In a public hall in Brisbane, a marble was drawn from each barrel simultaneously by two people from the audience (generally children), with the number of the ticket winning the value of the prize shown on the second marble (Queensland Parliamentary Papers 1925). At the conclusion of each drawing the barrels were sealed by the government inspector, generally Chuter, and the seal was left intact until the next drawing. In 1931 the method of drawing was changed to one barrel only, with prizes being awarded in order of the draw. This change was in response to public demand that every ticket-holder’s marble should be in the barrel for the drawing of the first prize. Unfortunately the new system made fraud simpler, and the drawing of Casket number 325 attracted world-wide attention in 1932 when an attempt was made to rig the lottery. Despite scrutineers from the Home Office, the Auditor-General’s Department and the Golden Casket Committee having supervised the sealing of the barrel at the previous draw, the boy called from the front of the audience to draw the lottery was found to be holding a marble with the number 65764 stamped on it. The resulting inquiry revealed that a sub-accountant in the Home Office had stolen the marble, colluded with a friend who bought ticket number 65764 and used his son to sit in the audience at the draw (Truth 1932). The boy had intended to pretend that this marble was the first marble he had drawn from the barrel, thereby winning first prize. The government moved quickly to restore confidence in the lottery by calling for ideas for a new method of drawing prizes. The committee chose an imposing machine designed by a Brisbane engineer, John Lund, which had rotating discs inside tamper-proof compartments. With the state’s maternal and infant programme completely dependent on a minimum of twenty-six Caskets each year and a public hospital system increasingly dependent on state grants, the government could not afford any drop-off in ticket sales. The Lund machine appears to have restored public confidence because sales increased not only locally, but also overseas. This increased patronage was also assisted by the government’s actively pursuing clientele. So proud was the government of the Lund machine that public drawings were organised to coincide with the schedule of tourist ships in port. The government also went to great trouble and expense to take the machine to outback towns of Queensland for country drawings, so that ‘residents could witness first-hand the method of drawing, and are thus given a fitting answer to any adverse propaganda indulged in by people desirous of hampering the Golden Casket operations or injuring its reputation’ (Queensland Parliamentary Papers 1937). In January 1950, a Royal Commission was held to investigate another scandal surrounding the winning ticket of Casket number 1367. It was alleged that the winning

Gambling cultures


ticket had been sold after the Casket had been drawn to the manager of a firm that distributed Casket tickets interstate and overseas. Numerous questions were asked in Parliament, and the government chose three highly respectable members of the community to hold the Commission of Inquiry: a senior judge of the Supreme Court, the State President of the RSL (the Returned Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen’s Imperial League of Australia) and the Auditor-General. After two months of inquiry, the commissioners found no dishonest or improper practice by any person and concluded that the Lund machine was completely efficient and the audit of the accounts effectively performed (Queensland Parliamentary Papers 1951–52). These scandals were dealt with quickly and the Queensland Home Office generally kept the Casket running smoothly. The Protestant Churches of Queensland, however, remained critical of the Casket for many years although the reduced influence of Protestantism in Queensland kept the Churches’ criticisms from having any serious impact upon the Casket. One exception was in 1933 when the first ‘mammoth’ casket was held. This Casket was to help finance the building of the Women’s Hospital and, for an outlay of £1, ticket-holders had a chance of winning £25,000. The Protestant Churches were outraged. The Queensland Council of Churches claimed that the Golden Casket was an ‘evil’ practice, which discouraged industry, contradicted the principles of honest commerce, accentuated the uneven distribution of wealth, and added nothing thereto. It involved gambling for personal profit in the name of charity, and was therefore founded on contradictory motives. It promoted hypocrisy and destroyed the true spirit of charity and philanthropy. It was wrong to raise money to cure physical disease by means which fostered and encouraged an infinitely worse moral and social disease. (Council of Churches 1933)12 The Council designated 25 June 1933 as a day for all Church people to protest against the lottery. The government was forced to respond to this unprecedented attack. After hearing about the planned ‘day of protest’, the Home Secretary, Edward Hanlon, issued a statement saying that the Casket was not the emanation of wickedness, but ‘a mild investment with a profitable result for the state’s institutions of healing. Had it not been for the Casket and its funds, where would the money have come from?’ (Hanlon 1933). The only Church to declare publicly its support for the Casket was the Catholic Church. Archbishop Duhig made a plea for ‘sane reasoning’, and said ‘that he looked upon the holding of the lottery as an emergency means of raising funds for certain laudable purposes’ (Duhig 1933). Despite the day of protest, the Protestant Churches did not prevent either the Golden Casket’s ever-increasing popularity or the Queensland government’s willingness to provide a lottery service to generate revenue. Any time there appeared to be a slump in sales, the government devised a new form of lottery, such as the mammoth series, to stimulate interest. Since 1937 a publicity officer has been employed to promote the Golden Casket both locally and interstate. By 1947, £10 million had been collected from 1,140 Caskets, with over £9 million deposited in the government’s Fund and nearly £1 million collected in state taxation (Queensland Parliamentary Papers 1947). Profits from

Social evil or social good?


the lottery provided sorely needed funds for social services. Only in 1989 did the government divert the profit of the lottery to consolidated revenue. Despite other governments watching with interest, the Casket’s success as a source of government revenue did not entice other state governments to follow Queensland for many years. New South Wales, in 1931, was the next state government to run a lottery. It is likely that the depression forced the Labor Premier, Jack Lang, into approving a lottery to obtain revenues. Although Golden Casket agents were banned from operating in New South Wales, many residents purchased both Casket and Tattersall tickets by post. The loss of this gambling revenue at a time of great economic hardship tipped the scales for the Premier, whose personal aversion to lotteries had prevented earlier proposals for a lottery (Charlton 1987:195). Unlike Queensland, New South Wales directed the profits of their lottery into consolidated revenue, suggesting that by the 1930s lotteries had become a more acceptable form of government revenue in Australia, especially when legitimised as supporting a ‘worthy cause’. Western Australia followed in 1933, but this government was more timid in its approach and the temporary legislation permitting the state lottery came up for renewal every five years (Charlton 1987:197). Victoria did not loosen its restrictions on lotteries until 1953, when it invited Tattersall’s to operate in the state. South Australia was the last state to introduce lotteries for public funding, when it passed the Lottery Bill in 1966. With the exception of Tattersall’s operations in Victoria and Tasmania, an important distinction was made in Australia between government-operated lotteries and those of private entrepreneurs. As long as gambling profits were seen to be helping worthwhile causes and as long as the government had full control of its operations, governments appeared more willing to accept lotteries as an inevitable part of Australian society. Private gambling enterprises faced more censure, possibly because they were unable to ‘sanctify’ their lotteries and because a number of gambling businesses had been fraudulent, especially in the late nineteenth century, making governments wary of criminal involvement (Wilson 1980:44).13 The inconsistency of government attitudes towards lotteries is exemplified by the differing treatment by the Postmaster-General of the mail of Tattersall’s and the Golden Casket in the 1920s. Whereas Tattersall’s faced federal postal bans that severely interfered with the successful running of the lottery for many years, no action was taken against the delivery of Golden Casket letters, enabling the Queensland government to advertise publicly and to sell tickets by mail throughout Australia (Wilson 1980:173). Another reason for the success of the Golden Casket was that successive Queensland governments prohibited any private lottery enterprise from operating in the state after 1895. Hanlon and all Queensland Labor government proponents were completely supportive of their own lottery, believing it to be a harmless form of recreation, beneficial to the social services provided by the state. However, it was one thing to have gambling profits help state revenue, quite another for private businesses to prosper from gambling. Although Queenslanders could and did buy Tattersall’s tickets by post, private lotteries were not tolerated. Interestingly, despite its ‘free enterprise’ philosophy, private lotteries were also prohibited in the United States.

Gambling cultures


LOTTERIES IN THE UNITED STATES Because the legalisation of lotteries in the United States has been fairly recent, it is worth examining the differences between the United States and Australia. As discussed earlier, Australia’s smaller and less influential middle classes, together with the reduced involvement of the Churches in gambling issues, allowed gambling to become a popular social activity in the Australian colonies. By comparison, anti-gambling legislators had more influence and support in the United States and were successful in preventing lotteries from operating legally anywhere in the country for seventy years. In colonial America, state-sanctioned private lotteries were popular and common and used to finance all kinds of public works (Abt et al. 1985; Clotfelter and Cook 1989). These lotteries were organised by volunteers, usually public-spirited citizens, with all proceeds after the payment of prizes going to a specific public programme. Projects such as the building of highways, schools and hospitals and the supply and support to troops during the Revolution were funded by the profits of these lotteries (Clotfelter and Cook 1989:34). Churches were also the beneficiaries of state lotteries, with the exception of the Quakers who consistently opposed lotteries on religious grounds. For example, sixty lotteries were authorised by Pennsylvania between 1790 and 1833 to benefit various Church groups (Clotfelter and Cook 1989:36). Although there was some criticism of lotteries on moral grounds by the Churches, it was not until the early nineteenth century and the emergence of private lotteries for profit that controversy surrounding lotteries intensified. The increased demand for public infrastructure in the United States motivated more lottery authorisations in the nineteenth century, which in turn attracted the attention of private enterprise. Initially private firms started handling the selling of tickets, opening numerous lottery shops throughout the country. So successful were these enterprises that they began to operate their own lotteries and soon private lotteries outnumbered the volunteer state-sanctioned organisations (Clotfelter and Cook 1989:35–7). As found in Britain and to a lesser extent in Australia, increasing evidence of fraud and dishonesty, as well as concern about the immoral influence of gambling, prompted concern from middle-class social reformers in the United States and legislation prohibiting lotteries was slowly introduced in various states from 1833. By 1860 only three American states still allowed lotteries to operate legally. The Louisiana lottery was the last to survive prohibition, closing in 1894 when Congress passed a series of restrictions on the use of postal services to conduct lotteries (Clotfelter and Cook 1989:38). No legal, government-sponsored lottery existed in the United States from 1894 until 1964. There are many theories as to why lotteries were prohibited for seventy years, and it would appear that arguments similar to those voiced against gaming and betting in England and Australia were more effective and more widely held by the middle classes in the United States. Those in power maintained that the values of thrift and prudence were major components of ‘what made America great’, and successfully outlawed popular gambling practices, such as lotteries, long after other industrialised countries had permitted their operation (Abt et al. 1985:191–203). Lotteries, more than any other type of contemporary gaming and betting activity, were seen to most threaten Puritan values

Social evil or social good?


which dominated middle-class American attitudes in the nineteenth century. It was thought that individual rise to wealth and social respectability could only be achieved by honesty, diligence and frugality. It was only when there was a shift from a productive to a consumptive ethic in the middle of the twentieth century, with success measured by material possessions, that gambling both as an activity and as a form of state revenue was tolerated (Abt et al. 1985:194–200). The United States’ relatively prolonged intolerance of legal gambling contrasts sharply with Australia’s, where legislators were more discriminatory in their suppression of gaming and betting. It has already been shown that many Australian state governments, Queensland in particular, were able to justify their operation of lotteries by using the profits for worthwhile purposes. Furthermore, at the time when the Queensland government took over the Golden Casket, the ALP was driven by the ideals of reformist socialism which philosophically endorsed public ownership of major enterprises in the state. It is no coincidence that the next Australian state government to own and operate a lottery (New South Wales) was also an ALP government. The capacity for state government autonomy and control over gambling was greatly assisted in Australia by constitutional protection from federal interference. The US Congress, by contrast, passed a series of effective restrictions against states still operating lotteries in the late nineteenth century, prohibiting all mail referring to lotteries and all lottery activity in interstate commerce (Clotfelter and Cook 1989:38). In both Australia and the United States private lotteries were seen as a potential source of corruption and fraud, and were either tightly controlled or prevented from operating. The first state in the United States to reintroduce a lottery was New Hampshire in 1964. It is interesting to compare the organisation and circumstances of this lottery to Queensland’s Golden Casket. New Hampshire had few conventional means of raising state taxes and was heavily reliant upon alternative sources of finance, including excise taxes on tobacco, horse-racing and alcohol (Clotfelter and Cook 1989:142).14 Revenue for state-funded projects was scarce and the state ranked lowest in state aid to education. Like Queensland in 1920, the government was under considerable pressure to find other forms of revenue and lottery bills had been proposed as early as 1937. Also, New Hampshire had a disproportionately high percentage of Catholics and a relatively high percentage of foreign-born residents. This lessened the political and cultural influence of ‘conservative Yankee puritanism’ (Clotfelter and Cook 1989:142–3). Unlike Queensland’s, New Hampshire’s lottery was in fact a sweepstake. Federal gambling laws in the United States would have imposed a tax on wagering if the state had organised a conventional lottery. The state only organised two drawings a year, and towns within New Hampshire could vote to exclude sweepstake tickets being sold in their area. Due to the restrictions on purchasing tickets and the limited number of drawings, the lottery proved to be unpopular, with sales declining each year. In contrast, Queensland’s Golden Casket was a huge success because it more effectively met working-class needs both in cost and in accessibility, with the Queensland government running as many lotteries as there was demand for tickets. Furthermore, lottery prizes in Australia are tax-free, therefore having an immediate capacity to transform lives. New Hampshire’s sweepstake, although operating nearly fifty years after the Golden Casket began, was a very tentative state enterprise in comparison.

Gambling cultures


The second state to operate a lottery in the United States, New York in 1967, had similar problems to those of New Hampshire, although twelve drawings a year were permitted (Abt et al. 1985:56–7). Neither New Hampshire’s nor New York’s lotteries was very successful and it was not until 1970, when New Jersey’s state lottery started, that lotteries became highly profitable state enterprises in the United States. The New Jersey lottery better suited purchasers’ needs. Tickets were only 50 cents each, drawings were weekly and any convenient retail business was allowed to be a lottery outlet. Sales totalled US$73 million in six months (Abt et al. 1985:57). Since the early 1970s lotteries have proliferated in the United States, although by 1989 there were still only twenty-eight states operating lotteries. Along with other forms of gaming and betting, lotteries have a high profile in the United States today and, where they operate, are one of the major enterprises provided by state governments. Another feature of lotteries in the United States is the absence of private enterprise control. Although a number of states allow non-profit organisations to sell charity game tickets, every American state government which has legalised lotteries has sole right to provide lottery games within its borders (Clotfelter and Cook 1989:238). Private industry is only allowed to supply and retail the government’s lottery product. Admittedly, the state governments’ agreements with private enterprise are substantial, with most states allowing private firms to manage their lotteries for a generous fee. Nevertheless, the involvement of private enterprise in lotteries is limited. As in Australia, it is thought that government monopoly is the result of nineteenth-century scandals involving private lotteries (Abt et al. 1985:63). Most privately operated lotteries were tainted by fraud and corruption and governments moved quickly to ban their operations. The laws prohibiting private lotteries in the United States have never been revoked. Considering America’s predilection for free enterprise, this is remarkable. Despite the relatively late legalisation of lotteries and other forms of gaming and betting in the United States, gambling practices continued. Charity raffles and church bingo were popular during the seventy-year ban on lotteries and Americans were major customers of the Irish Sweepstakes, started in 1930 (Clotfelter and Cook 1989:38). The persistence of numerous forms of illegal gambling practices throughout this period also suggests that middle-class reformers never achieved hegemony. The two most popular illegal lottery games were called ‘policy’ (or ‘insurance’) and ‘numbers’. ‘Policy’ was attractive because betting was cheap; one simply gambled on drawn numbers in a fashion similar to lotto today. ‘Numbers’ was also cheap and easy to play, with patrons guessing combinations of three numbers being drawn daily (Clotfelter and Cook 1989:39–40). So popular are these and other illegal gaming and betting practices in the United States that they have continued after laws on gambling were loosened. For example, in 1976 the Federal Bureau of Investigation estimated that over US$45 billion was spent that year on illegal wagering (Abt et al. 1985:204).

LOTTERIES TODAY For a government to legalise a lottery for its own economic and political purposes in 1920 was unusual. Although gambling as a social activity was firmly established in the Australian colonies in the nineteenth century, lotteries have been controversial and

By 1991 thirty-four states owned lotteries which together attracted 90 million players and US$20. lotteries now offer instant ‘scratch-off’ games which offer not only simulated play value. rose 22 per cent while ordinary A$2 lottery ticket sales dropped by 18 per cent (Courier-Mail 1991). suggests that the middle classes were not successful in eradicating gambling practices or winning populist support. lotteries have continued to be well patronised.16 Governments’ commitments to lotteries today raise questions about the contradictory role of the state. more technically sophisticated games such as machine gaming and casinos. In response.Social evil or social good? 75 subject to severe anti-gambling legislation since the nineteenth century. Today lotteries continue to be popular. principally because lotteries have adapted their product to meet changing demand. The Golden Casket survived after the First World War because of a number of unique factors. In the United States. passive act of buying a ticket. lotteries are the most profitable public enterprise owned by governments and rank second behind higher education as the most important state product sold to the public (Clotfelter and Cook 1989:238). Queensland’s total lottery sales were A$518. frequent outlays of cash and where tickets are easily procured.8 million. however. As Dombrink has argued in the preceding chapter.000 people in the United States have become ‘overnight’ millionaires as a result of lottery wins (Time International 1991:74). more involvement than the simple. At the time. this attitude towards gambling. but also immediacy in results. Queensland’s success in owning and operating a lottery prompted other state governments in Australia to follow suit from the 1930s. It is estimated that more than 3. In the United States lotteries continued to be seen as the antithesis of Puritan values and the middle classes kept a tight rein on anti-gambling legislation until the 1960s. and lotteries in particular. attracts working-class clientele irrespective of the law. such as prostitution and alcohol. Despite the introduction of other. then and now? The Queensland government in 1920 justified the takeover and use of the Golden Casket for the same reasons that the lottery was popular with the general public: wagers were small.6 billion in ticket sales that year (Time International 1991:74). other ‘vices’. including the Labor government’s desperate financial situation and because Chuter shrewdly channelled the profits into the most respectable area of government spending of that era: mothers and babies. In Queensland in 1920 it was thought that if people are going to gamble. According to Clotfelter and Cook (1989:53–4). The widespread popularity of illegal lotteries and similar games throughout the twentieth century in the United States. Marketing attractions include the introduction of innovative games and huge ‘jackpot’ prizes which offer a windfall which will change people’s lives. Gambling which requires small. as they are called.15 The popularity of instant rub-off games is reflected in Queensland’s Golden Casket for 1990/91 where sales for ‘scratch-its’. with a profit of A$152 million making a substantial contribution to state revenue (Courier-Mail 1991). The enticement of becoming an instant millionaire has been another important factor in the continuing popularity of lotteries. have had neither unambiguous government sanction nor government encouragement. was distinctive although since then it has become common in other jurisdictions. lottery players today want more ‘play value’. What is the special nature of lotteries that makes them so acceptable as a revenue source. . then the government might as well benefit from the enterprise. In the 1990/91 financial year.

outdoor relief. Abolishing the Council was the first plank of the ALP’s policies and they were successful in 1922. 707. 6 Quiggin notes that birth rates had been declining since the 1860s. hospitals. lottery profits have become an essential and comparatively reliable component of state revenue. The principal public servant of this department was called the Under Secretary and the Minister was called the Home Secretary. .32 persons per square mile (Queensland Government. while people continue to support lotteries for whatever reasons. Queensland’s population. question in the light of recent leaps in the amount of per capita spending on legalised gaming and betting. For unknown reasons. However. or both? This is a perplexing. a number of government reforms were blocked in the Legislative Council (the Upper House). 3 Despite many state socialist achievements. NOTES 1 The Home Office in Queensland was based on the British model and was responsible for all domestic affairs of the state. The existence of organisations such as Gamblers Anonymous (in Australia) and the Council on Compulsive Gambling (in the United States) highlights some of the social and behavioural problems resulting from the growing number of gambling choices. 7 The ladies’ committee was unable to raise enough money to meet the ever-increasing demand for the hospital’s services. especially in Australia where in 1991 per capita gambling was 60 per cent higher than in the United States (The Bulletin 1991:80). prisons. police. was 676. the population had increased to 875.Gambling cultures 76 the profits went to a worthwhile cause and the government was thought to be better able to control the potential for criminal behaviour. not all of them honestly. the register-general. In 1916 Queensland decided to hold an inquiry and went so far as to appoint a commission to investigate reasons for Queensland’s declining birth rate. in northern Queensland. If. 2 Wilson points out that there were many sweepstake clubs operating in the 1870s and 1880s. along with all hospitals in south-east Queensland. 187 but averaged only 1. For instance. electoral registration and Aborigines. governments are likely to want a piece of the action. then governments must accept their partial responsibility for creating the problems (as well as the pleasures) associated with the current booming gambling industry. Many clubs disappeared before the draw was held. The most famous inquiry into the declining birth rate in Australia was conducted in New South Wales in 1903–4. as the evidence suggests. For better or for worse. what criteria should governments use to evaluate the performance of their lotteries in the 1990s: on the basis of profit or by considering some notion of general public interest. Its major concern was to investigate whether or not white settlers could colonise tropical Australia. but Queensland’s decline was erratic until the 1890s. 4 In 1914. excluding Aborigines. people gamble more when there is a larger variety of ways to gamble. The growth in state lotteries today and the extensive advertising campaigns used by governments to attract both new players and old players to spend more raises new questions about the role of the state in gambling enterprises. 1928). By 1926. In 1935 the Home Office changed its name to the Department of Health and Home Affairs. the inquiry was never undertaken (Home Office 1916). yet important. In 1920 this included health. In desperation they finally resigned in 1921 and the government took over the running of the hospital in 1924. 5 In 1909 the Commonwealth government established the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Townsville. ABC of Queensland Statistics 1916.

Lawrence: University of Kansas Press. 1894–1962’. Australian Labor Party Queensland Branch (1926) ‘Mothers of Queensland your duty is clear’. letters or words hidden under a vinyl covering. BIBLIOGRAPHY Abt.). The Mail. in the period 1977–80. Courier-Mail (1991) ‘Casket boom as gambling hits $2 billion’. reinstated most of his duties. 9 In 1921 the government increased the price of a ticket to 5s 3d. They held a Royal Commission in 1930 which amounted to little more than an outright attack on Chuter and a removal of many of his duties on committees.. Charlton. The Royal Historical Society of Queensland 6(4):908–41. Methodist. Council of Churches (1933) ‘To dishonesty. Brisbane (28 Dec. St Lucia: University of Queensland Press. which served for three years between 1929 and 1932. and Christiansen. T. Cilento. Bowman. J.Social evil or social good? 77 8 The glorification of motherhood in early twentieth-century Australia is a complex issue. C. (1989) Selling Hope: State Lotteries in America. (1989) Blockade: The Queensland Loans Affair 1920 to 1924. E.000 annually. 174). was very distrustful of Chuter’s power in the Home Office. . Australian lottery winnings are paid in a single lump sum and are exempt from both state and federal taxation. D. (1987) Two Flies up a Wall: The Australian Passion for Gambling. (1985) The Business of Risk: Commercial Gambling in Mainstream America. Casket provokes churches’ statement’. Federal tax was also subtracted until 1924. in addition to hundreds of smaller donations in the same period (Wilson 1980:208–10). Marriage was deemed an essential part of every truly feminine woman’s life plan. Total profit varied slightly from the 1930s but amounted to approximately 23 per cent of total revenue. P 324. Sydney: Methuen Haynes. MA: Harvard University Press. eugenicist debates. V. Brisbane: The Worker Newspaper. Queensland Labor-in-Politics Convention. Official Record of Proceedings. 13 Continued government tolerance of Tattersall’s is attributable not only to the company’s apparent integrity and honesty. P. 12 The Council of Churches was an affiliated group composed of Anglican. but also to the use of some of its profits for charitable purposes. (1910) ‘President’s opening address’. and motherhood was designated the central content of feminine work (Matthews 1984:112. Scratching off the covering shows whether or not a prize has been won. Smith. Part 2. 11 The Country and Progressive National government. Brisbane (23 June). Church of Christ and Baptist Churches and the Salvation Army temples. and patriarchal definitions of a woman’s role in life. considering a skilled tradesman’s wages was approximately £300–500 per year. Brisbane. In 1932 the new Labor government. which fully supported Chuter’s work. with 3d per ticket being used to pay state income tax. 16 The life-altering effect of a large lottery win in the United States is dampened by the common practice of the prize being paid in twenty annual taxable instalments. and Cook. John Oxley Library. over ninety charities received donations in excess of A$1. Congregational. Clotfelter. inextricably linked with concerns about the declining birth rate. For instance. R. pamphlet. P. 10 The value of these prizes at the time was enormous. Cochrane. (1961–62) ‘Medicine in Queensland. Cambridge. 15 The ‘scratch-off’ ticket has a combination of numbers. Presbyterian.7 MOT. 14 New Hampshire had neither a sales tax nor an income tax.

——(1916–29) Correspondence with the Home Office. HOM/J215. St Lucia: University of Queensland Press. no.R. J. Premier’s Office (1919) Copy of report of the deputation from the Australian Natives Association to the Acting Premier. (1988) A Mug’s Game: A History of Gaming and Betting in Australia.B. (1958) The Australian Legend. (1980) The Luck of the Draw: A Centenary of Tattersall’s Sweeps 1881–1981. Hanlon. .K. Golden Casket Art Union Annual Report. ——(1923–30) Correspondence with the Home Office re. Matthews.). Fitzgerald. E. Warwick Daily News (1939) ‘Monument to motherhood’ (11 Dec. Melbourne: Thomas Nelson. T.). R. Truth (1932) (23 Oct. Queensland State Archives.Eadington (1986) ‘The evolution of gambling laws in Australia’. M. (1982) ‘Catholicism in Queensland 1910–35’. Queensland State Archives.Joyce and C. 1936/37.Murphy. Quiggin. (1977) The Catholic Church and Community in Australia: A History. Wilson. Queensland Government (1915–36) ABC of Queensland Statistics. (1933) ‘Matter solely for the individual’. J. Melbourne: Oxford University Press. Hughes (eds) Labor in Power: The Labor Party and Governments in Queensland 1915–57. New York Journal of International and Comparative Law 8(1):167–92. no. ——(1947) 2.Wilson Publishing Co. ——(1938) Queensland Parliamentary Debates. Australia (1991) ‘Betting your life on it’.). J.J. the Golden Casket. Brisbane (26 June). Anti-Gambling. 138. The Bulletin. O’Farrell. Edward Theodore. Sydney (10 June). Sydney: George Allen & Unwin. (1984) A History of Queensland from 1915 to the 1980s. (1980) ‘Health and social welfare’. Melbourne: Oxford University Press. D. Golden Casket Art Union Annual Report. R. J. Jordan. Royal Commission to Enquire into Certain Matters Appertaining to the Golden Casket Art Union. (1991) From Prohibition to Regulation: Bookmaking. ——(1951–52) 2. vol. (1933) ‘Queensland minister replies to church criticism of Golden Casket’. Queensland State Archives. 6 March. Canberra: Australian National University Printing Service. University of Queensland. ——(1937) 2. Time International (1991) ‘Life at the end of the rainbow’. Queensland Parliamentary Papers (1925) 3. Queensland State Archives. Golden Casket Art Union Annual Report. vol. Macintyre. 173 (20 Oct). PhD thesis. 1924/25. (1984) Good and Mad Women: The Historical Construction of Femininity in Twentieth-century Australia. Kensington: New South Wales University Press.A. A/4679.). 18 (4 Nov. (1988) No Rising Generation: Women and Fertility in Late Nineteenth Century Australia. Courier. (1986) The Oxford History of Australia. 1946/47. O’Hara. P. A/4678. ——(1920–39) Correspondence with the Home Office re. 113.Gambling cultures 78 Dixon. COL/359. McMillen. Brisbane: Government Printer. S. R. Duhig.J. P. Melbourne: T. P. in D. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Home Office (1916) Correspondence with the Home Office. vol 4:1901–1942. Queensland State Archives. the Golden Casket. 5781 (6 Aug. 16:10439. and the Law. MacGinley. COL/165. Ward. Smiths Weekly. St Lucia: University of Queensland Press. and W.

and their interrelations with national popular cultures. In addition. combined with the preservation (in the interests of horse-racing and upper-class gamblers) of legal on-course betting and bookmaking (O’Hara 1988:115–18. Australia and Britain are fundamentally comparable in terms of economic and social structure. In both countries. 11. in policing traditions. concerted shift away from relying on criminal prohibition came in the 1950s and 1960s. Led by Victoria. While the analysis of principle was the same. However. working-class composition. Dixon 1991: chs 3 and 4). Employing a common set of anti-gambling arguments (Charlton 1987: ch. and incorporated previously illegal operators into a legally regulated and taxed system of licensed betting shops. they had significant influences on public policy. Fox 1988. 142–9. and intra-state relations) can be identified as having produced divergent strategies in the control of popular gambling. the keystone of the state’s strategy was prohibition of working-class gambling. the Totalisator Agency Boards. 1988: ch. The focus is on the development of public policy and law enforcement. Australia was influenced by Britain: the 1949–51 Royal Commission’s discussion of principles for the control of gambling (Willink 1951: ch. this class-discriminatory strategy reached its peak with the Street Betting Act 1906. Once again. Britain decriminalised off-course cash betting and bookmaking. The British and Australian anti-gambling movements both enjoyed their heyday in the decades around the turn of this century. In Britain.2 . dominant political ideology and class relations. Kinsella 1963:23–6).4 ILLEGAL BETTING IN BRITAIN AND AUSTRALIA Contrasts in control strategies and cultures David Dixon This chapter offers a comparative analysis of some responses to illegal off-course betting and bookmaking in twentieth-century Britain and Australia. 4) provided a bench-mark for subsequent Australian inquiries (for example. A formal. O’Hara 1981:75–6. The objective here is to account for why public policy in Australia and Britain diverged in this way and to comment on the relative success and failure of each strategy. specific differences (for example. 5). early Australian betting and sporting practices and laws were heavily influenced by those in Britain. fiscal policies. and from 1960 the paths of British and Australian betting controls diverged. 2. the resultant policies were very different. legal system. Dixon 1991: ch. Very similar legislation was passed in the same year in Victoria and in New South Wales (O’Hara 1988:142–8). the Australian states generally maintained their prohibitions on off-course ‘SP’ bookmaking1 and attempted to compete with it by operating a system of state-run ‘TABs’.

McCoy 1981:53). Hickie 1985:328–30) and leading (via corruption) to the unauthorised use of on-course press and police communications systems. whose services are needed to install telephones. a distinctive element of the bookmakers’ response to police crackdowns has been the use of telephone systems (Hickie 1985:337–8. and later. 340. and the impossibility of distinguishing information required for (legal) off-course credit betting from that used by (illegal) offcourse cash bookmakers (Dixon 1991:167–72). The reasons for this included antagonism and lack of cooperation between the Home Office and the General Post Office. This necessitates a complex illicit phone network: its scale became clear when. A consequence has been the apparently widespread corruption of the Postmaster General’s Department and (later) Telecom employees. Legislation (in Queensland in 1936 and New South Wales in 1938) ‘aimed at the total eradication of SP’ (McCoy 1981:43) by means of limiting or banning the broadcasting of results and the communication of odds from racecourses. Attempts at suppression away from the racecourse had similarly counter-productive results. 1981:36. shops or. however. the growth of the new. Clark et al. 1978:18). In contrast. Advances in the technology and marketing of communications—first. Information became a commodity around which an illegal organisation was constructed (McCoy 1980:103. 240). (SP’s place in bars has been demonstrated by its inclusion in the ‘goodwill’ costs at the sale of premises. connect lines and provide switching and diversion transmission arrangements (CJC 1990:30. O’Hara 1988:191– 2). In Australia. O’Hara 1988:233. Costigan 1984: ch. beginning with the employment of tic-tac men signalling to observers outside the course (McCoy 1981:44. Hickie 1985:356–60. the bookmaking business becomes impossible. and concentrated their attacks on it. telephone and radio services—resulted in the growth of off-course bookmaking operations upon which punters could rely. most typically.Gambling cultures 80 INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION A crucial factor was the contrast in the policing of information by state agencies. gaming squads developed . 6. popular sporting press in the nineteenth century. the completion of national telegraph. The British authorities never developed the policing of information as a tactic. for example. 364. Systematic corruption is likely to result. If the communication of information is prevented or even seriously disrupted. bars. 149. was the organisation of illegal systems of communication. Punters contact bookmakers working by telephone either directly or via a runner or agent. Offcourse bookmaking depends upon information—betting odds and race results. New South Wales police ‘discovered’ a fullscale telephone exchange handling illegal bookmaking transactions (McCoy 1981:44–5). a number of campaigns against Australian SP in the inter-war years identified the communication of information as a legitimate target. In the intermittent crackdowns (from those in the 1920s to those designed to support the introduction and expansion of the TABs after 1960). and prohibiting newspapers from publishing betting odds or tips (McCoy 1981:41–5.) International experience shows that the main effect of this kind of policing is usually to encourage bookmakers (and suppliers of other illegal services and products) to organise cooperative arrangements and self-protection. political sensitivity about the interception of communications and about press censorship. The result. In response. the police aimed at the most visible and vulnerable part of the bookmaking system—independent SP bookmakers operating in clubs.

the result was an illegal bookmaking business in Australia which was very different from that in Britain before 1960 in terms of organisation. ‘the inventions of the sharpers’ are ‘swifter than the punishment of the law.3 Accounts of how the modern SP system developed to become a functional part (particularly for money-laundering) of national criminal syndicates generally display the difficulties and weaknesses of an Australian obsession with ‘organised crime’. The result is a distorted view of the subject matter. prison sentences for betting offences are very rare. as in Queensland. functional links with other criminal activities. This contrasts with Britain. which only hunts them from one device to another’ (1769:173). This dependence upon the threat or use of violence pushed SP bookmaking further into networks of illegal activity. Nevertheless. The ‘punishment of the law’ also suffers from lack of weight. factors such as the ease of revenue collection from a competitive betting structure became more influential than they might otherwise have done. A pattern emerges which is familiar from attempts to police illegal gambling since at latest the eighteenth century. cf. Dominant accounts are sensationalised. Sydney currently has three large-scale. In New South Wales. Meagher 1983:31). O’Malley 1985). franchised. In these circumstances. This increased enforcement capacity was countered by bookmakers turning to the use of portable and. SP bookmaking operations. more significantly. SP bookmaking consequently involved the employment of standover men as debt enforcers (CJC 1990:3. In consequence. even when available. What might have been a first step towards legalisation was thwarted by the intervention of scandals about police corruption and organised crime. As Blackstone put it. imprisonment for SP offences was abolished in 1979. In the 1980s. but there have been problems in enforcing payment of fines where. Yet nor could they be completely suppressed. The availability of credit gives SP a highly significant advantage over the TABs. ‘organised crime’ is seen as a distinct field of operations rather than in terms of its intimate and functional (not merely individual) links with legitimate political and commercial activities. Hogg 1984. individualistic. where illegal bookmakers were normally unwilling to extend credit to working-class punters. legalisation of off-course bookmaking has been regarded as impracticable: SP bookmakers were not the kind of people whose operations could be legalised. SP is associated with race-fixing and other problems in the racing industry (CJC 1990:16–20). An additional consequence of pushing SP into the telephone system is that it is thereby encouraged to operate a credit system. For example. default imprisonment is not available. pressure from the TABs to protect revenues led some states to strengthen penalties. which in many respects echoes debates in the 1960s about the Mafia in the United States (cf. Imprisonment was reintroduced as a sentencing option in 1989. in their journalistic priorities. in particular. and relations with the authorities. . A large-scale illegal credit betting system requires sanctions for punters who cannot or will not pay losing bets. which are permitted to operate only in cash. in their monochrome view of the world as being ‘ultimately divided into “goodies” and “baddies’” (Brown 1984–85:10. and moralistic. McCoy 1981:45–9.Illegal betting in britain and australia 81 technological and investigative methods of tracing bookmakers. in their search for a ‘Mr Big’ and in the judicial style of official inquiries. including predeposit accounts. Block and Chambliss 1981: chs 6 and 9). cellular telephones.

There must be doubts about the limited focus of these inquiries and about the political will and ability to confront fundamental realities of the relations between crime. and must be explained in terms of contrasting histories of police-public and police-government relations (Finnane 1987. any corruption within them is more visible. Like other public bodies. Sparrow et al. including SP. In 1992. It soon began a major investigation of SP. and has been for 30 years’ (Clark et al. 178–9. but in Australia. Political and commercial corruption may in fact be no more common than in Britain. New South Wales. ICAC launched an investigation into New South Wales police involvement in corruption and other criminal activities. Between 1984 and 1991. Western Australia and Queensland provided notable examples in the late 1980s and early 1990s. and was a major factor in leading to the early acceptance in Britain that prohibition would have to be replaced. caution lingers about the prospects for long-term and comprehensive effects.Gambling cultures 82 ENFORCEMENT AND CORRUPTION In Australia. Corruption in this period achieved an importance that was related not to its objective scale. While these are important steps. It is tempting to say that all this is now changing. scandals emerge and individuals may be prosecuted or forced to resign. Hickie 1985:259–326. The media have played a key role in this process of normalisation: exposure and condemnation have been tempered by the depiction of the corrupt as embodying supposedly fundamental Australian virtues of anti-authoritarianism. However. corruption seems to have been accepted almost as an inevitable part of public life. but to what it signified for the state more generally. of corruption as part of the Australian way of public life means that reform efforts (in SP as elsewhere) have to cope with entrenched apathy about the possibility of change. the New South Wales police service was subjected to attempts at major organisational and cultural reform under the leadership of Commissioner John Avery (see. Attitudes to police corruption have been very different from those in Britain. 1978:18. In Britain. business and politics in Australia. Because of its threat to this ideology. Proctor 1985). even acceptance. McCoy 1980:150. O’Hara 1985:382–5). such . This tolerance. Consequently. Exposure creates scandal. cf. Periodically. This perspective requires revision of the standard accounts in which the legalisation of off-course cash betting was a product of alleged features of post-war social change. the late 1980s saw the exposure and downfall of the old political regime and the establishment of the Criminal Justice Commission (CJC) (Fitzgerald 1989). few people are surprised or expect anything to change in the long term: ‘who bribed whom for what is a commonplace of cynical Sydney conversation. for example. betting prohibition and its associated problems (including police corruption) occurred during a period when an enduring and powerful ideological construction was being completed—the ideal of the British police officer who has a special relationship with the public based on shared values and ‘consent’. 1990:73–7). In Queensland. the realities of power are nearer to the surface of political and commercial activities. ‘larrikinism’ and individualism. it is supervised by an ombudsman and by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). police corruption was taken much more seriously in this period than it had been before. but this usually does not amount to any general political or ideological threat.

and business was conducted responsibly (that is. 7). These policing efforts were not enough and (despite the occasional employment of special squads) were not usually designed to drive bookmaking fully underground. as magistrates realised that the defendants appeared by arrangement. Davies 1992: ch. betting was done discreetly). the organisation of the betting system meant that actual bookmakers were rarely brought to court. illegal bookmaking was tolerated as long as public order was maintained (that is. and could not be made more effective because striking at the roots of the bookmaking system was politically out of the question. Bookmaking was part. Prohibition relied on a sliding scale of punishments to act as a deterrent. and even those who were often received only fines. They were rarely eligible for imprisonment. Its concern about harmful contact between bookmaker and punter led to the proposal of an impracticable scheme: bets were to be deposited in a special letter box at the bookmaker’s premises. Police policy became one of containment. 6). However. Regulated by a system of pay-offs and provision of stooges for arrest and conviction. As a result of the factors noted above. Clapson 1992. While a steady stream of defendants was produced for the courts (and the crime statistics). the illegality of bookmaking was not an obstacle in considering what could be done: illegal bookmakers could be (and were) accepted as the basis of a new. Decriminalisation was recommended by a Royal Commission in 1933 (Rowlatt 1933). The intention was regulation. the change of state policy from prohibition towards administrative regulation was a product not of the 1950s. This allowed all concerned to regard betting offences as not serious. In fact. legal bookmaking business. proceedings became increasingly ritualised. not ‘real crime’ (Dixon 1991: ch. Consequently. the authorities were not prepared to use the kind of tactics against the media and communications systems which were a feature of this period in Australia. not of a criminal subculture. but of the 1920s and 1930s (Dixon 1991). This was of great significance when the issue of legalisation was finally faced in the 1950s. but rather of a wider popular culture for which the laws and values of middle-class society had limited relevance (Chinn 1991. However. meant that the recommendation was shelved. British bookmakers did not require the level of organisation or sophisticated communications systems developed in Australia. along with the continuing strength of anti-gambling sentiment. not suppression.Illegal betting in britain and australia 83 as ‘affluence’ and embourgeoisement. The issue had been brought to a head by a series of scandals about police corruption in the 1920s. As noted above. imprisonment was available for a third offence. the crucial matter was that the impossibility of prohibition and the inevitability of its eventual replacement had been publicly acknowledged (Dixon 1991:320–9). From the 1930s. This. . Laws directed at street bookmakers were unsuccessful. bookmaking was able to remain at the level of small-scale operation. primarily with adult males). it was widely realised that prohibition was unworkable and would be replaced sooner or later.

State dependence on gambling revenue was thought to imply endorsement or approval of gambling. This. The New Zealand TAB. Second. it was claimed. 58). In Australia. . there was the experience of the 1926–29 Betting Duty (Dixon 1991: ch. the arguments against ‘state complicity’ in gambling included objections not just to taxation. but to any form of close regulatory contact. in 1991–92.Gambling cultures 84 TAXATION The Australian choice of TABs must be set in the context of a willingness by the states to take revenue from gambling which contrasts substantially with the attitude of British governments at mid-century. In contrast. was the priority. The Betting Duty had been introduced against the Home Office’s wishes and advice. there was a history of support for totalisators in Australia. with consequential social problems. Indeed. would lead to increased levels of gambling. in the 1950s. control. which began operations in 1951. issue. totalisators promised to provide a simple and assured source of state revenue. In addition. Lotteries have been a regular source of state income and states have increasingly looked to casinos as a source of revenue (McMillen 1986). For this reason. and it provides considerable revenue which is under the control of state rather than national government. First. Revenue potential was significant in the reconsideration of policy towards off-course betting in the 1960s (McCoy 1981:54. rather than a fiscal. provided an attractive and successful exemplar. 8). This confidence in the potential product of taxing betting has proved to be well founded: for example. O’Hara 1988:220–6). Kinsella 1963:44–7. The allegedly dire effects of the eighteenth. This attempt to tax betting was such a disaster that the Treasury and the Customs and Excise were reluctant to consider betting taxes for many years thereafter: ‘if a revenue Department is allowed to have a heart. it was not taxed initially: although a levy for horse-racing was introduced in 1961. there was a long history of principled objections in Britain to the taxation of gambling. gambling taxation is attractive because it is not particularly unpopular among taxpayers and voters. betting and bookmaking were regarded as essentially a ‘social’. Likely difficulties in collection of tax from SP bookmakers constituted an important objection to their legalisation (O’Hara 1988:234. the name of this duty is there inscribed’ (Crombie 1962:121). from racing interests and from working-class leaders and more liberal politicians (McCoy 1981:36–7). When off-course cash betting was eventually legalised in 1960. It was argued that the state demeaned itself by drinking at a poisoned well— gambling was inherently immoral and therefore the state should have nothing to do with it (Dixon 1991:120).and nineteenth-century state lotteries were usually summoned as evidence. the TAB contributed AS256. not potential revenue. not of the Customs and Excise. The result was that. the General Betting Duty was not imposed until 1966. state ownership and management of betting facilities were hardly even considered as serious possibilities by the major inquiries.7 million to the revenue of New South Wales (NSW TAB 1992:2). and its humiliating failure ensured the dominance of the Home Office view in future discussions. Consideration of reform was the concern of the Home Office.

149. this is a portrayal which the Rothschild Commission rejected (1978:29) and which bookmakers find particularly irksome (Ladbroke Group 1976). see also Charlton 1987:209–10). As a result of these factors. providing a response to accusations that such legislation was ‘class law’. there is the image of the bookmaker. and attitudes towards bookmakers and towards punters. the support provided by labour leaders was crucial to the anti-gambling movement. impropriety and immorality. Arguments from the left against anti-gambling lacked influence. McCoy 1980:113–15. with anti-gambling essentially the preserve of middle-class Protestants. Even moralistic zealots such as Fred Nile in New South Wales have not mounted significant opposition to the expansion of legal betting facilities. McCoy (1980) has insisted that this romantic image is not only outdated (if it ever was accurate). benign purveyors of innocent working-class leisure. 1988:254).Illegal betting in britain and australia 85 ANTI-GAMBLING AND THE WORKING CLASS This section considers three significant contrasts between Britain and Australia: the role of religion. This is a clear example of the great influence of Nonconformism on the British labour movement. In Britain. In contrast. modern moralists usually concentrate on other targets. while the views of the ordinary punter rarely reached any public audience. the Australian debate about gambling has tended to divide on common class and religious lines. a powerful weapon of the anti-gambling movement was the portrayal of the off-course cash bookmaker as an alien. There are lingering elements in the image of bookmaking as being somehow tainted by abuse. The growth in scale of SP bookmaking and its integration with other illegal activities (see above) has been ignored. A distinctive characteristic of British anti-gambling campaigns in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century was the fact that they crossed class boundaries. always willing to help people in financial trouble (McCoy 1981:35. Australian gambling has frequently been a political issue (Fox 1988. Policy has been developed on largely utilitarian. but also that what Costigan calls a pervasive and entrenched ‘myth of innocence’ (1984:87) has had damaging effects on public policy. reformist lines. Consequently. the gambling issue in Britain has been relatively depoliticised. the driving force of the anti-gambling movement was ‘new liberal’ paternalism. O’Hara 1985:219–29. O’Hara 1985:277–8). They have been widely seen as part of the working-class community. More generally. Realising the unpopularity of anti-gambling. exploitative parasite on the working-class community (Dixon 1991:34–7). 1981:34–5. although not necessarily towards its commercial exploitation (Charlton 1987:278. rather than class antagonism (Dixon 1991: ch. By contrast. Second. McCoy 1980:147. 38–9. In particular. a strong traditional image of Australian SP bookmakers is much more positive. Inglis 1985. Anti-gambling sentiment has been rejected as class hypocrisy (O’Hara 1981:77–80). The strong influence of Catholicism on the Australian Anglo-Celtic working class and its labour leadership contributed to a traditional tolerance of and sympathy towards gambling. In considerable contrast. The inaccuracy of this meant that legislation designed to suppress bookmakers was inappropriate and inadequate. they have campaigned against casino legalisation because of the potentially broader support for such opposition. The target of law . it legitimated legislative action against working-class gambling. 2).

there is not even systematic gathering and sharing of criminal intelligence about SP. These complacent clichés have had historical force: the perception of Australians as natural gamblers has inevitably promoted disbelief in the possible effectiveness of anti-gambling legislation (O’Hara 1981:83). gambling is an important part of a stereotypical (non-Aboriginal) Australian self-image. But nothing has replaced it.Gambling cultures 86 enforcement has been the individual bookmaker. This was one of the reasons why national legislation was passed in 1906. but seems to have had little impact. Little attention has been paid to who gamblers are. 1981). the punter is a shadowy figure. The anti-gambler’s image of the punter as a dupe on an inevitable road to disaster no longer carries weight. In turn. More serious problems emerged when gambling promoters worked from beyond national boundaries. and ‘always willing to “have a go’” (Costigan 1984:1. It was frequently claimed that bookmakers and punters avoided by-laws prohibiting street betting by simply shifting their meeting place over the local boundary. The result has been incoherence and inconsistency which often simply drove . Far from there being a national strategy for control. Third. Australian literature is replete with references to the Australians as ‘natural gamblers’ (Charlton 1987. This amounts to a significant inadequacy in the policy formulation process. Caldwell et al. held its own inquiries and introduced its own legislation (see O’Hara 1988: Appendices A and B for full details). in discussions of British betting (and gambling generally). The Rothschild Commission’s concern for punters’ interests was welcome. Inglis 1985. with authority over only limited segments of the total gambling scene. these problems seem insignificant compared with those experienced in Australia’s federal system in which gambling law is the concern of the states: The history of gambling regulation in Australia has produced a chaotic federal system whereby gambling is in the hands of a network of fragmented and divided bureaucratic structures at the level of the separate states. LOCAL AND NATIONAL STATES In the late nineteenth century. the British authorities experienced difficulties with gamblers who exploited regional differences in legal provisions. This is seen as being associated with or produced by other national characteristics: Australians are regarded as being ‘naturally’ anti-authoritarian. In contrast. running lotteries and betting operations via the post. However. when in reality SP operations are run at the level of state and interstate organisation (McCoy 1980. 1985). cf. Costigan 1984:1). fatalistic. each state at various times launched police crackdowns. An activity with interstate and national dimensions is approached as if independent state efforts are sufficient. how they see the business or why they gamble. (McMillen 1985:7) In the case of SP. each state government gambling agency operates within the boundaries of a narrowly defined area of responsibility.

McMillen has argued forcefully that gambling policy formulation in Australia must be opened up and made democratically accountable. taking bets on sports other than racing (notably. Caldwell et al. However.Illegal betting in britain and australia 87 bookmakers over the state border. 1985:2). on casino development—have usually been taken without substantial public consultation or debate (McMillen 1986:66). None of this is likely to increase the Australian SP punter’s regard for the law. Hall 1986:165). Commission reports are ignored unless they come to economically convenient conclusions (cf. The New South Wales TAB can claim to be ‘the largest off-course betting organisation in the world’ (NSW TAB 1990:2). ‘Tabaret’). upgrading facilities. The illegal market continues. and introducing new services and technology (teletext. O’Hara 1985:324). inquiries into casino development are usually established only after a decision to permit casinos has been made. The numerous Royal Commissions have been judicial bodies with specific references and objectives. Major decisions—for example. This further encouraged the use of telephones for SP betting. computerised betting options). Searching public inquiries (and Royal Commissions in particular) were abandoned during the 1980s because of their alleged inefficiency and time-wasting. In particular. Lloyd-Jones 1985 and Lusher 1977). and that a national inquiry is a necessary part of that process.190 million in 1991–92 (NSW TAB 1992:2). CONCLUSION In Australia. using technological skills and marketing techniques to expand the betting market by targeting and attracting people who would not otherwise have laid bets. providing new outlets in pubs and clubs. legitimation of executive decisions is high on their informal agenda (McMillen 1986). The New South Wales TAB has moved into the international market by providing a betting system for Hungary. 48). Australia has never even had a national inquiry into gambling.4 The Rothschild Commission’s recommendations that there was an ‘essential and urgent’ need for state-sponsored research into gambling and that developments in the betting business should be carefully scrutinised have been rejected or ignored (Rothschild 1978:20. with its role as a licensed poker-machine operator and its gaming-machine venue. While the telephone system is a federal responsibility. although to what extent and how it has been affected by the TAB is largely a matter of speculation because no reliable research on its operations . usually from Queensland or Victoria into New South Wales (Costigan 1984:13–14. with a turnover of A$3. in recent decades (in contrast to the interwar years) the appropriate authorities have displayed little interest in policing its use (Costigan 1984:58. The problem is not merely a lack of national legislation. 89. the trend is in the other direction. Here at least there are similarities with Britain. the TABs are aggressively expanding their operations. Sky Channel broadcasts. The TABs have responded to the drift in revenues from racing to gaming (McMillen 1991) by becoming increasingly entrepreneurial. The Victorian TAB is leading the way into diversification.200 million in 1990–91 and (affected by the recession) A$3. This lack of general debate is reflected in the reluctance of state officials to sponsor or participate in research activities (cf. Fitzgerald 1989:195. where legitimation seems increasingly to be the function of consultation exercises. Rugby League) and on special events (such as boxing championships and the Americas Cup).

The previously entrenched policy of allowing only the provision of services to cater for ‘unstimulated demand’ is quietly being abandoned. the crucial contemporary development is the bifurcation of the betting market.and small-scale punters. Legal restrictions have been eased. Ladbrokes. illegal bookmaking is big business. If SP’s market share is no more than 10 per cent (a proportion which is often suggested. Certainly. In part. it appears also to be the case that commercial concentration in bookmaking (particularly the withdrawal of services from some areas) has itself encouraged illegal operations (Dixon 1991:349–55). and particularly to attract a new generation (and class) of punters. However. it is clearly in the interests of the Gaming Squad (whose staff was substantially reduced in 1991) to maintain that SP remains a significant problem. although it is claimed that ‘despite the increase in legal racing turnover. with the result that SP and the TABs complement each other. the TAB provides an opportunity for laying off SP bets. and led to an increase in SP. A theme which emerges particularly strongly is one which is . far from eliminating small-scale SP. the line between legal and illegal markets is not as clear as it may appear: although not deliberately. allowing bookmakers to provide better facilities and services. It is sometimes suggested in New South Wales that the legalisation in 1983 of TAB agencies in licensed premises finished off small-scale SP betting. rather than compete. A parallel development has been the growth of an illegal betting market. Gaming Squad officers paint a very different picture: they suggest that. credit facilities. This can be tackled only by providing comparable (not alternative) legal services. ironically. off-course betting. This is likely to lead to further closure of premises and more illegal bookmaking. Coral and William Hill/Mecca.Gambling cultures 88 is available. although admittedly based on rudimentary estimates). notably in the communication of betting information. as the bookmakers apply standard market techniques in attempts to expand their business. This has major implications for the strategy of control by competition: SP is not threatened by TABs which are creating new markets of small-scale recreational punters.5 Similarly. with SP and the TABs concentrating respectively on large. The result has been to accelerate trends towards oligopolisation of the British betting market by the ‘Big Three’. ‘Pub Tab’ indirectly encouraged it. This is broadly the view of the TAB. It is beyond dispute that the TABs have taken some of SP’s actual or potential market. A similar process of commercialisation has affected British bookmaking. there are links between SP and legal racecourse bookmaking (CJC 1990:2). books confiscated during Gaming Squad raids show that by no means all small bets have disappeared into the TAB. SP bookmaking also continues to grow’ (CJC 1990:3). This chapter has discussed a selection of issues related to the control of illegal betting in Australia and Britain. While legal bookmakers claim that the rate of betting duty is solely responsible. Independent legal bookmakers suffered a substantial reduction in turnover in the early 1990s. these competing views illustrate differing organisational interests. In addition. SP is able to consolidate its effective monopoly of large-scale. These are different kinds of business. In particular. It seems to be beyond dispute that bifurcation of the betting market is in progress. This apparent paradox is merely superficial. crucially. The Sky Channel broadcasting provided for TAB patrons boosted interest in horse-racing. which they are able to attract by offering preferable odds and. SP bookmakers increasingly directed small punters to the TAB and concentrated on taking only larger bets.

Comparative analysis suggests that states face similar and serious problems in these areas. NSW: part IV. In Queensland. market concentration and rationalisation and resistance to regulation. For detailed historical accounts. the case of illegal betting exemplifies the need to understand crime and control not as distinct but rather as interactive and interdependent phenomena. with wide-ranging terms of reference. there are few useful criminal intelligence data on SP bookmaking in Australia. but regulation. particularly of any entrenched or systemic kind’. It has to deal not just with Blackstone’s ‘sharpers’ by enforcement of the criminal law. some of which are themselves state agencies. but also with legitimate commercial operators. The Independent Commission Against Corruption investigated the New South Wales Police Gaming Squad (focusing on the policing of illegal card games and amusement devices. including investigation of the ‘nature and extent of corruption within the Police Service. see Fox 1988. rather than on SP bookmaking) in the course of its inquiry into New South Wales police corruption. POSTSCRIPT Since this paper was completed. Sydney. strategies of control have been moulded in response to the resistance and adaptability of the illegal activities. a Royal Commission into the New South Wales Police Service was established. Inter alia. the links between illegal gambling and corruption have continued to attract attention in Australia. . in November 1992. Finally. the Criminal Justice Commission published its report. The primary control strategy of the modern state is not prohibition. this report argues that: SP bookmaking cannot be suppressed by law enforcement and can only be reduced by attracting its market share to legal operators. the Squad was disbanded in December 1993: see Independent Commission Against Corruption (1994) Investigation into the Relationship between Police and Criminals: First Report. NOTES 1 SP bookmaking refers to the starting price odds of racehorses set by on-course bookmakers. In Australia. 2 The historical account given here has obviously to be brief and highly selective. and the role of off-course credit bookmaking in Britain. O’Hara 1988:189–91). In turn. whether legal or illegal. and a coordinated national strategy to deal with SP is essential. SP Bookmaking and Related Criminal Activities in Queensland. 1988. restrictions on legal operations must be eased in order to make them more attractive and competitive. the meaning of SP has been extended by usage to signify the activity of off-course illegal bookmaking in general. see Dixon 1991. other differences between developments in Australian jurisdictions.Illegal betting in britain and australia 89 familiar in gambling studies: the difficulties which are experienced by state authorities in controlling commercialised gambling. As a result. In May 1994. The legal market in Britain and both the legal and the illegal markets in Australia display similar tendencies of technological development. O’Hara 1985. Such illegal activities are shaped by the state’s attempts to suppress or control them. glossing over significant factors such as the restricted experiments with legal off-course bookmaking in Australia (for details. A report is expected late in 1996.

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E. H. Willink.Gambling cultures 92 Whitton. London: HMSO. . Cmd 8190. (1951) Report of the Royal Commission on Betting. Sydney Morning Herald (8 April): 13–16. (1986) ‘Crime and justice’. Lotteries & Gaming 1949–1951.

the thrill of the game. particularly during the second half of the twentieth century.Smith As members of a democratic society. between 1982 and 1991. the fictional ‘US Gambling. the national spectacle of championship professional football which is played as much for the profit of television networks and their sponsors as for sport. just ahead of American Express (Christiansen 1992b:18–19).5 WHEN IT’S BAD IT’S BETTER Conflicting images of gambling in American culture James F. Materialism and competition are two distinguishing traits of the American character that are reflected in the games we play—from the Superbowl. the 1991 total of US$26.3 per cent of their personal income. In many respects. has proved to be a powerful attraction. Present-day America encourages in its citizens unlimited expectations for material wealth and gratification through images in advertising and entertainment media while the constraints of real life put limits on opportunities to fulfil our dreams. A ‘real world’ comparison of popular leisure activities brings the numbers into focus: Americans spent five times more money . gambling is a dramatic example of pure conspicuous consumption: money is exchanged for the thrill of the experience— not for an increase in wealth—because most players lose over the long term. John Findlay (1986) has called Americans ‘people of chance’. wagering about 6. Nevertheless. The playing of gambling games can provide a form of recreation that is both a product of and a contributor to prevailing cultural myths.7 billion in gambling revenue (‘sales’) places ‘US Gambling’ in nineteenth place. legal gambling wagers increased by more than 142 per cent while personal income increased by approximately 81 per cent (Christiansen 1992a:37).’ (the combined ‘win’ of legal gambling enterprises) has ranked in the top twenty of the Forbes Sales 500. During 1991 Americans gambled more than US$304 billion in legal games (Christiansen 1992a:22). coupled with the hope for a win. This chapter argues that neither change is beneficial to American culture. because of both traditional risk-taking associated with the history of US frontier expansion and the pervasiveness of gambling recreation throughout our history. a listing of the most successful US business enterprises. In fact. although both may have some economic benefit. Americans are socialised by means of various myths and rituals characteristic of our popular culture. Among the rituals that reflect. Over the past several years. In his excellent study of the history of gambling in America. But the nature of gambling in America has changed over time. articulate and transmit cultural myths are those of play and games. to Wheel of Fortune. It should not be surprising that commercial gambling among adults has become such a significant social and economic issue in our time. and the change is consistent with changes in the mass cultural values. a popular television game show in which players solve word puzzles for expensive prizes and which has been described as American materialism run amok. Inc.

even more insidious than any of the traditional negative images could portray. since the legalisation of the first modern state lottery in New Hampshire in the early 1960s and at an accelerating pace in the past two decades. whether found in real life or in legend. they have mirrored the risk-taking characteristic of an evolving nation. the United States has had an ambivalent attitude towards gambling. gambling has actually become less ‘fun’ and. On the one hand. pool hustler or horse-player—involved in a specific ritual of play is an endangered species. recreational. and sanctioned lottery games were available.Gambling cultures 94 on gambling games than they did on movie tickets during 1991 (US$26. This change in image has profound implications for American culture. gambling has been regarded as a sin. In many ways. Nevertheless.1 Although British colonists from Virginia to Massachusetts were no strangers to gambling games themselves. The economic impact and resulting power of legal gambling interests are clearly implied by the magnitude and rate of growth of their wealth. a separation from the normal events of everyday life that kept the activity in its place which. perhaps. corporate-controlled casino industry (and today by state lotteries as well). This attitude dates back to the time of earliest settlement. In so doing. Not only does it reflect changes in cultural values that have already occurred. replete with images of vice (gambling was seedy. However. usually to benefit a community need. As it has become more integrated into everyday events. if not immoral) and risk (gambling was a threat to one’s bankroll if not to one’s person). they have challenged their opponents and the vagaries of chance. ‘Americans had no such public and commercial setting in which to gamble. it had an attraction to the marketplace and. culture and economy even though they may have been acting outside the traditional boundaries of socially admired behaviour. charitable and even patriotic— particularly when it is in the context of playing state lotteries. They have mastered or defied the odds against them. and the increasing reliance on the technology of coin-operated gaming devices by the sanitised.8 billion). Historically. . for most people.and dice-playing as immoral wastes of time.7 billion versus US$4. more importantly. gambling has undergone a marked change in image. gambling was ‘better’ when it was seen as ‘bad’. For Americans in earlier times gambling was a rebellious decision. have assumed a larger-than-life stature. likely to become a thing of the past. but it also works to change cultural values further. a crime and an unproductive waste of time. Because it was a pariah enterprise of shady glamour. With the increasing popularity of state-sanctioned lotteries and their mega-jackpot appeal. their laws and their sermons proscribed card. gentlemen were allowed to race their horses and wager on the outcome. today gambling can be seen as harmless. In spite of the often noted gamble that the European explorers and colonists experienced when they settled the New World in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. was the differentiated world of play. What may not be so obvious is the fact that the culture of gambling has changed. and persists among some Americans even to this day. the passion with which the various games were played and the magnitude of the wagers. Such players. they were amazed and appalled at the extent of gambling among native Americans. in contrast to the ‘gambling shops’ in England. gambling in America was essentially a private affair and usually associated with the aristocracy. In fact. By the eighteenth century. a vice. the mythic archetype of a rugged individualist gambler—whether card sharp. for as John Findlay observes.

but wagers were made between individual patrons rather than against the house. Foreign visitors to America. and possibilities for immoderate losses became more available. people who made their livelihood from gambling were regarded as ‘blacklegs’—if not outright criminals. at least not properly part of polite society. colonists did not develop an urban hierarchy of public houses in which gambling could flourish’ (Findlay 1986:29). Card sharps and dishonest operators came to characterise the class of ‘professional’ gamblers. in recent decades. the skill of players can help determine their destiny. in the first half-century. skill. In the other more or less indigenous forms of gambling that have evolved in the United States. Consistent with Enlightenment thought. and. Players and their interests are generally ignored unless they run afoul of the law or they become problem gamblers. Whether a game is legal or not.4 But it is among people who gamble where the ‘rebellion’ of gambling persists. By the nineteenth century. They test their judgement. . ‘commercial’ gambling became more significant. dice). Chance makes the games democratic and opens the possibility of winning to anyone. and several of the most profitable lottery games were found to be corrupt. Operators are regarded as either legitimate corporations and entrepreneurs or criminals. But while it was comparatively easy to pass and enforce legislation against lottery games. Betting on games did occur in taverns. and those unfortunates who played with them were at best foolish sheep waiting to be fleeced. knowledge and competition make winning a worthy pursuit. a player’s decision to gamble still may be socially or morally suspect even though it is consistent with a cultural propensity for risk. In each of these subcultures. or the inescapable house advantage. Experience and knowledge pay dividends in this type of gambling because. money management and. and frontier cattle and mining towns provided gambling saloons. however. their knowledge of odds and their playing skills according to formal rules. New Orleans and other river towns offered gambling houses. even though the final outcome is influenced more or less by chance. impossible—to eliminate professional gamblers and the Americanised forms of commercial gaming from society. bound by the etiquette of the particular subculture surrounding the game. particularly if the chosen game is not a legally sanctioned lottery. roulette. the players face a definite antagonist— whether another player. with the state simultaneously prohibiting those forms in which it has no regulatory or financial interest and promoting those which it controls and taxes. pari mutuel wagering (at the races or jai-alai fronton) or sports betting (in Nevada or most often with an illegal bookie). At the same time. it was more difficult—in fact. contended that ‘the dynamics of capitalism and democracy in the new republic generated a restlessness and an infatuation with risk that heightened the urge to wager’ (Findlay 1986:50). the vagaries of pari mutuel or bookmaker’s odds. casino play (blackjack. players test their mettle and become initiated into particular gambling subcultures: card games (poker. private gamblers were expected to play at risk moderately and within their means. Cheating at games was rampant. though. private operators created ‘state’ lotteries. finally. such as Alexis de Tocqueville.When it's bad it's better 95 More dispersed throughout the land and with little cash at hand. gin rummy and the like). so they are either praised for their financial success or condemned by law enforcement agencies.3 The resulting status of gambling in contemporary America is ambiguous. a capitulation to the inevitability of gambling behaviour so long as it is regulated and taxed.2 The twentieth century has seen both a continuation of the earlier attitudes. professional gamblers worked the steamboats.

the duty to respect them. Often the games we play mirror. I like the freedom of the gambler’s life. and if he’s not willing to learn or can’t understand. a game. I like being my own boss. his superiors were unimpressed: ‘I knew something no one else knew. after all. and. traditional gambling games and their subcultures can provide intrinsic rewards beyond the obvious material gain from a win. if only obliquely. nor do they alter it. he shouldn’t have been my boss. not according to what people think of you. By rights that guy who ran the actuarial office should have been broke. If there’s something I know about the game that the other person doesn’t. He has written three books on poker theory. ultimately. however. conflict and uncertainty of life become easier to manage because our play is conducted according to specific protocols within certain recognisable surroundings and because it is. and I hated it…. endurance. the son of a mathematics professor from Teaneck. (Quoted in Alvarez 1983:135) . I like the way you are rewarded directly according to your ability. if you’re better than anyone else you make immediate money. the suspense. but I got no recognition for it’ (quoted in Alvarez 1983:134).5 Further. Among these are: • the need to prove one’s superiority • the desire to challenge or overcome an obstacle • the hope for and pursuit of the favour of destiny • the desire to test one’s strength. they do suspend the consequences of real life for the duration of the game. In the context of play. I was always being told what to do by incompetent people. As in the case of reading or writing good fiction. (Caillois 1979:64–5) In the context of a competitive and materialistic culture that has become increasingly regimented. then I take his money. there is a marked coincidence between the principles that rule various kinds of games—whether they are games of chance or games of skill—and those that characterise the web of human interaction in culture. studied for two years at the University of Pennsylvania only to drop out and become a professional poker player in Las Vegas. or ingenuity • conformity to rules and laws. predictable and bound by finite economic limits. In their world of makebelieve. playing a game can reveal truth about the human condition. standardised.Gambling cultures 96 Therefore. However. New Jersey. He continues. games do not replace reality. and the temptation to circumvent them. more satisfying: In poker. he worked in the ‘straight world’ as an actuary. But [Las Vegas] gives me what I want. But in the business world things aren’t like that. offering at least the illusion of control over destiny and circumstance. allowing comparatively little room for individual creativity and personal achievement. games provide an important outlet for these human tendencies. but he makes his living at the tables. David Sklansky. skill. For a time. but found that when he developed new methods for solving problems. that the world of the gambler is very different. our real lives. One way to understand games and play is to see them as social fictions.

perseverance and restraint can overcome the uncertainty of horse-races. Even the legendary Nick ‘the Greek’ Dandalos. The egos of all these players. then the reigning king of Hollywood. whether we have won or lost. resourceful and independent—in short. we have no doubt. so long as they act in culturally approved ways. however. Too often the circumstances of our lives do not immediately tell us whether our decisions are right or wrong. and other fictional gamblers contribute their bigger-than-life roles and risks to gambler heroism. can be numbered among such ‘heroes’ because of his unflinching grace in the face of occasionally staggering monetary losses. the only character ‘man enough’ for Mitchell’s heroine. gambling games provide a clearly defined conclusion through the final outcome of play. gaming can produce heroes in a cultural context where knowledge and skill combined with other personal traits can affect the outcome of play. not just their bankrolls. who is reputed to have won and lost millions of dollars during his gambling career. Scarlett O’Hara. are part of a mythic American heroic stereotype which is today reinforced by games and athletic contests. Games are occasions to display important personal character traits: courage. The screenplay was a monumental task for Sidney Howard. by the end of a game. Even today. are put on the line whenever they make a bet. Gone With the Wind (1936). Even so. Rhett Butler is a classic American heroic type: handsome. Ken Uston. such as Lem Banker. Eddie Felson ‘The Hustler’. gallantry and composure. even ‘rebellious’ personae who live outside the boundaries of the world that most of us call ‘normal’. intelligent. ‘Amarillo Slim’ Preston and Jack Strauss are admirable among their peers whether they win or lose a particular contest. whether they win or lose. too. One of the most popular ‘American’ heroes for over fifty years is found in Margaret Mitchell’s enormously successful novel about the Civil War. Expert poker players. It is significant to note that all these ‘heroes’ are unconventional. daring. have the uncanny ability to figure the odds and sniff out an overlay in judging professional and collegiate sporting events.Scott Fitzgerald.6 In a very real sense. the film runs for nearly four hours. Handicappers such as Andrew Baker have shown that in the long run knowledge. Eric Stoner ‘The Cincinnati Kid’. was not only successful at beating the casino game and paving the way for other card counters to be allowed to play without being barred for their skill (at least in Atlantic City casinos). there was only one actor who could play the part: Clark Gable. and if they make a good showing. The late blackjack guru. .When it's bad it's better 97 In addition. including Ben Hect and the novelist F. These virtues. and although there is monetary consideration—and the realisation that their livelihood may be at stake (making gambling their real world of ‘work’ after all)—such players are still playing.7 A corollary to the assertion that gamblers can be heroic is the notion that our heroes can—or must—be gamblers. Lancey Howard The Man’. they can enhance their egos. integrity. worked to pare the story to a reasonable length for filming while preserving the magic that Mitchell’s narrative worked upon her readers. such as Doyle Brunson. When this story was brought to the cinema in 1939 by producer David Selznick. participants in a game gamble these traits—their sense of self—when they engage in the contest. who with Selznick himself and several consultants. but he was instrumental in making the game of twenty-one the most popular casino table game in America during the past two decades. Sports handicappers.

My debts do mount up. become as important as monetary rewards. You would have done far better than General Grant with far less effort. After the South has fallen to the Yankees. For the best ‘heads-up’ players—world class poker professionals are a classic example—recognition for skilful play and a reputation for ‘heart’ or ‘the courage to bet all their money when they reckon that the odds are in their favor’ (Alvarez 1983:31) are at least as important as the money they win. My losses for the afternoon come to what?… Ummm. Major. a Las Vegas casino owner and host of the World Series of Poker. The opportunity to test one’s honour and the thrill of the game itself can be intrinsic rewards in a gambling encounter. I wonder how many gamblers a big star like Clark Gable played in his career. The next best thing is to gamble and lose. and it is significant that this literary and cinematic hero is portrayed in a gambling encounter. and that I’ve got what it takes’ (Hayano 1982:88). As Erving Goffman explained.and public esteem even while losing money. observes: Let’s face it. Movies reflect what people are looking for. ‘You know. Action in a gambling game is the primary attraction. elaborates: .8 By playing well.’ This cavalier exchange ends just before Scarlett is allowed to see Rhett. the ritual involves squaring off. As Jack Binion. Butler is held in a federal prison in Atlanta where Scarlett visits him in order to obtain money to pay taxes on her beloved plantation. appropriately mirroring the colossal gamble the Confederacy took against the Union. don’t they. gambling is a very romantic activity.Gambling cultures 98 Nevertheless. in which the players acknowledge the result (Goffman 1967:154). too much for me. in which a challenge is presented and rules are set. the brief but suspenseful time between the completion of play and the participants’ realisation of the result. ‘Aw. Well. and finally the settlement.’ The intangible rewards of a successful self-presentation in the ritual. says the major. a gambler can win both self. and we make heroes out of those who pull it off. disclosure. the building of a reputation. one of the younger players on the high-stakes poker tournament scene. determination. Major. the production includes a gambling scene which does not appear in Mitchell’s novel. After all. American heroes are known for taking chances. Bobby Baldwin. Action was paramount to Nick the Greek.’ This addition to Mitchell’s classic story is meant to reinforce the dashing image of Rhett Butler. Mitchell’s version of this scene has Rhett brought to Scarlett for the interview from his cell.’ replies Rhett. against the rules. The film version opens with Butler playing poker with a Union army major: ‘Kings and treys’. We all daydream about people doing something we are a little bit afraid to do. with the major’s observation to a subordinate: ‘It’s hard to be strict with a man who loses money so pleasantly. three-hundred-forty. whose apocryphal remark is now part of gambling folklore: ‘The best thing in the world is to gamble and win. As one player observes: ‘It’s real important for me to show that I won’t freeze up or anything like that. the actual play producing an outcome. it’s a pity we couldn’t have fought the war out on a poker game. and it is fitting that Butler’s character traits are shown at the poker table.

9 Because commercial gambling. For them. Describing the action of tournament poker. In fact. loners in a dangerous profession. I don’t care how bad you are going or how good. Poker is a character builder— especially the bad times. getting something for nothing is scorned. It is just an instrument. rather. and the Vegas professionals wait to be challenged by them. with the most dramatic growth in games which have the lowest possible ‘entry barrier’ to the players and the most predictable profit for the operators. Luck is the last refuge of the novice or poor player. I don’t give a damn about the money. Jack Strauss notes that ‘Winning is everything…. There is no rebellion or even well-defined subculture to be found when a person buys a lottery ticket along with a carton of milk and pack of cigarettes at the local convenience store. On the contrary. challenge. This goal is best achieved if the last unpredictable factor—human ingenuity or skill—can be eliminated. the direction of modern-day gambling has been to produce a thoroughly predictable profit margin for the operator. heroic gambling is threatened by the passage of time and the advance of modernity. and money is regarded only as the ammunition needed to keep playing. just as any other business. Alvarez claims: ‘The chips were like rapiers in a fencing match—instruments to attack. These games are the various lottery games. depends on profits to survive. The mark of a top player is not how much he wins when he is winning but how he handles his losses. parry. You cannot survive without that intangible quality we call heart. (Quoted in Alvarez 1983:47) Such traditional gamblers are not motivated by a desire to ‘get something for nothing’. Doyle Brunson explains that in order to play well at high-stakes poker: ‘you need to have a total disregard for money. That is not to say that these gamblers have no regard for winning. If I lose. and the array of coin-operated gaming devices available in casinos and at other locations. but I just hate the embarrassment of being beaten’ (quoted in Alvarez 1983:107–8). including the latest video lottery terminals. they share aggressive characters and thrive on competition. It is not surprising then that the relative mix of gambling opportunities available to Americans has changed. the top players gather from every state in the Union. like knights in armour—or. Indeed. and solitariness of their profession are a source of intense pride. one of the attractions that figure prominently in the promotion and legalisation of lotteries is that playing (not gambling) is now synonymous with good citizenship. and the only time you notice it is when you run out’ (quoted in Alvarez 1983:43). for professional poker players or expert handicappers. Further.When it's bad it's better 99 Playing poker for a living gives you backbone. At the annual World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. since this is the West. Gambling in the United States has been a growth industry during the past twenty-five years. the risk. In America today gambling has been mainstreamed. you have to stand solid. Unlike poker and . like the last of the gunslingers. counterthrust until one or the other duellists delivered the coup de grace’ (1983:174). (Alvarez 1983:113) But like the showdowns of fabled gun-slingers.

After casually buying a ticket for the Powerball lotto game (played in a pool of fourteen states and the District of Columbia) shortly before the . even if they do not normally do so. the latter spend a greater proportion of their income on tickets (Kaplan 1984:100). Catholics. skill or knowledge can improve a player’s luck or overcome the negative expectation of the games. The larger the jackpot. they need not possess remarkable talent. lottery games. and their status depends upon attention from the media. character or other personal distinction. Games such as craps. the middle-aged. Like other celebrities. In contrast. What we find in the place of heroes are celebrities: people who become famous for the moment. which are games of mixed chance and skill. They are known for being well known. While it is true that people having higher incomes and levels of education spend more money on lottery tickets than do poorer and less educated players. labourers. they have won only money. Daniel Boorstin contends that celebrities are neither good nor bad.11 Were it not for their win. However. and it may evaporate quickly if their win is surpassed by another player.10 Therefore it should not be surprising that no heroes can be found in this new gambling world because there is nothing that a lottery or machine player can do to become a better or ‘professional’ player. video lottery terminals and casino coin-operated machines are games of pure chance in which any human intervention other than the superstitious selection of numbers or machines is cheating and subject to prosecution. Hispanics. where the jackpots can grow to staggering levels. In fact. has begun to change the mix of players. the demographics of lottery markets reveal that certain groups are more likely to play lottery games and to do so heavily: males. roulette and baccarat are also games of pure chance. The public life-span of such winners is brief. almost hitting a jackpot is meaningless. One cannot play a lottery or a slot machine well. however.12 These players can only dream of having a day such as Leslie Robins had on 7 July 1993. their play would be devoid of lasting meaning. the less they should play. one can only play more by buying more tickets or dropping more coins into the slot and triggering the mechanism.Gambling cultures 100 blackjack. usually because of the magnitude of their win. In reality. Traditional lottery games. no matter how ‘close’ it comes to a win. barring some unusual personal circumstance or tragedy occurring after the win. blacks. In the long run. Further. bringing more middleclass and well-educated players into the fold. human ‘pseudo-events’ to satisfy our exaggerated expectations of human greatness. or buy additional tickets if they are regular bettors. the new gambling games are simply money machines operating according to a pay-out schedule that guarantees the operator a fixed percentage of win. a player’s sophistication—knowledge of odds and money management—may help the player survive the house advantage long enough to benefit from a lucky streak. the play of lottery games and most coin-operated devices defies the objective knowledge of odds and money management that can pay dividends in more ‘old-fashioned’ games. have been accused of being a regressive tax. and those with less than a college degree (Clotfelter and Cook 1989:100). Because lottery and slot-machine players find their primary reinforcement in winning money. preying upon the people most in need of help (Clotfelter and Cook 1989:221–30). not genuine or lasting prestige. the more likely players will impulsively buy tickets. the popularity of lotto games. including instant tickets and daily numbers games. and they can derive no pleasure from a losing bet. Usually the publicity diminishes with time. the more players know. No amount of practice. but an inevitable result of contemporary culture and media exposure.

Middle-class sentiments persist. buying from a lucky ticket vendor. active participation in determining one’s fate. or playing favourite machines in a lucky casino. and many of the traditional social and psychological functions of true recreation are lost. but their action is deliberate and thoughtful mental exercise as opposed to reflex response. capitalising on intensity of experience and churn of gamblers’ dollars with each new generation of equipment. found that he held the only winning ticket for a jackpot worth US$111 million. Handicappers and card players thrive on action. where lotto games occur once or twice per week. is only beginning to unfold. one must work at learning theory and practise the mechanics of applying the theory in order to succeed. There is nothing a person can do to become a more skilful lottery or slot-machine player. but it is a narcotising action. more ‘personal’ games. Robins. skill and fateful encounters are played to play as well as to win. This speed creates a kind of action. instead. nor was he particularly needy or desperate. He is no ‘hero’.5 million per year. In the new world of gambling. a nurse. On-line video lottery games may cycle several times per hour. these changes have negative impact. at the very least. middle-class couple stimulates the sales of lotto tickets in every jurisdiction.When it's bad it's better 101 drawing. For many modern players. handicapping and sports betting. 11 July 1993: A2). but they claim in an Associated Press interview that they do not plan to live lavishly. white. where they work. and the free publicity surrounding this apparently wholesome. as a co-worker observed: ‘He just wants to be an ordinary guy’ (Philadelphia Inquirer. too. they hope to support the school and hospital in Fond du Lac. The player can act on superstition by betting lucky numbers. a person can improve skill at cards. numbing the players into a trance-like fixation. through study. if one is to play a game seriously. who is a 30-year-old junior high school English teacher. for the next twenty years. The twentieth-century cultural switch from a work ethic of production to the gratification ethic of consumption is illustrated neatly in the shift from our studying a racing form or counting cards in the game of twenty-one to letting a computerised ‘dream machine’ pick out lotto numbers. practice and experience. the meaning of play and games has been distorted. it is also clear that Mr Robins did nothing special to deserve his windfall or to influence the odds of his win. after taxes.14 At an individual level. to be sure. 11 July 1993: A2). The story of this winner and his fiancée. Microchips and computer technology make modern slot machines faster and more foolproof than the old mechanical or electro-mechanical models. in fact. blackjack and poker hands appear on computer screens faster than any human could deal them. Wisconsin. while play (or action) is the raison d’être for traditional gambling games. Accompanying this change is the fact that newer forms of gambling games are fast games. this is too much like ‘real’ work. The irony here is that there is little or no real play in the new world of gambling. and to share their good fortune with friends and family (Philadelphia Inquirer. However.13 Lotteries and slots are played in the hope of winning a long-odds jackpot. and improved skill can bring success or. Americans may have found an ultimate democracy. On the other hand. or US$3. But the games themselves are not comparable to other. traditional games combining chance. It is important to note . enjoy the sociability engendered by these gambling opportunities. And yet. It may be argued that busloads of slot-machine players heading to Atlantic City or groups of co-workers discussing the outcome of the lotto drawing against their pool-purchased tickets do. In lotto games where no player has a particular advantage.

Loren Baritz (1990:289–318) claims that contemporary Americans have replaced traditions with a desire to escape restrictions. This fact is most evident in the promotion of state lotteries. since they are legal in thirty-six states. though these values were always associated with gamblers and the world of play. Cultural commentators such as Philip Slater (1970) and Christopher Lasch (1979) have noted the negative impact of recent history on American culture. Gambling fits easily within these trends. in fuel crises and tax revolts.16 Effortless amusement appears to be a more marketable commodity in America today than is active involvement. With Veblen’s ‘conspicuous consumption’ no longer only a ‘leisure-class’ trait. since many critics. the most dramatic of which accept US$100 tokens. at least in the proper world of the middle class.17 Many observers of modern America note that we live in an age of diminishing real opportunities to match the dreams fuelled by advertising and such media-extravaganzas as Robin Leach’s television exposés of the lifestyles and runaways of the rich and famous. This congruence is unfortunate. three at a time. In a fashion unprecedented for a government agency. values promoted by material consumption without thought of tomorrow were almost ‘un-American’. In this world. The work ethic has been critically eroded by promises of instant gratification and instant wealth. being pure capitalism as an enterprise and conspicuous consumption as a game. and an acceptance of the ‘unreal’ wealth found in junk bonds and other extravagant market speculation.15 Nor is it a coincidence that they have assumed a prominent position both in the finances of state governments. This time has seen both the collective realisation of the limits of our fiscal and natural resources. that lottery games have been until recently the most aggressive growth market in the gaming industry—a position lotteries expect to regain with the proliferation of video lottery terminals. then. Now ordinary citizens bet their future with unprecedented levels of personal and corporate debt in order . people in the United States seemingly live for the moment in an unpredictable world. the most reliable source of ‘painless taxation’ given the typical 45–50 per-cent take-out rate. and financial security with unrelenting demands for ‘more’ in a world where happiness is an acceptable substitute for genuine accomplishment. moral values with an imperative to satisfy psychological needs. The most successful casinos in Atlantic City and in Nevada earn at least half their revenue from coin-operated devices. We have also demonstrated a growing tolerance for—and even the greedy expectation of—the unabashed public display of wealth. not gaming experts. including Lasch and Baritz. making people lonely and narcissistic even as they become materially better off. sin is regarded as a disease which therapists and other experts can try to cure. including Leslie Robins.19 It is no historical accident that the most explosive growth in gambling industries. and in US popular culture. admit that the on-line computer chose their winning numbers at random. both state lotteries and legal casinos. has occurred during the past twenty years. are the fast-track executives in the gambling industry. and market analysts.18 In his exploration of success and middle-class culture.Gambling cultures 102 that automatic selection tends to increase ‘spontaneous’ play at those lotto games where it is available (Clotfelter and Cook 1989:176) and that a large number of lottery megawinners. and they are willing to consume wealth for the pleasure it can afford. It is no accident. judge the trends to be signs of a civilisation in decline. Historically. lottery managers have adopted the techniques of consumer marketing to sell their games.

and until the 1960s and the rebirth of the lottery in New Hampshire. taking wins and losses with equanimity. Contestants and onlookers wagered passionately. was proposed by various jurisdictions. see Abt and Smith (1983). 5 For a discussion of the specific rituals and settings of two popular forms of ‘social gambling’ in America. they are not only part of the everyday experience. casinostyle gambling. despite any moral qualms to the contrary. to primitive crap games in which participants tossed painted sticks. 6 From the swashbucklers and cavaliers of the seventeenth century. and their consumption feeds the social and industrial complex. ‘numbers’ policy games and sports betting were widely available— particularly in urban areas—courtesy of illegal operators. Games which ranged from athletic contests. spies. A recent Gallup poll reveals that one-fifth of the American population believe that the only way to get ahead is by playing the lottery (Clotfelter and Cook 1989:133). inevitably one justification was to compete with and thereby thwart illegal suppliers. Americans are consumers. today. Progress toward wealth might be slowed but could never be stopped’ (Baritz 1990:106). heroes venture from the world of common dullness to the region of fleeting wonder. 3 Prior to the 1930s. stones or multi-faced animal bones could last literally for days.When it's bad it's better 103 to live the good life. and the technical skill and composure to do what must be done in spite of all . many contemporary consumers look for new diversions and the proverbial quick fix. only pari-mutuel wagering on racing was allowed in limited jurisdictions. could be effectively prohibited. In the past. Nevada casinos and California card rooms were the only other legal betting alternatives. In the past Americans held as an article of faith that ‘personal progress was an inspired and irrevocable law. such as ‘football’. remained in good humour. 2 Findlay (1986:40–78) notes that the culture of the nineteenth-century United States supported a speculative. The particular gambling cultures discussed place the recreational gambler in the mainstream of cultural values even though the gambler may appear to circumvent the work ethic. an innate sense of justice and what is right. Gamblers have always bet on a quicker tomorrow and have tested their fate in rituals that were less ambiguous than their everyday lives. even to the extent of offering wives. Nevertheless. 4 See Abt et al. beginning with lotteries and spreading to casino gaming. risk-taking ethos. armed essentially with courage. heroic figures have emerged in US life and literature. but they are also sold as skilfully as consumer goods. NOTES 1 Henry Chafetz (1960:3–12) offers several observers’ accounts of gambling among American Indians. however reckless. through the frontiersmen and cowboys of the eighteenth and nineteenth. While individual gamblers suffered at the hands of outraged citizens and some forms of gambling. but the real value of games is lost in the process. participants. gambling adapted to American circumstances and flourished. racetrack and casino gambling. The new culture of gambling is only too glad to oblige. such as lotteries. these gambling rituals were set apart from the ordinary. As Joseph Campbell (1956) suggests. particularly in their leisure. to the athletes. The tendency to see gambling as a business made it fit somewhat easily with the secular side of our culture. soldiers. noting the status quo and offering an alternative scenario in which the state’s interest is to protect the public interest regarding gambling. (1985:211–22) for analysis of the relationship of political jurisdictions to gambling and gamblers. cops and private-eyes of the twentieth. When the legalisation of some of these activities. Having great expectations but low motivation. children and themselves (as slaves) when their other stakes were exhausted. Noteworthy was the fact that in spite of the seriousness of the gambling.

7 Elsewhere (Smith 1990) I have discussed the portrayal of these ‘outlaw’ characters. to ensure larger jackpots by increasing the chance for roll-overs and broadening the population base. Heroes symbolise and even defend the basic values of a civilisation. joined multi-state pools.Gambling cultures 104 obstacles. Heroes create themselves through their actions. one can argue that video blackjack and video poker machines allow for player choice and strategy. the larger the jackpot of the game. and accounted for more than US$20 billion in handle in 1991. self-reliance and noteworthy accomplishment. For the record. on-line games. increased at the more modest rate of 72 per cent during these years (Christiansen 1992a:25). the popular heroes in the United States are human icons representing basic cultural myths. Karel Reisz’s The Gambler (1974). was a more significant gamble than five-card draw. the more sales result. the demands of cinematic portrayal create ‘supercharged’ gambling situations where enormous—or at least critical—amounts of money are wagered or where a ‘title’ or distinction is at stake. surely. As all heroes. the plunger (who sees a win as the only hope of escaping a bad situation). celebrities represent immediate cultural interests which are far more transitory. Heroes are ‘larger than life’ people. the believer (who exercises the illusion of . In the ‘serious’ films. As a result. and the pathetic/tragic gambler. but winners who are lucky enough to overcome the odds persist in their play despite newfound wealth and sometimes negative experiences after winning (Kaplan 1984:105). Norman Jewison’s The Cincinnati Kid (1965). in contrast. in terms of optimum player strategy. the machines’ payback/hold ratios are manipulated to comply with regulations (in New Jersey) or to live up to advertising claims of ‘looseness’. celebrities have big names (1972:57–61). jurisdictions have manipulated the game structure and. 12 Clotfelter and Cook (1989: chs 5 and 6) note that while instant game tickets may be impulsive purchases. 10 This assertion has been shown not to hold true. it should be noted that Butler’s crime was supplying weapons to the South by running a Union blockade at sea. This. consequently. Slot-machine handle increased by 486 per cent during the same period to a total of nearly US$85 billion in 1991. Also Clotfelter and Cook define four types of players: the investor (who chooses when to participate by weighing odds against the jackpot). however. celebrities by their image. It also seems no accident that the treatment of gambling themes in film has become more frequent in recent years as gambling has been mainstreamed in American popular culture. In recent times. and Ben Bolt’s The Big Town (1987) present distinctly American interpretations of gambling settings and action. who fits most easily with the heroic image discussed here. In either case. in some cases. Martin Scorsese’s The Color of Money (1986). Moreover. 8 Quoted in Alvarez (1983:117). celebrities are created by the media. Thus the ‘best’ a knowledgeable player can do is play against the nominal fixed percentage of the machine. weaker players are disadvantaged even more. but in many ways it was more economical to reveal Rhett’s character traits over a card table! 9 Lottery sales more than quadrupled between 1982 and 1991. may have a higher proportion of planned purchases. gamblers generally fall into two types: the romantic gambler. Americans turn more and more to fiction and fantasy for heroic types whose character is unimpeachable. player knowledge and money management can influence the outcome of the game. Nevertheless. Films such as Robert Rosen’s The Hustler (1961). Therefore. heroic personae are often the target of the tabloid press or debunking biographers who strive to reveal their flaws (or simply their human foibles). Lottery players not only defy objective knowledge of the odds. The money wagered at casino table games. such as lotto. 11 Boorstin goes on to elaborate on the distinction between celebrities and heroes: heroes are distinguished by their achievement. In the world of coin-operated gaming devices. Robert Altman’s California Split (1974). who reveals the underside of the gambling world and reinforces negative connotations.

Mature games tend to flatten their performance curve over time. in which segments of the population are ‘targeted’ for promotion. (1955:7–8) Abt and colleagues present a structural analysis of the major forms of contemporary commercial gambling in the United States. While playing. is used rather than mass marketing. and Smith. West Point. ‘Serious’ slot-machine players usually restrict their socialising to breaks in the action.2 billion earned by authorised table games. clothes and favourite resorts of wealthy celebrities. numbers). casino slot machines earned US$5.) The World of Play. they may even be mesmerised by the machine into a trance-like state until their money runs out or a loud signal and ‘frozen’ machine indicate that they have won a jackpot. 16 In 1991. However. and the existence of Leach’s programmes—not to mention their popularity for more than half a decade—seems to support this proposition. many players allow the computer to select random numbers for their tickets. Lotteries earned even more in the same year than all casino games combined: US$10. 19 Baritz contends that wealth has replaced all other cultural values in modern America (1990:307–9). lotteries and pari mutuel betting (Abt et al. acknowledging the lack of any real control over the outcome of these games of pure chance.F.2 billion (Christiansen 1992b:16). Leach himself has become a celebrity by means of his television shows. It is never imposed by…necessity or moral duty…. and some decline. they concentrate on their machines. Christiansen notes that the introduction of video lottery terminals has rejuvenated ‘mature’ lottery games. 1985:35–51). in F. Play is distinct from ‘ordinary’ life both as to locality and duration…. 17 Target marketing. . The revenue-maximisation objective causes promoters to focus on increasing the play of established players and attracting likely players from identified pools within the general population (Clotfelter and Cook 1989:189–99). protecting both their claim to a particular machine and their coins. including casino games.When it's bad it's better 105 control by choosing lucky numbers). and the participant (who enjoys playing the game. which may cause observers to assume incorrectly that the growth will continue at the same rate. (1983) ‘Playing the game in mainstream America’. 14 Huizinga defines play as follows: Play is superfluous. Play can be deferred or suspended at any time.2 billion in Nevada and New Jersey. The need for it is only urgent to the extent that the enjoyment of it makes it a need. BIBLIOGRAPHY Abt. It is done at leisure in ‘free time’…. presenting a challenge for managers to manipulate the games to keep the market strong (1989:114–15). J.Manning (ed. 13 In the on-line lottery games (lotto. compared to US$3. and early figures suggest that a new wave of lottery growth will accompany the proliferation of this form of play (1992a:32). (1985:191–210) discuss in more detail the relationship of gambling and American values. It contains its own meaning. 15 Clotfelter and Cook note that as lottery games ‘mature’ there appears to be an inevitable decline in player interest. homes. particularly in pools or other ‘social’ settings). which do little more than allow viewer-voyeurs to ogle the possessions. NY: Leisure Press. V. 18 Abt et al. the introduction of a lottery in a new jurisdiction inevitably produces dramatic growth.

(1979) Man. H. P. Bowling Green. Smith. A. I: Stock Characters in American Popular Film.J. (1982) Poker Faces: The Life and Work of Professional Card Players. New York: Clarkson N. MA: Harvard University Press. E. Findlay. Hayano. New York: Warner Books. Berkeley: University of California Press. Kaplan.E. and Cook. Boorstin. Caillois. Goffman. L. J.M.M.F. J. trans..M. Gaming and Wagering Business (Aug.–Sept.Barash. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences 474:91–106. (1979) The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations. V. J. New York: Harper & Row.T. Lawrence: University of Kansas Press. Campbell. (1983) The Biggest Game in Town. Boston: Beacon Press.K. Play and Games. New York: Schocken Books. (1960) Play the Devil: A History of Gambling in the United States from 1492 to 1950. NY: Anchor Books. (1984) ‘The social and economic impact of state lotteries’. Huizinga. Lasch. . Chafetz. (1992a) ‘The gross annual wager of the United States—Part I: Handle’. (1967) Interaction Ritual: Essays on Face-to-Face Behavior. Slater. D.Loukides and L. in P.Gambling cultures 106 Abt.M.Potter. (1990) The Good Life: The Meaning of Success for the American Middle Class.F. Gaming and Wagering Business (July-Aug. (1956) The Hero with a Thousand Faces. and Christiansen. (1955) Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture. C. Christiansen. (1985) The Business of Risk: Commercial Gambling in Mainstream America. vol. Baritz. (1990) ‘Where the action is: images of the gambler in recent popular film’. New York: Meridian. D. Boston: Beacon Press. New York: Atheneum. (1970) The Pursuit of Loneliness: American Culture at the Breaking Point. Garden City.R. E. J.J. Clotfelter. ——(1992b) ‘The gross annual wager of the United States—Part II: Revenue’. OH: Popular Press.): 22.): 16. Smith.Fuller (eds) Beyond the Stars: Studies in American Popular Film. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. (1972) The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America. E. J. R. P. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press. (1986) People of Chance: Gambling in American Society from Jamestown to Las Vegas. C. (1989) Selling Hope: State Lotteries in America. Cambridge. H. M. Alvarez.

However.6 REPRESENTATIONS OF GAMBLING IN AUSTRALIAN POPULAR CULTURE Peter Williams1 For myself. popular cultural tradition (Hardy 1966). but arrogant. Frank Hardy (1983b:14) SOCIAL USES OF LITERARY STATEMENTS This chapter discusses gambling practices in terms of their social relations and outcomes as these are treated in some recent Australian popular writing. even help organise consideration and government of specific cultural and socio-political questions and policy issues such as gambling (Hunter 1984a. persuasive literature presented to particular readerships can be used to address and. among others. Such challenges have regularly been met with elegant and powerful. 1991). A. FRANK HARDY’S WRITING ON GAMBLING: AN INVENTORY OF STATEMENTS As Ken Inglis has demonstrated. historical and political-economic analyses of gambling. in certain limited ways (that is.B. 1984b. Compared with the frameworks and substance of more sociological. I will continue to take on the warriors of academia in the world of literary ideas and to write from the standpoint of the victims of the crisis which characterises our times. not as direct ‘expressions’ or ‘representations’ of other prior and external realities). The erstwhile democratic. classifications and effective critical marginalisations of Hardy’s writing (Mitchell 1981:130). primarily in the fiction and journalistic work of Frank Hardy. the fiction and much of the journalistic and critical writing of Frank Hardy since the late 1940s significantly contributed to the repetition and survival of a particular populist and leftist version of the radical-nationalist ‘Australian legend’ (Inglis 1985:8–11).‘Banjo’ Paterson and Katherine Susannah Prichard to establish plausible credentials as purveyor of the frameworks and values of an increasingly besieged democratic. Henry Lawson. social-realist precepts which inform the political and cultural strategies mobilised by Hardy texts challenge the dominance of elitist and metaphysical literary-critical practices and values precisely over conceptualisations of popular cultural activities in Australia such as radical politics and gambling. Hardy’s writing selectively and intertextually quotes elements from the texts of. this may seem like a trivial pursuit. This chapter .

158). The novel’s narrative identifies a discontinuous but strategically interconnected apparatus.Gambling cultures 108 attempts to summarise the array of statements in Frank Hardy’s writing that concern Australian gambling practices and the social dynamics they involve. and despite resistance from certain sections of the police force. the West character’s use of entrepreneurial political-economic tactics either ignores or corrupts socialist strategies and policies that compete with his individualist rhetoric of self-improvement in political struggles for working-class support and affiliation (Hardy 1975a:66.: 36). Constituted by the novel’s narrative as a Catholic. to a formidable extent of wealth. Most noticeably. POWER WITHOUT GLORY: A QUESTION OF INTERESTS As Al McCoy has observed. equalitarian radicals in the labour movement and state and federal parliaments. this enables West’s spectacular social mobility. West’s disdain of solidarity with radical sections of the working class. anything is possible and justified for West’s organisation (Hardy 1975a: 252–4). through relentless economic accumulation. 60. character Eddie Corrigan. 258). social and (indirect) political power from a comfortable distance: ‘Power becomes more mighty and satisfying when exercised by remote control. Protestant ‘wowser’ groups offended by the challenge of games of chance to Puritan disciplinary forms of government and doctrines of predestined certainties. moves from poverty-stricken Irish-Catholic workingclass beginnings. Metonymically this image connotes the ‘battler’ West’s gamble on the path to an always limited and resisted approximation of class power (Hardy 1975a:25. With no certainties the stakes are high. the novel’s central character and anti-hero. West can . working-class area of ‘Carringbush’. Via the cynical assumption that everyone has their price. through consequent acts of bribery and violence. The novel commences with the image of a spinning coin flicked a corruptible policeman’s way. is exemplified by the degree of elevation of the prosperous businessman’s gaze over the river to working-class ‘Carringbush’—the location of his constituency and market—from his mansion atop a hill in a more salubrious suburb (Hardy 1975a:265). some employees. For the patriarchal West character. philanthropist and faceless man in the social-democratic Australian Labor Party (ALP). Because capitalism is conceptualised as legal robbery. how what might be termed a ‘rhizome’ of power is initially capitalised by the proceedings of an illegal betting shop located in the inner-city. hypothesises the causes and effects of certain forms of ‘Australian political corruption’ between 1880 and 1950 (McCoy n. on a race that’s rigged?’ objects labour movement activist. to little avail (Hardy 1975a:40.d. Accordingly. which is presented by the novel’s organising political-economic framework as having been financed by battling punters habitually in need of money to tide them over in mundane material matters from day to day and week to week: ‘You mean to say that you blokes are goin’ to go round takin’ money from people who’ve hardly got the price of a feed. Power Without Glory (1950). 233. He did not want glory. he wanted power—power without glory’ (Hardy 1975a:390). John West. poor working men are simply ‘gripped by the hope of gain that prompts…[them] to gamble’ (Hardy 1975a:98). and municipal machine politics. and eventually with his family. Hardy’s first novel. McLaren 1988:89–91).

). Such a . Buggy 1977. of late-Stalinist Soviet economic. McKernan 1984:143–4).2 As a long and diffuse critical realist story. this means ‘no bookmakers to “bag” horses and no big owners to plan betting coups by running their horses dead for a few starts’. or officially sanctioned witnessing. John Wren. domestic and wider social contradictions.: 155). capitalism’s—dialectical structure and forces conspire to displace and disperse that power (Hardy 1975a:557 ff. West prospers both economically and politically until. ‘Australia’s path to socialism’ (Hardy 1952:329 ff. consisted of a relatively uncritical account. Journey into the Future extends it to a policy dimension with a detailed call for implementation of the programme of the Communist Party of Australia (CPA). This connection having been asserted and elaborated. and the account submits that in the USSR horse-racing was organised along ‘socialist lines’ with neither course nor SP bookmakers. only the totalisator with ‘express and doubles totes’ (Hardy 1952:119. Prichard n. According to Hardy. Hardy announces a conviction that ‘one-two bets and doubles would be easier to pick here than winners in Melbourne’ (Hardy 1952:127). with the fateful inevitability of an elementary nemesis.d. betting is said to run ‘a poor third’ to interest in the breeding of ‘good horses’ and entertainment of ‘the public’ in the USSR (Hardy 1952:119. with all of its rich offering of references to and fictive accounts of other historically produced social realities such as the powerful historical individual.). Journey into the Future linked these and other supposedly democratic dispositions of the Soviet socio-economic and cultural network to Henry Lawson’s 1890s writing in Australia ‘from the standpoint of the common man’ (Hardy 1952:321). The latter is presented as supported by the luxury of inherited. by implication. It is ‘socially conscious’ trainers and drivers ‘who make very high earnings’ and share ‘the advanced social outlook and love of trotting’ more than ‘the vigilance of the stewards’ which prevents dishonest racing (Hardy 1952:122). 121. JOURNEY INTO THE FUTURE: A WORKABLE PROGRAMME? Legal. The itinerary included a visit to the Moscow Hippodrome. Compared with the situation in Australia. the composition. exclusive clubs as well as such official apparatuses of legal and moral authority as the police force. social and cultural life during the Cold War era of post-Second World War reconstruction.3 The book’s argument in this regard seems to be that the gambling identified by radical-nationalist cultural historians such as Ward (1958) as intrinsic to the idealised version of Australian national character could be positively corrected by a transcendence of the bad habit of compulsive gambling and the crime of race-rigging. 121). the revenge of the novel’s—and. Journey into the Future (1952).Representations of gambling in australia popular culture 109 rationalise his affluence and power as the hard-earned reward for enterprising. Eldershaw 1950. political and literary ructions followed the publication and circulation of Power Without Glory (Palmer 1951. judiciary and Protestant churches (Hardy 1975a:554). Hardy’s next book. even charitable provision of a range of gambling services otherwise proscribed by an upperclass ‘Establishment’. reading and attendant legal trial over charges of criminal libel established Power Without Glory as a template for most of Frank Hardy’s subsequent writing and literary-political departures (Brennan 1971:205–24. cf. landed wealth. Hardy 1971c).

But the Dead Are Many (1975b).d. to rehearse the slogan of the day. It was precisely this sort of tourist-of-the-revolution romanticism. Through the technique of a split retrospective narrative.: 138–72).d. The Hardy text’s title echoes Kisch’s argument that ‘these days horse racing [has] ceased to be a valiant sport. entitled ‘The heirs of Stalin’.4 Consigned to prison for embezzlement of funds in his capacity as a bank teller. anti-fascist journalist Egon Kisch’s analysis of gambling on horse-racing in Australia as this was set out in the latter’s Australian Landfall ([1937] 1969). THE FOUR-LEGGED LOTTERY: GAMBLING AS AUSTRALIAN SOCIAL TRAGEDY Following Journey into the Future. is almost an embodiment of major elements of ‘the Australian legend’ (Hardy [1958] 1977:9–10. social relations and policies. from the proceeds of bookmaking. He is situated as being exploited by capitalism in general and corrupted by an increasing dependence on the professional gambler’s regimen in particular.: 142). like Power Without Glory’s West in his youthful phase. the working-class character. ‘the web of Stalinism’. in the main. This narrative strategy is situated within a wider socio-political commentary and argument on the inter-sections of habitual gambling. The Four-legged Lottery is informed by evidence of the destructive social consequences of habitual gambling and. and [has become]…a lottery. working from Yevgeny Yevtushenko’s celebrated 1962 poem of that title (Semmler n. Marshall 1984). Building on Power Without Glory’s indictment of a shadowy network of exploitative economic and political power financed. ‘deformed’ sexuality and . the Whittaker character enunciates his own and Roberts’s socially differentiated but gradually intersecting life histories. rejected active commitment to the work (as distinct from the argot) involved in radical social transformation (Hardy [1958] 1977:109). Hardy’s later novel. She is identified as a prime cause of Whittaker’s eventually compulsive gambling and consequent social disgrace. Hardy’s novel The Four-legged Lottery ([1958] 1977) took up Czech socialist. international in form.Gambling cultures 110 transcendence is asserted as attendant on the emergence of the assumed essence of Australian national culture and the protocols of (Stalinist) communist internationalism: national in content. That forthright rejection was made clear in Hardy’s 1968 series of articles for the London Sunday Times (reprinted in the Australian Bulletin). calls for more democratically organised socialist institutions. Presented in heroic and sympathetic terms through Hardy’s adaptation of critical-cum-socialist realist precepts. Jim Roberts. middle-class narrator Paul Whittaker gravitates to Roberts’s drinking and gambling group in search of both companionship and extra money to cater for what are presented as the excessive but socially ingrained consumerist desires of the woman to whom he is married. Earlier in the novel. Hardy [1958] 1977: epigraph and 43). Roberts. which Hardy finally and openly repudiated after the 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia (Semmler n. Roberts is finally hanged for murdering unremitting bookmaker Pittson in a fit of rage at the economic and social injustices involved in gambling transactions (Hardy [1958] 1977:218–19). with four-legged tickets’ (Kisch [1937] 1969:222. imprisonment. of the inequitable socio-economic relation of power between gamblers and the local SP bookmaker (Kisch [1937] 1969:223. Similarly. especially. Blakey 1979:10).

Media-circulated accounts of what counts as popular memory of such historical events as the Australian colonies’ Gold Rush of the 1850s and its ‘gamble for gold’ has ensured that.Representations of gambling in australia popular culture 111 (in)justice in class-divided Australian society (Hardy [1958] 1977:9). 41. According to the novel’s narrative. relying on luck to compensate for inadequate social conditions. Their generation is said to sustain a Micawberish optimism and ‘the desperate hope of increasing …earnings’. ‘given his soul over to the devil of gambling. working-class Catholics of Irish extraction are particularly prone. masculinist evaluation of gambling as a site par excellence of struggles between ‘battlers’ and ‘the system’ is followed by the prescription of a remedy. 224). ‘an expression of the cultural barbarism imposed on the people by our society. He would be dehumanised by his very success’ (Hardy [1958] 1977:170–82). becoming victims of the tyranny of the law of averages over the laws of probability (Hardy [1958] 1977:51. The populist. 112. ‘[g]ambling is part of our national psychology’ (Hardy [1958] 1977:74). 118. But the novel affiliates itself with members of culture’s civilising mission of enlightenment who argued that the ‘mania’ of gambling ‘is a perversion of the daring and spontaneity of the Australian people’. more often than not. 43. Hardy’s collection of interrelated short stories. politically inflected folkloric movement. in crypto-Faustian manner. of ‘the dreadful Australian tragedy’ of gamblers incarcerated and even executed (Hardy [1958] 1977:170. as in the United States. 115. according to the novel and much of Hardy’s other writing (Hardy [1958] 1977:18–20. 126. LEGENDS FROM BENSON’S VALLEY: LEARNING FOLKLORIC HABITS As a contribution to a then burgeoning. that will die only when the system which gives rise to it also dies’ (Hardy [1958] 1977:75. a condensed version of Journey into the Future’s nationalisation programme is invoked as the only viable alternative to a relentless social dialectic. He would lose the taste for the fine things of life. constituted as symphonic in form and otherwise inevitable. Racing and all forms of gambling are classified as. so that even a punter who manages to devise a marginally successful gambling system would have. Legends from Benson’s Valley (1963). This articulation of poverty with inexpensive games of skill and chance is located as a cause of habitual gambling among the depression-bred generation of working-class and lower-middle-class Australians such as the Roberts and Whittaker characters respectively. an imaginary line of flight from the pressures and limits of past and current social predicaments (Hardy [1958] 1977:162). repeats many of the evaluative statements put forward in The Four-legged Lottery concerning the . hegemonically corrupt components of ‘big business’. 73. 27– 8. an ensemble of cultural practices and spiritual exercises to which male. 77). The ‘joyous expectancy of the gambler’ is diagnosed as a ‘symptom of [the battler’s] revolt’. 45–6). 78. the ‘degradation of unemployment and the dread of the dole’ during the socio-economic depression of the 1930s coincided with the proliferation of racing and football tipping competitions and other small games of skill and chance (Hardy [1958] 1977:100. Gambling is discussed as a collective addiction which induces debilitating levels of guilt and a desire for confession and expiation. 61. 67–8. 221). 182).

gambling and socialist attributes ascribed in ‘Australian legend’ mythology. Pollak 1990:227–60). 82). ‘beer and horses’ and racing. ‘the game can be learned purely practically. 144–52. 15e. or small farmer. warmth and luck (Hardy 1963:42–3). Doogue 1982:110–11. The comically registered moral of ‘When Sandy Mitchell won the lottery’ is that ‘[n]o good ever came of a working man winning the lottery. ‘The gambler’ is the collection’s story of a povertystricken. The MacIntosh character enshrines the ‘work and burst’ drinking.5 It also suggests practical. Wannan 1954. Smith 1985). itinerant rural workers of the 1930s (Hardy 1966:242. without learning any explicit rules’ (Wittgenstein 1979: no. together with the notorious legal consequences of these processes for ‘Franklyn’s’ double. 95. The Hard Way provides a statement of record of the ‘real-world’ documents (from Royal Commissions. He can’t solve his problems that way’ (Hardy 1963:149. state and federal parliamentary debates. here styled as the sport of both ‘the needy and the greedy’ (Hardy 1963:23–4). In this collection’s first short story. Frank Hardy (Hardy 1981. Wilson 1990:3–23). 63. Printing of that novel had been partly financed by a ‘stroke of . material ways in which such a socially disadvantaged household forms and educates its younger members to potential dispositions for gambling through the tutelary examples of parental habits. 80. virtually the only major ‘positive’ socialist-realist hero in any Hardy text. The story presents an account of the conflict between class solidarity with fellow workers and the use of the proceedings of a lottery win to provide conditions for accelerated social mobility (Morrison 1984:85–6). As Wittgenstein proposed. notebooks. ‘Cocky in Bungaree’. especially among depression-stricken. Sandy Mitchell’s winnings are spent on food and alcohol for his (male) mates and on their tactics for initiating a workers’ insurrection in the depression-divided rural town of ‘Benson’s Valley’. Darky Nolan. needs and pleasures. is contrasted with hired potato digger Arty MacIntosh’s proclivities for women. writing and publication of Power Without Glory by pseudonymous autodidactic writer ‘Ross Franklyn’. 8. work. diaries. The revolt has to be abandoned because of their drunkenness and confusion (Hardy 1963:55. working-class household’s mounting excitement and eventual despair around the race broadcasts on the wireless on a Saturday afternoon. Fricke 1984:5. political and domestic corruption. 161). Ward 1958. THE HARD WAY: A DIVISIVE SUBJECT Hardy’s The Hard Way: The Story Behind ‘Power Without Glory’ (1961) chronicles the research. library research and memories of oral interviews) as well as the literary-political doctrines and writing strategies deployed in Power Without Glory’s narrative and its purported ‘exposure’ of economic. as both employer of labourers and spouse. gambles against the likelihood of detection in transgressing the trespassing laws as well as the dogs and shotgun of an authoritarian squatter (or pastoralist) to appropriate and distribute firewood to towns-people generally out of wood. 131–3. 77. The story comprises indications of the domestication of gambling during the 1930s through the new communication technology of radio. routines. the no-risks tight-fistedness of the ‘cocky’. newspapers.Gambling cultures 112 propensity to gamble as a profitably exploited aspect of what is ascribed as Australian ‘national character’. In the collection’s story entitled ‘The Load of Wood’.

but the true leader is a man for all occasions’ (Hardy 1971a:254. They’re sending the country broke. They wouldn’t know horse dung from clay unless they tasted it. 99. 111–13. They wouldn’t wake up if an Adelaide River dunny fell on ‘em. Morrison 1984:18–34). published in some editions as Billy Borker Yarns Again). 67. 102. mate. But. gambling is also bound up with the contradictory constitution of the authorial figure ‘Franklyn’–Hardy as divided between responsibilities to both professional writing and communist politics: ‘I’m a boozer. Hardy 1972b:76–80. contemptuous of pomp and privilege… [and] an inveterate liar’ (Hardy 1965:153). 93–8. 42. an adventurer. They sell the country out to the Yanks. 99). Semmler n. inevitably in such narratives that. …They throw heads when you back tails at the two-up. They say he married her .Representations of gambling in australia popular culture 113 gambler’s luck…an inside tip’ that produced £200 and the recitation of a piece of folkloric wisdom: ‘take you a long time to make that kind of money with an axe’ (Hardy 1971a:128. What they do is bad enough. 80. and a mad punter. They cause wars. democratic. when you look at it right. They can’t see any further than their noses. 86. ‘Banks gamble with other people’s money. that’s for sure…. 89–92. suspicious of authority. to complicate matters. 149–52. horse-races and betting coups are treated as continuing aspects of a unitary financial and social ‘system’ in which ‘[t]here’s no more thieving goes on [on the wharf] than on the Stock Exchange’. Hardy quoted in Childs 1984:76). They are the trouble. these anecdotal yarns are presented as dialogic transcriptions of urban and rural folklore: ‘from my own experience or the experience of men I drank with in pubs up and down the coast’ and from ‘the first and best Australian yarn-spinner I ever heard…my father Tom Hardy’ (Hardy 1965:5–7. in Hardy’s title. and a knock-about battler from way back. 130. They won’t give a man a fair go. The reductive and oppositional populist demarcation of ‘us’ and ‘them’ allows. 49. 38. 123–5. 107. 17–24. it is They [who] are the trouble’: I’ve been trying to find out who they are for years…. They charge high rent. They conscript the twenty-year-olds. We were the man for an occasion. but you’ve got to battle’ (Hardy 1965:152. 22. Hardy 1975c:9.: 63–70). and so do stockbrokers’ (Hardy 1965:62–9. They couldn’t run a raffle. They say we’ve never had it so good. Frow 1982:34). Initially devised for performance on (the then) Australian Broadcasting Commission television channel. 140–3. Usually without class specificity. BILLY BORKER YARNS: ‘THEM’ AND ‘US’ The distancing from Marxist-Leninist doctrines of political organisation and subsequent recourse to populist modes of address are clear in Hardy’s The Yarns of Billy Borker (1965) and ‘The Great Australian Lover’ and Other Stories ([1967] 1972b. They rob you in the Parliament. a borrower and a leader. too. The 1930s depression practices of rigged hotel raffles. but why can’t they ever learn? They’ll never learn. the populist ‘archetype of the Australian battler’ asserts as typical a character ‘ironic. 70–2. Overwhelmingly. They start a lot of gossip. the anecdotes work in the demotic with the figure of ‘the Australian battler’—from racecourse tipsters and bagmen to seamen and wharf labourers—whose stoic motto is ‘you can’t win. They start depressions. They run their horse dead.d.

They say he’s a bad pay. the ironically named ‘great Australian lover’. strike leader Chilla adheres to a . They say she’s a cupboard drinker…: Have another beer before they close the pub. THE UNLUCKY AUSTRALIANS: POLITICAL WRITING AS THERAPEUTIC Hardy’s documentary-fictional The Unlucky Australians ([1968] 1972a) contrasts Borkertype ‘Australian gregariousness that leads a man to loneliness’ with the plight of Gurindji Aboriginal people on strike over conditions and rates of pay against the Vestey pastoral company’s organisation at Wave Hill in Australia’s Northern Territory (Hardy 1972a:1). the existentially formulated question ‘TAB or not TAB?’. ‘underneath the conservative popular base [in] the substratum of outcasts and outsiders’ (Marcuse 1964). contributed to significant policy repercussions at a national level (Horne 1978. (Hardy 1972b:150–2) Despite. 68. they intrinsically oppose and resist that ‘system’ as ‘a rigged game’ (Hardy 1971b: epigraph). incarnation of the widely circulated 1970s figure of the ‘ocker’. male mates and alcohol-induced vomiting to his wedding ceremony and honeymoon (Hardy 1972b:53. Socialist politics contest the gambling obsession by addressing dispossession. Starting with the narrator’s ‘shame at the gambling debt’. fights.Gambling cultures 114 for her money. the book comprises a narrative of transformation of introspective ‘guilt’ into energy for alignment with the Gurindji political struggle and for writing about ‘what has been done’ to Aborigines since white invasion and colonisation of the continent (Hardy 1972a:2. 13. 39. made possible in Hardy’s case by a temporary resolution of the apparent contradiction between gambling and socialist practices. such crudely conceptualised social relations of power. THE OUTCASTS OF FOOLGARAH: CARNIVAL OF THE OUTSIDERS The Outcasts of Foolgarah (1971b) is Hardy’s fictionalised and scatological story of a strike of garbage and night-soil carters. Hardy 1978:319–40). or perhaps because of. Unincorporated into ‘the system’. racism and cultural differences in both socio-economic and political terms. in Marcuse’s words. 20. Horne 1975). sites of gambling not least among them. Hornadge 1976:48–51). 1– 3. the socially informed gambler’s Utopia of the Territory’s then legal betting shops where ‘there’s no racial prejudice’. 8. They say their marriage is on the rocks. and memories of a local wartime two-up school. drinking. cf. Whitlam 1978. Like Billy Borker. prefers betting. 238. They say she had to get married. economic exploitation and sexism as these practices are prevalent in various domains of popular culture. At best. They are the workers involved as. shorts and thongs. Harris 1974. some of Hardy’s Billy Borker yarns can be read as satirical criticisms of aspects of racism. This political and cultural activity. Such marginalised workers and lumpenproletarians are said to lack even the jockey’s benefit of ‘the percentage punter’ (Hardy 1971b: 8).

in many respects. Barthes 1973:145–8). as these operated in both the Soviet Union and the increasingly fragmented Australian communist movement. (Hardy 1975b:115–16)6 The intertextual resonances with complexly combined aspects of The Four-legged Lottery and The Outcasts of Foolgarah are evident. back odds-on favourites. among others. take advice from a barber or play poker machines).J.Borky. transcend . who cause all economic trouble and social inequities (Hardy 1971b:189. also 129–30). who is identified as an intellectual worker and soul-tortured by socialist history’s Stalinist vicissitudes. Of course. indulging in habits said to contribute to and enhance a writer’s creative capacity for alienation’: Jack was a compulsive gambler—but never played poker machines (never run up stairs. Jack. including bookmakers and corrupt trade-union officials. and repeatedly distracted from literary and political commitments and work habits by an ostensibly irresistible attraction to TAB (that is. How did it go? A gambler fears to be rejected. BUT THE DEAD ARE MANY: GAMBLING WITH SOCIALISM AT CHECKPOINT CHARLIE But the Dead Are Many: A Novel in Fugue Form (1975b) entails Hardy’s most fully elaborated critique of Stalinist political and social doctrines and policy arrangements. In the case of But the Dead Are Many. semi-independent state totaliser) establishments (Hardy 1971b:101). Jack claimed that a revolutionary shares this with the gambler: he fears rejection yet desires to be rejected by the society which has rejected and hurt him. Another major character in the novel is writer F. the nominated tensions between socialist politics and gambling practices are reconciled by the psycho-sociological mediating category of ‘creative…alienation’. he returned to the problem again and again. The narrator-writer (the novel is formed and organised by multivocal narrative techniques). such as those concerning cultural and political mechanisms of representation. sexist cultural mythology of’ Australian mateship’ and the Stalinist political mythology of ‘the just Communist society’ (Hardy 1971b: 167–8. the test-of-fate theory of gambling came from one of Jack’s books. so he tests fate. Borky is contextualised as typically surrounded by ‘racing paraphernalia’ which is used in an attempt to ‘supplement his income with racing systems’ (Hardy 1971b:98). is ‘a compulsive gambler’. bookmakers. at least intermittently. as though the revolutionary-writer-gambler can somehow.Representations of gambling in australia popular culture 115 populist rhetoric which demarcates ‘us’ and ‘them’ so it is once again ‘they’. Borky is beset by debts to. He is in solidarity with the strikers’ cause and enunciates the narrative’s Marcusian analysis. He believed that the ambivalent psychological link of the revolutionary to the society he desires to destroy reflects the psychological link he has had with his parents. The novel’s narrative summarily diagnoses Borky as misled and divided by ‘the myth that he could make a big killing on the horses’ as well as by the. Many of Jack’s characters were gamblers.

75). In effect.: 218).Gambling cultures 116 all social contradictions. there is ‘never a perfect system’ (Hardy 1982:34). the story may also be read as identifying successful gambling with the potential realisation of an intensely desired escape from restrictive limits of class and other social relations. Stalinism is thus shown as countenancing and even demanding corruption of various political and industrial forms of democracy as insurance against the (arrogantly ascribed) ‘false consciousness’ of those large sectors of the working-class constituency the historical best interests of which it claimed to represent. Neumann and Eason 1990). positions the social ‘outcasts’ and ‘creatively alienated’ cultural workers as robbed by poker machines in ‘a game at which you’re not allowed to win’ (Semmler n. The group of short stories assembled under the title The Loser Now Will Be Later to Win (1985) restates the connections between gambling and other socio-political relations and practices. pressures and limits other than the supposedly primary and determinant parental ones. such as the suicide of his comrade John. the fate of tens of millions of Stalinism’s victims (Hardy 1975b:270). At a less metaphysical level.7 This sort of cultural and political integrity is contrasted with the character of Australian Stalinist functionary Trevor Duncan’s forging of strategic trade-union electoral ballots for the supposedly higher cause of progressive communist politics. gambling practices once again comprise an almost ritualistic consultation of ‘fate’—regarded as an unavoidable.: 195. Structured around patriarchal fantasies of flight to an idealised cosmopolitan lover. ‘had long ago over-powered the gambling habit’ (Hardy 1975b:158–9). The short story. fixed end—in order to divine its revelation as indicating either acceptance or rejection of the individual gambler (Semmler n. the short story articulates gambling with male-dominated heterosexuality in a witless and destructive politics of desire which elides any consideration or calculation of possible effects on those exploited by such a finally individualistic form of politics and pleasure. For the Jack figure. a progressively more urgent ‘obsession’ with researching and writing about local and specific political issues. According to this fictive account. 200.: 220. the . But the Dead Are Many can be read as arguing that ‘the ultimate prize of life’s lottery’ is ‘the right to be transcended into memory’ (Hardy 1975b:116).d. ‘The secret of Bandit Bertie’. on gambling as a sexually and economically compensatory obsession (Semmler n. With different emphases. Lynch 1990). 227–9. This is presented as a democratically socialist alternative to existential liquidation and erasure of all material traces from official history. Despite the possibility of short-term successes. cf. Hardy’s novel The Obsession of Oscar Oswald (1983a) suggests that ‘[d]ebt collection had become infiltrated by gangsters so that it had become the fourth biggest racket after drugs. As almost an article of faith and antidote to the motif of ‘loss’. ‘Daily double’. prostitution and illegal gambling’ (1983a:132–3. LATER WRITINGS: LIFE’S A GAMBLE The catalogue of selected Hardy notations and statements concerning a plurality of different material cultural practices and social relations in which gambling is inscribed can be continued by noting the commentary of the comparatively recent short story.d.d.

illicit and manipulative bookmakers such as Power Without Glory’s West and The Four-legged Lottery’s Pittson would be displaced to the benefit of those working-class and other ‘battlers’ who engage . Bob Dylan’s ‘The times they are a-changing’: And don’t speak too soon For the wheel’s still in spin And there’s no telling who that it’s naming ’Cause the loser now Will be later to win For the times they are a-changing. in the case of the magazines. corrupt. the stories assert that the ‘wheel’ of social fortune has not yet named its eventual victors. 1960s Aboriginal cooperative cultural protocols. Thereby. respectively. 1930s pro-Soviet Marxism. Hardy’s populist Marxist narrative strategies and explicitly politicised characterology connote fictive means of social transformation. They can be read as fictive supports of Hardy’s Journey into the Future call for Soviet-style public regulation of gambling and equitable distribution of those rewards paid out to gamblers. In this making of books. As a corrective to the Australian worker-battler’s perceived loss of control over the production of the future and prevailing accounts of the past. 1940s anarchism. are literary accounts of the power accrued by those organisations which manage gambling and the disastrous effects to which habitual gambling can contribute. from poverty and embezzlement to murder. The likely outcome of a national history of social contradictions and conflicts is thus calculated and bet on in Hardy’s politicised gamble of communication. together with various plays. Worker characters are once more constituted as outcasts.8 CONCLUSIONS Power Without Glory and The Four-legged Lottery. they mortgage existing cultures to a future. and as having only a limited range of options of resistance and defiance. The ideologies and rhetorics of 1890s radical nationalism. as if outside a corporate capitalist system. 1930s and 1970s to 1980s are nominated as the potential winners in a gamble of social change and transformation at the predicted end of capitalism’s history. rural areas. Frank Hardy continued to pursue gambling issues in his more journalistic writings for such popular and textually diverse ‘girlie’ and sensationalised ‘human interest’ magazines as People.Representations of gambling in australia popular culture 117 collection uses as its epigraph some lyrics from a popular folk-song of the 1960s. The ‘losers’ of the socioeconomic depressions of the 1890s. 1970s Eurocommunism and 1980s pro-feminist Trotskyism are presented as successively flawed but nevertheless indicative ‘form guides’ to a final triumph of the perpetual social ‘losers’ and resistant victims of a rigged capitalist ‘system’ (Hardy 1985:200). more equitable polity and society. Australasian Post and the Melbourne Herald-Sun newspaper. These widely read publications are overwhelmingly directed at and read by working-class male audiences in Australian cities and. it is contended.

this work of composition has been carried out within a . But the Dead Are Many’s polyphonic form can be read as stressing the relative fluidity and possibility of equitably democratised institutional and wider social relations within and between classes. inevitable. accounts of the relations of gambling and art with household economic and other domestic arrangements presuppose socially produced gender differences and politics as simply the outcomes of ‘natural’. The texts. However. part of a ‘social problem’ to be addressed and governed medically and psychoanalytically. together with usual narrative and plot relations of subordination/ domination between them. Despite Hardy’s relatively progressive notations and formulations on gambling. in the short story ‘The system’. Overall. Often in Hardy texts. allurement and sexual conquest of both the Ruth and Collette characters. cultural groups and political organisations. These sorts of discriminations and emphases in the constitution of female and male characters. with Jim Roberts and narrator Paul Whittaker justifying their gambling propensities as necessary to provide the women they are married to with what they deserve and what they crave respectively. such as the plausibility of Soviet Marxism and Zhdanovite socialistrealist aesthetics during the 1940s. quite precisely gamble with Hardy’s accumulated cultural and political capital as a notorious. commitment and energy. increasingly. For instance. Fugitive tactics require the traverse of definite tracks leading to uncertain destinations and necessitating new estimations and mappings of different possibilities. gambling wins would make possible the male socialist artist character’s flight from a vauntedly stifling domestic and sexual relationship and to a European lover. for instance. especially its emphases on collective egalitarian democracy and gambling proclivities. For example.Gambling cultures 118 in gambling as a means of supplementary economic resistance to the depredations and exploitation of wage labour. They consist in compositional and distributional calculations or wagers on the likelihood of particular cultural and political effects and outcomes. That is to say. in Power Without Glory there is West’s tyrannical ‘after-all-I’ve-done-for-you’ household subordination of spouse Nellie and their daughter Mary. these Utopian propositions beg the question of how state regulation of gambling procedures also deploys disciplinary powers through the techniques by which they individuate and police gamblers as. egalitatian. Hardy quoted throughout Ridge 1982). in the short story ‘Daily double’. Australian artist Jack Cameron’s success at the roulette wheel in a European casino is presented as a precondition for the attraction. lines of flight are pursued. socially organised gender differences feature prominently in debates and political agendas of many institutional campaigns for changes in organisational and social policies. the communicative gamble of the text is the risk incurred by the action of investing cultural capital. of the selective and politically inflected tradition and mythology of ‘the Australian legend’. are also inseparable from ‘bets’ on how they will be made sense of and used by different readerships. For Hardy texts. when the politico-cultural lines of credit and credibility that had been available in the past. there is a less than socially equitable linking of gambling success to the assertion of patriarchal forms of (hetero)sexuality. genders. Frank Hardy’s writings have actively contributed to the repetition. socialist author writing at times when. habitual gambling practices take place in exclusively male social groups in most of The Four-legged Lottery. of ‘putting your money where your mouth is’. irresistible and usually nonnegotiable desires (see. for example. are no longer viable in the present. in dealing with gambling as a major theme. in the vernacular. with certain differences.

10 Surrounded as it is by other accounts. demarcates an economic ‘base’ of state-supported monopoly capitalism that profits from its administration of gambling. taxation and capital accumulation (Dark 1966:13–14). readers are left with the unstably reconciled contradiction of But the Dead Are Many (and. romantic voluntarism is a component of Stalinist and vanguardist insurrectionary politics. For all the problems of idealism. and literary-political disdain as the creator of ‘the apotheosis of the racecourse urger’.11 But if.d. habitual gambling affords socialist writer Jack a degree of ‘creative alienation’ from certain exploitative social relations. yet Stalinist functionaries such as the Trevor Duncan character can short-circuit forms of workplace democracy by ballot forgery.12 Yet. Hardy’s consistently rewritten notations and statements (cultural hypotheses. Competing aesthetic and moral evaluations and judgements aside.: 11). 88–91).Representations of gambling in australia popular culture 119 populist way of seeing the world’s historically produced realities.9 This way of seeing. While there is an element of conscious voluntarism in Jack’s gambling activities. As with Stalinist politics. gambling practices among them. but perhaps not surprisingly. and 1991:80–91). However. the gambling of sport with the body. deployments of particular rhetorical devices) suggest some significant social questions and knowledges about gambling as an item for cultural and policy agendas. Despite its popularity. it can only be the ‘outcasts’ or ‘outsiders’ operating in the interstices of various institutions who battle to resist and evade incorporation into the allegedly pervasive and savagely functional socio-economic. The Hard Way). on the other (Beasley 1979:55. Learned. to some extent. his detailed attention to and intervention in the classdifferentiated but broadly popular cultural activities of gambling have earned Hardy literary-critical praise as ‘the chronicler of the turf’. gambling is an attempt to overcome economic and social uncertainty just as Stalinism operated through the attempted erasure of political and historical uncertainty. this is a breach of anything . Hardy’s writing has sustained as one of its conditions many calculated cultural strategies or gambles. 82. and tourism. or framework of techniques and assumptions concerning such popular cultural practices as gambling. then perhaps it is these voluntaristic practices and values which generate the contradictions and differences between gambling and socialist politics in Hardy’s writings (Blake 1971:49–73. A substantial gambling ‘killing’ on the horses or lottery or casino may comprise the undoubtedly pleasurable basis of a radically individualised social redistribution to relative wealth. as Jack Blake has argued. however. In a career of living dangerously. essentialism and residual Leninist politics entailed in this framework. In the end. proposals. political and cultural ‘system’. ‘means’ and ‘ends’ are functionally separated because of the uncertainty of the outcomes of gambling’s calculations. at least Hardy’s writings address the ways in which gambling practices and social relations and differences are associated with cultural industries such as the media. and psychological ‘superstructures’ which impose relations of dependence on social individuals who become obsessed with gambling and its offerings of the elusive hope of financial security outside the pressures and demands of orthodox forms of wage-labour. the other side of its ‘base’-‘superstructure’ model of social totality or ‘system’. Duncan’s trade-union constituency loses without even knowing that it was in effect gambling in a rigged game where the die is already cast and certainty of outcome relatively assured. such work has elicited more official denunciation than approval. propositions. From within such a framework. on the one hand (Semmler n. especially in the press. security and status.

more historically and theoretically elaborated versions of this chapter were published in McMillen n. After all. The obsessive repetition. What Hardy’s writings on the politics of gambling practices and their effects enable us to conclude is that.13 For resilience and courage in promoting fairness and social justice in this and other regards. socially and politically at least. its enactment of socially grounded techniques and hopes—all of these culturally active factors are different from but not unrelated to the democratically organised forms of political and cultural work necessary for transformations that will produce more equitable social conditions and a halt to government of populations that brings with it very real material risks and threats of poverty.. ‘Road to power’ (thesis). ‘Abuse of power’ (antithesis). As Polan has argued so convincingly. he may very well have taught his readers many valuable political and history lessons. Frank Hardy should not be forgotten. in differing and inequitable ways. see Lees and Senyard (1987:26. 4 On the masculinist inflections of presentations of gambling milieu and ambience in Power Without Glory and The Four-legged Lottery. no absolute closure or final solution. see Summers (1975:70–4) and Morris (1992:40). ‘A stranger in the camp’ (1944 in Hardy n. further disempowerment and cultural denigration. Indeed. there can be no last big bet.d. the strategic condition for constant and never certain outcomes of incessant negotiations between different institutions. usually self-seeking and often tormenting. is the narrative product of interaction between the second section. Chilla Bulbeck. Frank Hardy and Ian Hunter. in Williams 1987a. Responsibility for the chapter’s final formulations is my own.K. and the first section. . Noel King. it may serve to intensify them by focusing on the redistribution of wealth to thus privileged or ‘lucky’ individuals rather than on the social production. on the effects of gambling on women in Australia. see also Dutton 1991:40). and in Williams 1987b: 564–622. ‘the gamble is not a once-for-all attempt at liberty’ but. K. For their constructive critical comments and bibliographical advice on this work I am very grateful to Catherine Greenfield. also to Jan McMillen. NOTES 1 Other. ‘Decline of power’ (synthesis). social agencies and groups (Polan 1984:193). 2 In the novel’s straightforward dialectical structure the third section.d. Such social struggle entails relations of power between contradictory but necessarily connected positions. of course.Ruthven and John Frow. More broadly and historically. accumulation and use of it. 3 This notion of the political correction of gambling habits and other diversions from forms of social solidarity was also put forward in the early Hardy short story. 87–8). rewriting and intertextual echoes that mark Frank Hardy’s (re)presentations of gambling in popular cultural texts can be read as registering that the cultural practices and social relations involved in gambling are power-inscribed in terms of battling ‘punters’ acting to challenge an ostensibly rule-governed apparatus in the form of particular licit or illicit gambling establishments and authorities. The certainty of gambling’s uncertainty. rather. for the different parties involved. its widely and often unconsciously learned conventions and rules.: unpaginated.Gambling cultures 120 that can be classified as social solidarity because restricted access to the means of economic self-improvement through privatised economic expropriation does little to ameliorate or transform other social inequities of affluence and power.

(ed. Andrews (1979:44) and. Frogmore: Paladin. See. L. (1984) Oh Lucky Country. Sydney: Pan. (1988) Oscar and Lucinda. trans. R. 103–24. (1971) Revolution from Within—A Contemporary Theory of Social Change. Paranoid and Remissive: A Sociology of Modern Culture.R. 9 See Greenfield (1985) on the constitutive elements of populism.G.D. 52. especially. G. Ringwood: Penguin. trans. Crisp 1987). see Hindess (1989). 59. J. 55–9.) (1979) The Gambler’s Companion. 11 On the ‘dual standards of morality’ that ‘substitute the party’s experience for that of backward and prejudiced workers’ through techniques of ‘ballot adjustment’. 66). see Hirst and Woolley (1982:137). (1977) Puritan. Journal of Australian Political Economy 28:80– 91. see Hardy (1988:2–4. Blake. 23–5. ——(1991) ‘Perestroika and the Stalinist legacy’. (1987) The Boys from Binjiwunyawunya. St Lucia: University of Queensland Press. Regarding Hardy the play-wright on gambling. Sydney: Outlook. Brennan. R. 123–5. for example. 245). 148–9. 52. see Gollan (1980:323–4). 146–60. doctrinal certainties and fugitivity are also illuminatingly discussed in Robert Bradshaw’s autobiography (1986:102. 175). the relations of power and styles of reasoning involved. N. P. Hardy (1986:11–13. 67–71. (1973) Mythologies. 28–30.McKernan (eds) Sport in History: The Making of Modern Sporting History. 1991a. BIBLIOGRAPHY Andrews.) (1977) The 1890s: Stories. (ed. G. St Lucia: University of Queensland Press. Melbourne: Hill of Content. (1971) John Wren: Gambler—His Life and Times. 92–5. St Lucia: University of Queensland Press. cf. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. 37–40. 146–52. A. 165–7. Carroll. 74. 186–9. Barthes. see. 1991e). prevalent and generalised notions of gambling as a social leveller in the liberal cultural criticism of Horne and Beal (1967:41) and McGregor (1966:125–7. New York: Paddington. Camberwell: Widescope. see Kisch ([1937] 1969:224). 8 Many of these often recycled and rewritten pieces have been collected and assembled as books. 7 On the formation and regulation of institutionally inscribed individual conduct in relation to ‘obsessions’ and dreams. 78–81. 1991d. R. J. 13 Concerning the material social conditions in which everyday and mundane decisions are made.Rando. Sydney: Australasian Book Society. 12 On Stalinist separations of ‘ends’ from ‘means’ and the authoritarian political consequences. economic and political forms and instances of gambling and associated corruption. R. 107–8. (1979) Red Letter Days: Notes from Inside an Era. (1977) The Real John Wren. see the tribute to his late sister (Hardy 1992:16–18. 1991b. (1979) ‘The willow tree and the laurel: Australian sport and Australian literature’. also Hardy (1988:176–81. 1990:187–91). Verse. and Essays. B.Representations of gambling in australia popular culture 121 5 On the popular cultural adjacency of gambling and radio. On various cultural. 176–81. Carey. Cantrell. Blakey. Barret. Bradshaw. 222. 171. in R.Lavers. 1990:vii. 183–91. St Lucia: University of Queensland Press: 43–67. 26.Cashman and M. Beasley. Buggy. 39–40. 157. Johnson (1981:168. 104. 1991c. for instance. 7. (1986) The Fugitive Years. 235. 67. Cappiello. H. 48–50. see Hirst (1986:27–47). J.G. . 6 Connections between gambling practices. 193–6) for repetitions of the Billy Borker populism and the figure of the Australian ‘battler’. 243. 10 This is a significant advance on.

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wrote the News Chronicle. trades clubs and other forms of social clubs used by the working class.340 licences for betting shops were in operation (Cornish 1978:22). For example. ‘Betting and Gaming laws are a nettle which at last the Government—to its credit—has grasped’ (Newman 1972:4). But as betting activity was more visible and more thorough records were kept it is difficult to assess accurately the increase in the numbers of people taking part. certainly cash betting turnover did increase. It was warmly received by both public and media as bringing legislation into line with the times. it is not known whether this is the case. 13. Rather. The Daily Express (3 February 1962) reported that police swooped on a primary school at night and caught more than 300 . according to Levin. Perfect businessmen like Cyril Stein of Ladbroke’s with his accounting and banking background. by 1 June 1961. Second. but it created a number of loopholes and opportunities such that the initial optimism surrounding its introduction quickly faded. clubs and other organisations used bingo to raise funds for charitable or communal purposes. took over from Rogue Honest Joe as the men behind the emergent safe industry of huge turnovers and high profits and low overheads…the legalised gambling entrepreneurs had come to stay. The Act. ‘Sense at last’. (Fuller 1974:43) Betting turnover increased by 154 per cent in 1961. It was previously controlled under the Small Lotteries and Gaming Act of 1956. the gambling industry underwent rapid expansion and there emerged a highly respectable entrepreneurial sector. which forbade private gain. In the absence of reliable research.7 BINGO IN BRITAIN An analysis of gender and class Rachael Dixey1 The 1960 Betting and Gaming Act can be claimed as the most significant landmark in the history of commercial bingo in Great Britain. so had others far less innocent’ (Levin 1970:13). First. that of legalising and controlling ‘off-course’ cash betting. the Act appeared to encourage more people to gamble. The Act did have a dramatic effect on the increase of people playing bingo. it was felt. whilst the Daily Telegraph exclaimed. This legislation was strictly enforced. The Act may have been successful in its primary objective. had two undesirable consequences. The Act was designed to clear up the confusion and anomalies which existed in Britain’s gaming laws. Bingo was a well-established feature of life in the working men’s clubs. ‘although the blameless housewife and the deserving vicar had indeed benefited from the legislation. In other words.

‘The amount we spend on bingo is equal to the entire national budget of Uganda’. especially among housewives and it soon became apparent to the board that the half a million or so women who play each day should not be exposed to the temptations of hard gaming. (Gaming Board Report 1969:9) . whilst with typical disdain The Times asserted. The declining cinema industry in particular seized the opportunity to put their existing premises to more profitable use. The headmaster was calling the numbers. the Huddersfield Friendly and Trade Societies Club was also prosecuted around the same period. In September 1961. in an effort to check the uncontrolled growth of gambling. Whilst there was general concern that Britain had become a nation of gamblers. With the 1960 Act. More importantly perhaps. flawed legislation was a major factor in facilitating the dramatic development of bingo. Every aspect of bingo became subject to strict regulations. the government acted again. In an early report. moaned the magazine Nova. large prizes and the unrestricted mixing of bingo with other forms of gaming were over. one of the promised fruits of universal education. but also it had definite views on how it wished to see the game developed in the 1970s and beyond.’ By 1963. In response to such concerns. This ruling affected potentially approximately 5. The ‘Golden Age’ of frantic competition between bingo clubs. highly alarming rapidity’ (Newman 1972:74). passing the 1968 Gaming Act. with clubs reacting to the petty rules of the earlier legislation and the poor draftsmanship of the later Act. and to many observers. Newman notes that ‘the first sets of [bingo] premises started to appear with astounding. 24 per cent. The Times wrote. We felt that having separated bingo from hard gaming we should encourage the bingo proprietors to develop the social side of the activity…. This established the Gaming Board. Under the new legislation members of private clubs could gamble. piers. a national opinion poll indicated that 12 per cent of the adult population was involved in commercially organised bingo. it wrote: Bingo is a very popular game. daring promotional stunts. The Gaming Board was clear that bingo had come to stay. ‘the bingo craze has taken almost everybody by surprise…. are bound to be depressed by the success of this cretinous pastime’ (14 September 1961).000 clubs around the country. Well run bingo and social clubs were already beginning to meet a need for organised recreation and social life which had not previously been catered for. ‘those who hopefully scan the social scene for growing evidence of the “creative use of leisure”. and by 1966. unemployment assembly halls have gone over to it wholesale. dance halls. the aim was to raise money for a new Roman Catholic school. Thus. Parliament had taken a benevolent view of bingo provided it remained a neighbourly form of gaming played for modest stakes….Gambling cultures 126 people playing bingo in a gymnasium. bingo was singled out for particular concern and derision. Cinemas. The headmaster and others were fined. club organisers had the option of escaping the restrictive power of the 1956 Act by organising bingo under what was in effect a loophole of the 1960 Act. Soon after the introduction of the 1960 Act. to act as a watchdog over all forms of gaming.

For many women with young children the cinema is the sole relaxation outside the home and they often come alone while the husband looks after the children…. It can be argued that commercial bingo fitted into the traditions of commercial provision of leisure and female gambling. Booth’s social surveys of London at the turn of the century reported.Bingo in britain 127 Thus in the space of a decade. Both activities focus on events external to relatively passive participants. Meller notes that by 1905 in Bristol. with the cinema as the destination (Box 1951:231). Thus. Going to ‘the pictures’ was particularly important for women: It is not at all unusual for women to attend the cinema unaccompanied. ‘leisure provision was increasingly removed from any kind of popular control’ (1979:160). In 1946 a survey showed that 35 per cent of women visited the cinema once a week or more. Each community would have its cinemas within walking distance from home. Mecca. variety theatres and then was the first to run bingo on a commercial basis. This established a social pattern which was repeated in the use of bingo a decade later. which the invisibility of women in leisure studies and social history generally has failed to fully recognise. only 25 per cent never went. both traditions accelerated. During the transition from the Victorian to the Edwardian period. A number of questions can be asked: Why did bingo become so popular? Why is commercial bingo a peculiarly working-class and predominantly a female activity? Was this actually a new trend. women as well as men. Thus by the late Victorian age the British working class had become consumers of organised. started by selling coffee to men on their way to work—the name Mecca derives from the blend of coffee used—and through catering the company entered dance halls. it expresses an established relationship. with women meeting in the same physical space. there is a long tradition of female betting. . commercial bingo had firmly established itself in British working-class life. From the 1880s in particular. the cinema became a focal point of the neighbourhood. ‘popular taste was being formed by commercial entertainment’ (1976:222). in Leeds. or an old pattern in disguise? Taking the last of these questions first helps to answer the question of why bingo became so popular. Likewise. one of the first commercial organisations selling leisure as a product. Going to a show is an occasion for active neighbouring. community-based leisure. ‘All must bet. (Kuper 1953:120) Research in 1946 showed that 71 per cent of cinema-goers were not influenced in their decision whether or not to go to the cinema by the nature of the film being shown—the important thing was to be going out. women meeting outside the home. whilst Wild notes that in Rochdale. Cinema attendance had begun to decline by the end of the 1950s. £52 million was staked on horses and £48 million on football. for example. In 1910 alone. 69 per cent of them before 1920 and 98 per cent before 1939. commercial pursuits rather than producers of their own informal. in an atmosphere of non-intimate companionship. undertaking an activity with some important similarities to film watching. explained by popular conception as due to the growth in television ownership. paying for leisure so as to engage in neighbourliness and ‘a night out’ was an established practice by the 1960s. Bookies stand about and meet men as they come to and from their work’ (Booth 1903:57). 107 cinemas were built.

To summarise thus far. 30 per cent and 42 per cent respectively bet on horses. if saved. By 1932. 42 per cent of the sample (all women) said that it was not. fame or fortune…winning the pools is a remote mirage deep in the back of a working man’s mind. in Leeds (1980–82). and presents her with the possibility of spending a shilling and winning five pounds. part of constant efforts to make the best of one’s existence.Gambling cultures 128 During the First World War. Systematic betting of the women…is in many cases…a deliberate effort to add to the income. then. This ‘and the increasing tempo of change was creating a rising appetite for excitement throughout England…. In contemporary times: Gambling is not really. a small dream of escape. And when people do win. McKibbin’s work on gambling before 1939 shows that money spent on gambling was a ‘recurrent but strictly controlled element in such disposable income as the working class had’ (McKibbin 1979). but it is so ordinary that it is not even seen as ‘gambling’. which. Rather. there was increased affluence for many (though not all). How should she not listen to him? (Bell 1911:12) Gambling is prosaic. the money is fed straight back to bring small comforts or gifts into their ordinary lives. there were also some new features of the early 1960s in Britain which affected the emergence of bingo. is hard pressed for money. First. 47 per cent and 30 per cent played bingo. Only small amounts of money were used. £200 million was bet on horses and 10 million people did the football pools. and 56 per cent and 40 per cent bought lottery tickets. his emphasis). (Harrison 1975:722) A community study carried out by the author in a working-class community. an attempt to redress the balance of destiny. would not have made much impact on the family fortunes. or from stern necessity. Winning on horses or bingo just doesn’t bring in enough money to make any difference. Gambling was a normal part of working-class life. for [the working class]. ‘mainly among women’ (Burns 1932:78. When asked whether bingo was regarded as a form of gambling. found that 44 per cent of women and 67 per cent of their husbands did the football pools. However. unaccompanied by husbands to cinemas. A man comes to the door of a woman who. There was also an acceptance of small-scale gambling together with an established practice of purchasing leisure in commercial premises that were located within the community. The bright lights were indeed reaching the provinces—and not just the bingo palaces and the . Armley. it can be argued that commercial bingo slipped into an existing context. Not only is this form of gambling an ordinary feature of life for these women. Newman’s study of a working-class community describes the gambler as the norm and the non-gambler as the ‘deviant oddity’ (1972:74). There was a tradition of women going out together. either from her own thriftlessness. there was a rapid increase in betting. gambling offered the poor a chance to supplement the family income. The bingo club filled the nascent social void caused by the reduction in the appeal of the cinema.

you can see it [housework] all around you. values and so on. I should be doing that”. neighbours and relatives is the hallmark of the traditional working class community. The values expressed through these social networks emphasise mutual aid in everyday life and the obligation to join in the gregarious pattern of leisure. The community was here—you didn’t have to go and look for it. is reflected in the comments of respondents from the 1980–82 Armley survey: Before they knocked the houses down a lot of people used to pass my gate. but the Chinese restaurants and the taste for Spanish holidays’ (Booker 1969:49). Williams and others have argued that although the social classes can be distinguished by speech. Typical comments from women in Armley about bingo were: . the wash house. you know. you know.’ ‘Neighbouring’ and interaction with both extended family and others takes place outside the home. is not an adequate substitute for socialising. The neighbourhood in its old form. with high-rise flats rather than street-level housing. with home consumption of television and video to the fore. As much as social change. however. it was physical restructuring of working-class neighbourhoods which affected those neighbourhoods. These places. many years later. was demolished and. such as in working men’s clubs and pubs. The slum clearance programmes of the 1950s and 1960s. are essentially masculine. often on the edge of town. dress. Moreover. the home is also a workplace. And you’re sat there watching television and you’re thinking. how are you?’ ‘What are you doing?’.Bingo in britain 129 striptease clubs and steak houses. For married women in particular the options are limited. and it was ‘Oh. an important focal point for women. even if they also have paid work outside home: ‘Television isn’t getting you out of the house. and you feel guilty. The British working-class home traditionally was not—and is not—used as a locale for non-family interaction. if you were hanging your washing out. (Lockwood 1966:251) The effect of the reduction of semi-public space. a central institution of working-class culture which provided the setting for social interaction. with communities being removed to new housing estates. crucial to traditional patterns of working-class interaction and the ‘gregarious pattern of leisure’. entry for women is legitimate only when accompanied by men. workmates. attention still tends not to be given by planners to community buildings. for women. however. a sports centre was built on the site. Although the policy of rehousing has changed since the 1960s such that new homes are built on the sites of the old. “well. dramatically changed the spatial structure around which the community organised itself. ‘the crucial distinction is between alternative ideas of the nature of social relationship’ (Williams 1961:312). Lockwood presents a picture of ‘traditional working class’ life: The existence of such closely-knit cliques of friends. was destroyed. In Armley. The privatisation of leisure.

the clientele of commercial bingo clubs is overwhelmingly female (85 per cent) where bingo is the predominant activity. a tin of coffee or one of the rare money prizes’ (Dulles 1965:377). there’s no question of ‘oh. The first commercial appearance of bingo was in the United States in the depression of the 1930s. there is none of the caricatured calls of ‘legs eleven. this is important.166 bingo players in clubs throughout Wales. what’s she doing here on her own?’ I’ve got three kids and I’ve nowhere else to go. Although men play at working men’s and other clubs. drinking—and thus bingo is not the predominant activity. there are elements of the game itself and its structure in bingo clubs which make it uniquely placed to meet the needs of its female working-class players. If one of its functions is to create neighbourliness and consolidate friendships. A national survey carried out by the author questioned 7. there can be no criticism for failing to win. Players are overwhelmingly drawn from manual occupation backgrounds. In commercial bingo clubs in Britain. Of these 44 per cent gave their primary reason for playing bingo (from a given list) as ‘to . the game nevertheless does not require a lengthy initiation period in order to understand how to play. Scotland and England. number eleven’ and so on. housey-housey and tombola to the British army and navy respectively. and the game can proceed in an amiable manner. daily admissions are just short of half a million. where people played in the hope of ‘taking home a ham. as it requires no special skills. (1976) claim that as many men play bingo as women. There is complete silence apart from the voice of the caller whilst the game is in progress. the atmosphere is serious. often as many as six. lotto in Britain in the 1880s. For some people it’s the only way to get company. That is. the absence of competition or the opportunity to show skill minimises the possibility of conflict. Whilst there is skill involved in playing several books simultaneously. THE GAME Whereas bingo was identified strongly as the ‘only’ thing to do for women in the Armley study. It can be suggested that one ingredient of its success is that it is a game of pure chance. However. if all venues for bingo playing are included. It is important to point out that bingo is more exclusively working class than it is exclusively female. whereas ‘not being working class was practically enough to predict virtually no bingo playing’ (1976:180). they usually play a game or two of bingo as part of an evening’s entertainment doing other things—playing pool. The concept of games of chance with numbers dates back centuries. to tumbule in seventeenth-century Italy. a box of groceries. Downes et al.Gambling cultures 130 It’s one place where you can go without a male escort. SOCIABILITY Nearly 6 million people in Britain play bingo in commercial bingo clubs.

Some women like the fact that it is possible to be more or less sociable according to mood. not having to talk to anyone. Many elderly people arrive up to two hours before the game starts. I’ve got a house full of men. The attitude has a reverse side. however. without necessarily interacting with them: If you’re not a person who does mix easily. in practice. Remarks made by women during the course of fieldwork suggest that the club is seen as a ‘home from home’. or to find female companionship: The reason I come in the afternoon is to get women to talk to. and have a good laugh and a chat. In social research ‘at-homeness’ refers to a state of being comfortable and cosily familiar with a physical place. read or play cards with others in a warm place (particularly in winter). comfortable and I think it is more of a social club rather than just a place to play bingo. I like bingo. It cheers you up. that of feelings . Where one can go and feel content at my age and feel that one is among friends. Being a widow. keeps your mind off anything troubling you. The majority gave reasons which were to do with being with people. women with young children enjoyed playing on their own. I come to bingo to meet people. 55 per cent of the 76 years and older age group played three times a week or more. It’s the best thing to happen for lonely people. keeps you in touch with your family when you don’t live near them. Bingo is used deliberately at times to organise regular contact between the female members of the extended family. I usually go for a bit of sanity. players found it difficult to disentangle their various motives. compared with 18 per cent of the 18–25-year age group. you can sit down and you don’t have to mix. the bingo club provides a focus for a ‘moral community’. knit. In many clubs the management takes its welfare role seriously. I like the club because it is warm. It can be argued that in a society where other caring networks have failed.Bingo in britain 131 win some money’. sending flowers to members when ill or bereaved. Of the national sample. to eat. It is also used simply to be among other people.

however: . 8. 35. If one purpose of bingo playing is to interact with specific others. It’s a night out and an added bonus if you win. it all balances out—it’s not a question of winning money or losing money. or to interact minimally. This can cause arguments: ‘People do moan if you happen to sit in their seats. this woman sums up the difficulties of distinguishing social and gambling reasons for playing. but they all come to hope to win some money.2 per cent played with their husbands. so they’ll go back next Wednesday and say ‘Maybe I’ll get it again’.) Players are often introduced by parents. Only place a woman can go on her own without raising eyebrows. it’s more somewhere to go. The money is just an added thrill on the very rare occasion that it happens. such control is important. Players do not expect to win. In this seemingly confusing statement.Gambling cultures 132 of territoriality which may involve aggression. 64 per cent of players have started to play by the age of 45. instrumental from expressive functions. significant numbers of younger people play. It’s the older generation who do that’ This defence of space allows greater control over social contact.9 per cent played ‘alone’. WINNING AND LOSING They do come socially. Say they won £1000 on Wednesday night. 18 per cent of players are under 35 years of age. Territoriality involves the organisation of space into ‘clearly demarcated territories which are made distinctive and considered at least partially exclusive by their occupants’ (Soja 1971:19). 76 per cent of the national sample said they like to sit in the same seat. You go for a night out. Of the national sample. When asked how important winning was. Winning is infrequent. 20.7 per cent played bingo with a friend. Well that’s human nature. and 11. and for there to be three generations of players is not uncommon. (These groups are not mutually exclusive.6 per cent with relatives. Certainly the possibility is exciting and encourages people to return: It’s a great feeling when you win. you know. Although the stereotype of the bingo player is a middle-aged woman. Inside the club. women replied: Not at all.6 per cent with a group of friends. right. 23.

Bingo in britain 133 I think I’ve won once. Downes and colleagues’ (1976) data also show bingo playing to be higher for women in paid employment. … People tend to want to stay as they are. involvement in the workforce of women aged 18–60) is higher for bingo players than for the general population. such as going to the pub. One 20-year-old said she would always share with her mother: I don’t know when I get older when I’ll be needing her. Players know that they are not likely to recoup their outlay. if ritual is defined as a ‘striking or incongruous rigidity…some conscious regularity’ (Goody 1961:156). You get all these computers and things like that and it frightens people because they are losing control. Everybody wants more money and to live a bit better. The relatively small. Many women asserted a right to spend money as they wished. I don’t see how anybody can expect to win when there’s hundreds of people there. irregular winnings are usually shared. 1976:181) or those who view themselves as upwardly socially mobile and see the virtue of saving. Players are thus realistic about their chances. as long as they were not spending money which they could not afford. A significant difference between players and non-players which emerged in the Armley study and that of Downes et al. If I win then it’s going to make me feel good but I don’t go out to win. do not play. Having their ‘own’ money means that women feel more entitled to their own leisure expenditure. (Laughs) No—I’ve been going in here for two years and I’ve only won twice and it’s only been a couple of pounds each time. but I’ve always looked after me Mam. The repetitiveness of bingo and the fact that it is always known what will happen next is seen as an asset. I think people get frightened at too much change. this common desire for social predictability has been explained thus: Through this constant repetition of the same kinds of activity it seems that people find satisfaction in consolidating the world they know rather than expanding it. The cost of bingo is not usually offset against winnings. One player explained the function of the rituals in bingo as seen by her: I think people feel safe. is that those with ‘even the slightest promotion prospects’ (Downes et al. if I get married and that. which is a further way of sustaining special networks. The cost is frequently compared to that of other activities. RITUAL Any participant observer is struck by the ritual of bingo. But it’s just a bit of excitement…. in making secure their old roles rather than seeking new . but they don’t want to see things change too much. The employment rate (that is. Writing of other leisure activities.

and you’re sort of safe with people. giving safety in numbers on the street. where women are freed from the unwanted attention of men. More generally. one woman explained the appeal of the regularity in the structure of the game: It’s routine. Finally. sitting in particular seats. you’ll get the luck put on you…. Luck is almost tangible. (Rich 1953:361) In their everyday lives. ‘Safety’ and ‘feeling safe’ were mentioned many times in discussion with players: It’s a pleasant evening. with little kids. What time this is going to finish and what time that is going to finish. you have a laugh. Another reason for routine is to do with luck. You can sort of plan your night out. you have a chat. A large crowd leaves at the same time. It is important for women with families. such as that often directed at a male caller. such as wearing the same clothes which were worn when getting a full house. the luck comes on. using particular pens. If you get a caller you can’t hear the numbers right. and if ‘you’re right good. chores and buses to catch that they know exactly when the session will start and finish. the ones that cry and carry on are the ones with no routine. middle-class value. It is thus. buying cards in a certain order. whereas if you know what’s coming next you feel a lot safer. there are important issues surrounding women’s safety. at certain times. You know exactly what’s going to happen. This routine is relished. bingo players as a group are among the least likely to be in control of such forces. If you do your work and you don’t do anything bad. or if he calls too fast. . because you know there won’t be any change. The customers tend to rule in a place like that. The caller bears the brunt of players’ jokes and criticism: [The callers] have got to be thick skinned because they can really shout you down….Gambling cultures 134 ones. in a physical sense. Inside the club. There is a material dimension to this apart from any psychological considerations. by keeping ‘still’…that the individual can avoid the impact of the powerful and unknown forces of ‘society’. It is commonly asserted that a distinguishing feature of the British working class is its fatalism. they don’t like it. you know. after certain people. Colin’s a fairly weak one…and they like to pull him to pieces. women have control over sexual innuendo.’ Courting luck results in a superstitious adherence to particular routines. Wishing to expand one’s world anyway is perhaps a specifically western. The commercial bingo club is a largely female environment. I mean. there is a feeling that: ‘It’s [the club is] run by the customers mainly’.

Potential operators go through a strict legal process to obtain a licence and have to establish that there is a demand in the area. 52 per cent play in the afternoon sessions. It’s just a joke…we know that we spend our money here of our own free will—it’s just a standing joke.) The fruit machines and parti bingo are vital to the profitability of the club. and a quarter played at more than one club. for some. the sale of drinks and food. whereas of the older age groups. less than a pound). Twothirds of the national sample played at the club nearest their home. existing operators can contest the granting of a licence in court. prizes. The younger players were also more likely to play in the evenings. A quarter of players played at more than one club. often with unit seating (pre-moulded tables and chairs) in the ‘stalls’ and retained cinema seating in the balcony. or if it were closer to home. and players in general could talk knowledgeably about the costs. staff and atmosphere of other clubs in the vicinity. only a quarter said that they would ‘never’ change. when he comes back with his lovely tan. they say he’s just been to Israel on our money. Within the commercial sector there are enormous variations in levels of decor. On a Saturday night there is a feeling of ‘having a night out’. Younger players were the most likely to bypass their local club to travel to a city-centre venue where prizes would be larger. Of the money staked on cards by the players. The equivalent of ‘sawdust and spittoon’ pubs can be found in the tombola clubs of the north-east of England. The ‘real’ gamblers are perceived by players as those who play on the fruit machines (26. It is a very fast game. comfort and amenities. location and so on. The club therefore makes its living from entrance charges (usually a small amount. if it were cheaper. When asked for what reasons they would change clubs. but acknowledged a pragmatic. whilst the refurbished clubs of some of the major companies are visually stunning. symbiotic relationship based on practical needs. a player said: Well. with women getting dressed up for a special occasion. played for prizes. Many clubs in former cinemas have a more humdrum appearance. depending on their size. The ambience of clubs varies too. is fitted around shopping or household tasks. The remaining three-quarters were equally divided between changing clubs if prizes were larger. Of one owner. this contrasts with the feeling of routine in the afternoon sessions when a bingo game. (Parti bingo is played on machines similar to those found in amusement arcades.5 per cent of the national sample) and parti bingo (38. Players identified the staff and manager as the main ingredients which make an attractive club. Managers are very conscious of the need to maintain attendance rates—they did not assume club loyalty. Players were blunt about the motives of club owners—to make profits. giving quite a different experience. They were seen by non-participants as a way to lose a .Bingo in britain 135 THE CLUB Players did not display sentimental attachment to their club. and interval games. The 10 per cent tax was resented by players. 90 per cent is returned in prizes and 10 per cent given in tax to the government. the fruit machines (each club is allowed two). 66–75 and over.5 per cent of the sample).

As a working-class game. Cost varies with the number of books (cards) played. Although many people (from all classes) gained from the economic situation of the 1980s. many working-class people in Britain faced increasing hardship. played three or four books (that is.Gambling cultures 136 lot of money. Thompson argues that ‘one recurrent form of revolt within Western industrial capitalism…has often taken the form of flouting the urgency of respectable time-values’ (Thompson 1967:95). it can be seen as a rejection of the ‘municipal paternalism’ (Bacon 1980: personal communication) offered by public provision of leisure. this means that the game is not one of equal chance. clubs and casinos…people go there just to pass the time. have three or four cards in front of them for each game. and which offer some recreation for themselves. We want to try to encourage them into better ways of using their so called leisure time.5 per cent. it can also be seen that working-class women have taken the opportunity to fashion this activity in positive ways which suit them. A WOMAN’S PLACE… Bingo is played by those in the least powerful positions in British society.2 per cent said that they played less bingo at the time of the survey than they had a year previously. Bingo itself is not usually seen as a gamble in the sense that the outlay is known and is not exceeded. they therefore know that they cannot miss a number. Wimbush and Talbot 1988). The evidence would suggest that the industry is in healthy shape for the 1990s. During the 1980s the bingo industry became concerned about declining admissions. They have also rationalised clubs. Deem 1986. which means that participating clubs can link for certain games to pool the prize money. Strictly.) If six books are played. and the player knows they must cross off a number on each call. The same amount is spent at each session and can therefore be budgeted for. in their lack of economic power and reliance on luck or patronage. more affluent clientele. within the constraints which restrict their leisure options (see Dixey 1982. It is also a flagrant refusal by the working class to spend time in in a ‘productive’ way. The Chairman of the Labour Party’s Scottish Council in 1973 remarked: It is high time we did something to woo working class mothers away from the bingo halls. if they are the first to do so). all the numbers from 1 to 90 are present. In one sense the game parodies the socio-economic situation in which many players find themselves. It clearly demonstrates who is controlled and who is controlling. However. . Of the national sample. 72. The bingo industry has responded by introducing a national game. The majority. as those playing more books have a greater chance of a ‘full house’ (that is. 25. and attempted to attract a younger. Bingo players are heavily criticised for this ‘waste’ of their time. 1988. and 80 per cent of these gave a financial reason for this change. which makes this number of cards popular. and therefore make possible a few very large prizes. crossing off all the numbers and therefore winning.

The clubs introduce an element of pleasant diversion into the lives of their members. (Royal Commission on Gambling 1977:341–2) For a minority of players. everything goes when addicts hear the call’. nearly 85 per cent of whom are women. There is no evidence that ‘Wages. not the larger ritual. the amount spent on bingo is part of a tightly . Whereas Spring-Rice in 1939 might have envisaged the emergence of working women’s clubs on the same lines as working men’s clubs. ‘Bingo is the only thing that keeps me going’ were frequent in this survey. Some were concerned that an aim of the research was to close the club—‘You’re not going to take it away. is an example of victim blaming. (Spring-Rice [1939] 1981:201) Consistent with the pattern of leisure provision in contemporary capitalist society. housekeeping. to laugh…in short they need a club to which they can go at any time on any day for a few hours’ rest and recreation. To accuse these women as the press consistently does. The need for places in which women could meet has long been acknowledged: Both young and middle aged women need some form of recreation. women have not had the politico-economic power or resources to establish such clubs for themselves. to form social ties. mostly middle aged or elderly. and many of whom are of limited means…. are you? It’s all we’ve got. In 1977 the Royal Commission on Gambling wrote that bingo clubs ‘fulfil a valuable social function’. and this was so even for half of the 26–35 age group.Bingo in britain 137 Downes et al. This is particularly important for those older players who do not belong to the Church or other organisations and who may have no family or lack regular social contact. bingo was the main activity outside the home. comment that bingo has come to epitomise the ‘dead end use of leisure to which the newly “affluent” working class have resorted in the absence of anything better to do with their time’ (1976:174). the commercial bingo clubs. they need opportunities to use the leisure they have. They provide places where people can meet at very little expense…and the intervals between play provide plenty of opportunity for chatting with neighbours. They need to meet their fellows. the bingo club provides their only source of companionship. yet people still flock to it in their thousands. for the majority of women players. These qualities are particularly apparent in the smaller establishments where the players know each other and are often known to the management. bingo seems utterly dull and pointless. and neither have they infiltrated the ‘maleness’ of those clubs. as one magazine asserts in its headline for a feature on bingo. the clubs to which women go are provided by profit-making concerns. As the survey showed. and to indulge interests outside the home. with its communal consolidating processes. The South Wales Argus in 1965 wrote that ‘to the uninitiated. in many ways the only way of filling a huge vacuum in their lives’. Comments from elderly people such as ‘Bingo is my lifeline’. Those uninitiated outsiders are not party to the social interactions which take place and therefore only see the game.’ For 89 per cent of the 76 years plus group in the sample.

. The significance of bingo lies not in the game itself-a simple game of calling out numbers and ticking them off. To members of the middle and upper classes it may be pernicious. a refuge which offers excitement. bingo is an activity fashioned within the limitations of an imposed structure by those not in an economically. which questioned players in eighty commercial bingo club sessions across Britain. A one-year community study (1981–82) was carried out in Armley. many of whom have limited means and three-quarters of whom left school without any qualifications. Moreover. A national survey was then carried out. NOTES 1 This chapter is based on research carried out by the author in the early 1980s as part of a larger project on women’s leisure. a home from home. symbolic of the decadence and apocalyptic powers of popular culture. will apply only to a small minority and reflects the dominant middle-class values and the wider cultural hegemony. given the options bestowed on them by virtue of their gender and class. bingo is an unremarkable and beneficial fact of life. their problems are to do with powerlessness and lack of control over their destinies. Leeds. with 7. For the majority of players the problems are not that they are ‘addicted’ or that they ‘spend the housekeeping’. sociable entertainment outside the home for large sections of the population still exists. with a prize to the first person to tick off all the numbers. a working-class community. The data referred to in the paper relate to these two studies. In the 1980s in Britain an estimated 10 million people lived in poverty and a quarter of all households consisted of elderly people. learning foreign languages and other edifying pursuits’ (Observer. Bingo is used by these women to give expression and meaning to that position. Until alternatives to bingo have been established. politically or socially dominant position. 4 July 1982). Large groups of people in Britain remain unaffected by the supposed opportunities of the ‘leisure explosion’ and the expansion of leisure-time choices.166 players completing a questionnaire. quotations are from players interviewed during the course of the research. bingo will remain a central means of satisfying working-class women’s needs. there is no reason to suggest that there are any more ‘problem’ bingo players than there are problem horse-race bettors or problem drinkers. It is not surprising that so many women show such a strong preference for bingo. Rather. bingo represents a substantial source of revenue and an incalculable value in terms of social containment. For the present. To the government. bingo is a cipher to which different classes attach meaning and content.Gambling cultures 138 controlled budget. and increasing solitude and loneliness in old age. To the players. it is also a most important means of coming to terms with that position and making it more attractive. an invaluable source of companionship. Open University degrees. the right to entertainment and so on. The future of bingo is dependent not only on changes in the leisure market and in the state of the economy but also on changes in the allocation of gender roles. It investigated women’s leisure opportunities in general and bingo in particular. The need for cheap. such as neighbourliness. with poverty. and an opportunity to celebrate ‘traditional’ working-class values. non-intimate companionship. discriminatory gender roles. lack of personal time and space (particularly for those with growing children). in a particularly class-based society. A leisure future conjured up by the futurologists in which ‘only a small percentage work…while the rest of us get on with home computing.

R. London: Virago. and Lavers. E. Newman. Booker. Working Class Culture. London: Nelson. Goody. America Learns to Play. Past and Present 82 (Feb.S.R. Wild. Past and Present 38:57– 97.Clarke.P. Soja. K.B. and Stone. E. London: HMSO. B. F. Harmondsworth: Penguin. (1965) A History of Recreation. B.P. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. London: Allen Lane. Work and Leisure: A Study across Three Areas. (1972) Gambling: Hazard and Reward. in J. in J. Thompson. Green & Co. London: HMSO. (1975) ‘The gambling class’. O. Washington. McKibbin. P..) (1953) Living in Towns. work discipline and industrial capitalism’. (1974) ‘Introduction’. British Journal of Sociology 12:142–64.E. (1932) Leisure in the Modern World. M. (1951) in B. 2 vols. Williams. M. P. Royal Commission on Gambling (1977) Final Report. C. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. London: Allen & Unwin. (1969) The Neophiliacs: A Study of the Revolution in English Life in the Fifties and Sixties. P. Burns.M. R. (1970) The Pendulum Years: Britain in the Sixties. E. in J. Living in Towns. (1961) ‘Religion and ritual’. Spring-Rice.S. (1971) ‘The political organization of space’.Bingo in britain 139 BIBLIOGRAPHY Bell. London: Cresset Press. D.Halliday and P. L. (ed. Johnson. London: Athlone Press. Resource Paper No. London: Longmans. ——(1988) ‘A means to get out of the house: working class women. Rich. Harrison. English Life and Leisure: A Social Study. Wimbush. . Box. (1982) Women. DC: Association of American Geographers.Rowntree and G.. (1976) Leisure and the Changing City. D. L. London: HMSO. Deem. 8. (1986) All Work and No Play: The Sociology of Women and Leisure. London: Jonathan Cape. G. London: Collins.): 147–78. Downes. Fuller. Dixey. D. (1967) ‘Time. (1953) ‘Spare time in the Black Country’. London: Trinity & All Saints College Press. B. J. London: Open University Press. ([1939] 1981) Working Class Wives. (eds) (1988) Relative Freedoms: Women and Leisure. (1979) ‘Working-class gambling in Britain 1880–1934’. London: Open University Press. London: Longman. Sociological Review 14:249–67. and Talbot. C. (1903) Life and Labour of People in London. Kuper. (1951) English Life and Leisure. Leisure and Bingo. NJ: PrenticeHall. C. Englewood Cliffs. 1870–1914.R.Kuper. Davies. R. Levin.Richardson (eds) Women in Cities. in L. D. (1979) ‘Recreation in Rochdale 1900–1940’. (1978) Gambling: A Review of the Literature. London: Macmillan.Peake and P. (1966) ‘Sources of variation in working class images of society’. F. Cornish. (1961) The Long Revolution.Critcher and R. London: Nelson.Fuller. (1976) Gambling. M. London: Cresset Press. Lockwood. London: Hutchinson. Booth. New Society (20 March): 720–2. R. The Psychology of Gambling. Commission of College Geography. (1911) At the Works: A Study of a Manufacturing Town. Gaming Board (1969) Report of the Gaming Board for Great Britain.Lavers. Rowntree. P. C. H. leisure and bingo’. Dulles.Little. David. Meller.

so also has there been a parallel growth in the market for slots. in the American continent from Bolivia to Canada. Although it is well known that slots players in casinos and clubs around the world generate a greater take than all the traditional table games put together. In this chapter the starting point focuses on gamblers who play slots in the registered club environment in New South Wales (NSW) where they have been legally available for over thirty years. Recent growth in the United States has been stimulated by the development of casinos on Indian reservations and on river boats. there exists little or no published material on player characteristics. some historical sociological perspectives provide a helpful conceptual framework for a review . There is a significant problem concerning the lack of a good descriptive database which will assist analysis of the psychological basis of the international popularity of slot machines. PSYCHO-SOCIAL THEORIES OF GAMBLING In attempting to explain the universality of human involvement in gambling. They are available in casinos throughout Europe. The dominant concern of the following discussion is whether these ubiquitous machines have the same characteristics from Las Vegas to Wagga Wagga— that is. As there has been growth in the international casino business. do the machines have to be specially designed to suit each particular national or cultural context and do they require modification whether the player is a visitor on vacation or is a resident with over 1. even if they were a member of the more traditional casino clubs in London where there is a limit of four machines per casino. with growth particularly in Spain and Holland.8 WHY ‘SLOTS’ EQUALS ‘GRIND’ IN ANY LANGUAGE The cross-cultural popularity of the slot machine Mark Dickerson Any visitor to a contemporary casino would be surprised if they found that there were no slot machines available to play. machine play may be common to all players regardless of culture or nationality. and finally many hundreds of machines afloat aboard a variety of cruise ships operating out of Europe. and persistence at. the United States and Australasia. throughout resorts in the Caribbean. their patterns of gambling and their preferred machines.000 hours’ playing experience? It is argued below that machine characteristics are essentially the same for all countries and players and therefore that the psychological processes that underlie player attraction to. around the Pacific from New Zealand and Australia to Japan.

Thomas (1901) emphasised the functional and evolutionary importance of the capacity to manage unpredictable events.000 slot machines in registered clubs and hotels. then the state of New South Wales provides a good case example with a thirty-five-year history of slot-machine play. Cornish emphasised the common-sense view that the ready availability of a particular form of gambling was a significant factor influencing a person’s choice. and 4. The broad themes of his theoretical model therefore suggested that there was initially a sense of dissatisfaction (reduced or enhanced by individual differences) which led to attempts to seek out compensatory activities. most general theories of gambling assume some sort of human deprivation or dissatisfaction as a motivating force together with the subjective satisfactions associated with the gambling itself (Caldwell 1972. Rather than assuming that gambling was a homogeneous set of games or activities.Why 'slots' equals 'grind' in any language 141 of contemporary psychological research. he emphasised that it was important to separate the factors that influenced the choice of a particular form of gambling from the factors that determined the manner in which the person came to use that particular form.11 per cent of the population play them once a week or more often (Dickerson and Baron 1992). He considered that gambling was instinctive to humans and as society became more organised and predictable. betting was interpreted as hitting out at the system by exercising some control over fate and by providing peer recognition of those who were skilful. skill. 1976. gambling and the possibility of a big win represented the only means of escape from the heavy. dirty and dangerous job below ground (Dennis et al. The original machine had three drums on which were painted symbols. entertainment or escape. This two-stage model outlined by Cornish (1978) provides a framework for the consideration of the following questions: why do so many people select slot machines as their preferred form. By 1990s the state’s population of around 4. Downes et al. so the need to gamble would be greater. For example. 1969). not from . In the second stage of the model it was proposed that once a form of gambling had been chosen then the person learned to use that leisure activity in a manner that gave satisfaction to the individual. why and how do they learn to continue to play them. Cornish 1978). one of which might be gambling. Certainly. Charles Le Fey is credited with the invention of the slot machine in the United States in 1895. whether by way of excitement. the gambling behaviour of parents and friends. Factors that might influence the choice of a particular form of gambling could include availability. and why do some show such persistence that gambling-related problems may result. affecting the player and their family? THE DEVELOPMENT OF SLOTS’ POPULARITY WITHIN AUSTRALIA If availability is a crucial element in a person’s choice of a particular form of gambling.5 million have ready access to approximately 50. When applied to gamblers in a New England bar (Zola 1964). social class and chance events that brought the person into contact with one form of gambling rather than another. Cornish (1978) provided some conceptually important distinctions and a valuable theoretical framework which has been adopted throughout the following argument. Similarly for the workers in a small mining community.

3 3. Membership of these registered clubs has always been relatively easy and cheap to achieve and guests may accompany members. one symbol from each drum appeared side by side in a window. Specified combinations paid out different amounts to the player.5 2–3 times 7.7 4. Contemporary electronic versions of this original mechanical gambling device are called ‘slots’ in the United States and by international operators of casinos and gambling clubs.5 3.2 A case can be made that slots players in Australia have the greatest experience and are the most sophisticated in the world.3 0. ‘poker machines’ in Australia and ‘one-armed bandits’ or ‘fruit machines’ in the United Kingdom. to 1.570 by 1988.1).1 Prior to the Second World War. social environments.4 Total 39. 1988 9. secure.7 27. The inclusion of women members in the clubs ensured that they too had access to slots as a readily available form of gambling. Thus for over thirty years men and women within NSW have had ready access to slot machines in comfortable. Lynch (1990) has emphasised that the revenue from slots created well-furbished clubs in contrast to hotels. One major machine manufacturer in Australia claims that their machines have become increasingly complex in order to ensure that local . registered clubs within NSW comprised sporting and business clubs and those of the Returned Services League (RSL).8 10.Gambling cultures 142 playing cards as gambling on these was illegal. The technological development of the slot machines themselves has also been an important factor as the gambling market has matured (Table 8. the pull of a lever would set the drums spinning at random.0 2. and as they came to rest. Caldwell (1983) attributes the significant growth in the number and membership of NSW registered clubs from 1946 onwards to changes in legislation that permitted members to purchase alcohol and to play ‘poker machines’ or slots.2 Source: Adapted from Caldwell et al. delivered with a clatter and a crash of coin. The latter occurred in 1956 and was considered by Caldwell to be a crucial factor leading to a rapid expansion in the club industry from 452 clubs in 1954. After putting a coin in the slot.2 They have also contributed to the view that governments can securely control the slots industry. Table 8. thereby encouraging other Australian states to legislate for introduction of slots.1 Frequency of gambling by form by adults in one Australian state (NSW) where all three forms had been available for at least ten years(%) Frequency each month Bought lottery Played slots Bet off-course Once 8.9 4 times 19.7 9. where drinking remained male-dominated involving swilling and fighting.052 in 1957 and 1.9 1. Not only have the machine’s characteristics changed. but related computerised player and machine recording and control systems have influenced marketing strategies. originally formed when wounded soldiers returned to Australia from Gallipoli from 1916 onwards.2 More than 4 times 3. but of fruit and the famous BAR symbol which acted as a ‘wild’ card and was associated with the big payouts.

These accumulated points can be cashed. and in Victoria a costly real-time control recording system of all machine plays is operating. Tracing the move from the original mechanical three-reelers that were first legalised in NSW in 1956 to the video six-reelers which entered the market in the 1990s merits a chapter of its own in a history of gambling. In brief.000 hours of practice in playing the machines do not become bored. . club members may be provided with an electronically coded membership card which. and the computerised monitoring of all machines. records or tracks all their plays and rewards them on a points system according to their turnover. The most significant change would appear to be the ‘failure’ of the machine to pay out coin for a win.Why 'slots' equals 'grind' in any language 143 players with perhaps over 1. player credits accumulate as coins are entered into the machine. a group of machines may be linked together to enable large jackpots of thousands of dollars to be paid at random. and accumulate when a win occurs—all being displayed as an available credit total. A similar game called ‘Lucky envelopes’ displays a lotto ticket with obscured symbols that are ‘wiped’ or ‘scratched’ by the player one at a time to see if the displayed sequence results in a win. Related developments in the computerised monitoring of slots have made possible additional choices for the player. A range of other types of machines using a video screen enable the player to enjoy games of draw poker and blackjack and also games where bingo or keno cards are filled out at random. what has remained the same throughout is the time taken for the reels to spin (at or just under 3 seconds) regardless of the number of reels or even whether the machine has reels (called a ‘stepper’) or merely has the appearance of reels on a video screen. persistent play. Charles might have wondered about the three lines of symbols displayed at the end of the spin and missed the opportunity to bet on up to five lines (multiline) and to raise his stake for each play by up to a multiple of five (multiplier). In the former state the metered win per day of every machine in the state is recorded daily by the Division of Machine Gaming. Finally. the player may ‘choose’ one of five symbols to open to find the size of the win they have made. Second. At the completion of a game a button press pays out the player’s credits as coin unless the sum is large enough to require payout from a staff member. contingent upon a play at any one of the machines. Then the ‘reels’ would spin and the sound effects faithfully reproduce the noise of the traditional mechanical stepper. the average number of plays between wins has remained roughly the same at around six. placed in a scanner beside each machine. after every twenty or so plays the whole screen might change to a cartoon feature where. It is possible that even Charles Fey himself would feel at home in front of a video six-reeler once he had realised that without a handle to pull. First. and represent a second level of financial motivation for regular. The completion of certain lines or sections of the card results in wins. In contemporary NSW. for example. reduce play by play according to the amount wagered. Similar computerised monitoring systems have been incorporated into the control and taxation systems in other Australian states. just to further confuse Charles. as Queensland and Victoria passed legislation in 1992 permitting the introduction of slots. a button had to be pressed. provide a very sensitive data stream for club management and machine manufacturers to evaluate the effectiveness of both machines and the marketing of slots to players. These tracking systems. Similarly.

42 23. The recent about-face on this issue by the rest of Australia has been the result of a complex interaction of fiscal imperatives and technological developments. The panels on the machine. however.2). One aspect of contemporary slot design impossible to do justice to in a chapter of this nature is the artwork.22 19. slots and offcourse betting (A$) Lottery Slots Off-course betting All 9. gives the name of the ‘game’. purpose-built gaming areas which are increasingly advertised as . In some cases where errors have been made with certain target markets—for example. Manufacturers’ research has demonstrated that the artwork fine-tunes the attraction of a particular machine to players. slots in NSW clubs are typically in large. In NSW there was no legal casino throughout the period 1956–94 when slots were widely available in registered clubs. Account cards offer player convenience and increase the speed of play. and only in the last three years have slots. using a Japanese rather than Chinese dragon—the machine has been a complete failure.2 Average stake of adult gamblers in one Australian state (NSW) on lottery.90 Males 12.Gambling cultures 144 The development of these systems has enabled governments to render impotent the predictions that the introduction of slots inevitably would lead to increased criminal activities (Board of Inquiry into Poker Machines 1983). the other state governments strongly resisted the legislation of slots. For over thirty years. which then activates the slot machine chosen and onto which are credited any wins at the termination of play. However. the use of A$1 and $2 dollar coins and larger denomination tokens in some casinos has magnified the problem. in particular where the latter have facilitated regulatory mechanisms. 1988 The first thirty-five years of the slots market in NSW is clearly an idiosyncratic development where slots have become readily available to potential players throughout the entire state (Table 8. Superficially this may appear very different from most other venues around the world where slots are usually available in casinos. on closer examination. restricted to electronic video draw-poker machines. Where previously coin theft from the pay-out tray was trivial.22 19.44 22. been available in hotels. a couple dancing or even flamingos all completed in exquisite artwork.74 9. such as Wild Bar or Top Dollar. Club operators are equally concerned with the purely financial consideration of having the hoppers of some hundred or more machines in a single club being kept full with a total of several thousands of dollars.03 4. particularly the one immediately below the reels. Access to NSW slots also varies from the pattern of machine gambling in other countries. Table 8.92 Source: Adapted from Caldwell et al. and may feature casino chips. but also help to resolve security concerns for both staff and player. the belly panel.75 Females 5. The shift away from using coins to activate play for every pay-out has been extended in Victoria to enable players to buy credit entered on a magnetic account card.

the gaming areas in clubs have no exterior windows and opening hours are long. when slots were only legally available in NSW. drink. None of these motivations have much valency unless slots are easily available. where the latter remained essentially a maledominated leisure activity. Availability is clearly a crucial factor in the initial stage of a person’s choice of a form of gambling. entertainment and banking facilities. In 1991. Lotteries are the most commonly preferred form of gambling even in Australia. it may be possible to begin to answer the question about the machine preferences in different countries. Within the Australian context the increased availability of slots may well have greater significance for women than men. This has widened the initial appeal of slots to more players. Although the timeless divorce from reality achieved in contemporary theme casinos in Las Vegas may not be achieved.Why 'slots' equals 'grind' in any language 145 ‘casino’ areas. Yet a strong argument can be sustained that the experience of slots players in NSW and more recently throughout Australia is in most respects typical of players world-wide. and motives concerning excitement and the possibility of winning money also feature in the answers of almost half the players questioned (Dickerson et al. those who either played the video gaming machines at one of the two Queensland casinos.000 machines and a total state-wide metered win of A$1 million per day. . THE PSYCHOLOGICAL PROCESSES UNDERLYING SLOTMACHINE PLAY Little published research has focused on the first stage of Cornish’s (1978) conceptual model of gambling as a leisure activity. These club ‘casinos’ contain a wide range of types of machines and promotions.11 per cent of the adult population of that state were regular players: once per week or more often. The first two years saw the introduction of 14. Most players say they play ‘to be sociable’ and ‘for entertainment’. 1985). In Queensland prior to the introduction of slots the only generally available ‘hard’ or continuous forms of gambling (Dickerson and Hinchy 1985) were bingo and off-course betting. Population samples taken at the same time in other states such as Queensland detected only a few isolated cases of slots players. The linking of slot machines within and across different clubs has enabled the additional major jackpots to approach the size of those offered by lotto and lotteries. the initial choice of slots as the preferred form of gambling. the availability of the machines has increased and so has their popularity. In considering the factors that influence a gambler’s choice of type of gambling it is important to note the way in which the recent technological developments blur the boundary between lotto/lotteries and slots games. From this overview of slots development in Australia. or who travelled interstate to NSW or internationally to casinos outside Australia. where most other types of legalising betting and gaming are available (McMillen and Eadington 1986). 4. and in nearby club areas the player can access food. Since the introduction of gaming machines into clubs and hotels in Queensland from February 1992 onwards. 15 per cent of turnover. thereby utilising the popularity of the former. Limited generalisations from the empirical database comparing Australian slots players to players in other cultures and nationalities is therefore justified. that is.

persistence when losing was linked with the subjective reports of excitement prior to. regular habit. then they were less likely to go and play. A methodology was developed that permitted recording of a variety of data streams on a real-time basis with relatively little intrusion into the player’s usual pattern of play on their preferred machine in their usual social-club setting (Dickerson 1991). and with the belief that the machine was about to pay out. the initial perception that the likelihood of winning on the randomly generated outcomes of a slot machine permits the novice to start on an equal footing with the experienced player may attract people to try out gambling on slots. Second. it is intriguing to note that this. . Low/medium-frequency players This category of player ranged in experience from those who had only played once in their lives to those who played once per month. However. tested and observed while playing. For these players. The psychological processes involved in regular slots play has been the focus of research at the Australian National University since 1986. the longer they tend to play.Gambling cultures 146 Although initial attraction to slots is important. Persistence was less likely when the player had debts and when he or she reported feeling depressed. the ways in which a person learns to use slots to satisfy longer-term needs—the ways in which a player persists and becomes a regular player—that is of particular interest to psychologists. Personality characteristics such as extroversion. and/or during the early stages of the session. high frequency. The more frequent the sessions by a particular player. changes for the regular player.3).3. but once play is established as a habit most players do not play in company or with friends. If a person was experiencing moods such as frustration and disappointment. neuroticism and sensation-seeking were not associated with the frequency of sessions although the latter construct has previously been linked with gambling (Zuckerman 1979). Some of the more striking characteristics of these groups are given in Table 8. As frequency and duration increase. rhythmic pattern where there are consistent increases in speed of play after small wins and slowing or pausing after large wins (50 credits or more). so the player moves from a slow. In structuring this summary. For example. and problematic or excessive levels of play. the perception that slots play is part of socialising in a leisure venue is initially attractive. too. The validity of conceptually separating attraction and persistence is evidenced by the way in which the ‘same’ factor may have the reverse effect from the first stage of attraction to the second of the developed. At this level of experience players typically persist for about 17 minutes but the range is large (5–107 minutes). it is the second stage of Cornish’s model. More than 200 slot-machine players volunteered and were interviewed. Given the infrequent nature of sessions of play. three different levels of player involvement will be considered: low/medium frequency. The following discussion attempts to collate those findings relevant to the present concerns. erratic manner of play to a faster. Regular play is typically a solitary activity. it is not surprising that there seem to be few predictors of the start of a new session. regular. up to 60 per cent of regular players express the belief that the way they play the machine can influence their likelihood of winning (Table 8.

Despite the apparent importance of player expectations and arousal. Excessive or problematic players This group was composed of people who had sought help for the impaired control of their slot-machine play. such as large sums of cash and the club environment itself.Why 'slots' equals 'grind' in any language 147 Table 8. it is important to note that to differentiate them from frequent players on any characteristic of their gambling behaviour may be difficult (Dickerson 1985). Session length is on average 40 minutes but ranges from 6 to 127 minutes.00 ‘A$50.00 1. or less’ 40 Group High frequency Problem players 7.75 0. Quite congruent with this is the fact that the onset of a new session is associated with negative moods such as frustration.0 2–16 25–250 63.3 Gambling characteristics of low/medium. Problem players often report starting a session to ‘forget their troubles’ and to ‘win a major pay-out’. speeding up and slowing down following small and big wins respectively. the longer the period of loss was tolerated. these more experienced players average one play every 6 seconds. disappointment and the presence of debts or recent gambling losses. As one might expect. Persisting with a session when losing was associated with how large was the player’s idea of a big win—the larger the ‘big win’. Whereas the less experienced players average one play every 8 seconds throughout their session.75 38. It is as if the player ‘shadows’ the machine events. Persistence when losing may be . playing in tune with the machine. Given that these players were seeking to abstain from gambling. neither seems to be consistently associated with these rhythmic patterns of play.4–20 6. players say they often have a session when they feel lucky or are celebrating.336 ‘A$100 or more’ 60 35 40 35 70 ‘for entertainment’ ‘to forget troubles’ ‘to be sociable’ ‘to win a major pay-out’ High-frequency players For people playing once a week or more often there are cues that regularly predict the onset of a new session. They have a highly stereotypical pattern of play. high-frequency and problem slots players Low/medium frequency Playing time (average hours/month) Session expenditure (range A$) Total expenditure (average A$/month) Considered a ‘big win’ Way of playing influences chance of winning (% occasionally/usually) Can predict when pay-out due Reasons for playing 0. no observations were carried out of their actual sessions of play but it seems likely that their patterns of play are very similar to those of the high-frequency players. Although they all satisfied the DSM IIIR criteria for ‘pathological gambling’ (American Psychiatric Association 1987).

5 per cent said ‘three or four times’ and only a quarter said ‘never’ (Dickerson et al. With regard to the latter question it may be said that people simply do not plan or budget their leisure activities in the same way that they do their household expenditure and other commitments. 1985). Thus. In addition. smoking. To the question of how often they had spent more than planned on the last five sessions of play. SOME POSSIBLE CAUSES OF IMPAIRED CONTROL OF SLOTS PLAY The more often a person plays slots the more likely they are to report aspects of losing control such as spending more time and money than they had planned or more money than they could afford (Corless and Dickerson 1989. However. Many people at all frequencies of play report having played at one particular level for several years. with the associated personal problems. it seems that beliefs and expectations must make a contribution particularly to the choice that the player makes to return to start a new session. 1972). contrary to Skinner’s assertions about ‘pathological’ slots play (Skinner 1953. None the less. 21. Dickerson et al. 1985). it seems unlikely that regular loss of control arises from a habit component per se but rather from an interaction between learning and negative moods such as depression and frustration. On the basis of our own fieldwork studies it seems likely that the establishment of a habit learnt over hundreds of hours of playing a machine may be the necessary and sufficient cause of occasional experiences of impaired control of expenditure. it does seem reasonable to conclude that it is relatively common for players to sense that their slots playing behaviour is out of control on occasions. The only difference seems to be that the problems arise from more frequent loss of control involving larger sums of money. drug abuse and eating disorders. is considered to be the essential common ground with the other addictive behaviours such as alcoholism. Loss of control of gambling behaviour. a third answered that they had done so on two or more occasions. A similar experience is described by slots players who seek psychological help with problems associated with their excessive gambling.Gambling cultures 148 increased by both depressed mood and by the existence of financial pressures such as bills to be paid and debts.7 per cent said ‘every time’. However. ‘Chasing’ and the illusion of control are two aspects of beliefs that play a central role in persistent . there is not an inevitable progress from lower levels of involvement to higher. 17. in the context of the answers about spending more than they can afford. in exploring the psychological causes of impaired control in regular slots players there is opportunity to examine a factor central to the addictive behaviours but without the complications of drug effects. CONTROL OVER EXPENDITURE BY THE INDIVIDUAL When slots players at a registered club in Australia were asked how often they had spent more on play than they could afford.

it must be my turn for a win today’. depression and lack of problem-solving coping strategies might well be associated with the development of significant personal problems arising from the regular loss of control of slot-machine expenditure. whereas if he or she continues there is at least some chance of winning. In the very experienced player the belief that it is the ‘correct’ strategy to continue when significant losses have been incurred seems almost rational. factors such as life-event stressors. Our observations have produced a few instances of how a sudden increase in the player’s estimate of the likelihood of the machine paying out is in fact followed by a large win. to suggest that all human beings tend to develop such beliefs when faced with long sequences of independent. The psychological basis of the popularity of slots is also associated with beliefs and illusory expectations of winning. Even if all these psychological factors play a part in causing experienced. randomly determined gambling events. The conclusion that the popularity of slots is a function of the intermittent reinforcement of play combined with the player’s erroneous beliefs about . Even to experience this on a single occasion may have a strong impact on the extent to which the player believes in the illusion. CONCLUSIONS If the persistent playing of slots is associated with the learning of a stereotypical habit that mirrors the machine events then it is reasonable to expect this factor to be common to all human beings and provides us with some understanding of the universal use of these games in casinos and clubs around the world. in an excellent series of studies of blackjack players in Dutch casinos. This illusion is concerned with the belief that chance-determined events are somehow under the control of the player. The former is typified by statements such as ‘it [the machine] owes me’ and ‘I’ve lost the last few times. Such a belief and the behaviour of continuing to play may in the past have resulted in a major pay-out. found very similar beliefs and expectations. will believe that the manner in which they play the machine will influence their chances of winning (for example. Players’ beliefs that they can predict when a machine will pay out are similar but best categorised under the illusion of control (Langer 1975). if premature. playing out all credits before putting in more cash and a whole range of what are best described as superstitious behaviours) and. The longer-term tracking of regular slots players is only just beginning. regular players to lose control of session length and expenditure and to return to have another session.Why 'slots' equals 'grind' in any language 149 slots play. finally. one they believe is more likely to pay out to them). very little is known about quite what factors influence longer-term patterns of uncontrolled expenditure and increasing debt. Wagenaar (1988). Thus a typical frequent player will have a favourite machine (that is. and it is tempting. If the player stops. There is very little cross-cultural evidence about such beliefs. and is being done from the commercial viewpoint of the operators in much the same way that casinos track the gambling patterns of their premium players of table games. playing to a steady rhythm. then the probability of recouping those losses from the machine is zero. that persistent play is not associated with any one type of personality. From the perspective of psychological research. will claim to be able to tell when a machine is about to pay out. This is supported by one negative finding. Even one such win may make a significant impact on the strength with which such beliefs about chasing are held.

government legalisation of slots creates a situation whereby the individual’s choice not to gamble is eroded. underlines the need for regular monitoring of the impact of playing slots on the individual and family—of all gambling. In NSW slots accounted for 64. for that matter. the alcohol industry acting to reduce ‘happy hour’ binge drinking and to generally develop responsible marketing policies that can reduce alcohol-related personal and social damage. A similar economic outcome is predicted in other states where slots are being introduced. of whom 50 per cent have slots as their preferred main form of gambling (Dickerson and Baron 1992). but in the long term it is essential. This recognition. the manufacturer’s bottom line is player persistence (Daley 1986). hotels. can distinctive sub-groups be found with specific machine preferences? Remarkably little is known about human learning where the person has had what amounts to training trials over hundreds of hours over several years. It also emphasises the need for a continuing dialogue between government agencies controlling and regulating the slots industry and the industry itself. however. From a social standpoint.Gambling cultures 150 predictable machine characteristics merely scratches the surface. the Queensland government is leading the way in monitoring the social and economic impact of the introduction of slots by establishing independent evaluative research that will provide the basis for the development of similar harm-reducing policies should they be required. the same study failed to detect any problem players whose single preferred form was lotto. the clubs. In Australia. As a sub-plot to this chapter it has been noted that regular slots players commonly experience difficulty in controlling their expenditure. In contrast. multiline versus multiplier—attract some players but not others? Why does one rate of pay-out lead to player persistence on one machine but not on another? From among regular players. Why do some kinds of slots—for example. This is a realistic rather than moralistic view and goes no further than for other potentially addictive legal behaviours such as drinking alcohol and smoking tobacco. financial and family problems arising from their gambling. much of which went to state governments (Sykes 1994). A positive awareness of these concerns within the industry. In Australia in 1992 slots generated a total win of about A$5. These findings complement similar survey work in New .0 per cent of the adult population.3 per cent of the total win from all forms of gambling. The psychology of slots playing merits much closer study than hitherto. Such players may account for up to one-third of the total take or metered win from slots. Not included in the economic balance sheet is the recent estimate that the prevalence of problem gamblers in NSW is approximately 1.25 billion. Slots are an important component in the significant leisure industry of gambling. It is more properly a concern for governments that any slots development that increases player persistence also generates more impaired control and thereby increases gambling-related problems. This is a relatively new and important development in the legalisation of slot machines but it is very similar to contemporary developments concerning the sale of alcohol in Australia—for example. Whether other state governments will adopt a similar approach is uncertain. Recent work suggest that 15 per cent of regular slots players may have significant personal. casinos and the machine manufacturers can result in policies and procedures that may lessen the negative impacts of the ready availability of slots. In the development of new slot-machine games and characteristics.

Melbourne: Government Printer. (1989) ‘Gamblers’ self-perceptions of determinants of impaired control’.Edgar (ed. (1978) Gambling: A Review of the Literature and Its Implications for Policy and Research. ‘Slots’ will be used to describe all coin-operated gambling devices and specific types referred to only when necessary. Unpublished PhD thesis: Canberra: Australian National University. slots players and government. there are no guidelines concerning what other information should be provided to players about the machines they play. Should the odds on winning jackpots be displayed or included in advertising? Should players be warned about the possibility of becoming uncontrolled in their gambling—for example.. (1988) Social Impact Study (Civic Section 19 Development and Casino). Do you want to continue playing?’ The line between paternalism and responsible marketing is obscure and requires the cooperation of the industry. Washington. American Psychiatric Association (1987) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. M. 3rd edn. 14. S. Aristocrat Leisure Industries. (1992) Frequent Gamblers and Problem Gamblers in New Zealand.Why 'slots' equals 'grind' in any language 151 Zealand (Abbott and Volberg 1992) and are slowly leading governments to the realisation that the bottom line of slots taxation revenue may need reviewing in the light of the social welfare costs associated with problem players. Young. M. and Volberg. Corless. There is one more perspective about which very little has been written: the players themselves as consumers. . DC: APA. G. G. Commonwealth of Australia. Caldwell. for continuing help in keeping me informed of machine developments. Melbourne: Cheshire: 13–28. DSM IIIR. Board of Inquiry into Poker Machines (1983) Report of the Board of Inquiry into Poker Machines (Wilcox Report). using a tracking device to monitor regular players and flash up messages such as ‘Hello John. the name ‘slots’ will be used throughout this chapter in recognition of its greater usage internationally and to prevent confusion with one particular type of slot which is a machine-based version of casino card games such as blackjack. ‘fall off the slot machine.) Social Change in Australia: Readings in Sociology. ——(1974) ‘The gambling Australian’.G. figuratively speaking. Caldwell. Cornish. Wellington: Department of Internal Affairs. and McMillen. R. in D. NOTES 1 Although the author has a chauvinistic preference for ‘poker machine’. Dickerson.. BIBLIOGRAPHY Abbott. J. Product Manager (Casino). The term ‘electronic gaming machine’ is sometimes used to describe the latter type of machine or all machines which have a video screen display. M. Potentially the outcomes of such cooperation are far more effective than governments simply resourcing services to pick up the pieces of those who.G. Although in Australia slot machines must be labelled giving their percentage payback. Research Series No. London: HMSO. D.B. A. you have now spent $100. and Dickerson. British Journal of Addiction 84:1527–37. (1972) ‘Leisure co-operatives: the institutionalization of gambling and the growth of large leisure organisations in New South Wales’. 2 My thanks to Lynn Oldfield.

Brisbane: Griffith University Reprographics: n. David. American Journal of Sociology 6:750–63. Australia. (1990) ‘The acquisition. in H. Langer. Australian Journal of Psychology 38:45–58. (1986) ‘The evolution of gambling laws in Australia’.Gambling cultures 152 Daley. W. J.. New York Journal of International and Comparative Law 8(1):167–92. in N.R.S. Sydney. Downes. ACT Australia: Penguin. E. NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. . W. (1969) Coal is our Life: An Analysis of a Yorkshire Mining Community. R. in J. N. M. Work and Leisure: A Study Across Three Areas. D. (1985) ‘Expenditure on legal gambling’. (1988) ‘The prevalence of excessive and pathological gambling in Australia’. Henriques.McMillen (ed. J.Haig.) Faces of Gambling. Thomas.Dickerson and L. (1992) ‘Problem gambling in Australia’. B. M. Journal of Gambling Studies 6:193–204. M. in G. and Slaughter..Sylvan (eds) Gambling in Australia. (1986) ‘The impact of religion on gambling in Australia’. in G. (1985) ‘The characteristics of the compulsive gambler: a rejection of a typology’. New York: Tavistock Publications. B. C. Grichting.) The Other Side: Perspectives on Deviance. (1964) ‘Observations on gambling in a lower class setting’. (1976) Gambling. Skinner. Haig.Rowe. and Bayliss. University of Sydney. and Hinchy. ——(1990) ‘Working-class luck and vocabularies of hope among regular poker-machine players’. and Eadington. Journal of Gambling Behaviour 4:14–21. ——(1972) Beyond Freedom and Dignity. W.K.G. Hillsdale. Davies.): 24–33. development and maintenance of fruit machine gambling in adolescents’. B.Caldwell. Sport and Leisure.I. Lynch.G.Walker (ed..Greeley (eds) Self-control and the Addictive Behaviours. P.P. Zuckerman.Miller and J. and Stone. Dickerson.G. I. Dickerson. (1975) ‘The illusion of control’.Heather. R. Sydney: Croom Helm: 71–7. (1979) Sensation Seeking: Beyond the Optimal Level of Arousal.Sylvan (eds) Gambling in Australia. Griffiths. W.p. M. B.L.Dickerson. Sydney: Croom Helm: 139–45. M. Newsletter..) Gambling in the 80s. ——(1991) ‘Internal and external determinants of persistent gambling: implications for treatment’.A. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. J. (1901) ‘The gaming instinct’.E.R.J. (1985) Second Generation Club Project: Stage One.F. Dickerson.G. New York: Free Press. B. National Association for Gambling Studies 4 (2):17–36.E. and Baron.D. Sydney: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich: 189–208. Fabre. in M. D. T. K. Wagenaar. Unpublished report to the North Ryde RSL Community Bowling and Sports Club Ltd. (1994) ‘Stake of the nation’.Caldwell. Proceedings of the 2nd National Conference of the National Association for Gambling Studies. Zola. (1985) ‘A comparison of TAB customers and poker machine players’. Australian Business Monthly (Feb. F. (1988) Paradoxes of Gambling Behaviour. Sykes. M. Dickerson. in G. W. (1986) ‘Encouraging habitual gambling on poker machines’. Haig and L. M. M. Illinois: Free Press. M. (1953) Science and Human Behaviour. Kendell. New York: John Wiley.M. McMillen.Becker (ed. E.Lawrence and D. London: Cape. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 32 (2):311–28.G. Dennis. (1979) ‘Alcoholism: a medical or a political problem?’ British Medical Journal 1:367–71.

the Abbia.9 GAMBLING IN CAMEROON AND SENEGAL A response to crisis? Gabrielle A. The move towards lotteries in these countries has occurred in spite of the existence of large Islamic populations in Africa and the total ban on gambling by Islam (Rosenthal 1975). for instance. we confined our Cameroonian survey to the cities of Douala and Yaoundé. especially in the developing countries. we have undertaken surveys in both Cameroon and Senegal. In Africa. Because of limitations of time and resources. suffers from a relative paucity of data. Some see the lotteries as preying on the poor who foolishly pin their hopes on winning and on getting something for nothing. and Kaolack in the centre of Senegal. people flock to the lotteries and this is one tax they do not complain about. Martial Lipeb and Jean-Michel Servet1 While much has been written on gambling. In Cameroon. Caillois reports that in Cameroon and Gabon. Much discussion is still based on anecdotal stories and hearsay.2 Since the 1980s in several countries there has been a large explosion of statesponsored lotteries fuelled by the need for cash of financially strapped governments. and chiefs were wagering their chiefdoms to the point that wars were caused by this addiction (Caillois 1958:231). tax-raising system. which are too often faced with a non-existent or non-effective. This wave has attracted its share of detractors. Still others have focused their criticisms on the fact that legalising lotteries makes it easier for the compulsive gamblers to indulge. the capital. we have undertaken studies of gambling behaviour in two African countries.Brenner. We confined our Senegalese survey to the cities of Dakar. enabling government to raise revenues ‘painlessly’. In his treatise on games. In order to fill the gap. its study. especially since the beginning of the economic crisis in 1985. Governments in Cameroon and Senegal have maintained monopoly power over lotteries to raise taxes. In order to identify some characteristics of gambling and gamblers associated with contemporary African gambling. where lotteries are a growing source of government revenue. had to be regulated because people were wagering their wives. It was not easy to obtain . this feature of the lottery has appealed to financially strapped governments. Cameroon and Senegal. Sixty people in the region of Ziguinchor took part in a second survey. according to officials of the Cameroonian lottery. which contain 16.4 The governments have been helped by the fact that many indigenous African cultures have a rich tradition of gambling. as well as non-efficient. Ziguinchor in the south.5 per cent of the total Cameroonian population (and which. with catastrophic results. government receipts have usually been disappointing and below expectations. Two hundred people in Cameroon and 125 in Senegal took part in a first survey.3 In spite of such condemnations. an ancient dice game. are a good sample of the national market).

whereas only 24 per cent prefer the Pari Sportif. the Pari Sportif. The profits of the lottery are supposed to be used to finance public interest projects. such as hospitals. It is also note-worthy that among the players surveyed in Senegal. and if there exists a bias. a problem in countries where a significant part of the population is illiterate. This reflects the differences that exist between traditional Islam and ‘African Islam’ which has been adapted to African cultural traditions (Monteil 1963. a pari-mutuel game based on soccer games. schools and vaccinations. Two other games. the lottery in Cameroon has been promoted to raise much-needed revenues (Njoh Soppo and Tiako 1990). the profits of the lottery corporation have not yet been used as the Treasury has not allowed any project to go ahead. The only exception has been a loan to the Public Treasury and a small project to buy meningitis vaccine. It is difficult at this point to interpret this result.10 The lottery games are widely advertised in the media and sold by a network of sellers. through both fixed points of sale and itinerant peddlers. which was conceived in order to prevent the possibility of cheating. But. it failed when the public lost faith in the lottery because of the non-payment of prizes. some people surveyed in Senegal have told that women should not gamble as they are responsible for the household money. But Cameroonians played games of chance before. as most of the students who conducted it were male and tended to survey people of the same sex.000)9 and Express Loterie.Gambling cultures 154 people’s collaboration as there was a general fear in both countries regarding the use that would be made of the results. 1964). In both countries most of the gamblers surveyed were men (70 per cent of the gamblers surveyed in Cameroon and 94 per cent of those surveyed in Senegal). it shows a lack of authority on the part of her husband.5 Moreover. This caused a reorganisation of the state lottery that led in April 1988 to the launching of an instant lottery with a big prize of 1 million francs CFA (or about US$4. BACKGROUND OF GAMBLING IN CAMEROON AND SENEGAL From its inception as a state monopoly in 1972. and that if a woman gambles. and lotto were recently added to Express Loterie which has nevertheless remained the more popular game: 57 per cent of the people surveyed acknowledged preferring it. which could be explained by the fact that it has a smaller percentage of Muslims than Senegal. our questionnaire was long. especially in Douala and Yaoundé. As in all studies of this kind. we cannot be sure that the sample interviewed is in fact a random sample of the population. especially questions on income and average spending on gambling. Traditional games such as ‘three cards’— also called ‘jambo’—as well as slot machines (called Bally-Bally)7 have always been very popular. 95 per cent were not ashamed of gambling and thought it was a perfectly normal activity.6 There were no similar remarks made in Cameroon.11 . the lowering of the probability of winning and the perception of frequent rigging. On the other hand. where the population is mostly Muslim (more than 90 per cent of the population). There could have been a bias in our survey. until 1992.8 While the Office of the National Lottery launched several popular products in subsequent years. we cannot be sure of its direction.

An immensely popular pari-mutuel game based on horse-racing in France was added to the list in 1986. Senegal (%) PMU (pari-mutuel Lottery game Loto Loto-Sports Other* betting on horses) (Loterie (pari-mutuel Nationale) betting on soccer) 58 4 3 19 *This category includes other legal and illegal games. have ranged on average from 1 to 4 million francs CFA. 16 fraudulent games. where for instance the means of payment which were used for ritual purposes were often endowed with magical property (Servet 1986). a weekly game. It was only in 1973 that the state acquired 80 per cent of the LONASE. there is in their minds a basic misunderstanding of how money is printed or interest is earned in a modern financial system. Among the people surveyed. was introduced. Most of the time gamblers lose everything and the ‘holy man’ disappears with their money.000).1 Preferred gambling type. As a result.Gambling in cameroon and senegal 155 In Senegal a greater variety of games has been played for a longer time than in Cameroon. One such game is the ‘money multiplier’. The LONASE was created in 1966 as a private firm. They are then easy prey to people who tell them that they can make money by magic. The state also receives 10 per cent of the prizes that were not claimed. In 1985. It sells either tickets (at a price of 400 francs CFA) or half tickets and gives out prizes ranging from 400 to 3 million francs CFA (or about US$12. It must give 10 per cent of its gross sales to the state by law. Loto. again a considerable sum as the gross national product per capita was equal to US$520 in 1987 (World Bank 1989:221). This game may be linked to the fact that people have interpreted modern fiduciary money as the commodity moneys they used to have in traditional societies. the LONASE (Loterie Nationale du Sénégal) oversees formal gambling. and Table 9. The oldest lottery game. with games scheduled for four times a week and prizes which have attained 21 million francs CFA. the Nieti Xob. was launched. A state monopoly. a pari-mutuel game based on European soccer games. a game played with three cards.12 The contribution of the LONASE to the state coffers takes several forms. and its big prizes. has existed since 1966. and it accounts for most of the revenues of the LONASE. the people in Senegal also play a roulette-type game (the Loterie congo). participation in lotteries is explained by the fact that people’s decisions to gamble or not . the Loterie Nationale. The remaining 20 per cent was acquired by the state in 1978.13 THE GAMBLER IN AFRICA: COPING WITH LOWERED EXPECTATIONS According to the model of risk-taking presented in Brenner and Brenner (1990). and 10 per cent of the prizes that would have been claimed by a winning number that was not sold. In 1987 the Lotosportif. where gamblers ask a supposedly ‘holy man’ to multiply their money by his prayers. In addition to these formal games.1): 58 per cent preferred it. based on the total sales. the pari-mutuel game was by far the most popular (see Table 9.

especially in the cities. most people gamble responsibly. unless cultural and religious factors discourage this. in which the prizes are larger. their fellows. In order to understand gambling in sub-Saharan Africa. and married people do not gamble the ‘grocery money’. in Cameroon 54 per cent spent less than 5. in order to cope with social and economic uncertainties. In Senegal the fact that people play to win an amount high enough to change their lives can be inferred from the fact that 54 per cent of the players would play more if the prize were bigger. it has been especially difficult to get answers regarding income from the people surveyed.17 whereas in Senegal 26 per cent of the gamblers were earning either the minimum legal wage or less. This section presents the findings of the surveys in Cameroon and Senegal which tested this model and analyses the reasons for the popularity of games of chance in the two countries.000 francs CFA a month and in Senegal 45 per cent spent less than that.19 On the other hand. as well as on unexplained fluctuations in this relative ranking. Those whose expectations of wealth are disappointed are expected to increase their expenditures on games of chance. when expectations of wealth are disappointed. instead of relying on family. 45. the majority of the players were single (58 per cent of the Senegalese players surveyed and 57 per cent of the Cameroonian players).15 Gambling represents such a response. to either pay ‘bride-wealth’ or . and a strong network of family and tribal ties. it can be inferred that in Cameroon the gamblers are somewhat poorer than non-gamblers. people have recourse to individualistic solutions. single people have generally more discretionary income. Among the players surveyed who classified themselves as regular players.16 Over half (58 per cent) of the players surveyed would play more if the prize of the lottery were larger. The main motivation for gambling is the chance to win a large prize and become rich. we must comment on the changes that are currently under way there. or even outdo.14 More and more during times of crisis. In order to get married a single man must accumulate financial means. The incentives to buy lottery tickets in this model were shown to depend on both one’s actual position and one’s expected position in the wealth distribution.5 per cent of the players surveyed in Cameroon gave the chance to win as the most important variable in their choice to buy a lottery ticket. kin and traditional ways of dealing with emergencies. A second interpretation may be linked to the fact that most players are men. they have relied on a system of kinship and communal life. This may explain the success of the PMU game. The calculations behind the latter group’s greater propensity to gamble is that the benefits of winning are two-fold: not only do the poorer have a chance to become richer but they also could keep up with. Nevertheless. Traditionally. in both countries. These traditional ties have now been weakened. those at the bottom of the income scale spending a relatively greater fraction of their income than those at the top. although 16 per cent of the gamblers thought that the big prize of the lottery was too small. Among people whose wealth expectations are fulfilled. in spite of anecdotal stories of overspending. this model predicts that people will plan regularly to buy tickets. From this model. from the people who answered the question on their income.18 The majority of players plan their spending and do not seem to play more than they can ‘afford’.Gambling cultures 156 are based on the level of their wealth and their relative place in the wealth distribution. As already mentioned. The countries of sub-Saharan Africa are in the throes of a big change in popular culture. Indeed. one would expect that people will gamble relatively more in times of economic crisis. This suggests two interpretations: first.

among whom we did our survey. We would thus expect this group to gamble more. Tables 9. the general situations of these countries must be considered. creating political unrest among the young. Both Cameroon and Senegal are in the middle of a severe economic recession. especially in hard economic times. There is a difference in the two countries between the representation of middle-aged people among the gamblers: in Cameroon.5 40–49 8 5.21 We see from these tables that the player population is substantially younger than the general population.2 and 9.20 Playing the lottery may be seen as a means to accomplish just that.3 compare the age distribution of the gamblers to the age distribution of the urban population of Cameroon and the total population of Senegal. whose prospects of jobs in the public sector have diminished (Economic Intelligence Unit 1990b). This led to a decrease in expectations of the younger population who saw that they could not follow in the steps of their parents and older siblings who were assured of work in the government and a steady wage when finishing school. The governments. relative to the total population. Unfortunately. in co-operation with the World Bank.0 13. they are somewhat under-represented (5.5 per cent of the total population). the 1980s were characterised by a freeze in government employment as well as a massive entry of young workers into the job market. Younger workers and students were among the most afflicted.3 20–29 109 69.3 11. 1986 Number % % (of population above 15 years) 15–19 2 1. In Senegal. as the population has been growing rapidly. especially those who are educated.1 per cent of the gamblers compared with 13. the older population and the young below the age of 20 are under-represented among gamblers relative to their number in the total population. while the 20–29 year age group is over-represented.9 . carried out structural adjustment programmes with massive lay-offs of workers from state and state-owned enterprises. In both countries. Our research suggests that in order better to understand the motivations of the players. were more prone to losing their job or to the fear losing it.3 No answer 3 1.3 per cent of the total population). whereas in Senegal they are over-represented (50 per cent of the gamblers compared with 34.1 32.8 30–39 32 20. Table 9.2 Age distribution: lottery players and the total Cameroonian population Age group Players (total number 156) Cameroonian urban population. data on the age composition of the Senegalese urban population are unavailable.7 21. This may be due either to time lag since the census. Unemployment among young graduates increased and the youngest workers. The urban unemployment rate in Cameroon was estimated to be 12 per cent in 1988/89 (Economic Intelligence Unit 1990a).9 Source: United Nations Demographic Yearbook 1989a 21. College graduates and those who previously would have found jobs in public administration now had to fend for themselves.1 50+ 2 1.Gambling in cameroon and senegal 157 buy household goods. having less seniority and skills. or to the different composition of the urban population.

most of the people surveyed (76 per cent) said that if they won the lottery. 1985 % (of population above 15 years) 15–20 2 18. gambling is seen by the players as a means to better one’s situation in times of economic crisis. So. In the next section.3 Age distribution: lottery players and the total Senegalese population Age group Players (%) Total Senegalese population. Senegalese do not worry about saving for a rainy day. banks have been plagued by bankruptcies and slow payments and do not inspire confidence. Neither do they save steadily. Thus the people whose financial position and expectations have most deteriorated during the economic crisis. 32 per cent of the gamblers were students. the winner might prefer to keep the ticket instead of depositing it at a shaky financial institution. This indicates that they consider prudently what to do with their money. we may say that in both Senegal and Cameroon. Each person is traditionally required to share his luck with his relatives. Most of them save this money: only 18 per cent spent the money immediately. In times of economic crisis.Gambling cultures 158 Table 9. It is possible that some gamblers keep the winning ticket without claiming the prize so that relatives will not learn of their good luck. in both Cameroon and Senegal. Also.2 21–30 46 28. in the Ziguinchor survey. they would keep the ticket without claiming the money for some time. There may be other reasons for this behaviour: in Africa the extended family has in most cases a moral claim on an individual’s resources. The players were asked if they participate in a rotative association of savings (named ‘tontine’). they gamble in the hope of winning the big prize. may be turning to gambling as a last recourse. This may be linked to our observation that younger players are trying to solve their problems in an individualistic and short-term way. 37 per cent were either students or unemployed workers and 30 per cent were workers in the socalled ‘informal’ sector.6 31–50 50 34. the young.22 Workers in this sector are generally at the bottom of the scale of earnings. but this is increasingly resented as the historical basis for this sort of cooperation recedes. The survey in Senegal has yielded an interesting finding on the gambling and savings habits of the players. This result is also confirmed by the attitudes of the people who have won money in the games. we will explore some public policy implications of the growth of governmentsponsored lotteries in Africa. .6 Source: United Nations Global Estimates and Projections of Population by Sex and Age (1989b:383) The fact that younger people are gambling is confirmed by looking at additional data. whereas in Senegal. which in both countries provides jobs mainly to those who cannot find better-paid jobs in the formal sector. In summary. In Cameroon. a form of savings club widely used in Africa. the students and the unemployed. Moreover.5 50+ 2 18. instead of resorting to collective long-term solutions.23 The majority (78 per cent) answered ‘no’. either alone or in common with their family or their kin.

as there exists in countries where the Judaeo-Christian tradition has made the activity suspect. Moreover. has had a one-party state for years. some questions must be raised about the wide use of lotteries and gambling to raise revenues in these two countries. or turn to other means of financing. In this situation. One must remember that the first lotteries in eighteenth-century America financed public expenditures when the states and the federal government were too weak to collect other taxes and financial institutions were not developed (Brenner and Brenner 1990:14). just as western governments have done. Of all sub-Saharan African countries. Nevertheless. with severe censorship of the freedom of the press which has only been relaxed recently. such a criticism is not valid in countries where the government does not have adequate alternative means of collecting taxes. or tax imports. for instance. An added difficulty is the fact that the poor track records of the governments since independence have seriously impaired their legitimacy in the eyes of their constituents who probably do not feel that they have been getting good services for the money spent. and even in the countries that have recently embraced democracy. They require neither a large administrative investment nor a coercive machine on the part of the government. the existence of a long gambling tradition in African culture that has not disappeared with the introduction (and adaptation) of Islam has made it easier for African governments to sponsor gambling. governments are often sources of corruption and do not have the trust of the people. a large illiterate population which often does not use (or trust) banks or other modern financial intermediaries and whose majority still lives in rural regions often not very accessible. Lotteries are such a means of financing government activities.25 It is thus not surprising that financially strapped governments of African countries which are in the throes of recession and restructuring of the economy have introduced legal gambling.24 the absence of written records. Where checks to political abuses are lacking. They are not then the ideal candidate to run a gambling industry which . Many governments of sub-Saharan Africa have given an impression of corruption and oppressive nepotism due to abuses of government power (World Bank 1989:22). provided generally by government agencies. the government must either disproportionately tax the few firms and individuals in the so-called ‘modern’ economic sector. the institutions that check the power of the government in other democratic societies are either completely lacking or are very weak. the power of the governments to collect taxes is severely limited by a combination of a weak administration. and the existence of a large ‘informal’ economy where it is almost impossible for the government to determine and tax incomes earned properly. as is the case in Cameroon and in Senegal. In these countries. an item easily accounted for (although the practice of imposing very heavy import duties has given rise in both countries to flourishing smuggling activities).Gambling in cameroon and senegal 159 LOTTERIES IN AFRICA: THE LAST RECOURSE OF FINANCIALLY STRAPPED GOVERNMENTS? Lotteries and other games of chance are a growing industry in Africa. There is almost no cultural opposition to gambling. Cameroon. only a few have had even a semblance of liberal democratic institutions (Senegal being the best example). While western observers have criticised the use of lotteries to finance government expenditures instead of using the political process to impose a clear-cut tax and make the public aware of the costs of the service.

see Brasey (1992) for recent trends in France. for their dedicated help. in countries where the administrative means of taxing are still very limited. In this case. the lottery buyers were afraid that this survey would be used by the income tax department. Faced with limited means of getting richer. For example. Business Week (1989) gives a good history of 1980s trends in the United States as well as the criticisms this trend has generated. . Akpaca (1992) and Brenner et al. in particular. Abt et al. (1985). despite their Islamic tradition. the potential for corruption in the state-owned gambling sector. It is noteworthy that the first lottery in Cameroon went bankrupt after the public perceived the existence of rigged games. See Cohen (1992). We thank HEC. 44 per cent of the people surveyed in Senegal believed that some results of the pari-mutuel betting on horses were rigged. lotteries provide a legitimate and effective way for governments to obtain essential finances. in the absence of other alternatives for social mobility. when the choice is either the lottery or no revenues. NOTES 1 We thank our research assistants. raises ethical problems. We must nevertheless observe that Islam in Africa has been adapted to the local conditions. 2 The studies are ongoing and data are still being collected. the games may be even more ‘unfair’ than they seem. This study summarises results of the first analysis of the reasons for and nature of gambling in Cameroon and Senegal. combined with an impoverished population and the fact that government funds are often misappropriated by corrupt government officials. and this. 5 This is always a problem in a survey of this kind. Indonesia is an Islamic country.27 CONCLUSION Lotteries have sprung up during recent years in many developing countries where. People are rational when they buy a lottery ticket and know what they do. All errors are solely our own. In our survey. Cameroonians and Senegalese turn to lotteries as a potential means of significantly bettering themselves. These results show that the motivations for gambling on lotteries are the same as anywhere else in the world. Alain Tremblay at HEC and Maxime Akpaca and Ousmane Sané in the Department of Finance and Banking at the University of Lumière-Lyon 2. In such instances. Moreover. This fear was especially aroused by our questions on the socio-economic status and income of the person. 3 For compendia of the history of lotteries in the United States. see Clotfelter and Cook (1989). (1993). Thus condemning lotteries as ‘exploitative’ and ‘sellers of dreams’ is misconceived. yet the state sponsors an immensely popular lottery and some devout Muslims argue that the lottery is not a form of gambling. 4 This is not unique. See Sané (1992). the case for making the government the operator of the lottery is very much weakened. There are nevertheless some problems linked to the fact that the political process in these countries is such that it does not prevent abuses of power. ESSEC and Loto-Québec for their financial assistance.26 Thus.Gambling cultures 160 depends on the trust of its customers. they have proven to be especially attractive to the poorer segments of the population during tough economic times.

the ministry has not given such permission. They were initially tolerated. but were later banned. bring it to a well-guarded place. it is reserved to the higher classes of society and is very difficult to investigate. Their problems in understanding a modern monetary system may be similar to those expressed by a Pacific island chief after a trip to Germany at the beginning of the century. People are reluctant to acknowledge that they play at it and an outside investigator has almost no chance of being invited to participate at one of the sessions. we note the existence of ‘Russian roulette’.5 per cent of the non-gamblers were in this category. and continue to do so until one day they don’t have to work any more. To date.2 per cent of non-gamblers were in this category. quoted in Servet 1992. On the other hand. but must get the authorisation of the Finance Ministry for any project. 7 These machines were introduced in Cameroon about fifteen years ago. where this problem of understanding the modern money concept is developed) 14 These changes have been linked to the effects of the demographic growth of these countries which has strained the traditional system and forced it to change. 61. (Translated from Scheurmann 1981:125. I never understood how this was possible without black magic…the money is multiplied like the leaves of a tree and the man becomes richer even when he sleeps.000 francs CFA while 54. As it involves wagering substantial amounts. . a game similar to roulette. In Ziguinchor. whereas before they relied on kin and the extended family. This suggests that there could be different patterns of women’s participation in gambling among tribes. 16 Similarly. He described a bank as follows: Many white men hoard the money earned for them by others. the money working in their stead…. 17 In our Cameroonian survey. 8 Among the informal games. as lamented by a lottery ticket seller in Dakar: ‘I have lost two thirds of my sales since the PMU was introduced!’ (Minangoy 1988). the director of the LONASE acknowledges that 90 per cent of revenue comes from the PMU horse-betting game. 13 Except for a small westernised elite. populations in numerous African countries try to reconcile their concept of money with the new instruments at their disposal. 15 For instance. 12 Some of these revenues have been cannibalised from the other games. See Brenner (1983).000 francs CFA per month while 8. 9 This is a considerable amount in a country where the GNP per capita was estimated to be US$970 in 1987 (World Bank 1989:221).4 per cent of the gamblers acknowledged a monthly income of less than 100. 11 The director of the lottery corporation has broad power to decide how to use the money.000 over a large number of small prizes (Sullivan 1972:111). a point we want to investigate further. 3.2 per cent of the gamblers had incomes above 400.Gambling in cameroon and senegal 161 6 Another point worth noting is that the attribution of spending on different household items between husband and wife differs among tribes. now they rely on government transfers and private formal insurance in cases of unemployment or emergency medical needs. a survey conducted by the New York state lottery found that the typical ticket buyer was motivated by the hope of winning a big prize. 10 This may be because the survey was taken shortly after the introduction of this last game. and another by the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission found that the public overwhelmingly favoured a single top prize of US$100.

is a traditional means of transferring property at marriage in most African societies. the categories of our sample are somewhat different from the reported categories of the census. In Senegal. published in September 1818 a series of articles in which he accused the lottery of rigging the results. and the road system is not much better. Baldwin. HEC-CETAI. He won. Document de recherche. one of the people surveyed in Ziguinchor acknowledges that his wife almost left him because he was gambling too much money.M. did not answer the question on income. 25 While Protestant Churches have always been opposed to gambling. The racés themselves are taking place in France. has only come as an influence of Mediterranean law. the extent of urbanisation is somewhat lower.M. 24 In Cameroon.Lespès (ed. (1992) ‘Loterie et jeux d’argent au Sénégal: enquête à Ziguinchor’. Moreover.Gambling cultures 162 18 Most Cameroonians and Senegalese surveyed. 26 They suggested that once the winning combination is known. (1991) ‘Les mauvais comptes du développement’. so were. 27 These problems are recurrent in the history of lotteries. E. either Muslim or Christian (Goody 1976:8). C. Albagli. however. The directors of the lottery sued Baldwin for libel and the resulting trial (in which Baldwin was acquitted) exposed all the opportunities for cheating that were used to rig the lottery (Ezell 1960:180 ff). M. Brasey. Akpaca. This is a traditional method of saving in Africa where the use of banks and other western practices is rather limited now because of a loss of credibility (Lelart 1991). the Baldwin libel case unveiled systematic cheating against the public. Smith. In the same year. which worked against the poorer population disproportionately (since they were the principal buyers of tickets). there were only 3. Rural regions are thus not yet very accessible. only 40. See Brenner and Brenner (1990:52–5). 23 This scheme consists of having a group of people either from the same family or the same tribe or neighbourhood contribute a small surn of money at regular intervals. and Christiansen.070 kilometres of paved roads against 31. the editor of New York’s Republican Chronicle. 21 In Senegal. We have thus provided two parts in Table 9. or the payment of money by the groom (or his male kin) to the male kin of the bride.3. E.) Les Pratiques juridiques. 19 We must nevertheless report that another study undertaken in Senegal found that the typical pari-mutuel bettor spends up to 20 per cent of his income on gambling (Minangoy 1988).4 per cent of the population were urban dwellers in 1987/88. (1992) La République des jeux. the Catholic Church and the Jewish religion. The total pot is given to each member in turn. for instance. in J.623 kilometres of non-paved roads. Dowries. économiques et sociales informelles. so are not believed to be rigged. the payment to the groom by the family of the bride. V. BIBLIOGRAPHY Abt. But the comparison is valid as the categories are quite similar. to a lesser extent.-L. the organisers fake new winners so as to reduce the pay-out. (1985) The Business of Risk. built a new house with his winnings and she came back to him! 20 Bridewealth. Lawrence: University of Kansas Press. .. 92–03. and in some countries provides 50 per cent of urban jobs (Albagli 1991:141). ‘America’s gambling fever’ (1989) Business Week (24 April): 112–20. Paris: PUF. Paris: Robert Laffont. to use as he wishes. 22 The ‘informal’ economy in African countries accounts for more than half of the GNP (World Bank 1989). around 36 per cent. J. In the United States in 1818.

Cambridge.J. Minangoy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. M. United Nations (1989a) Demographic Yearbook. G. Journal of Gambling Studies 9 (Summer): 185–90. (1960) Fortune’s Merry Wheel: The Lottery in America. in Roger-Pol Droit (ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pratique informelle d’épargne et de crédit dans les pays en voie de développement. a History and a Future of Some Human Decisions. Ezell.): j3. G. Servet. (1993) ‘The lottery player in Cameroon: an exploratory study’.): A1.S. M. G. Monteil.E. (1988) ‘Le pari mutuel urbain… Ticket choc au Sénégal’. O. Paris: Aubier-Flammarion. (1972) By Chance a Winner—The History of Lotteries. P. New York: United Nations/Department of International Economic and Social Affairs. Paris: John Libbey Eurotext. M. Scheurmann.A. Sullivan. ——(1992) ‘Occidentalisation du monde et rencontre des imaginaires monétaires: une double illusion’. . R.Gambling in cameroon and senegal 163 Brenner. (ed. J. (1981) Le Papalagui..) Comment penser l’argent?. (1975) Gambling in Islam. Lipeb. (1990) ‘Le profil d’un joueur de loterie au Cameroun’. C. ‘Tale of two cities: Volkswagen project boosts German unity’ (1991). Cambridge. World Bank (1989) Sub-Saharan Africa: From Crisis to Sustainable Growth.B. P. Washington. Economies et Société. Caillois. and Brenner. (1986) ‘Pièces. Rosenthal. DC: World Bank. Jeune Afrique Magazine (Nov. ESSEC. New York: United Nations. MA: Harvard University Press. ——(1964) L’Islam noir. Passel. and Cook. A. Paris: Seuil. (1989) ‘Lotto is financed by the poor and won by the states’. (1976) Production and Reproduction. (1992) ‘Loterie et jeux d’argent au Sénégal: premières enquêtes’. Lelart. Mead. 30: 7–18. Sané. ——(1989b) Global Estimates and Projections of Population by Sex and Age. New York Times (21 May). CAR. Guinea-Bissau. (1958) Les Jeux et les hommes. Leiden: Brill.A. Wall Street Journal (7 Jan. London: EIU. Douala. (1990) Gambling and Speculation: A Theory. (1963) Le Monde musulman. Document de recherche. R. HEC-CETAI. Clotfelter.): A8.) (1991) La Tontine. R. Wall Street Journal (12 Dec. the Gambia. Paris: Gallimard. E. Cohen. Cape Verde—Country Profile 1989–90. chef de tribu de Tiaéra dans les mers du Sud.). P. Mémoire de fin d’étude. (1983) History: The Human Gamble. Les discours de Touiavii. 92–02. V. Goody. J. Njoh Soppo. Paris: Le Monde Editions: 44–57.-M. F. Paris: Horizons de France. MA: Harvard University Press. New York: Dodd. and Tiako. ——(1990b) Senegal. Economic Intelligence Unit (1990a) Cameroon. London: EIU. Brenner. M. R. billets et monnaie primitives’. Gazette (9 Aug. (1989) Selling Hope. Brenner. J. Editors of the Gazette (1986) ‘Gambling is the fastest-growing addiction but victims get no help from employers’. (1992) ‘Indonesian sin: Muslims addicted to the Lottery’. Chad—Country Report 1990–91. and Bikanda.

The operators of all commercial gambling games have a guaranteed advantage or edge. Downes et al. The possibility of winning money is only one of the many traditional appeals of these games. their parents buying a lottery ticket at the corner convenience store are buying chance from a commercial business.10 THE ROLE OF THE STATE IN THE EXPANSION AND GROWTH OF COMMERCIAL GAMBLING IN THE USA Vicki Abt1 There is a fundamental difference between gambling at games of equal chance and commercial gambling games that by definition ensure collective player losses. Children tossing a coin for the last seat at a rock concert are gambling at a game of equal chance. man-made games with rules that structure the interactions of the participants—judgements. an enormous institution has been created. As leisure activities. The risks of ‘real’ life are. The difference between these two games is that one of the children is going to get to see the concert. about the worth and meaning of gambling have varied (Asbury 1938. Cultures have taken different positions on the value of play. in this case their state governments. while the lottery players collectively are going to lose a very substantial percent-age of their investment to the state. Upon this edge. gambling had been largely proscribed by all of the states either by constitution or by statute (Dombrink and Thompson 1990). 1984). For almost a century. (Abt et al. made manageable within the bounds of a structured game (Callois 1978). Today the states are primary forces in the radical transformation of gambling from self-limiting indigenous ‘play’ activities to profit-making ventures on a vast commercial scale. and the revenue interests of government. gambling games are primarily occasions for playing at chance. As symbolic constructions—that is. in effect. Largely on religious . Martinez 1983). The contemporary explosion in US commercial legal gambling is a result of a radical shift in government policies over the past several decades. 1976. both informal and legal. leisure and most especially gambling games (Abt et al. 1985:ix–x) THE TRANSFORMATION OF GAMBLING CULTURES This chapter is an analysis of the history of commercial gambling in the United States and its relation to the state.

in effect. Clearly the states’ legalisation policy grows out of their own revenue needs rather than any moral or constitutional ground. the states have not yet established the ‘right’ of individuals ‘to gamble’ at the game of their choice. Perhaps the reason for this policy lies in the fact that if all gambling were made legal there would be no way to justify punitive taxes on commercial gambling. and these extraordinary revenues would disappear. are now willing not just to legalise existing gambling but also to encourage new forms of gambling in order to satisfy the expanding revenue needs of government. state governments have often tolerated illegal games. The small illegal operators who worked on a low profit margin are being overtaken by corporate big-business interests in gambling. who would never dream of legalising cocaine in order to tax its use. In this way they can justify their extraordinary tax on the games ‘selectively decriminalised’.The role of the state in the expansion and growth of commercial gambling 165 grounds. legalised commercial gambling games are often less advantageous to the player than illegal games. or illegal because it’s wrong. however. Lotteries are among the most aggressive and least desirable forms of gambling in terms of the players’ inability to influence the outcome of their wagers through any strategy or exercise of special . but until recently they have not engaged in policies designed to increase gambling. therefore. 1985:219–20) This continues to be true as the traditional attraction of risk is combined with sure corporate profits and public revenues. the United States has traditionally been ambivalent about gambling. This privilege tax or ‘sin tax’ is at a much higher rate than ordinary state taxes on consumer goods or luxury activities. Even when the government does allow gambling. For example. State-operated lotteries are changing rapidly so as to stimulate demand. The states allow gambling by exception. it does not respond appropriately to society’s desire to gamble. Gambling is being commercialised and institutionalised more rapidly than at any previous era in US history. Despite this high tax. Nevertheless. the states contribute to a monopoly situation that makes the new commercial ventures highly profitable. are being replaced by large-scale corporate and government operators. The question remains whether gambling is wrong because it is illegal. For example. and the extent of illegal gambling has often been exaggerated by state officials to rationalise their policy of selective decriminalisation and monopolistic control (Reuter and Rubenstein 1978). Gambling does not involve the ingestion of chemical or biological substances. approved by or identical with the state. often with the disapproval of ‘nice society’. (Abt et al. state legislators. drives up the price of gambling in the form of higher odds against winning or lower pay-offs. with the supplier of their choice. by controlling the legalisation and licensing of certain games and operators. The government’s claim on gambling profits of legal operators. The states operate from the premise of selective decriminalisation which makes sense only in terms of a revenue imperative. Historically. gambling is the most amenable to radical shifts in cultural meaning. and hence create more gambling losses that can be converted into public revenues. The individual entrepreneurs—bookmakers and riverboat gamblers—who supplied preindustrial United States with gambling services. as one of the ‘vices’.

But it was the Puritans who attacked gambling itself and not just the undesirable side effects of overdependency on lottery money. role in shaping American gambling patterns. new players had to be recruited (Focus 1984:24). Gambling has remained a ‘states rights’ issue. only the house is certain to win. The illegal numbers market actually represented a small percentage of potential players. the proprietors became dependent on the lottery as their only reliable source of capital for replenishing company coffers. The Puritan indictment of traditional recreations was transported to the new American colonies. who were not Puritans. Lotteries. The rationale that state lotteries are merely legal substitutes for illegal numbers and fulfil an existing ‘unstimulated demand’ does not fit the facts. Ever since the advent of the fiscally unsuccessful 1964 New Hampshire lottery. Alternating between encouraging various forms of gambling for revenue purposes and proscribing gambling for moral/religious as well as . According to the Bill of Rights. lotteries have become increasingly lucrative and have aggressively created new markets of potential gamblers. Living hand to mouth. The play element is being denigrated. if often paradoxical. According to Puritans. however. Historically the new states (former colonies) worried about a too strong federal government and gambling remained a state-regulated activity. By 1776 all but two colonies. The US federal government has largely stayed out of the regulation of gambling. The state has encouraged player losses rather than attempt either to hold down the odds against the player winning or to minimise and control gambling. This rapid transformation of gambling from leisure play to commercial corporate enterprises is best explained by the role of the state and its historical relation to gambling in America. however. nor prohibited by it to the states. hospitals and schools in eighteenth-century colonial cities. are reserved to the states’ (US Constitution. attempted to control and regulate gambling but not to outlaw it. English Puritans. objected to popular recreational gambling on moral grounds. The colonists at Jamestown exported far too little to vindicate the company’s promises. The Stuart kings. Since the earliest colonial lotteries. but at Caesar’s Casino on the Atlantic City boardwalk. Early critics of the lottery accelerated their attacks (Findlay 1986:13–14).Gambling cultures 166 knowledge. more centralised forms of gambling are being commercialised and institutionalised. These commercial ventures included the Virginia Company of London (1612) that underwrote the colony of Jamestown. In the old-style craps game under the boardwalk one of the players could walk away with the pot. ‘the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution. The state is a key player in the contemporary gambling scene rather than merely a respondent to constituent market demand. while those games that are less amenable to such controls are still proscribed. The larger. gambling had no place in the work week. Seventeenth-century attempts to colonise the ‘New World’ were often financed by private lotteries chartered by the British government. All the revenues raised by the schemes went immediately to meet the debts of the Virginia Company. The current ‘selective decriminalisation’ of various forms of gambling seems less explainable in terms of any ground-swelling of popular opinion than that these particular games are more desirable and more easily attributable to economic and political considerations of the vendors and the state itself. continued to finance public improvements such as roads. and commercial forms of gambling guarantee that the players as a group cannot win. required that state lotteries have legislative authorisation. Amendment X). government has played a crucial. Maryland and North Carolina.

state courts. Through the policy of ‘selective decriminalisation’ and with the creation of modern state-owned lotteries. Gambling is today expanding more rapidly than ever before in US history. this figure has grown to over US$286 billion in 1990. The Act delineates levels of government control over each type of gambling. with the greatest contention over casino and pari-mutuel wagering. casino gaming or even state-owned lotteries. they certainly have a political interest in Indian gaming (Public Law 100–497. ‘painless’ sources of revenue. betting on football games—have continued to flourish. implementation of off-track betting (OTB) in Pennsylvania. both Class Three games. 1991b:32–43). Up until 1988. Recent years have seen the creation of new outlets for legal gambling. To date. have been involved in litigation concerning Indian gaming rights arising out of the Federal Indian Gaming Act of 1988 which in effect allows Indian gambling on reservations in states which do not proscribe the existence of such activities within their jurisdiction. Illinois and Mississippi. governments have failed to develop a coherent gambling policy independent from their revenue potential: Government’s need for new. changing public mores and attitudes. and…the gambling propensities of mainstream America—has combined to make legal commercial gambling. In other words. with gross wagering estimated at nearly $135 billion in 1983. and there is every reason to believe that it will continue to do so. (Abt et al. the states have not been content to merely allow naturally occurring indigenous gambling. 17 October 1988). most notably in the forms of state lotteries. illegal forms of gambling—for example. numbers games. The expansion of off-track betting is ironic given the recent closing of Liberty Bell Racetrack which. the illegal share of commercial gambling increased even more rapidly than legal pari mutuel. gambling remains a most politically sensitive activity. when it opened in 1963. private industry’s ingenuity in supplying ever more attractive opportunities to gamble. South Dakota and Colorado.The role of the state in the expansion and growth of commercial gambling 167 social reasons. as well as the previously mentioned expansion of casino gambling and the opening of several new state lotteries. Casino gambling is to be controlled by the state. however. While the states do not have a direct revenue interest because of the sovereignty of Indian lands. Throughout this period of increased legalisation. Legal revenue (the dollars lost by players) was over US$25 billion in 1990 (Christiansen 1991a:32–43. was the first legal commercial gambling . The 1988 Act divides gambling into three classes. In addition. By 1990 government’s desire to increase its share of growing gambling revenues resulted in the legalisation of ‘Riverboat Gambling’ in Iowa. The 1990 gross annual legal wager in the United States represents a 14 per-cent increase in the total for 1989. not the federal government. the 1976 introduction of casino gambling in Atlantic City. including those in Connecticut and Michigan. one of the largest industries in the United States. on the grounds of completely unreliable data. where the state has total control. when Treasury declined to make further estimates of illegal gambling. legal gambling increased 14 per cent over 1987 while illegal gambling was estimated to have increased by 30 per cent. despite government rationales to the contrary. 100th Congress. 1985:15) By latest estimates. New Jersey and most recently in two more states.

government co-opts its opponents. but this criticism grossly underestimates their significance. such as the National Council on Problem Gambling. the states often give direct grants of money to these types of groups. property taxes. income and local property taxes that were not made. combined with the indirect revenue contribution of commercial gambling. has been weakened by the government’s licensing of professional addiction counsellors whose jobs are. Economically. the small incremental percentages of government budgets supplied by gambling revenues take on the character of political necessities. state and municipal income taxes. routinisation of one’s work life. The Protestant ethic implies a pattern of systematic behavioural and emotional control. In effect. Much of this growth of the gambling industry has been interpreted as a consequence of the progressive weakening of cultural obstacles to its acceptance. for example. it is a deferred gratification pattern. both economically and politically. ironically from lottery revenues in many instances. as they have faced fiscal crises. to some extent. The billions government derived from the direct taxation of gambling translates into thousands of incremental increases in state sales. makes gambling seem the golden goose for revenue depleted states and municipalities. that have been critical factors in this history. and is inconsistent with behaviour that seems to be orientated strictly to the rewards of the moment. Those who are critical of the revenue value of legalised gambling are fond of pointing out that. in the form of federal. In a broad sense.Gambling cultures 168 enterprise in Pennsylvania. the post-Second World War period has been one of expansion and concentration of American capital in two particularly important forms: the uncontrolled . Legal commercial gambling clearly generates a significant portion of the tax revenue for the various states. as is happening today—this alone is not an adequate explanation for the growth and transformation that gambling has recently experienced in the United States. based on increasing numbers of problem gamblers. while impossible to estimate precisely. No one should underestimate the political suasion of such calculations on state and local elected officials. and miscellaneous local taxes and licence fees. the main opposition to gambling in the United States has had a powerful fundamentalist religious foundation (Findlay 1986). and that depends strictly (or mostly) on chance or luck. Direct taxing of over US$25 billion in player losses (gross revenue). and filled thousands of budget lines that otherwise would have required funding from some other sources. and strict observance of ascetic consumption standards along with systematic saving. At a time when all usual tax resources are being tapped to the point of risking taxpayer revolts. payroll taxes. State lottery or off-track betting dollars that constitute. powerfully conditioned by transformation in the economy. Historically. can easily be the equivalent of a 10 per-cent increase in sales or property taxes. In addition. except in Nevada. 8 per cent of state aid to education or 5 per cent of county or municipal budgets. Contemporary opposition by secular critics. While the erosion of the Protestant ethic has been a general cultural transformation without which gambling could never have become established—let alone institutionalised. In the late 1970s Liberty Bell began to suffer losses with the growing popularity of the state’s lottery and the state’s unforgiving tax policy on gross track handles (Abt and Smith 1986). gambling revenues constitute small percentages of government budgets. particularly the decline of the ‘Protestant ethic’. It has been the policies of state governments.

The fiscal demands placed on the state. and growing rhetoric denouncing the federal deficit. state and local taxes increased over 100 per cent (O’Connor 1973:211). assuming costs of research). One result of this was the proliferation of tax revolts. small businesses and labour have been forced increasingly to underwrite the expansion of capitalism. AND THE CREATION AND EVOLUTION OF STATE LOTTERIES Radical political theorists such as O’Connor (1973). The power of capital in these new forms is reflected also in the fact that the proportion of taxes paid by corporations as a percentage of the entire tax bundle has declined dramatically from about 33 per cent in 1950 to less than 20 per cent currently. Growth in capital and social expenses necessitate increased state revenues. despite efforts to reduce this deficit. and public sector expenses (mainly. seem to grow in proportion to the stridency of the rhetoric denouncing them. while corporate profits. Despite huge increases in the federal budget between 1957 and 1970. greatly accelerated both the deficit and the national debt. House Appropriations Committee. Against these forms of capital. February 1992). road construction. State expenses fall into two categories: social capital. The history of modern state lotteries is the best example of the role of government in commercial gambling markets to ease their fiscal crisis. and of stabilising the social order through income transfers.The role of the state in the expansion and growth of commercial gambling 169 growth of multinational corporations and the increasing importance of the conglomerate. The relevance of this for our problem lies in the fact that the impact has been felt with special force at state and local levels. a rate more rapid than that of federal taxes. beginning in California with Proposition 13. steel. ostensibly perhaps the most fiscally conservative governments in modern US history. beginning with the Carter administration. however. increasingly necessary to maintain at least minimum conditions for private sector growth (for example. the growth of state and local governments has even exceeded that of the federal government. During this period the budgetary burdens on state and local governments increased dramatically. because of its growing political unpopularity in the late 1960s). At the same time. according to O’Connor. But the tax burdens imposed on the states and localities have been anything but evenly . According to O’Connor and others. and certainly since the Hoover period. financing capitalist ideological hegemony. Additionally. The Reagan/Bush administrations. despite some momentary setbacks in manufacturing industries (autos. have resulted in a cumulative federal debt of an almost incredible US$3 trillion (FY 1992 Budget Hearings. Alford (1972) and Offe (1972) have argued that modern structural conditions in the capitalist economy have led to the expansion of state functions. the costs of cleaning up the polluted environment. federal funding of state programmes has been drastically reduced under these administrations (Barlett and Steele 1991. Federal spending levels. despite the cost of the South-east Asian war (much of which was deficit financed. as measured in terms of employment as well as taxation. a fact reflected in the decline of both union membership and real wages since 1965. coal) have been skyrocketing. THE FISCAL CRISIS OF THE STATES. maintenance of a repressive apparatus. Lowy 1991). and the like). financing of education. labour has been rendered progressively less powerful.

and this was followed by New York State in 1966. 1985. but were the most urbanised in that region. Oregon. These are the results of the interrelation of political and economic factors. Rhode Island and Maine in 1974) and the District of Columbia introduced lotteries during the span of about four years. the area hit hardest by economic trends (Bluestone and Harrison 1982). Clotfelter and Cook 1989). Missouri and West Virginia) legalised lotteries. Delaware and Ohio in 1973. with military and space installations and pork-barrel projects heading the list. Vermont followed in 1977. . Government’s claims on gambling revenue are a powerful incentive for them to encourage (or allow private operators to encourage) people to participate in all legal games.5 cents from every dollar lost at casinos. In 1984 four more states (Colorado.Gambling cultures 170 distributed. New Hampshire introduced its initially unsuccessful lottery. Legalised commercial gambling is something the general public is coming to accept and in this sense gambling authorisations respond to a real change in public attitudes. Arizona in 1981 and Colorado and Washington in 1982. In the United States. Historically. with another monetary failure. and Illinois. or in the Midwest. the North-east and industrial Midwest have suffered by being consistent exporters of tax revenues to other parts of the country. thus tending to turn the South and South-east into regions receiving disproportionate amounts of federal largesse. they keep from 40 cents to 45 cents of every dollar spent on lottery tickets. Then New Jersey in 1970 and ten other states (Connecticut. But the state’s enormous stake in state lotteries is an irresistible temptation: because the cost to operate a lottery is typically only 8 or 9 cents on the sales dollar. (Southern states because of Baptist religious proscriptions have experienced greater difficulty in legalising any form of gambling. federal taxes extracted from localities and states are not returned on an equitable basis. The recent creation of state lotteries for the first time since the post-revolutionary period (private state-franchised lotteries existed until the Louisiana lottery scandal during the Civil War) marks the entry of the states into the direct business of gambling in order to help resolve this fiscal crisis (Abt et al. From their point of view lotteries offer an ideal economy. While state governments take about 6 cents from every dollar bet at racetracks and about 7. but in states that not only were experiencing high degrees of economic distress. until recently partly to the benefit of the South and South-west (Bluestone and Harrison 1982). a fact critical for our analysis. In 1964. Generally. the de-industrialisation of the North-east and sections of the Midwest. the states have every reason to encourage lottery gambling. and moreover falls as sales rise. bringing the total number of operating state lotteries to thirty-three. the South has been favoured politically mainly because its essentially one-party system has been translated into disproportionate numbers of near-perpetual congressional committee and sub-committee chair membership for Southern congressmen under the seniority system. Pennsylvania and Massachusetts in 1971. of which state lotteries are the pre-eminent example. Note the pattern: the states first to legalise were in the East and North-east. At the same time. Michigan and Maryland in 1972. has eroded the tax base of these regions.) State lotteries have developed strategies aimed at directly influencing bettors to gamble more in order to increase their losses which translates almost directly into state revenues. Yet the economic logic of gambling markets has driven US governments in the direction of authorising price-insensitive games. especially the South and South-east (Bluestone and Harrison 1982). Over the past several years many additional states have instituted lotteries.

000 of these games became embroiled in allegations of conflict of interest between the vendor. The Louisiana lottery (a state franchisee but privately owned) never returned the prizes it promised to the confederacy. This expanding revenue imperative is revealed in the increasing take-out (revenue) rates from both pari-mutuel betting and state-operated lotteries. a video game in which an astronaut looks for buried treasure. giving impetus to state proscription of further lotteries until the 1964 New Hampshire stateowned and -operated lottery. the state seal of approval—to gambling. In September 1982 the AttorneyGeneral of the state of Vermont. however. player-active gambling continues. Texas. when the Lions Club of Ft Calhoun. which can be difficult to control and may threaten the integrity of the sport itself (for example. Nebraska. the Attorney-General of New Jersey ruled that player-operated video bingo. The award of a contract for 3. bars and stores on a trial basis. installed four such machines in taverns under the state’s charitable lottery laws (Abt et al. shortly after New York State’s lottery director announced plans to install video poker and blackjack games in hotels.The role of the state in the expansion and growth of commercial gambling 171 every dollar spent to run a lottery returns four or five in ‘voluntary’ taxes—and then the player’s winnings are taxed into the bargain. the state Attorney-General said the games were of questionable legality and would possibly violate the state constitution. they continue to proscribe popular games. In August 1981. an electronic video gaming device combining the features of non-gambling video games such as Pac-Man. The video devices . and further that there is no constitutional or statutory bar to the incorporation of a consumer-operated video games terminal into the New Jersey lottery. A year later. like Space Invaders or Pac-Man but the outcome of [which] would depend purely on chance’ were ‘within the meaning of Vermont Law…not a lottery. In the case of the latter. ruled that video gaming devices resembling ‘video games of skill. The first use of video lottery devices occurred in August 1983. in the case of lotteries. A recent development is the ‘player activated lottery machine’. the governor signed a bill establishing a Washington state lottery in law. At the same time. on 16 July 1982. The state of Washington became the first jurisdiction specifically to authorise video lottery devices when. by players throwing the game or shaving points) (Smith 1992). In addition. It is therefore not surprising that the states have tendered legitimacy—literally. after reviewing the conflicting opinions of the Attorneys-General of New York and New Jersey. 1985). and a five-digit video game fell within statutory and judicial definitions of slot machines. On 1 March 1983 the governor signed into law a bill prohibiting the use of video gaming devices by the lottery. video poker and blackjack that is an increasingly important feature of Nevada and Atlantic City casinos. Syntech International of Dallas. State lotteries do not necessitate the overhead of a plant such as a racetrack or casino. and so beyond the authority of the lottery commission to operate’ (Abt et al. saying it was critical that in the public’s perception the operations of the lottery remained completely above reproach. The introduction of these video devices into state lotteries has been often delayed by questions about their legality under lottery laws. or ‘PALM’. The evolution of state lotteries from their beginnings as passive annual and monthly games into high-frequency. this has been achieved through changes in the very structure of the lottery games. such as head-to-head sports betting. the states were able to rationalise taking over private illegal lotteries following the debacle of the Louisiana lottery during the eighteenth-century Civil War. 1985:60). and the chairman of the State Lottery Commission.

cars. make lotteries a highly regressive form of taxation.68 per cent of state lottery losses. which offer games and gambling opportunities to suit every taste. in US commercial gambling. For example. and televised drawings featuring film and television celebrities add to the glamorous fantasy that was once exclusive to casino gaming. Recent instances of enormous prizes in lotto games have made state lotteries the greatest purveyors of hope. most importantly. Of all lottery structural characteristics this has been perhaps the most resistant to change. The game appears to utilise a mixture of chance and player skill. to be succeeded by still newer games in a continuous series. from US$1 million for a single $1 to $5 ticket.49 per cent of total household income of the people in the state but contributed 24. Unlike roulette or blackjack or the Kentucky Derby. and new games appear on a regular basis. modern lottery games provide rapid frequency of play. first used in 1975 to process New Jersey’s legal numbers game. Lottery games and prize structures now offer a wide range of odds and pay-out ratios. combined with the predominantly lower income demographics of many major lottery markets. However. Both instant and numbers games allow a considerable degree of player participation. the fact that the ‘game’ is really won or lost as soon as the player activates the machine. Increasingly. and. with the possible exception of video lottery games.000 received 11. The monthly and weekly drawings that were initially the lotteries’ principal games are disappearing from lottery menus. lotteries are still limited in play value in comparison with casino and horse-racing. Novelty is an essential element in their appeal. a study undertaken at the University of Kansas in 1985 found that people with incomes under US$10. but in reality lotteries are games of pure chance and so the machines pay off in a pre-set pattern (or they would not fit the states’ definition of a lottery device). In this way state lotteries substitute for intrinsic play value the constantly changing mix of games that is one of their distinguishing characteristics as well as possibilities of huge pay-offs. This relatively low intrinsic play value has forced lottery operators to adopt a ‘product line’ strategy unique in American commercial gambling. of which the public never seems to tire. On-line computer systems. and in comparing different forms of commercial gambling with sales and excise taxes concluded that lotteries were . as gambling games. have dramatically shortened pay-out intervals. For the most part lottery games remain easy to learn. Like casinos. albeit at astronomical odds. Another characteristic of state lotteries is that their low probability of player win. clothes and other material things lottery winnings can buy. enabling winners to reinvest their winnings in more lottery tickets. commercials emphasise an anti-Protestant ethic which is exemplified in the theme of quitting your job. state lottery games have finite and often quite short lifetimes. the potential high extraction rate because of player/machine interaction. escaping the drudgery of everyday life with an instant win. State lotteries gambling today bears little or no resemblance to the original New Hampshire and New York lotteries. The transformation of lottery gambling has not been total. A new development is in the form of software programs by which the player can remain at home and still play the state lottery game. The problems associated with these devices include their similarity to casino slot machines. Advertisements relate lottery gambling to ordinary life by emphasising the homes. and a number of states have since expressed interest in operating video lotteries. which has been further increased with the introduction of video lottery games.Gambling cultures 172 have proved extremely popular.

It is therefore possible that participation in lottery games is more reflective of the general population than was the case two decades ago. and probably regressive for most income ranges of Pennsylvania’s general population (Spiro 1974:57–61). which have recreational and other consumption values). If so. Economic concentration and the capital mobility associated with this. commercial gambling game) and create a good (lottery gambles. An analysis of the first 14. . are the structural forces that encourage adoption of non-controversial forms of taxation. the instituting of a lottery in a state with relatively up-scale demographics might result in less regressive lottery revenues. including the availability of various commercial gambling games.000 or less. determined from a sample of Pennsylvania lottery winners that in the early 1970s this lottery was. It is clear that the creation and expansion of state lotteries has been essentially a response to fiscal crises faced by the government of states economically disadvantaged as a consequence of society-wide economic and political changes. coupled with political weakness of the North-east and Midwest in the congressional sector of the states’ apparatus.Brinner and Charles T. This statistic may very roughly be compared to the 24.8 per cent of losses contributed by persons with income of US$10. however. In other words.000 or less reported by the Survey Research Centre. Lottery game menus almost certainly appeal to a wider range of the general population than they did in the early 1970s.The role of the state in the expansion and growth of commercial gambling 173 ‘considerably’ more regressive than the sales tax (Abt et al. 1985).3 per cent of claimants were from households with income of US$10. Whether there has been any marked change in the tax incidence of the Eastern and Midwestern state lotteries since the 1970s is problematical. Of all commercial gambling games. is complex: participation rates in different forms of gambling are affected by many variables. a game for small.020 winners in the (November 1982) Washington state lottery shows that 18. in Brinner’s and Clotfelter’s view. the SRC found that only numbers games. lotteries are a regressive tax that produce a social gain (Brinner and Clotfelter 1975:39–41). suggesting that the Washington state lottery may be somewhat less regressive. unsophisticated sports bettors. after reviewing Spiro’s data together with telephone surveys of Connecticut and Massachusetts residents. if losses are considered a voluntary tax. Michael Spiro. highly regressive for the subset of the population who won the lottery. This is due to the fact that lower-income people play the lottery disproportionately more than upper-income people. an economist. The question. including state lotteries. and sports cards. similarly conclude that state lotteries are a ‘particularly inequitable revenue base’ in as much as ‘the revenue collected constitutes a regressive tax [that] is all the more objectionable in light of the fact that many states appear to have adopted lotteries rather than implementing or expanding progressive income taxes’. were even worse gambles in terms of odds and prices than state lotteries. A number of other professional studies have arrived at similar conclusions. These negative tax considerations are offset. advertising. historically played by the inner-city poor.Clotfelter. by their social value: lotteries simultaneously impose a tax (the inevitable losses players incur at this high-takeout. and also performing their own analysis of 108 Massachusetts lottery winners between 1972 and 1974. Roger E. accessibility and cultural legitimacy or acceptance.

Gambling cultures 174 This relationship. but the direction of change was the same. was patronised by the upper classes. gambling house operators—into illegal but profitable syndicates. a pattern in which anyone wishing to do business was invited to do so specifically by paying for the privilege (Steffens 1948). which swept from power so many of the late nineteenth-century political machines. In many states. ensuring a competitionfree environment for syndicated bookmakers. in their relationship to state and local governments. First. while perhaps most obvious in the recent instance of state lotteries. the syndicates did not attempt to achieve legislation— overall sentiment undoubtedly was opposed—but instead concentrated on mobilising political influence and gaining control over political organisations (Haller 1979). gambling conformed to the direction of major nineteenthcentury social changes in two ways. Numbers games relapsed into a relatively unorganised inner-city game. thereby assuring effective influence over municipal and state governments. numbers games and gambling houses. The syndicates were able to maintain what were. this change evidently did not exhibit such a dramatic peak as occurred in industries engaged in manufacturing/production. the syndicates reflected the normal pattern of corruption in business/government relations in nineteenth-century machine politics. Anti-gambling laws selectively were enforced against non-syndicate operators. government-protected monopolies. race wires. In the gambling industry. a shift from a profession into a business conducted by relatively large-scale organisations. left in their wake blanket gambling prohibitions. in all probability. Second. In exhibiting this pattern. GAMBLING IN THE UNITED STATES: THE NINETEENTHAND TWENTI ETH-CENTUR Y REFORM The history of gambling in the nineteenth century shows the transformation of an industry comprised of private lottery companies and individual gambler-entrepreneurs— riverboat gamblers. The illegality of certain business activities did not differentiate fundamentally these activities from those that were legal. would be strengthened if a comparable case could be made for the legalisation of commercial gambling that occurred primarily during the 1930s. evidently of substantial proportions. New York. in effect. Canfield’s elegant Saratoga Club at Saratoga Springs. such as steel (in ‘the great merger wave’ of 1898–1902). the reforms of the progressive era. the transformation into syndicate form paralleled the changes occurring in many sectors of the economy. only eventually to be reorganised and placed on a sound financial footing by bootleggers made . Nineteenth-century state and local government was mostly a system in which entrepreneurs purchased franchises to operate from machine-connected politicians whose principal function otherwise was order maintenance at relatively low cost among their ordinary constituents—often immigrants who spoke only their native language and who were in need of jobs and other economic emoluments. however. bookmakers. Growth from a dispersed service conducted by individuals to an organised industry was a response to a ‘natural’ demand. and the Metropolitan Turf Association of bookmakers formed upon the demise of pari-mutuel betting at New York tracks in 1988 became a respected business serving a clientele drawn from all social strata. Facing gambling prohibition. it merely drove up the cost of operating (Findlay 1986).

Economic collapse made a mockery of such homilies. and other depression-induced costs incurred by government. reflecting the high point of organised moral indignation rooted in small-town. cash hand-outs. Non-ascetic forms of mass culture—jazz. private charities (churches. were closed. settlement houses). The leading novelists of the period—Sinclair Lewis. The weakening of the Protestant ethic is evident not only in the accounts of those affected by the depression—in one way or another almost everyone—but in objective indicators such as the decline in church attendance (Hofstadter et al. even the affluence. Thus reform. 1957:628–42). First. Thomas Wolfe. gambling faced the choice of either ceasing to exist or going underground.The role of the state in the expansion and growth of commercial gambling 175 wealthy through the 1919 Volstead Act that supplemented the ‘Prohibition’ (Eighteenth) Amendment outlawing intoxicating liquor. smoking—began to transform urban middle-class life. that sacrifice today begets the security. the enactment of social security legislation (including creation of categories designating welfare eligibility). resulting in the fact that between 1900 and the First World War some ninety-five racetracks. but with the states participating in important ways. on the one hand. the economic havoc itself challenged what was most fundamental to the work-orientated side of the Protestant ethic. middle-class. Culturally. puritanical Protestantism.Scott Fitzgerald—found a new market writing about the contrast between the stultifying (and often hypocritical) Protestant culture of the small town and the freedom and exhilaration of the emerging mass culture of the city. The immediate recovery programmes created under Roosevelt’s administration. an informal dole distributed through the political machines: access to jobs. creation of an array of regulatory agencies. This system was a patchwork of. expanded the climate for acceptance and legalisation of gambling in two ways. flappers. The consequence of the massive overloading of this ‘charitable’ system and the subsequent political threat to the very foundations of the system (or at least the belief that it was threatened) was the nationalisation of the local social security function. Gambling. Second. the depression ran so deep and was so catastrophic that it destroyed the existing network of social security. the central event of the period was the start of the breakdown of the Protestant morality. Like other vices. too. Bookmaking remained a major commercial business but was driven underground. It was the first significant manifestation of the fiscal crisis of the state in the twentieth-century United States. one cultural. emoluments in kind (the traditional Christmas turkey). taxi-dance halls and the Charleston. soup kitchens. felt the wrath of these crusaders. the principle that hard work and saving receives its reward. the other economic. of tomorrow. and on the other. With the reform movement. F. created a sudden massive fiscal demand on the federal Treasury that had no precedent. The depression of the thirties. following this weakening of cultural values. The roaring twenties and the Great Depression The period between the two great wars was one in which the two conditions basic to the modern legal commercial gambling industries first appeared. which had been financially dependent on fees charged to bookmakers for the privilege of taking bets on the racetrack grounds. achieved its greatest triumph in the passage of the Volstead Act in 1919. The . it flourished so long as it could be accommodated within the political machine system.

were excluded from all legal gambling activities—gained control of the legislature and in 1909. pari-mutuel wagering was legal in over two-thirds of the states and available to almost three-quarters of the population at almost 200 horse and other racing tracks.Gambling cultures 176 age of ‘entitlement programmes’ had begun. and the practical effects of the reform law were to deprive the state of its former licence fees and to attract large . which increased enormously during the period. labour following the Stock Market crash was driven almost entirely into the public sector for relief. Today many of these programmes are funded by the individual states. Beginning with Maryland in 1920 and Louisiana and Illinois in 1926 and 1927 respectively. One line of response to this was the legalisation of gambling as a revenue measure. Offe 1972). five years after Nevada was admitted to the Union. Gambling continued as an illicit business. commercial gambling was made a felony and betting declared a misdemeanour. incidentally. Except for the public and private forms of social security created during the New Deal. By the early 1980s. the legislature enacted a law generally legalising gambling. especially among the urban unemployed and farmers. The concentration of American industry continued during the 1920s while labour stood still politically and organisationally. A reform movement sponsored particularly by women— who. During the next forty years. As might be expected. is of special interest in this regard because it illustrates the interplay of cultural values. To this must be added the social cost of law and order. The unprecedented expansion and concentration of American businesses during the 1920s. albeit small in scope. through measures intended both to regenerate the economy and to establish its badly weakened legitimacy. declining gold and silver production had resulted in a shift of economic and political power away from mining interests to farmers working Nevada’s river valleys. and was legal in over two-thirds of the states and available to almost threequarters of the population. However. in funding the category of general relief. the prohibitions did not reduce gambling. business interests. The fiscal needs of the states were generated by the necessity of raising capital. producing gross ontrack gambling of approximately US$14 billion. and in New Jersey in 1976. This shifts the burden from the federal to the state governments. but the states were required to participate in various ways as well. The legalisation of casino gambling in Nevada in 1931. gambling was a legitimate business. as distinct from the special federal categories. conducted by licensed private operators. primarily in mining-town saloons and gambling halls. hence the new fiscal crisis of the state. over the veto of Governor Blasdel. resulting in player losses of almost US$4 billion. the burden of which fell mostly on state and local governments (O’Connor 1973. as well as many OTB outlets. this law proved impossible to enforce effectively. From the 1880s to the turn of the century. succeeded in enacting a comprehensive prohibition of commercial gambling. When the Nevada Territory was formed. however. had the effect of multiplying the power of capital over labour (O’Connor 1973). coupled with the state/private sector repression of labour that began long before the First World War culminating in the ‘Palmer Raids’ just following it. and the urgency of the fiscal needs of the state. even though gambling was clearly a fact of Nevada life. By 1990 attendance at these events was over 100 million. a wave of pari mutuel swept the country. for example. and in 1869. including union pension funds and the like. Much of this was federal.

Shortly thereafter and under new management. heavy losses forced Seigel to shut down the operation. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and the Union Pacific Railroad entering the field of gaming. the tourist industry that would prove to be the mainstay of the state’s economy had begun. on the basis of a profile of prospective customers developed by a research firm. After gaining interests in small Las Vegas clubs. These establishments. the Dunes and the Tropicana. the business founded by William R. Seigel’s ‘partners’ were distressed enough to remove him from control of their hotel by means of an assassin’s bullets. After 1931. they were not the only ones drawn to Nevada for this purpose. but to take advantage of Nevada’s easy marriage and divorce laws as well. Although as legitimate businessmen Smith and Harrah brought a new respectability to casino gaming. the working-class Nevadans who had patronised illegal gambling dens during prohibition were joined by wealthy tourists from California and other states who came not only to gamble. and when the hotel and casino reopened a few months later. it continued to lose money. The immediate effect of the 1931 law was to legitimate existing illegal gambling operations and to convert the protection money paid by illegal operators to licence fees and taxes paid by responsible businessmen. . Harrah opened his casino next door to Harold’s Club and. When the casino first opened in 1946. Further. Just as Harold’s Club was the prototype of the modern Nevada casino. and in 1931 general commercial gambling was once again legalised despite the objections of reform groups. boasting such resort-hotel-casino complexes as the Desert Inn. providing a brightly lit and colourful casino with low stakes for small bettors and offering free transportation home for players who went broke at the tables. The casino business was now answerable to the Securities and Exchange Commission and to the stockholders of the corporation. the onset of the depression made the state’s need for funds acute.Smith opened Harold’s Club in Reno. casinos began to take on the image of just another kind of corporate business (Eadington 1982). all following the Flamingo style of self-contained resort.Harrah in 1946 was the first example of the state’s diversified casino resort corporations. he marketed casino gaming to potential gamblers of modest means by providing bus service to thirty-one neighbouring cities. The Corporate Gaming Acts of 1967 and 1969 further legitimated the casino industry.The role of the state in the expansion and growth of commercial gambling 177 numbers of underworld figures skilled in bribery and the operation of illegal gambling to Nevada. the Flamingo became a success and in less than a decade the fabled Las Vegas strip was born. against all the laws of gambling probabilities. Prohibition was an obvious failure. were the prototypes for modern casino operation (Findlay 1986:163–4). Benjamin ‘Bugsy’ Seigel invested nearly US$6 million of underworld money to build the Flamingo Hotel-Casino 7 miles from the centre of town on the highway to Los Angeles. Casino operators were quick to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the legislature. By allowing major publicly held corporations to have an interest in casino gaming. the Stardust. the Act served to make the industry less vulnerable to arbitrary attacks from the federal government. Thus. With Holiday Inn. most of them in California. Furthermore. public records and stockholder reports held the gambling enterprises just as accountable. Legalisation changed the character of Nevada gaming. In 1937 Raymond I.

Atlantic City had skidded to the status of decayed resort. It was hoped that legalising gambling could be part of a larger pattern of converting vice into a source of state revenue (Mahon 1980). In other words. Ultimately. There is little constraint. Proposed legislation for video lottery machines in taverns often allows 25 per cent to go to the store-keepers. invested heavily in Atlantic City property and backed the casino gaming referendum of 1976 (Mahon 1980). and in terms of gross revenues the bet certainly paid off. The primary stimuli for establishing the two industries that were to dominate legal American commercial gambling for nearly half a century were clearly the revenue needs of the state. over lottery advertising. State governments set their own regulations of pay-offs.Gambling cultures 178 In 1974 and again in 1976. These conventions are largely a result of political and industry considerations as to what will keep everyone happy and not kill the goose that lays the golden egg. like taxes on alcohol and tobacco. Some states allow at least 1 per cent of revenues for advertising. A relatively obscure corporation. however. in concert. this has been an extraordinary tax. these privilege taxes are extracted from gamblers rather than operators and are examples of sumptuary taxation. of commercialising ‘sin and deviance’. generally percentages of handle from racetracks and of gross win from casinos. private enterprise was allowed to conduct commercial gambling in exchange for a revenue contribution over and above the normal tax liabilities incurred by other profitable businesses. Like other legitimate businesses. of course. It is a little like the fox guarding the hen house. Both were clearly fiscal measures enacted . celebrities and mobsters during the first half of the twentieth century. as levies on gross gambling. Casinos were not really new to the city—the Bath and Turf Club. Once nicknamed ‘the Queen of Resorts’. In addition. Resorts banked heavily on the successful legalisation of casino gaming. This extraordinary claim on gambler revenues by the states became a justification for aggressively transforming previously proscribed activities— that is. state governments imposed gambling privilege taxes. with the always-present commercial interests of the gambling establishments. the Pennsylvania state lottery buys more advertising in the media than any other commercial enterprise in the state. From the beginning. racetracks and casinos were subject to both federal and state income tax. Generally states return 5 per cent of their share of lottery sales (usually the state’s share is 50 per cent) to local vendors. these costs are extracted from the bettors. for example. however. of course. Resorts International (once the Mary Carter Paint Company) which operated gambling casinos in the Bahamas. The state enfranchises privately owned and operated parimutuel betting and casino gaming industries to conduct commercial gambling on the condition that the government derive ‘reasonable’ revenue from this newly decriminalised activity. control over percentages allowed for advertising and money paid to lottery outlets and vendors. CONCLUSION The events of the 1930s and the 1970s can be seen to exhibit a parallel in at least some respects with regard to gambling legalisation. Theoretically. and other establishments attracted high-rollers. the Millionaires Club. casino gambling was brought before the voters of New Jersey as a proposed cure for the ailing tourist business and state economy.

while undergoing a complicated history. Until the twentieth century and the Great Depression. The range of ills attributed to this single activity was truly impressive. can . illegal numbers and bookmaking of earlier generations satisfied what might be termed the naturally occurring or (in British legal usage) ‘unstimulated’ demand for gambling activities. transformation of capital created a fiscal crisis that was experienced as particularly acute by many states during the two periods of the 1930s and the 1970s. Nowhere is this clearer than in the government monopoly over legal gambling. Beginning with the depression. From colonial times to the depression. Gambling was blamed for corrupting morals. Church and community. This trend. Even the rationalisation of gambling services in the nineteenth century was not much more than an attempt to supply an indigenously occurring demand (Findlay 1986). Spontaneous gambling constitutes true. but as a positively valuable activity. Gambling was perceived as impairing the work ethic and weakening the Puritan values of thrift and industry that are supposedly the foundation of American capitalism. It was seen as a destroyer of the bonds of social cohesion of family. gambling was defined as deviant. voluntary. coupled with modern gambling technology and the authority of the states. The geographically isolated racetracks.The role of the state in the expansion and growth of commercial gambling 179 in times of crisis or great strain on the budget of the states. the state could afford generally to prohibit or proscribe gambling and support existing cultural assumptions. and is therefore a self-limiting leisure activity. non-obsessive play. but places them in a position whereby the inevitable need to consistently increase losses leads them to create a range of practices intended to revalue gambling not only as acceptable. There are natural limits to the losses that are generated from such spontaneous and unstimulated gambling as people stop playing and return to their everyday worlds. the growth of labour unrest and the Second World War. Gambling in this condition remains a safety valve. and those who engaged in it were labelled as sinners. along with the weakening of traditional cultural values. a violation of the Protestant ethic. For example. It corrupted branches of government. These efforts amount to nothing less than a radical transformation of the original meaning of gambling into an institutionalised activity. it has been possible for commercial operators to erase the natural limits of losses imposed by spontaneous play and to effect wholesale changes in behaviours. Over this span of time and for the first time in history. despite the Reagan/Bush years of deregulation and so-called privatisation of the economy. supported the shift of power that determined the shape and dimension of the shift of gambling markets from consumer-directed to supplier-manipulated. State lotteries not only allow the states to extract a much larger percentage on the total amount gambled. The consequence of this is indeed momentous. The ever-increasing fiscal needs of the states have led them into a direct and expanding involvement in the economy. both were periods of a weakening of basic cultural values and of the expansion and concentration of capital in new forms. if lotteries are found in practice to extract revenues at too slow a rate. The small-scale and ambiguous legal status of the gambling operations of earlier generations tended to resolve this conflict in the player’s favour. Gambling was an asocial act. the wide geographical dispersion and large scale of lottery operations. a special-occasion activity. and then for the states themselves to institute and centralise one major form of gambling (lotteries) on a massive scale. however.

lose. (1986) ‘For whom the bell tolls: is the closing of Liberty Bell a death-knell for harness tracks?’. the current policy of ‘selective decriminalisation’ of various forms of gambling seems less understandable in terms of any ground-swelling of popular opinion or demand for these games than as the direct result of the political needs of the state itself. and Smith. M. Governments in the United States cannot expect to create new capital by redistributing existing wealth in the form of state lotteries. V. Mead. (1984) ‘Gambling.) Stress and Contradiction in Modern Capitalism. there are limits to gambling revenues and society’s reliance upon them. Smith. J. (1972) ‘Paradigms of relations between state and society’. Abt. In recent years legislation has been introduced in many fiscally stressed states to expand legal gambling and include small games of chance and video lottery terminals in local bars. J. the misunderstood sport: a problem in social definition’. Lawrence: University of Kansas Press. Clearly. V. Hoof Beats 55(2):48–55. The problems of creating real economic opportunities for people through a combination of their own hard work and government investment in new capitalproducing infrastructures has been ignored in the growing reliance on ‘luck’. in L. Finally. while those games which are less amenable to these transformations are still largely proscribed. The state has encouraged player losses rather than attempting to minimise and control gambling. Alford. Smith. V. B. in editing and compiling bibliographical material for this chapter. New York: Dodd. The play element is being denigrated and commercial forms of gambling guarantee that the players. and even created. NOTE 1 The author would like to acknowledge the help of her student research assistant. These radical changes in the nature of gambling games and gambling situations have occurred in direct response to the revenue needs of the state and not to any constitutional demand for the individual’s ‘right to gamble’ at the games of his or her choice at the cheapest price. E. B. Barlett. New York: Basic Books. Leisure Sciences 6(2):205–20. R.Lindberg (ed. The transformation of gambling in America continues. .. (1991) ‘America: what went wrong?’ The Philadelphia Inquirer (22–28 Oct. telephone gambling and credit-card lotteries which can be player-activated at home by a normal computer (Le Fleur 1984:12).. D. and McGurrin. MA: Heath. (1982) The Deindustrialization of America. (1938) Sucker’s Progress: An Informal History of Gambling in America from the Colonies in Canfleld. J. H. BIBLIOGRAPHY Abt. Abt.Gambling cultures 180 rapidly and easily alter the games’ characteristics to stimulate gambling behaviour that produces larger losses. Asbury. Bluestone. and Harrison. new markets of gamblers. as a group. (1985) The Business of Risk: Commercial Gambling in Mainstream America. and hence larger lottery revenues. Lexington. ‘chance’ and unearned ‘windfall’ profits. J. The larger. lotteries have become more competitive and have attracted. and Steele. Ever since the advent of the fiscally unsuccessful 1964 New Hampshire lottery. Steve Shmukler. more centralised forms of gambling are being commercialised and institutionalised. and Christiansen.):R1–R40.

9B in ‘90’. Reno: University of Nevada Press. (1978) Man. Weber. C. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Brown. New York: Scribner. Boston: Little. Nevada Review of Business and Economics 6(1):13–22. House Appropriations Committee (Feb.M. Spiro. Callois. D. Le Fleur. NJ: Prentice-Hall.. M. J. (1989) Selling Hope: State Lotteries in America.) 1991:32–43. fancy and organized crime’. and Thompson. Mahon. Focus (1984) ‘Marketing studies. Englewood Cliffs. Reuter. ——(1991b) ‘Gaming operators win record $25. Gaming Business Magazine (June): 11–12. Focus (25 Jan.The role of the state in the expansion and growth of commercial gambling 181 Brinner. M. New York: St Martin’s Press. New York: Praeger. Smith. W. M. J. (1991) Director of Management and Budget (OMB) Testimony. teamwork help make L G & K big lottery winner’. and Aaron. W. New York: Random House. Work and Leisure: A Study Across Three Areas. Journal of Gambling Studies 8(4):331–50. P. Steffens. The Public Interest 53:45– 67. Downes. and Cook. (1983) The Gambling Scene: Why People Gamble. Darman. IL: Charles C. and Stones. T. David. (1986) People of Chance. I.):24–6. Findlay. Christiansen. (1930) The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. MA: Harvard University Press. Offe. (1974) ‘On the tax incidence of the Pennsylvania lottery’. New York: Oxford University Press.. O’Connor. R. M. (1979) ‘The changing structure of American gambling in the twentieth century’. and Rubenstein. Martinez. W.P. Davies. E. (1978) ‘Fact. Dombrink. J. (1973) The Fiscal Crisis of the State. P. R. New York: Peter Smith. Play. L. (1990) The Last Resort: Success and Failure in Campaigns for Casinos. Lowy. National Tax Journal 23(1):74–82. (1992) ‘Sucker bet or sure thing: a critical analysis of sports lotteries’. Haller. Journal of Social Issues 35(3):87–114. (1957) The United States: The History of a Republic. National Tax Journal 28(4):355–404. J. Cambridge. C. R. Gaming and Wagering Business (July): 32–43. R. and Games. (1972) ‘Political authorities and class structures: an analysis of late capitalist societies’.. G. (1978) House of Cards: Legalization and Control of Casino Gambling. Springfield. (1982) ‘The evolution of corporate gambling in Nevada’. J. (1980) The Company that Bought the Boardwalk: A Reporter’s Story of How Resorts International Came to Atlantic City. ([1904] 1948) The Shame of the Cities. D. (1976) Gambling. International Journal of Sociology 2:73–108. G. . (1991) High Rollers: Inside the Savings and Loan Debacle. Miller. Gaming and Wagering Business (Aug. (1991a) ‘US gaming and handle up 14% in ‘90’.E. Eadington. P. Skolnick. M. C. B. Hofstadter. (1975) ‘An economic appraisal of state lotteries’. and Clotfelter.). Clotfelter. New York: Schocken Books.Thomas. (1984) ‘The VLT phenomenon’.

their buildings or extensions. It is not so difficult to name the winner. and in particular the regulations and ambivalent attitudes that went with it. and combined worldly greed with religious causes. almshouses. culminating in 1636 in an hysterical frenzy—trade had degenerated into unbridled gambling. Raging. Gaming in various forms had long before then found fertile soil in the prosperous Low Countries. hospices and other charitable institutions had the lotteries to thank for their foundation. especially prizes of silver. and that the purloining of the master’s silver is but the inevitable consequence when the servant takes to purchasing in the Staats Loterij…. and a means of engaging in cultural politics as well as entertainment. Many churches. especially. everybody is pretty sure to win…. commercial interests. conviviality and entertainment provided an inextricable knot of motives and controversies. charity. (Dickens 1858:156) Charles Dickens lamented the flourishing trade in lottery tickets in nineteenth-century Amsterdam. I am told the ruin begotten of this among these classes (servants. which had been shaped by both mercantile capitalism and Calvinistic morality. sin. The boundaries between unsystematic gambling and organised stock-market trade were rather vague at the time. In a remarkable way. small traders. The burghers also indulged in exclusive lotteries. from which a picture emerges of widespread involvement in speculation and lotteries. is more than a stranger can conceive.11 A SIGN OF THE TIMES The political culture of gaming in the Netherlands Sytze Kingma1 The Staats Loterij Fever is raging. crime. and want of its own children. when the Dutch Republic of the Seven United Provinces was a leading country in the capitalist world—Schama (1987) provides an extensive treatment of the preoccupation with money. The Dutch upper class also expressed their concern about the gaming habits of ordinary citizens and advocated the discontinuance of the state lottery. Financial gain. These were characteristic of the Dutch Republic. indeed. dominated by affluent burghers. everybody is hoping and fearing. these factors came together in speculation on tulips. and lotteries were organised in order to raise funds for urban prestige projects and for wars. and draws a snug little income from the odious traffic. draws it from the idleness. In his study of the Golden Age—the seventeenth century. for everybody is buying. . The tension between a religious attitude to life and a capitalistic existence characterised the cultural climate and cultural politics of the time. For the Royal State Lottery wins. little boys). These lotteries provided the rich both with an opportunity to win scarce and precious goods. Enterprises such as these provided assistance in times of regional or local disasters.

But before they embarked upon the civilising activities of the nineteenth century—aimed at factory discipline and stimulating regular life in working-class families through a campaign against. which previously had been the responsibility of private initiative and charities (including gaming). In the eyes of Fokker. among other things. With their interest in lotteries the emerging bourgeoisie had ironically been at the basis of Dutch organised gaming. It is significant that one of his reasons for considering the state lottery to be harmful was that towards the end of the eighteenth century it had become more and more geared to the participation of the working class. In the Netherlands. The history of gaming in the Netherlands can be regarded as a three-phase development. During the nineteenth century the upper class changed from initiators. (Fokker 1862:62)2 But Fokker himself overemphasised the moral motives for participating in earlier lotteries and was unremitting in providing arguments for the discontinuance of the state lottery. prostitution and gambling—the upper class. With the industrialisation of the Netherlands.1) and led an irregular and illegal existence until well into the 1970s. this role was played by an aristocratic elite (relatively absent in the Netherlands) who indulged in less instrumental and more exclusive forms of casino gaming. social welfare. In France and Germany. organisers and participants to opponents of lotteries. but by the furtherance of a cause both beneficial and agreeable in the eyes of God. which is in no way able to resist temptation’ (Fokker 1864:26). casino gaming was introduced much later. who strongly adhered to the Protestant work ethic. to a greater extent became organised collectively and a generalised tax was introduced to guarantee continuity of income. In a precursor of the modern welfare state. alcohol. . this meant ‘speculation on the lusts and passions of an unthinking multitude. dignitaries foresaw the rise of a vast and potentially dangerous army of wage labourers. instigated by sobriety and charitable causes. first deprived themselves of these pleasures. The first phase was the period of mercantile capitalism and early state formation of a Protestant federalistic state from the Middle Ages to 1813.A sign of the times 183 These were the good times of Dutch lotteries. where those who participated were not driven primarily or solely by pecuniary gain. in the seaside resort of Scheveningen (Figure 11. at the beginning of the twentieth century. as had already occurred in England (de Swaan 1988).

This phase lasted until the Second World War. This period saw the rise of organised lotteries. 1990 Gaming had a strong commercial function. gaming will be perceived from three perspectives: it will be related to processes of state formation and civilising. After the Second World War. when gaming gradually became embedded in industrial capitalism and a democratic state.3 First. A systematic fight against and the regulation of all publicly organised gaming from a moral point of view was initiated in this period. This chapter offers a historical-sociological analysis of the modern gaming sector in the Netherlands. which came to be valued positively as entertainment and which increasingly was exploited commercially.Gambling cultures 184 Figure 11.1 Distribution of casinos in the Netherlands. which will be related to its socio-cultural. The second phase took shape during the nineteenth century. Cultural functions remained dominant in gaming. as far as lotteries were concerned—other gambling was organised in an undifferentiated manner and was mainly regulated to ensure public order—even though this function was hardly distinguishable from political and social objectives and objectives related to entertainment. and of class formation and emancipation. of economy formation and commercialisation. a slow development set in towards the legalisation. the chapter will examine the subjection of gaming to state control and its separation as a ‘cultural sector’ . On a general level. political and economic contexts. Gaming came to be valued negatively in cultural terms. which marked the establishment of centralised government authority. The third phase is the development of a permissive gaming culture in the welfare state. liberalisation and differentiation of gaming. tightly interwoven within an international context. with the introduction of the state lottery in 1726.

who were widely supported by the petit bourgeoisie. however. were banned completely by an extension of penal statute (van Poelje et al. of collective action and everyday life. Gaming proceeds were to be donated to charitable causes or to public welfare. but were more concerned with possible abuses in exploitation and the potentially harmful consequences for players and their families. 1962). Their policies were guided by fundamental Protestant principles.A sign of the times 185 in the first half of the twentieth century. Where gaming was still permitted. The Confessionals held the opinion that the state had a God-given responsibility for the morality of citizens. Lotteries remained legal in the Lottery Act of 1905 but were subjected to stringent conditions. which was aimed at: distinguishing between ‘dangerous’ and ‘innocent’ games. Initially. Charity and public welfare were seen as strategies for restraining the interests of operators and the motive to play. the functional relation of gaming with public welfare and charity had been reversed. At the beginning of the twentieth century. They condemned gaming as immoral and wanted to go much further in the fight against gaming than the Liberals. with the exception of the state lottery. Gaming was shaped by changing forces of incriminating morality and economic gain. instead of the main reasons for organised gaming. of state government and local autonomy. they had to retain the support of gamblers. although they considered gambling economically unproductive. They considered it to be government’s responsibility primarily to channel the community’s passion for gaming. Towards the end of the nineteenth century. This was characterised by a formal standardisation of gaming and by controlling market forces through state regulation. They also recognised that it was impossible to ban gaming because it was widely accepted as an intrinsic aspect of human nature. the lower middle classes. as a result of which restrictions varied between games and between severe or lenient sanctions. They used to their advantage the democratising system based on party politics. Politically. a policy which was targeted neither at laissez-faire nor at a total ban. In 1911 ‘games of hazard’ in gambling houses and on racecourses. . restricting commercial exploitation. GAMING CONTROL The modernisation of the Netherlands in the second half of the nineteenth century brought about a new policy concerning gaming. In addition. Then it will consider the remarkable expansion. legitimation and commercialisation of gaming within its ‘postmodern’ context. They did not consider gaming itself to be irrational. In comparison with earlier policies. cash prizes were prohibited. there would be three draws per year and a restricted number of tickets available. and restraining motives of personal gain in the players. private commercial exploitation of gaming was prohibited. which were considered to be socially dangerous. the Liberals lost their power to the Confessionals (Protestants and Catholics). These principles were the foundation for the first Dutch gaming legislation. Liberals were in the majority in the parliamentary democracy which they founded after 1848 (Holthoon 1985. Stuurman 1983). a waste of money and time. But they had to admit that gaming as it existed could not be reversed in an instant. Lottery tickets were to be sold for fixed prices. the Confessionals formed the basis for a policy of standardising game norms. the State Lottery Act of 1885.

sobriety.4 Possibilities for the state lottery were extended because it could not meet the demand (Nederlandse Staatswetten 1964). In social relations the focus shifted from authority to spontaneous solidarity. aimed at sustained economic growth. The state assigned itself a new and leading role. the effectiveness of pillarisation was past its peak and a new era had begun. and in the organisation of socio-economic interests in corporatist bodies. including casinos. and narrowing the gulf between legal opportunities and actual gaming practices as they had developed. all groups fortified their own positions. liberalisation and social emancipation. educational. this objective met with opposition as a result of changing political circumstances and developments in the field of sports.6 Commercial and private exploitation of gaming. In the 1920s and 1930s. as did the Protestants and Catholics. although they also had some objections. especially after a wage explosion in 1963. the fight against gaming remained the prime objective in government policy until the Second World War. charitable and recreational institutions (Therborn 1989). Gaming was primarily judged on the basis of culture and morality. In 1957. Gaming remained illegal. unless the government made an exception. By the time the Gaming Act was enacted. on the contrary. The working classes experienced a steady rise in material living standards. As is often the case in restrictive legislation. Shortly after the war. together with secularisation. this meant repeated and lively ideological debates in Parliament. Adolescents developed self-conscious consumerist lifestyles. The work ethic was challenged. the Dutch Football Association (KNVB) for the first time organised a national football pool. The 1960s brought more leisure. however. gaming law lagged behind social developments. did not lead to the erosion of the system of pillarisation. remained a political taboo.5 Conditions were set for a political culture of prudence. they formed a social and cultural ‘pillar’ organised around collaborative networks of socialistic political. which became an issue in the 1959 elections. Cooperation between political groups. Catholics and Socialists were less strongly opposed to the legalisation of gaming than Protestants. prosperity and commercial entertainment for Dutch citizens. Students. in which the breaking of hierarchic structures of authority and sexuality were major themes. This law was aimed at combining diverse regulations pertaining to various games. which had declined as a result of the prohibition of the totalisator in 1911. and finally the sports totalisator was legalised with the National Sports Totalisator (SNS) as its operator. Fordist-Keynesian policies were implemented. democratisation (on the level of social institutions). full employment. gaming machinery was imported from the United States. the control of inflation and assuring effective consumer demand. discussion and compromise which resulted in administrative alliances with a wide social basis. With a view to the interests of trotting and racing. a totalisator for horse-racing was established in 1948. with a negative perception of the industry. bridging the gap between moral objections and pragmatic arguments. although the legal basis for approved gaming was marginally extended.Gambling cultures 186 Although the government never totally succeeded in controlling gaming by law. intellectuals and feminists led a movement for social emancipation. The Gaming Act of 1964 was a product of this political culture. All lotteries were now allowed to pay out cash prizes. further expanding the gaming market. Also. As regards gaming. resulting in an emphasis on self-control rather . In politics the Socialists gained power.

only 19 per cent of the adult population was in favour of legalisation. rather than a negative view of gambling motives. medical attendants and patients. increases in the number of draws and maximum prizes. Between 1965 and 1975 the state lottery and the sports and horse-racing totalisators realised unprecedented growth. These changes were reflected in relations between employers and employees. Society became more permissive. players were considered to be increasingly responsible for their own behaviour. 31 per cent. Significantly. and in 1971.7 On all fronts. An ideological shift took place in all philosophical schools of thought. parties took up new positions on the left-right polarity. This can be attributed to wide community acceptance. introducing a range of casino games. the police and the public. parents and children. a slight majority of 52 per cent favoured legalisation. the bill passed with a small majority. a coalition of three Confessional parties managed to hold a small majority until in 1980 they merged into one Christian Democratic Party (CDA). regulatory issues. men and women. and attitudes changed towards gaming in politics as well as in public opinion. In addition to the .260 Source: Compiled from various reports *Information not available In politics as well. In 1948. The bill acknowledged the interests of socio-cultural institutions as well as the interests of players. and rising material living standards (Table 11.448 Holland Casinos – – – 142 435 Bank lottery – – 41 80 86 Sports totalisator – 21 114 92 84 Racing/trotting 3 8 24 21 * State lottery 9 15 157 177 207 Totals 12 44 336 512 2. opposition between the progressive modernists and the conservative traditionalists intensified. The possibilities for existing legal games were extended further. the emphasis shifted to a more positive focus on the entertainment value of the game. Wouters 1990). Table 11. Although gaming was still morally disputed. With increasing difficulty. the treatment of the bill was surprisingly pragmatic. with a general trend to liberalisation. In addition to this. public opinion shifted on the legalisation of roulette. In the assessment of the impact of gaming.8 A PERMISSIVE GAMING CULTURE In 1974 the Gaming Act was amended to liberalise and democratise gaming further. and orthodox Protestants and some Socialists firmly adhered to their former stance. lotto and kienen (a form of bingo) for charity. A number of speakers did their best to distinguish ethical arguments from practical. in 1965.1).1 Consumer expenditures on legal gambling (million guilders) 1955 1965 1975 1985 1990 Slot machines – – – – 1. In comparison with debates in Parliament in the preceding period.A sign of the times 187 than on ‘control from above’ (Kapteyn 1980.

From a sociological point of view. no less irnportant are their respective . Casinos were advocated to improve tourist infrastructure.9 Although there was a clearly identifiable trend towards the legalisation of gaming practices.Gambling cultures 188 redefinition of legal gaming. Of greater importance were arguments concerning the commercial interests of the culture industry attached to gaming.10 The integration. With respect to minor games of chance such as kienen. was applied. competition from abroad became a legitimising factor. the stakes were to remain low and a large portion of the proceeds. In this respect. the subjection to state control and subsequent institutionalisation of formal gaming norms can be understood as a process of ‘autonomisation’: the time-spatial separation of a cultural sector with a regulation regime of its own. 60 per cent. and the General Dutch Lottery (ALN/SUFA) had been active for some time with lotteries for charity. the principle of a single licensee. Lotto was administered by the sports totalisator. However. Legalisation and liberalisation of gaming is one major theme in the political culture of gaming. the trek of Dutch players to Belgian casinos and the participation of Dutch players in German lotteries were influential. Different standards for the various games. which were interrelated methodically and with increasing precision (Figure 11. For casinos. Legalisation was also expressly proposed as a means of controlling illegal gaming. gaming still remained controversial and subject to state restrictions.2). welfare institutions and public health. can be attributed to technical differences between the games. had to go to local socio-cultural groups such as clubs and societies. definition and classification of the various elements within the gaming sector occurred simultaneously and is a second major theme in the political culture of gaming. Interest in lotto was primarily associated with sports interests. a state-controlled monopoly.

mechanisms of repression. their sociocultural basis and the political and economic power they have been able to generate. conflicts and ‘moral panics’.2 Gaming legislation in the Netherlands influences: the specific periods and contexts in which the games developed. Together . slot machines and casino games. This general process can be discerned in the development of Dutch lotteries and the Sports Totalisator. With legalisation. while the dynamics of development differ considerably for each game. which experienced accelerated growth in the 1970s and 1980s. games develop at local levels in response to pressure from the market. the state’s aim is repression. then the market grows and interest groups become dependent upon the game. liberalisation and legalisation are simultaneously reproduced within the gaming sector. controlled legalisation follows. In the process. Initially. Typically. This produces a need for centralisation and state control. which results in increasing competition.A sign of the times 189 Figure 11. the general pattern of integration/differentiation for each game follows more or less the same logic of development. If this fails. Similar processes occurred in the cases of bingo.

The game was illegal. following the British example. community centres and pubs. because the game was more frequently and openly played for money. One or two companies imported used jukeboxes. Enterprising businessmen made agreements with local authorities and with owners of pubs where the machines could be placed and with whom they shared the profit.Gambling cultures 190 with their integration in a unifying regime of regulation. after years of opportunistic tolerance. However. local policies . commercial practices were restricted partly as a result of conflicts between operators. However. bingo and slot machines Kienen is a traditional numbers game in Belgium and the southern provinces. which resulted in a remarkable mobility among women players: kien and (later) bingo trips were organised to bingo venues in municipalities with the most lenient prescriptions. which closely resembles kienen. in the early 1970s firm action was undertaken against kienen. By the 1950s. However. In the early 1980s the first bingo halls were established in former cinemas. Despite its illegality. club houses. in 1989. pinball and fruit machines from the United States. The police and the judiciary failed in their resolve to end commercialised kienen. commercial operation was finally legalised. it was considered by local and regional authorities to be an innocent form of public entertainment. but also led to new and sharp distinctions between legal and illegal gaming. who were badly represented on the entertainment market. but local authorities were authorised to issue permits for other gaming machines. 1991). Kienen. the distinctive features of these games were carefully defined vis-à-vis each other. Gaming disturbances broke out everywhere the game appeared. the international game of bingo. As early as the 1930s. Legality and illegality were defined in one and the same process—the one cannot be understood without the other. Slot machines were banned. subject to the ban on games of ‘hazard’. In the 1970s. these machines were a familiar sight all over the country. and breaches were seen as insignificant or were successfully concealed. Nevertheless. The development of the slot-machine market in the same period was somewhat similar to the development of kienen and bingo. not only in the southern provinces. Local policies gradually became more standardised. and because it was being exploited by semi-professional kien-masters and pub owners. usually as a result of competition between operators and police intervention. it was played on an increasing scale in public places such as parish halls. This period of repression preceded legalisation of kienen in 1974. A weakened form of semi-commercial operation was condoned because the law was hard to enforce. Informal clubs discovered the game as a source of income and it suited the preferences of working-class women. in the case of slot machines. Here too. There was considerable variation between local authorities in levels of acceptance and regulation. in which public games were permitted but commercial exploitation was banned. the Catholic region of the Netherlands.11 The rapid spread of coin machines and variations in local policy prompted the national government in 1964 to develop a special provision for gaming machines to protect the youthful public. appeared in the west of the country and was soon found all over the Netherlands. where the game experienced a revival during the 1950s (Kingma 1988. if the process of legalisation not only distinguished between legal game forms. however. people were experimenting with coin machines.

14 In 1977. Casinos were given this special treatment because Parliament was aware of the special status of this form of gaming. which opened its first casino in Zandvoort in 1976. Great Britain. from opening time to closing time. In addition to tourism. In the case of bingo and slot machines. Changes in the environment gave new direction to casino development in which the number of casinos was extended from three to eight. People soon started to change their free games for money with the operator. a casino was opened in Valkenburg. with the risk of further losses’ (Parliament 1971–72:1). and the urge instantly to win back the lost amount. in pubs and in amusement arcades. dealers and keepers united into the Dutch association for the gaming-machine trade (VAN). at times resulting in law suits. the stimulating effect of fellow players and the public. slots paying out in cash were not legalised until 1986. the so-called ‘uprights’. operators of slot machines were allowed to deploy their apparatus in sports canteens. The casino licensee was denied a private commercial interest and placed under the supervision of an independent Casinos Council. Interest in casinos increased among municipal governments attracted by the impetus a casino could give to revitalisation schemes for run-down city centres and the local . The minimum age for players was set at 18 years and they had to carry identification papers.1).A sign of the times 191 continued to vary widely. clubhouses and community centres. there was no lobby or collective action to speak of until 1971 when a number of producers. casino gaming became more popular among the population. continuously. the protagonists of casinos had useful contacts in politics and were strongly supported by the Netherlands tourist industry.13 Casinos Unlike the slot-machine industry. lacked strategic political and economic power. until the judiciary decided in 1969 that slot machines were allowed to pay out only in ‘free games’. under restrictive and carefully defined conditions. casinos had a local and regional everyday attraction for players. Although competition from illegal gaming increased. pub owners and local authorities.12 Chaos in the slot machines market at the time of the 1974 amendment of the Gaming Act led to a new legal provision for slot machines. The National Foundation for the Exploitation of Casino Games (later Holland Casinos). While slot machines were tolerated in anticipation of this legal provision. France and Germany was that the latest international ideas and developments could be implemented. which was followed in 1979 by a casino in Scheveningen— all these places are tourist centres (Figure 11. After a slow start due to confusion about legal prescriptions and some scandals. The slot-machine business continued to expand rapidly in the early 1970s with the introduction of technically advanced fruit machines. is the only licensee for casinos. the slot-machine industry. since the 1980s considerable effort has been put into improving super-vision and professional operation of Holland Casinos. not in cash. An advantage of the late arrival of legal casinos in the Netherlands in comparison with the United States. Casinos were considered to be susceptible to fraud and to have other distinguishing features such as ‘the opportunity to participate. However. and to an even greater extent kienen and bingo. The expansion of machines which paid out in cash led to conflicts between operators. From then on. largely as a result of a rather vague legal definition of ‘gaming machine’.

huge casinos embedded in a wider entertainment industry. however. Bingo had become increasingly commercial. which had to decide whether it was a game of skill or a game of chance. the police raided over 100 gaming dens between 1967 and 1982. However. In 1965 the Supreme Court. there were short-lived experiments with roulette in Scheveningen (Zijlstra 1974). Golden Ten clubs mushroomed. This resulted in practical problems with the onus of proof. operated by organised crime and connected with prostitution and the drug trade (Middelburg 1988. van Duyne et al. Exploitation of slot machines. In the 1960s. use of a ‘hoisting machine’ was tried by the Supreme Court. slot machines in practice were operated on an illegal basis. At first. in a verdict concerning a game called Saturne. By 1987. Illegal gaming often took place in private homes. with a peak in 1981–82. illegal gaming houses were intended for private entertainment. a total of about 140 Golden Ten casinos were known to operate. Illegal gaming and ‘Golden Ten’ More than ever. New developments took the popular American casino style as a role model rather than the chic European casino style—the corporate style of Holland Casinos is best typified as a mix of both. were considered incompatible with Dutch culture. the illegal Club 26 burned down in 1983 and police raided the notorious Club Cabala. when Rotterdam was a candidate for a legal casino. but gangland racketeers became more and more intrusive. another wave of roulette-style games (presented as games of skill) surged over the country. In Rotterdam. From time to time legal debates over games of skill would provide many an entertaining interlude in court. were still organised parallel to the weekly lotto draws of the Sports Totalisator. Illegal city lotteries.Gambling cultures 192 economy. at the beginning of this century and in the 1930s. Indirectly. 1990). For example. this discretion in the application of the law by the judiciary provided a loophole for Golden Ten. Prosecution soon turned out to be extremely labour-intensive and was not pursued on a large scale until 1990. were part of this approach. like those in the United States. forms of street gaming appeared in the big cities. The strategic function of Holland Casinos in the fight against illegality also called for lower wagering thresholds and dismantling of the elitist European casino style. the fight against illegality during the 1980s was an argument for liberalisation. Illegal casinos also flourished during the 1970s. an illegal lottery organisation. ranging from many smallscale venues to one or two bigger casinos (Schalken 1990). In Amsterdam. the ‘City Lottery’.15 Gaming which is on the fringe of legality is a different matter. was dismantled in 1981. the criterion would be based on whether the results of playing the game for the players were seen to be determined by chance or skill. a game introduced in the early 1980s. Illegal gaming was a constant problem. but in practice it is difficult to determine. transferred the criteria from objective game characteristics to subjective gaming behaviour. In theory this seems obvious. and illegal lotteries appeared everywhere. The law provides that chance should determine the outcome of the game. In 1939. similar to gaming in the Chinese community. which also reflected changes in fashion. van der Roer 1989. Here too. In future law suits. and more informal rules of behaviour and dress requirements. in the back room or in the attic. This was in anticipation . The concept of ‘skill’ has been used as an argument to bypass the intentions of the law.

also defined in terms of short-odds versus long-odds games. slot machines and most prominently in Golden Ten.16 Stagflation and pragmatism As a result of the economic recession in the 1970s. informal and weak state controls. more than criminal involvement. made more comprehensive. Vague gaming definitions. with a growing emphasis on active gaming (see Table 11. the growth in gaming turnover stagnated. turnovers started to rise again. The popularity of illegal gaming could be attributed to lenient. and the social and economic opportunities which gaming offered criminals. greater emphasis on market forces. there developed a growing recognition of gaming addiction. it was intensified. At the same time. POSTMODERN GAMING It is significant that. greater time-spatial availability in comparison with legal gaming facilities. pragmatism and self-regulation. while the differentiation of games increased. on the contrary. increased media involvement and international dependency.17 It is estimated that the proportion in market shares between passive and active gaming. However. In the course of the 1980s. improved and differentiated. slot machines. despite growing tolerance towards gaming. particularly in bingo. but the structure of the gaming market had changed considerably. In the 1980s the general trend towards an autonomus and differentiated gaming sector can be discerned: further expansion and liberalisation of gaming together with improved gaming aesthetics. which defined Golden Ten as a game of chance and therefore subject to the Gaming Act. opportunistic policies. By the 1990s it had become clear that controlling illegal gaming through legal competition alone was not sufficient. exploitation methods and public participation. the presence of controversies over illegal gaming signified the increasing subjection of gaming to juridical interpretation. low policing priorities. shifted from two to one in 1970 to one to one in 1987. the scientific study of gaming.1) (Driehuis et al. roulette and betting shops.A sign of the times 193 of a verdict of the Supreme Court in 1991. dominance of a fun ethic and playful involvement in gaming. detailed differentiation in gaming products and detachment of gaming products from specific class-fractions. Moreover. blackjack. 1989). The gaming sector became part of a postmodern consumer culture. Supervision was not slackened. The focus was on ‘hard’. . active gaming—on bingo. juridical interpretation and the problem of illegality marked the transition to legalisation and liberalisation. the illegal exploitation of gaming was considered to be a ‘victimless crime’. The expansion of gaming during the 1980s is characterised by consolidation as well as by broadening of the types of games. and prosecution was intensified. The repressive task of the state retreated to the fringes of the legal gaming sector. Legal ambiguities. But government authority was directed towards the supervision of legal facilities and the protection of players rather than the repression of gaming. it remained the object of government regulation and surveillance. reluctance and discretion in prosecution provided a basis for illegal gaming. more or less in line with developments in consumer expenditure.

not only in politics but also in individual and in group-related lifestyles. Changes in the role of gaming in society took place through a change of gaming itself. More and more players came from the middle classes with relatively modest lifestyles. It should be noted that the pragmatic evaluation of gaming mentioned here did not remove ideological debates over gaming. a reasonable exploitation must be possible. The moralism and idealism of the 1950s and 1960s were replaced by pragmatism. to be operated by the multinational corporation Ladbroke. environmental and peace movements. off-track betting shops. based on the consideration that slot machines may not lead to losses that are damaging to the weaker groups in our society. small families and associations outside collective social formations dominated social life.Gambling cultures 194 An ideological change in the Netherlands around 1980 opened the way for more active gaming. In the political realm. (Parliament 1982–83:3) In the cases of slot machines and betting shops unprecedented levels of commercial exploitation were allowed. In the case of slot machines. consumption. ostentatious consumption and in the cultivation of style. The focus was on technical and economic questions and on matters of feasibility and public order. and a new generation of nouveaux riches no longer scorned such ephemeral pleasures. In this respect the process of growing differentiation in gaming parallels the broader process of social differentiation. The range of lifestyle options expanded. Rather. By 1990 Ladbroke operated seventy-five betting shops throughout the country. controlled or enabled. Others focused on the reinforcement of individual economic wealth (yuppies). Social emancipation increased the public role for women. These developments occurred in the context of aggravated domestic contradictions. sports. Pragmatism showed itself in hedonism. setting their own standards of play. the practice of ideological assessment as well as gaming itself has changed. were introduced to meet the needs of trotting and racing. In 1985. For instance. This situation provided fertile soil for active gaming. First. In particular. stagnating economic growth (stagflation) and the nation’s dependency on the world economy. the . ethnic minorities and gay people. It is the task of government to provide regulation. Some pessimistically rejected the social establishment or looked for alternatives in small communities. gambling is not a universal and fixed category of play that is acted upon. Structural unemployment worsened. Individualistic relationships. Adolescents lost the prospect of an uncomplicated. tourism. it is shaped and changed in a process of societal transformation of which gaming itself is part and parcel. art and entertainment became more important in the lifestyles of the Dutch. ideological oppositions shifted from conservative/ progressive towards idealistic/pragmatic. a shift in which pragmatism gained ground. in order to prevent a flight into illegality. Leisure. The commercial market to an ever greater extent provided for communication and social needs. in 1982–83 debates in Parliament on slot machines paying out in cash and on expanding the number of legal casinos from three to eight were devoid of idealism. prosperous future. responsible members of the government said: Whether or not the government has ethical objections to gambling is not a decisive factor. and the tendency towards levelling of incomes came to an end. while on the other hand.

33 per cent played bingo. the involvement of science and health-care institutions.1 million in 1982 to 3. further departed from its classical definition as a route to fortune in favour of fun and style. but spacious. At the same time gaming is taken somewhat less seriously. as a tree has roots. with the introduction of defined and defining gaming standards.18 This new élan assumed a visual. 52 per cent sometimes played in the state lottery. The growth in active gaming accelerated. professionalisation and liberalisation characterised the development of Dutch gaming in the 1980s. These arcades are no longer out-of-the-way. Holland Casinos and the slotmachine trade. 38 per cent participated in a television lottery. In this conception the role of the state is to set the prerequisites for ‘proper gaming’. Gaming is encountered in more and more social situations. Casino proceeds increased from 72 million to 400 million guilders. and the presentation of lotteries in spectacular television shows. which is contracted out in a similar way to casino operations. has become the focus of evaluations and indirect interventions. increased time-spatial availability and visibility. murky venues. About 10 per cent of the gaming machinery is placed in 130 amusement arcades throughout the Netherlands. The number of casino visits increased from 1. as mediated by players and operators. even if they do not take part in gambling. only 7 per cent of the adult Dutch population had never gambled.A sign of the times 195 legalisation of gaming was both controlled and controlling. Within a very short period the gaming machine industry had become respectable. Players are attracted to gaming venues by the lifestyle. cramped. The latest casinos also are urban pleasure sites built around a specific image. Second. are stressing pleasure and sociability as primary motives for gaming. 15 per cent played on gaming machines and 8 per cent sometimes visited a casino (Becker et al. The only commercial television station in the Netherlands broadcasts Hit Bingo for de Postcode loterij every week and de Staatsloterijshow once a month. in the first place because more people participate in gaming. Increasing autonomy and new dependencies Rapid expansion.000 slot machines outside the casinos. colourful and brightly lit ‘pleasure domes’ in prime localities. In 1990.5 billion guilders. The growing differentiation and autonomy of the gaming sector had several dimensions: growth in numbers. with a turnover of an estimated 1. the pragmatic emphasis has moved from a moral judgement of gaming itself towards judgement of the way gaming is used. The style of gaming and the social consequences of gaming. The most recent developments in the early 1990s include the privatisation of the state lottery. for instance. In part this redefinition (that is. The gaming sector has become integrated with the social . street dimension through the upgrading of amusement arcades. In 1986. Gaming has. The decisive question is less whether ‘to gamble or not to gamble’ and more ‘how to gamble if to gamble’ and ‘how to regulate if to legalise’. with an estimated turnover of some 350 million guilders.000. In 1982 the number of slot machines was estimated at 30. The growing autonomy and independence of the gaming sector has its counter-part in its integration in society. somewhat paradoxically. civilising) of gaming has overcome the ethical objections of former days. there were 75. 1987). use of electronic media and a mass market of consumers. the extension of sports betting and the instant lottery (SNS).2 million in 1990.

Player reflections on gaming can be understood as a further aspect of the sector’s autonomy. gender (women generally play bingo. with the product and regulations. employment and everyday language. With the expansion of the gaming industry in the 1980s. In the 1980s in the Netherlands. The relative dissociation from age. the need for knowledge about the social significance and impact of gaming grew. 1988. experience and common sense no longer suffice. In 1986. the various game forms no longer correspond with homogeneous social categories. Awareness of dangers is often directly related to self-restraint and self-conscious gaming. in this case with respect to public composition. Consumers are more informed about gaming opportunities and their gaming behaviour is supervised to ensure ‘proper gaming’. including business ethics. in so far as scientific research influences gaming policies. Gaming has become more dependent on scientific research for the establishment of gaming norms. market growth and increasing competition. 1988). their behaviour is corrected. most research in gaming is explicitly designed to improve the industry’s sensitivity to the market. Indeed. Instead. criminality and illegality. the gaming industry has introduced methods of scientific management for almost all facets of corporate strategy to deal with players as well as competitors. 62 per cent of the adult population agreed with the statement that ‘gambling is wrong and it can get people in trouble’. Commercial and policy decisions now are based on empirical research and sound theory. This research has influenced the debate on gaming and the validity of arguments. who are associated with criminality and addiction (Hermkens et al. scientific involvement in gaming can be understood as the rational guidance of irrationality. 1991). For example. in 1986–87 a major research project was commissioned by the Casinos Council to investigate the Dutch population’s opinions on gaming. contributing to the national income. Variations in gaming participation indicate that relevant factors are age (players on gaming machines are on the whole younger). Yet gaming remains controversial. which has a tempering effect on behaviour. Scientific understanding of gaming is a form of detached reflection which enables an understanding and knowledge of gaming. men bet on horse-races) and class (roulette players have higher incomes). not only to ensure an orderly game but also to prevent excessive gaming and gaming addiction. gaming participation and gaming addiction (Becker et al. With the increasing popularity of gaming. to guide political decision making or to control the industry’s dark sides—addiction. 92 per cent thought that ‘gambling was potentially dangerous’ (Becker et al. relatively independent of gaming’s actual presence. gender and class reflects the growing cultural distinctiveness of the gaming sector. the disciplining of consumers and operators.Gambling cultures 196 structure of the Netherlands. specific games are associated with specific groups which display their own identity with respect to gaming. If necessary. Kok et al. research was carried out on practically every aspect of gaming. In fact. gaming operators have become more dependent upon consumers and their diversified preferences. the industry or public opinon.19 From this we learn less about the actual dangers of gaming and more about perceived dangers. 1987). Hermkens et al. The . In this respect it is hardly a coincidence that most research is focused on ‘problem players’. In this way power and knowledge are intimately related. aiming for a larger playing public via market segmentation and expansion of the range of products. However. 1987. In many respects. The former reluctance to advertise gaming is waning. The industry encourages this trend.

In the Netherlands. The first Gamblers Anonymous group in the Netherlands was formed in 1981. represents a ‘soft’ form of control and containment of gaming. comparable to other cultural sectors like the media. loss of personal bonds or unemployment—has the potential to become an extreme source of identification and signification. The latest ‘gaming panic’ (of the sort cited in the introduction to this chapter) was perhaps more accurately a concern for criminality stemming from addiction. Another expressed aim was to strive for greater integration of various legislative provisions and co-operation between regulating bodies and operators. bingo is primarily a phenomenon of working-class women. Official registration of gambling addicts increased from 400 in 1986 to 2.500 in 1989. Gaming addiction adds a further dimension to the cultural autonomy of gaming. prompting municipal governments to consider banning slot machines. They appear not only in participation figures. Since 1986.000). the estimated number of gaming addicts (estimates ranging between 20. As a consequence. in 1989 there were sixteen. To complicate matters further. through time. An additional problem was posed by the integration of the European Market in 1992 and the effects on national gaming monopolies. the Dutch government reconsidered the fundamental aims of its gaming policy (Parliament Additionals 1988–89).21 Gaming preferences and playing styles mediate between the opportunities offered by the gaming industry on the one side of the market and the lifestyles of consumers on the other side. assistance given to addicts by welfare and health-care organisations. First. Until 1985 welfare and health organisations in the Netherlands had hardly heard of gaming addiction. are indirectly represented in gaming. in addition to the ‘hard’ control of policing. the preservation of state control over gaming). In 1989 for instance. Accelerated growth and developments in gaming markets have precipitated several policy innovations to achieve more uniformity and coherence for the gaming sector. of the range of class-fractions. For instance. Concerns persisted about the further liberalisation of the market. whereas the casino public is characterised by heterogeneity. and sometimes wild speculation about. but more prominently in the way people gamble. people can more easily be trapped in a subcultural enclave that has become relatively separated from the rest of their daily lives. gaming addiction has become manifest and a point of controversy. Developments at both national and international levels compelled Dutch .20 This separation of gaming from class-fractions is only a tendency.A sign of the times 197 range of gaming products has become increasingly independent. where collective identity is celebrated. space and meaning. an enclave that. casino gaming is primarily a middle-class phenomenon where individuality and difference are celebrated.000 and 200. sports and religion. but they too have become involved in the gaming sector. this relative independence appears in two forms: differentiation between games. like income. through which gaming addicts are resocialised in society. The growing concern over addiction in particular led to controversies over. Second. and heterogeneity within games. under certain circumstances— escapism. not a definite characteristic of gaming.22 The considerable differences in regulatory standards between the twelve countries of the European Community can be ascribed to a common factor: restrictive national policies in which the banning of foreign competition is an integral part. the socio-economic roots of players. The primary objectives remain the regulation of supply and the channelling of demand (in effect. the bingo public is characterised by homogeneity. education and gender.

With growing liberalisation. During the 1980s.Gambling cultures 198 gaming regulators as well as the operators to coordinate and cooperate.23 Some gaming proceeds. they had expanded towards each other’s markets. so that public welfare is perceived in a general. with increasing liberalisation and a precise. taxes) are indirect. Each consecutive phase in this development has been presented as congruous with the preceding one. government authority was used to achieve the controlled legalisation of gaming. The development of cultural autonomy in the gaming sector has been underscored by changes in the connections between gaming and public causes. are put into a mutual fund from which various non-profit organisations receive a share. However. At the same time. and the cultural definition of gaming was changed. the games are virtually independent of motives and legitimations other than gaming-related ones. the development into a postmodern gaming culture in the short run signalled rupture with the moral reserve of the past. In this process. in which gaming was condemned as a moral evil. It served initially as a means of replenishing the Treasury. the degree of autonomous self-management within the gaming sector increased. whereby charity and welfare were regarded as a means to curb the passion for gaming. Gaming served as a means to a public end. . INSTANT PLEASURE Over time. the lottery had become an end in itself. Following market pressures. abstracted sense. legal possibilities in the gaming sector were extended. can be understood both as the submission of all gaming to state control. but by the middle of the nineteenth century the importance of the state lottery as an income source for government had already diminished considerably. The state lottery saw a similar development. The restrictive phase which took shape at the end of the nineteenth century. With these initiatives. rather than a clean break with the past. Betting on horse-races and on football games remains immediately and explicitly linked to specific social interests. such as those from the General Dutch Lottery and Sports Totalisator. this connection is less immediate. state control was applied in a different way. Rather. Proceeds of the state lottery and Holland Casinos go to general government funds. In lotto. an autonomous gaming sector has emerged in the Netherlands with its own regimen of regulation. But more importantly. By the early twentieth century the state lottery was only sustained in order to provide the people with an outlet for their propensity to gamble. tourism. it sped up the long-term process of gaming’s cultural separation and independence. In these cases the connections with societal interests (prestige. Early lotteries were especially designed for the purpose of alleviating social and economic needs. This submission and cultural definition of gaming was not abandoned in the following permissive phase. detailed and differentiated basis for gaming in society. by the beginning of the twentieth century. they became dependent on each other’s support to face possible foreign competition. In casinos and the slotmachine industry. During the 1980s. and as the isolation of gaming in the cultural sphere of social life. the connection to public causes continued to be a crucial aspect in the regulation of gaming. and the number of games and the variations in games increased. increasing the danger of market collisions and the danger of creating demand through fierce competition.

improved gaming aesthetics and the involvement of a diversified mass of consumers. undesirable stimulation of demand and excessive gaming are controlled from the inside of the gaming sector and in advance rather than from the outside and retrospectively. In comparison with other cultural sectors. In . sports or music. Explanations for changes in the makeup of Dutch gaming at each phase of development can be found in the political. professionalisation. the general sociocultural acceptance of gaming and. to the financing of social and cultural institutions and the fighting against illegality—all versions of gaming as a ‘necessary evil’—to a positive evaluation of gaming as entertainment and gaming. Further liberalisation in the 1980s reflected commercial appreciation of the industry. the subjection of gaming in the Netherlands to state control and the simultaneous definition of gaming standards was a process of controlled legalisation. Participation by social groups ranges across the full spectrum of gaming options. as they do across nations. with prescribed gaming standards and expectations of self-control from operators. paradoxically. the shift towards a fun-ethic in gaming. but they have assumed varying degrees of importance and different implications. economic and socio-cultural circumstances of the time. players. The 1974 amendment was a defeat for moralism. or even that it is irreversible: far from it. foul play. for example. Liberalisation can be attributed to rising material living standards. The liberalisation of gaming has been realised through the introduction of safeguards within the gaming sector. Autonomy can be won or lost in social struggles between contradictory interests.A sign of the times 199 The tendency of disconnecting gaming from external social and economic ends can also be seen in the changing justifications given for legalisation from the inherent human propensity to gamble. The tendency towards commercialisation represents only one dimension in the general trend to the cultural autonomy of gaming. The Gaming Act of 1964. not a weaker one. fraud. Furthermore. which are provided on an increasingly omnipresent and continual basis. The cultural separation and control of gaming is related to the rise of industrial capitalism and the intervention of the nation state in the daily lives of the people. All of these arguments have figured in debates on gaming in every historical period. the move towards more distanced and indirect modes of regulation. an emphasis on self-regulation and pragmatism. This is not to say that the autonomy of gaming has reached a final stage. in which gaming itself was changed. The state was able to legalise and liberalise gaming precisely because of its firm control over gaming: the liberalisation of gaming presupposed a stronger state. regulators and even from the judiciary (Wouters 1990). Others concern the increasing differentiation of gaming products. within the gaming sector. the state’s containment and tempering of gaming itself. All of these trends point in the direction of a separate and relatively independent cultural sector. pressures from the illegal gaming market. was basically a moral act and liberalisation was a consequence of concessions to market forces. Theft. the involvement of science and health institutions. shifts in the power basis of party ideologies. In this case. an integral and legitimate element in the economy of pleasure. From a political culture perspective. degrees of autonomy vary considerably for different games. accelerating liberalisation and the cultural acceptance of gaming. the degree of cultural autonomy in gaming is relatively low. such as fashion. reservations about gaming had mostly to do with matters of public order.

because most modern ideologies. however. the stagnation of economic growth in the 1970s (Harvey 1989). identity. gaming can be regarded as a cultivation of money. class emancipation has led to more equal power balances. the boundaries between legal and illegal gaming have been sharply redefined. Money is almost instantly turned into fun. In the most recent phase a new layer has been added: gaming itself is shaped as a consumer product in the economy of pleasure. Second. First. It has to be regarded as far more than a mirror of society. Gaming perfectly meets the standards of postmodern consumption. were opposed to gambling. increasingly autonomous part of society. But also. gaming was considered to be primarily of interest to finance cultural and welfare institutions. lottery draws in spectacular television shows and the instant lottery—also meet most closely the timespace compression as required by capital. at a time when people are judged more than ever according to their spending power and depend greatly on commerce for the creation of lifestyles. It is a trade in illusions.Gambling cultures 200 the process. resulting in policy compromises over class-bound gaming ideologies. to a homogeneous mass culture of gaming. and the spread of commercial entertainment over all social strata. gaming represents more than money fetishism.24 This is not to suggest that the political culture of gaming is implicitly designed to meet the economic requirements of a particular era. The role of the state—in which the cultural independence of gaming can be seen both as the expression of state control and as a constitutive part of state formation itselfcannot be understood irrespective of class emancipation and the commercialisation of culture. the separation of which is a consequence of modernity itself. pleasure and style as the principal sources of meaning and motivation. The most recent developments in gaming in the Netherlands—casino games. Of equal importance. status. It did not lead. slot machines. On the contrary. For players and operators. the growth of the gaming market was realised with and through difference. 2 Fokker was a liberal politician who published a book on the history of the Netherlands state lottery (Fokker 1864). NOTES 1 This chapter is based upon research endowed by the Netherlands Foundation for Scientific Research (NWO). Politics. The forms in which the gaming boom has taken shape are indicative of the way in which today’s consumer culture operates: active consumer participation in the turnover of money. economics and culture. the emphasis has shifted from what was negatively called gambling towards what is positively regarded as leisure and entertainment. are intimately connected. This has led to the development of an affluent mass of consumers and pressures from the market to legalise gaming. was the cultural and economic emancipation of a wide range of social classes. In the field of political representation. Translation of this chapter has been sponsored by the Casinos Council. with the exception of the liberal standpoint. it is of greater relevance to see how these separations and connections are actually realised and contested in practice. hope (and profit to the operators). players no longer immediately risk their livelihoods in gaming. it is a substantial. . Postmodern consumption patterns can be regarded as part of the answer to a crisis of capitalism. Instead of searching for or inferring causalities. as a result of prosperity and social security. In the period of the welfare state.

In his analysis of social development. 11 In a similar manner. and the range of social categories on the other. this ‘autonomisation’ appears as the commodification of culture. the relative autonomy of various leisure practices is not given. 1456. for economic formation. 20 The relative independence of the field of cultural products on one hand. and for social classes. postmodernism should not be equated with a . In the Netherlands. but the game also reacts upon the players. these institutions founded the ALN (General Dutch Lotteries) which initiated a giro lottery and. 10 From a Weberian perspective. 12 VAN: Vereniging Automatenhandel Nederland (Netherlands Association Gaming Machinery Trade). the term ‘gambling’ carries connotations of improper and risky gaming. press releases nos. some old slot machines nowadays find their way to Eastern European countries. 8 Netherlands Institute of Public Opinion. 14 The Foundation was later renamed Holland Casinos. the work of Bourdieu (1984). and which lagged behind internationally. Indeed. In 1970. Lasch (1990). 9 The SUFA (Foundation Executing Fund-raising) is a merger of some private charitable organisations which held a yearly lottery from 1961 onwards. in which players can hardly influence the nature of the game. various leisure practices are understood as temporal-spatial ‘enclaves’. science or religion. a formal and informal vertical segmentation of key interest groups. where players not only play the game. 6 SNS: Stichting de Nationale Sporttotalisator (Foundation National Sports Totalisator). 5 The triple system of pillarisation. Lasch 1990). aesthetics. with particular emphasis on the role of money (Simmel 1907). Weber put as foremost the development of independent spheres (lebensordnungen) of economics. 18 This change is reflected in the title of the gaming machinery trade policy plan for the 1990s. and is contested at all times and places (Kalb and Kingma 1991). each with its own structure of meaning. a bank lottery. the emergence of distinctive. In Simmel’s sociology of culture.A sign of the times 201 3 The theoretical frameworks I have in mind here include: for processes of state formation. 4 KNVB: Koninklijke Nederlands Voetbalbond (Royal Netherlands Soccer League). 15 It was reported that the American Mafia was involved in both these clubs. a minimum duration of 3 seconds per game and a maximum loss of 50 guilders per hour on average. 1988). Bourdieu’s cultural theory (1984) focuses on the notion of ‘fields’. Featherstone (1991) and Giddens (1991). In Elias and Dunning’s sociology of leisure (1986). but hardly considers the historical construction of such fields. the work of Elias (1978. 19 These high percentages may have been influenced by the terms used in the questions. 17 ‘Active’ gaming is distinguished both from passive playing—alea iacta est. a maximum stake of 25 cents per game. as in a poker game (Eco 1990). 13 Prescriptions include: a minimum age for players of 16 years. in 1987 it was called ‘Unknown—unloved’. Another aspect was the necessity for these groups to cooperate politically to address an economy which had suffered from the war and the loss of Dutch colonies. autonomous spheres of social action can be regarded as the key momentum in modernisation processes. the work of Harvey (1989). politics. such as gaming. I prefer to use the term ‘sector’ to indicate a specific set of consumption practices together with a guiding regime of regulation. a limit on the number of machines on the premises (usually two machines are allowed). ‘Towards a respectable branch’. 7 CDA: Christen Democratisch Appel (Christian Democratic Appeal). each domain with a dynamic of its own (cf. 1982). are central to Bourdieu’s theory of cultural distinction (Bourdieu 1984. 16 The debate on postmodernism can be found in Harvey (1989). From this perspective. as in lotteries—and from interactive gaming— ludere alea. 1034. but is historically produced and reproduced. 288. in 1978. is considered to be characteristic of Dutch societal relations in the 1950s.

J. (ed. Wat spiegels betreft. van Duyne. H. This aspect of cultural autonomy intensifies a quest for identity. vol. Fokker. Eco. (1989) The Condition of Postmodernity. Sociology of Sport Journal 5:153–61. C. 22 The European Committee ordered an inventory of national markets (European Committee 1991).L. 23 In this respect it is remarkable that the link between bingo and local cultural institutions has been retained.M. 156–60. Hermkens. Middelburg.A. both on the supply side of the market. P. R. Fast-food products. (1978) The Civilizing Process. (1991) Modernity and Self-identity. van Empel. London: Sage. (ed. (1862) Geschiedenis der loterijen in de Nederlanden. H. Featherstone. Report. BIBLIOGRAPHY Becker. vol. G. Report. ‘flexible accumulation’ would lead to a new phase of growth. in the gaming industry. Assen: Van Gorcum. kansen en bedreigingen’. London and New York: Routledge. 21 With respect to class cultures in gaming.) (1858) ‘Down among the Dutchmen. Report. ——(1988) ‘Program for a sociology of sport’. and Dunning. A. Bourdieu.) (1985) De Nederlandse samenleving sinds 1815.L. but other articles.. G.. Giddens. in the Netherlands only bingo has been the subject of research (Kingma 1988. 24 According to Harvey. (1988) ‘Kansspelen als riskante gewoonte’. in consumption habits. ——(1864) De Nederlandsche Staatsloterij. Elias. W. K. Report. Universiteit Utrecht. low-sugar and low-alcohol products and disposables are examples of this. music or sports.P. N. M. N..Gambling cultures 202 process of ‘de-differentiation’. greater flexibility of the ‘mode of consumption’—not more of the same products. vi’. I. Driehuis. in such a way that bigger and faster turnovers are realised. Bunt. (1989) ‘De nederlandse kansspelmarkt: feiten. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. despite pressure from the market to disconnect them. Cambridge: Polity Press. Kouwenberg. Dickens. Amsterdam: Frederik Muller. E. low-fat. Because they can be virtually consumed without limits. A Weekly Journal. and Romeijn. Arnhem: Gouda Quint. Amsterdam. through ‘time-space compression’: accelerating turnover time of capital. U. cash-and-carry. (1990) ‘Huizinga en het spel’. Economische Statistische Berichten (1982) ‘Themanummer kansspelen’: 1351–78. D.M. J.A. (1990) Misdaadondernemingen. Hermkens. This requires.P. H.. and on the demand side of the market. Harvey. Elias. P.A.C. 1991). with bigger profits.J. II. adaptations of existing products. Universiteit Utrecht. Waardering voor kansspelen’..M. ——(1982) The Civilizing Process. Ondernemende misdadigers.F. Brussels. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. in the lifestyles of the players. and Mutsaers. J. H. Amsterdam: Bert Bakker: 285–303. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. (1984) Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste. ‘immaterial’ products. European Committee (1991) ‘Gambling in the single market’. . M. and van der Pligt. (1986) Quest for Excitement: Sport and Leisure in the Civilizing Process. literature. and Mutsaers. Holthoon. F. Kok. P. Becker. P. changes in the organisation of sales.L. (1987) ‘Deelname aan kansspelen. Household Words. among other things. are admirably suited. but rather as a process in which differentiations and the simultaneous harmonisation of differences—in the sphere of products and the sphere of lifestyles—occur increasingly independently of each other. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.. such as articles in the illusory culture of art. (1991) Consumer Culture and Postmodernism.

Georganiseerde misdaad en strafrechtelijk politiebeleid. Leiden.) The Comparative History of Public Policy. D.F. G. (1990) Casino en illegaliteit. (1988) ‘Bingo en kienen. Therborn. Kalb and S.A.D.C. van der Roer.. Amsterdam: Rodopi. Amsterdam: Rodopi: 123–51. ——(1988. Schalken. van Poelje.G. T.F.Castles (ed.Pijpers). G.V. London: Routledge. 11.L. Zwolle: Tjeenk Willink. in F. Macht en plezier in moderniserend Nederland. C. Amsterdam: De Arbeiderspers.’. Wouters. B. (1987) The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age. (1907) Philosophie des Geldes. Education and Welfare in Europe and the USA in the Modern Era. (1980) Taboe. (1990) Van minnen en sterven. in D. 2. Hermkens. no. and Kingma. A. Cambridge: Polity Press. Macht en plezier in moderniserend Nederland.A sign of the times 203 Kalb. Informalisering van omgangsvormen rond seks en dood.J.Gallast). Parliament Additionals 11 (1988–89) 21.549:1. S.J. 10:3. Volkscultuur: 40–52.277. Arnhem: Gouda Quint. van Wijngaarden. Simmel. Zwolle: Tjeenk Willink.481. (1988) In Care of the State: Health Care. J.J. (1974) Vaar Wel. Report. Scheveningen! Bonte herinneringen aan een badplaats. S. et al. Stuurman. kapitalisme en patriarchaat. Parliament (1971–72) Preliminary Report. (eds) (1991) Fragmenten van vermaak. Bill no. (1983) Verzuiling.Fijnaut. Lochem: van den Brink: 49–80.M. P. ontwikkelingen in macht en moraal speciaal in Nederland. 69 (1964. S. Bill no. London: Polity Press: 192–241. (1989) ‘De miljoenengok van Ger van D. Two variants of welfare state capitalism: the Netherlands and Sweden’. (1962) Nederlands bestuursrecht deel II. Amsterdam: Bert Bakker..A. (1988) De Mafia in Amsterdam. S. P. Schama. R. Amsterdam: De Arbeiderspers.J. Over de structurering van eigentijds vermaak’. Zijlstra. Kingma. Munich and Leipzig: Von Duncken & Humbolt. no. bewerking F. ——(1982–83) Memorandum in Reply. (1991) ‘Determinanten probleemspelers’. I. de Swaan. A. New York: Knopf. in C. S. ——(1991) ‘De legitimiteit van het kienen en bingo of de smaak van de noodzaak’. Nijmegen: SUN. 16. (1989) ‘“Pillarisation” and popular networks. G. G. bewerking H. (1990) Sociology of Postmodernism. Utrecht: VAN. Kapteyn. .Kingma (eds) Fragmenten van vermaak. Middelburg. Nederlandse Staatswetten nr. Lasch. Alphen aan den Rijn: Samson. and van de Wijngaart. Kok.

Later. One explanation for this failure is that the socialisation of the individual has been inadequate: the society has failed in its task. and that the similarities between drug addiction and heavy gambling are overstated. The change from ‘gambling as sin’ to ‘gambling as sick’ was associated with the development of the psychoanalytic perspective on human nature. In particular. However. However. a different kind of explanation is given: that the heavy gambler is ill. and the term ‘compulsive gambler’ is one which is readily understood and widely used in western society. it also attracts criticism and censure in most societies. increasingly. The heavy gambler is seen as a failure by these standards. What is required is a new. their families and their employment. the psychoanalytic view was that over-indulgence in activities such as gambling and drinking (alcohol) should be regarded as examples of mania. At the same time there is a concerted attempt to change the concept of addiction itself. In this chapter. it is argued that this view relies upon a strictly limited interpretation of the evidence. western societies are moving quickly to a recognition of heavy gambling as an addiction. THE MOVE TO VIEW HEAVY GAMBLING AS PATHOLOGICAL Throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. one to classify heavy gambling as an addiction and the second to broaden ‘addiction’ to include heavy gambling. It is claimed that the view that heavy gambling is pathological is recent in origin and changing in character. Initially. in the decade following . Within western cultures. non-medical metaphor. heavy gambling came to be regarded as a compulsion. These two forces. Much of this criticism is directed at the fact that some gamblers continue with the activity to such an extent that it disrupts their lives. that a pathology of gambling as an addiction has not been demonstrated. useful employment. Heavy gambling is not only socially deviant but it is caused by a disease process in the individual. Thus the inadequate metaphor of gambling as compulsive is replaced by another inadequate metaphor of gambling as addictive. are converging on a view of heavy gambling as a pathological state of the individual. family life and the acquisition of material wealth are central goals of the socialisation process. The movement to medicalise gambling as an addiction is not based on sound empirical evidence. However. gambling was viewed as a vice and heavy gambling as a sin.12 THE MEDICALISATION OF GAMBLING AS AN ‘ADDICTION’ Michael Walker Gambling is a common leisure activity in most countries and cultures throughout the world.

or despite other significant social. to see excessive gambling from a different perspective. occupational or recreational recreational activity given up or reduced activity given up in order to because it was incompatible with the gamble use of the substance 8 continued substance use despite a persistent 8 continuation of gambling despite inability to pay social. it became clear to the medical community that heavy gambling does not have the characteristics of a classical compulsive neurosis (Dickerson 1984. Table 12. pathological gambling is defined in terms of criteria which are very similar to those for alcohol and drug dependence (see Table 12. occupational. This change is evident in the criteria for diagnosis of pathological gambling set out in the diagnostic and statistical manual (DSM) of the American Psychiatric Association. there has been a widespread move. There has been a clear trend for medical opinion to shift from the concept of problem gambling as a disorder of impulse control (compulsive gambling) to problem gambling as an addiction.The medicalisation of gambling as an 'addiction' 205 1980. or when substance use is hazardous 7 important social. physical problem that is caused or occupational. or legal problems that the individual exacerbated by the use of the substance knows to be exacerbated by gambling 9 substance often taken to relieve or avoid 9 repeated loss of money gambling and returning withdrawal symptoms another day to win back losses (‘chasing’) Source: Modified table from Blume (1987:242) . In DSM III (1980). DSM IIIR (1987).1 Comparison of the DSM IIIR criteria for substance dependence and pathological gambling Psychoactive substance dependence Pathological gambling At least three of the following: At least four of the following: 1 when not actually using the substance. occupational or 7 some important social. which will be released in the early 1990s. or diminished effect with continued use of the same amount 4 characteristic withdrawal symptoms 4 restlessness or irritability if unable to gamble 5 persistent desire or repeated efforts 5 repeated efforts to cut down or stop gambling to cut down or control substance use 6 frequent intoxication or impairment by 6 often gambling when expected to fulfil substance use when expected to fulfil social or occupational obligations social or occupational obligations. psychological or a mounting debts. especially among psychiatrists. will continue with the core idea that pathological gambling is similar to psychoactive substance dependency. DSM IV. whereas in the revised edition. Furthermore.1). pathological gambling was described in terms of impulse control and listed with other impulsive behaviours such as kleptomania. Consequently. Maze 1987). 1 frequent preoccupation with a lot of time spent looking forward to gambling or with obtaining money use of or arranging to get the substance to gamble 2 substance often taken in larger amounts 2 often gambling larger amounts of money or over a longer period than the or over a longer period than intended individual intended 3 tolerance: need for increased amounts of the 3 need to increase the size and frequency substance in order to achieve intoxication of bets to achieve the desired excitement or desired effect.

through repeated ingestion of the drug. It should be noted at this point that there is considerable argument concerning whether a medical model is appropriate for understanding drug addictions at all (Orford 1985. and withdrawal refers to a syndrome of bodily reactions which occur when the drug is not used. The basis for this change in view involves a range of observations. Both of these processes are physiologically based. ‘Excessive gambling’ and ‘problem gambling’ are used interchangeably to refer to gambling that the gambler acknowledges as causing significant problems in his or her everyday life. and thus pathological. Sarason and Sarason 1980). References to ‘pathological gambling’ are reserved for attempts to incorporate gambling within a medical model as is done explicitly within DSM IIIR. an important first step in evaluating the claim that gambling is an addiction. have minor withdrawal effects (Carlson 1991). involves deciding whether addiction of any kind is pathological. there is strong evidence that all of the addictive drugs operate through the dopaminergic component of neurotransmission which is central to the mediation of positive reinforcement (Wise 1988). The term ‘pathological gambling’ was chosen to reflect the disease nature of the problem and to avoid the criticisms levelled at the use of the term ‘compulsive gambling’. drug addiction was assumed to be based on negative reinforcement. DRUG ADDICTION AND PATHOLOGY In the development of the criteria for substance abuse. a complete view . Thus. could be derived. Second. Hence. However. The central idea was that. and the attempt to medicalise gambling as an addiction is invalid. Krivanek 1988). both physiological and psychological. Solomon and Corbitt 1974. It was assumed that it was avoidance of withdrawal effects which motivated continued use of the drug (Wikler 1973. in the past decade. ‘Heavy gambling’ is intended to be a value-free term which implies (relatively) highfrequency gambling involving ‘relatively’ large sums of money. the use of the term ‘pathological gambling’ incorporates excessive gambling and its associated problems within a medical model which includes psychoactive substance dependence. tolerance for the drug increased and a powerful negative withdrawal syndrome was experienced if the drug was discontinued. However. Formerly. and were based on the assumption that pathological gambling was the same kind of problem as drug addiction (Lesieur 1988). negative reinforcement does not explain relapse after detoxification. such as cocaine. The positive reward value of the drug is now believed to be the main motivation for drug abuse. If the drug addictions are not examples of pathological dependence then heavy gambling is not an example either. some powerfully addictive drugs. In this chapter. the explanation of drug addiction itself has undergone a major shift of emphasis which enables closer parallels to be drawn between the drug addictions and abuse of other substances and activities. Tolerance refers to the fact that more and more of the drug is required to produce the same effects. various terms will be used which imply heavy gambling involvement. beliefs about the central motivation for drug addiction have changed. two components were central: tolerance and withdrawal. First of all. Thus.Gambling cultures 206 The criteria for pathological gambling in DSM IIIR were modelled on those for substance abuse. The presence of physical dependence provided an objective basis on which a full range of criteria. Finally.

There is nothing inherently pathological about the processes of drug addiction as described by physiology and neurochemistry. . and thus the claim that drug addiction is pathological because of predisposing biological mechanisms is weakened. a similar basis for a disease model of problem gambling cannot exist. the question of pathology is not resolved and strong arguments against a pathological explanation of alcohol abuse have been advanced (Orford 1985). monozygotic twins are more likely to be jointly alcoholic. For a medical model of drug addiction to be correct. Pathology based on physiology The central question in understanding an individual predisposition to addiction concerns the actual mechanism that is different in the addicted person. Clearly. equivalent evidence for other drugs is not available. It is at this point that medical models of addiction as a pathology conflict with behavioural models of addiction as a learned phenomenon within a sociological context. such as heroin. any person could become addicted to any drug. the possibility of such individual differences allows for a pathological or disease model for alcohol addiction. The pathology associated with drug addiction is primarily the consequence of chronic abuse. Whether or not these differences are confirmed and whether or not they can be extended to other addictive drugs. there is evidence suggesting that the routes by which alcohol affects the neurotransmitters in the brain of the abuser are different from those for non-abusers (Carlson 1991). at least. However. imply that such processes exist. the comparison of alcohol consumption in monozygotic and dizygotic twins provides some support for a genetically based predisposing factor. The argument that drug addictions involve pathology implies that there is a biological basis not simply for the action of drugs but also for the differential susceptibility of individuals to become addicted. It is clear that there is some evidence of pathology associated with alcohol abuse. Pathology based on inheritance Since addictive drugs do not automatically produce addiction. the explanation of why some individuals become addicted whereas others do not must be found for the explanation of drug addiction to be complete. In the case of alcohol consumption. In the case of alcoholism. Avoidance of the withdrawal syndrome is best regarded as a secondary motivation for continued use of some drugs. An explanation of drug addiction as pathological must specify the physiological processes that are different (diseased) in the addict compared to the nonaddict or.The medicalisation of gambling as an 'addiction' 207 of the mechanisms of drug addiction is likely to emphasise the reward value of the drug as an incentive to begin and continue use. For drug addiction in general. These are briefly outlined below. A number of different kinds of arguments and evidence can be used to support a pathological account of drug addiction. the case for an explanation in terms of pathology is weak or nonexistent. there must be biological predispositions for individuals to become addicted. However. In principle. Compared to dizygotic twins.

For example. gambling and excessive sexuality (Orford 1985). then the notion of addiction is at best an analogy for understanding compulsive gambling and may be quite misleading. that heavy gambling is an addiction. the argument from similarity will fail if the so-called ‘similarities’ are not genuine similarities. then studies of drug abuse and its control have implications for treatment and control of other dangerous behaviours such as heavy gambling. Bejerot and Bejerot 1978. consequences and details of a behaviour may not be relevant to categorisation of a behaviour as an addiction. 1986. If addiction is a process that applies to behaviours other than drug-taking. First of all. Sugar and salt share many superficial properties in common but only one improves the coffee. It should be noted that this argument can be false in three ways. Finally. if the ingestion of psychoactive substances is central to the process of addiction. A may not be an addiction. and second. even if alcohol consumption is an appropriate substitute for behaviour A. Hickey et al. . 1988. it is crucial to understand what is intended when the term ‘addiction’ is used and whether it may be properly applied to heavy gambling. Since the debate over whether or not excessive alcohol consumption is an addiction has not been resolved. the argument from similarity may be false in all three ways if behaviour A is not well chosen. that substance abuse is incidental to the core notion of addiction. Thus.Gambling cultures 208 THE MOVEMENT TO BROADEN THE CONCEPT OF ADDICTION TO INCLUDE HEAVY GAMBLING Heavy gambling has been described as the ‘purest addiction’ (Custer and Milt 1985. Nevertheless. consequences and details of behaviour B may not be sufficiently similar to those for A for the argument to be valid. The central role of gambling in the debate over the range of addiction is highlighted by Orford: ‘It can be demonstrated that excessive gambling is in most respects similar to excessive drinking or drug-taking. Custer and Jacobs are not alone in believing that addiction is a process that is wider in scope than dependence on drugs. Orford has identified the learning of restraint as the key element in the control of drug consumption. Fuller et al. Blaszczynski et al. Jacobs 1986). Second. the dangers in this approach are apparent. On the other hand. the antecedents. The large majority of papers using the argument from similarity choose excessive alcohol consumption as behaviour A. habitual smoking and heavy gambling. and a large number of papers identify common elements in the behaviour of drug addicts and compulsive gamblers (for example. 1986). then it follows that an adequate explanation of excessive appetites in general must account for this non-drug form of “addiction”’ (Orford 1985:29). the antecedents. Different aspects of these excessive behaviours may become the focus of the argument which concludes that heavy gambling is an addiction. In fact. Two claims are implied by this assertion: first. Solomon has argued that the processes that underlie drug addiction are the same processes that underlie such activities as regular jogging or sauna use (Solomon and Corbitt 1974). Because of the antecedents. therefore behaviour B is an addiction. The attempt to broaden the concept of addiction to include excessive gambling is based on the similarities that can be drawn between behaviours such as alcohol dependence. consequences and details of behaviour A and because behaviour A is an addiction.

recent work emphasising the uniformity of the processes underlying addictions to different drugs implies the possibility that one drug could be substituted for another. Gambling and other addictions have similar consumption curves Alcohol consumption in the general population follows a markedly skewed curve. Now interestingly. the degree of similarity between ‘gambling involvement’ and ‘drug consumption’ depends on the form of gambling and the type of drug. These will be considered separately. It is likely that slot-machine playing. horse betting). in communities where slot machines are legal. Abstinence would determine one mode. The majority of Australians. Thus. for example. so one might ask.The medicalisation of gambling as an 'addiction' 209 In general. Just as one might ask. According to Wise: . Nevertheless. the games on which the case for addiction is usually based are typically unimodal (slot machines. In the case of drug addictions. When the distribution of consumption for gambling is considered. By comparison. it becomes clear immediately that there are difficulties in showing similar-shaped curves to those for alcohol or for other drugs. ‘the distribution of which drug?’. the argument that gambling can be addictive in a broader (nonpathological) sense can be seen as a small number of disparate claims. Any claim of overall similarity obscures these differences. once per week). the bimodal nature of the consumption curve may be more clear-cut: one mode corresponding to abstinence and the other to addiction. with the second mode representing a distinctly different group of ‘alcoholics’. The central idea here is the notion of an addiction-prone individual or an addictive personality. much more alcohol is consumed in France than in Australia. An alternative view is that the distribution of alcohol consumption is bimodal. whereas the demands of maintaining playing standards will ensure that the second mode involves relatively frequent rate of play (for example. bimodal distributions would be expected for many games with a significant component of skill. In the case of narcotic drugs. Playing bridge for money may be a good example. However. whereas the heroin consumption curve is bimodal and therefore similar to non-addictive gambling involvement in rubber bridge. One view of these curves is that they are lognormal distributions (Orford 1985). the distribution curve has a long tail such that small numbers of people consume much more alcohol than the daily average. whatever the country. drink some alcohol each year but the daily average consumption is low. ‘the distribution of which form of gambling?’ Gambling is a heterogeneous set of activities and it is unreasonable to expect each type of gambling to have the same shape of consumption curve. follows the lognormal curve proposed by Ledermann. and the average daily consumption is much higher. The argument from cross-addictions It is claimed that gambling and other substance addictions are functionally equivalent because of the higher frequency than expected of dual addictions and poly-addictions involving heavy gambling as one component. Such a person is likely to become excessive about a range of drugs or a range of activities.

we should expect heavy gambling to be associated with drug abuse in general. In the United States. Just as the data show that alcohol dependency is likely to be associated with nicotine dependency. alcohol consumption would be expected. but not females. First of all. and partially satisfy the urge for. gambling problems are common but alcohol problems are rare. the hypothesis itself is open to statistical testing. Again. and in Australia betting shops are frequently located near hotels. then we should expect that addicted gamblers would be more likely than other people also to exhibit heavy involvement with addictive drugs. Similarly. However. Ferrioli and Ciminero 1981. among male drinkers at the local hotel (sex-role-appropriate gathering). . there are other.Gambling cultures 210 If a variety of addictive substances have positive reinforcing effects through a common biological mechanism. Consumption of alcohol. gambling may be the common topic between drinks. Claims of the equivalence of pathological gambling and drug abuse are frequently made (Adler 1966. Cook 1987. then one drug should have some of the same subjective consequences of. Das 1990). Such culturally based results would be unlikely if the addictions had a common basis. if gambling rewards the individual by means of the same biological routes as addictive drugs. among Jewish people. 1985). Both are legally available to adults in many western countries and both show widespread usage within communities. the evidence available suggests that alcoholism and pathological gambling co-occur for men but not for women (Lesieur et al. among males assembled for the purpose of gambling. The most common claim is that heavy gambling is associated with abuse of alcohol. and come to the conclusion that. Why should this be? Casinos in the United States provide easy access to alcohol. alcohol problems are common (Taft 1967) but gambling problems are rare (Caldwell et al. Among males. Similarly. However. thus. This has been long suspected from cases of polydrug use. Some examples of joint excessive usage would be expected by chance. if it is. Blaszczynski and McConaghy point out that co-occurrence of gambling problems and alcohol problems at a rate above chance is not unequivocal support for an addictive personality. whether the joint occurrence is an artefact of some causal factor common to both. losses at gambling might cause depression which the gambler seeks to overcome through drinking. might disinhibit risk-taking and make gambling more likely. both groups have higher rates of alcoholism’ (Blaszczynski and McConaghy 1989:48). another. ‘in comparison to the ten percent alcoholism rate described for the general population. cultural reasons for being sceptical of the correlational data showing that alcoholism and pathological gambling co-occur. drinking is a sex-role-appropriate behaviour (Blume 1990). The question of central importance is whether the degree of association is greater than chance and. (1988:125) Thus. as in a betting shop. Jewish people are over-represented in Gamblers Anonymous but under-represented in Alcoholics Anonymous. 1986). among Aboriginal Australians. for example. Secondly. Blaszczynski and McConaghy have reviewed a range of studies which examine the incidence of alcoholism among members of Gamblers Anonymous and pathological gamblers attending Veterans Administration hospitals in the United States.

However. The majority gave answers suggesting relief and happiness at giving up. it must be shown that they were not present prior to the onset of gambling. it is clear that claims of overall similarity are overstated. depressed mood. and difficulty in sleeping. It does not seem possible that serious addictions of this kind can co-occur. It is entirely possible that some gamblers are depressed prior to gambling and that the gambling itself relieves the symptoms which later return when the gambling is terminated. Furthermore. even if irritability. the physiological effects of some drugs are known in some detail and the basis for physical dependence established (Carlson 1991). Such symptoms would be falsely assumed to be part of the withdrawal syndrome if appropriate control groups are not used (Hand 1990). Consider the alcoholic who craves ever more drink: will he or she waste $5 on a horse when the money could be better used for drink? Similarly the compulsive gambler who will use the bus money for one last bet is unlikely to waste $5 on drinks. drinking—may be misattributed to the secondary nonproblematic behaviour—for example. All addictive drugs act directly on the neurotransmission system and produce negative feedback loops whereby chemicals are manufactured by the body which act to minimise the disturbance induced by the drug. Such psychological symptoms might well be expected when a person gives up any exciting pastime that has consumed most of the waking hours over an extended period of time. Symptoms such as these are mild and psychological compared to drug-withdrawal symptoms. for these responses to qualify as withdrawal symptoms. restlessness. poor concentration and obsessive thoughts are present following the cessation of gambling. The withdrawal syndrome is simply the continuation of the action of these balancing chemicals when consumption of the drug ends. poor concentration and obsessional thoughts. There is no adequate evidence that gambling involvement and drug addictions are similarly distributed in society. and no pattern of withdrawal effects common to both. concerning how they felt in the first few weeks after stopping gambling. Wray and Dickerson (1981) examined the recollections of compulsive gamblers belonging to Gamblers Anonymous in Britain. 30 per cent of the sample recalled some disturbance involving irritability. heart-rate and blood-pressure changes. restlessness. depressed mood. no convincing argument that people susceptible to problems with drugs are differentially susceptible to problems with gambling. Although there may be other ways in which it is claimed that heavy gambling is similar to drug addiction. which are frequently physiological and typically more severe. gambling. Gambling and drug addictions show tolerance and withdrawal effects In the case of drug addictions. It is clear that gambling behaviour B has not been . there appears to be no convincing demonstration of withdrawal effects following cessation of heavy gambling. heavy gambling must first be demonstrated to have a withdrawal syndrome on cessation of involvement. The withdrawal symptoms following cessation of ingestion of opiates include trembling and shaking. At this time. What is more likely is that aspects of the problem behaviour—for example. the possibility of joint addictions introduces a paradox.The medicalisation of gambling as an 'addiction' 211 When alcoholics and pathological gamblers with serious consumption problems are considered. sweating and temperature changes. In order to qualify as a behaviour which might be explained by similar processes.

not ‘hooked’. how then shall we explain the fact that some gamblers do continue with the activity until they are financially ruined and every facet of their lives is detrimentally affected? And. we could begin with any one of a number of more or less skilful activities. the game begins to absorb his life. what kind of thing is it? We need a genuine alternative to drug addiction as a schema that makes sense out of the paradox of persistence with an activity where the overt objective is winning money but persistence with the activity is a proven way of losing money. and chess becomes more and more important to the extent that all of the other parts of his life recede into a blurred unimportance. It is proposed here that the starting point for understanding gambling is not the insensate pleasure afforded by drugs but the sense of mastery that comes from striving at games of skill. The gambler is ‘heroic’. The hero is a Russian chess player called Luzhin. Although the game is fully determined. A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON GAMBLING If we abandon the concept of gambling as addictive. In 1964. In expanding this metaphor. However. Luzhin plays truant from school to play chess with his aunt. He accepted this external life as something inevitable but completely uninteresting.Gambling cultures 212 shown to be sufficiently similar to drug addiction A. Although there are no studies of the life-absorbing potential of chess. rarely changing his linen. for excitement or for thrills are misguided. Among games of skill. the prototype is perhaps the game of chess. When chess becomes life Chess is a game of pure skill and therefore totally different from gambling games where chance predominates. From the moment when Luzhin first learns chess. stopping to think about nothing. games of skill have a history as old as psychoactive substances. but then the same claim might be made about martyrs to causes everywhere. yet chess can absorb a person’s life as completely as heroin can consume the life of the drug addict. in his way of dressing and in the manner of his everyday life. Perhaps he or she is also a fool. He becomes a child prodigy. Attempts to understand chess within a stimulus-response framework are doomed to failure. There are no studies of ‘chess addicts’ in the literature. and have a number of attributes in common with gambling games. for the claim that gambling is an addiction to follow as a matter of logic. Similarly. he was prompted by extremely dim motives. and the claim that people play chess for immediate pleasure. if excessive gambling is not the same kind of thing as excessive consumption of psychoactive substances. automatically winding his . The game therefore provides opportunities for humans to strive for mastery. the game tree is so large that there is no foreseeable time when even the most advanced computers will play perfect chess. Nabokov’s The Defence was published for the first time in English. where mastery is measured by success against opponents of increasing and measurable skill. there is a story that can stand as the paradigm in much the same way that Dostoevsky’s The Gambler stands as a paradigm for the compulsive gambler. The core idea is not ‘addiction’ but ‘commitment’.

It is the constructive. ‘throw one’s whole life away on such trifles?… Look. The interplay of striving. This passage also illustrates another feature of focused . Nevertheless. ‘But can a man really devote himself to such trifles. At first he learned to replay the immortal games that remained from former tournaments—he would rapidly glance over the notes of chess and silently move the pieces on his board…. ([1964] 1986:44) The actor gains pleasure from knowledge and mastery of the activity. (Nabokov. With drug addictions we understand that the addict craves the sensations and feelings provided by the drug. In general life around him was so opaque and demanded so little effort of him that it sometimes seemed someone—a mysterious. In games of skill there is a sense of achievement as different phases of the game are mastered. looking at her daughter distractedly. like tears for the vanished Valentinov. the person who focuses on one activity until fully absorbed by it is. From some kind of melancholy inertia he continued to order at dinner the same mineral water. at best. you had an uncle who was also good at all sorts of games—chess. but with absorbing constructive activities the actor strives for mastery.’ she exclaimed. Seen from the point of view of an observer. The Defence. invisible manager—continued to take him from tournament to tournament. success at the activity is accompanied by feelings of worth.The medicalisation of gambling as an 'addiction' 213 watch at night. billiards—but at least he had a job and a career and everything. which effervesced slightly in his sinuses and evoked a tickling sensation in the corners of his eyes. missing out on life and. Only rarely did he notice his own existence…. succeeding and mastery is nowhere more evident in The Defence than when Luzhin is playing his last climactic game against his foe. shaving with the same safety blade until it ceased to cut altogether. to the significant others in his life it is a waste of time. condemned as unworthy. It is of significance that actors will strive in goal-orientated activities for long periods without fulfilment and the associated pleasure. So it was with Luzhin. However. Turati. cards. if the pursuit is not valued by the observer.’ ([1964] 1986:89) Although the activity is trivial for the observer. [1964] 1986:75–6) Although chess is important to Luzhin. and feeding haphazardly and plainly. it is demanding for the actor. goal-orientated nature of the activity that sets it apart from addiction. These possible continuations that explained the essence of blunder or foresight Luzhin gradually ceased to reconstruct actually on the board. this pleasure should not be thought of as the goal in itself as in the case of a drug addiction but rather as a by-product of progress towards the goals of the activity.

brittle. judged by the time spent in the activity. Brown also theorised that involvement with gambling machines and gambling involvement among adolescents should be viewed in the context of involvement with machine games in general. the same conviction that they will succeed. Nevertheless. threat and defence—but meanwhile both kept thinking of a most tricky conceit that had nothing in common with these mechanical moves. computer games were more of a problem than gambling games such as fruit machines. Neither chess nor computer games involve gambling as more than a peripheral activity as in betting on the Fischer-Spassky matches or side bets on who will obtain the highest score in computer games. whereas computer games involve both strategy and eye-hand coordination. But neither was Turati able to do anything after that and playing for time (time is merciless in the universe of chess). The suggestion that video amusement games may be antecedent to gambling games. The term ‘addiction’ was specifically used to describe this potential abuse by players. the games differ in other ways as well. Although chess and its mastery may seem far removed from addiction. Brown and Robertson (1993) examined the time spent playing home computers by adolescents in Glasgow. and yet are also claimed to be addictive. Soper and Miller (1983) suggested that video amusement games attract sufficient involvement from players that they may come to be abused. Apart from the nature of the skill required. has also been made by Graham (1988). and proceed to develop their own special knowledge of the task as players do in games of skill. It is argued here that computer games have much in common with chess. and then his finger groped for and found a bewitching. computer games are of specific interest because of the claim that they are addictive. and concluded that. threat and defence. in a developmental sense. long interval of thought. ‘skill’ is the correct term to apply to successful play in both games. and although many games can be played as an interpersonal contest. during which Luzhin bred [sic] from one spot on the board and lost a dozen illusionary games in succession. Similarly. who were referred to as ‘junkies’. computer games are primarily solo games.Gambling cultures 214 activity which differs from drug addiction. Chess is a game of pure strategy. ([1964] 1986:44) It is not claimed here that gambling games are games of skill but rather that gamblers approach the activity of gambling with the same kinds of motives. both opponents repeated the same two moves. Computer games are played on a computer screen. who reviewed the dangers of dependency and delinquency associated with the . crystalline combination—which with a gentle tinkle disintegrated at Turati’s first reply. Success is measured by a score against the computer and players strive for the high score. the sense of contest in which the actor strives to overcome the obstacle or to solve the problem: And then there was a long. Computer games are skilful and absorbing It would be unreasonable to claim that computer games of the ‘Space invaders’ type involve the same skills as chess. the proximity of the two can be demonstrated by reference to computer games. However.

Although many numbers games are associated with problem gambling (lotteries. players report playing the machines for amusement or excitement (Caldwell 1974. the. Bridge. Walker 1987) as well as large numbers of devotees who aspire to becoming professional gamblers. Typically. and it is more common than not for regular players to deny that they are trying to win money. poker and blackjack gamblers? And why do these gamblers make up only a small fraction of the membership of Gamblers Anonymous? The answer probably lies in the fact that in these games there is a real element of skill. Attendance at meetings of Gamblers Anonymous will reveal that this is so. Interestingly. Gambling and games of skill The fact that gambling occurs in the context of games of skill is the link between the heavy involvement in a game such as chess. Each of the games supports professional gamblers (Hayano 1984. Players of these games report characteristics such as loss of control (Browne 1989) and gambling larger amounts of money than intended (Zurcher 1970. There can be no question that they are games of skill: there are World Championships and World Champions. Slot machines are played for a wide variety of reasons. for example). which do not involve skill. And each of the games is able to absorb the life of a person. Amarillo Slim and Ken Uston. Dickerson et al. Since the game is played better. 1986. Nevertheless. this result appears to favour an addiction model . Spanier 1987. Walker 1987) that meet the criteria for pathological gambling. which does not involve gambling. Gambling and games of chance Numbers games are typically games without any opportunity of using strategy or developing skill. Why are there not clinics for obsessional bridge. there are people who lives have been devastated by their involvement in these games. Graham came to the conclusion that there was no clear evidence of dependency induced by machines at these sites. goal-orientated activity then the whole range of gambling games and the whole range of gambling involvement can be explained without reference to addiction. poker and blackjack are excellent examples of such games. Superficially. one high-risk game from the perspective of problem gambling is the slot machine. And regular attendance at any bridge club will bring contact with potentially productive professional people whose abilities have been wholly redirected to the game of bridge. and the annals of each game contain legendary characters such as Georgio Belladonna. to become the focus of determined. risk of suffering the severe financial losses that characterise members of Gamblers Anonymous is reduced. there appear to be no studies of addiction to bridge. persistent effort directed towards succeeding at the game (Spanier 1987). Persistence and immersion in the game can enable the gambler to play the game better.The medicalisation of gambling as an 'addiction' 215 use of amusement parlours in Britain by children. Interestingly. If so-called ‘compulsive’ involvement in the play of slot machines can be explained in terms of persistence. focused. determination. poker or blackjack and no therapies directed at relieving the ‘compulsive’ nature of the sickness. Walker 1988). and games such as those offered by slot machines.

in some sense. such beliefs are false. then the gambler is striving towards some goal. If gambling is a goal-orientated activity like the acquisition of skill in chess. It is unreasonable to believe that any other aspect of the machine is of importance: one need only ponder how attractive to the regular player would be a slot machine that was played with monopoly money in and monopoly money out! Excitement is limited to the pay-out of large prizes and jackpots. Seen from the perspective of the player. For most of the time. After retirement. Thus. the operation of the machine is purely concerned with money in and money out. Whether or not the beliefs are . 1992). Players frequently can be seen searching out the machine that is close to a big pay-out or which is about to ‘run hot’ (Caldwell 1974). or multi-coin and multi-line machines may be chosen in preference to other varieties because of the opportunities for the use of skill (Eisler 1989). Slot-machine players believe they can influence the outcome of a machine. It is not that playing the slot machine is a social activity but rather that the presence of so many others engaged in a similar activity provides a role and an explanation for their own lives. for a regular player to admit to trying to win money would appear irrational to the player and to the observer. However. The answer to this issue is at the heart of the claim that gambling does not conform to the characteristics of an addiction. The solution lies with the perceptions of the players. Daley (1987). playing the machine is not in itself an exciting activity (Dickerson et al. It is likely that playing slot machines has other psychological functions for some players. Such an idea has plausibility where playing the machine provides something of value to the player other than winning money. Observation of slot-machine players shows that they do not behave as if all machines are equivalent. and especially after the death of the spouse. Since the likelihood of winning on the slot machine decreases with the length of time spent playing. The evidence for this claim comes both from anecdote and from experiment. the elderly have the problem of how to spend their time. this is not the group that is most likely to suffer from involvement with slot machines. Seen from the perspective of the observer. Attribution theory would lead us to expect that very few slot-machine players would view their motive for playing as an attempt to win money. Nevertheless. For many elderly people. Since skilful play of slot machines would appear to be impossible. such beliefs are the basis of skill or special knowledge by which the machine can be influenced. reels containing jokers. it is difficult to see how the goalorientated nature of slot-machine playing could be a fact. a closer inspection of the play of slot machines leads to the conclusion that amusement or excitement as an explanation should be discounted (Walker 1990). has argued that players are buying time on the machines. However. For the analogy to be useful. regular players have essentially no chance of coming out ahead. And manufacturers recognise this belief in the ability to influence the machine by incorporating features which give the illusion that skill can be applied as in ‘hold em’ machines and accessories such as ‘hole-in-one’ bonuses. skill is being acquired. for example. loneliness may be countered by the apparent sociability attached to playing slot machines in the company of others (Lynch 1990).Gambling cultures 216 rather than a commitment model. the goal must be identified and we must show that. The reality of slot machines is that they are about the transfer of money. Older people are one group for which this account may be true. A machine with certain payoff structures. Some machines are preferred because the player can discern ‘good vibes’ or because it is ‘known’ to be close to a jackpot (Walker 1990).

the slot-machine player may be convinced of the accuracy of his or her beliefs. One straightforward interpretation of these results is that slot-machine players build up repertoires of false beliefs rather than real skills. In any case the special knowledge required to defeat the machine is being acquired continuously in the course of testing new ideas. Persistence and problems From this perspective. The slotmachine player knows all the roles. Thus it is not surprising that the play of the machine continues past all limits set by the gambler. These may well function to convince the player that the bigger prizes are near. the gambler will accurately report gambling more than intended and trying to cut down but failing. and more so by slot-machine players than video-poker players. Finally. Walker 1990). Although mastery of the game may be illusory. Such networks have been described in detail for the racing game by Rosecrance (1986). Griffiths 1990. Such mastery contributes to the definition of self and is lost if the activity is given . norms and procedures in their environment. customs. that in other areas of life is applauded and to which many of us in western culture are socialised. in relation to slot-machine games. The loss of control which is often taken to be symptomatic of addiction is easily understood in terms of the beliefs of the gambler. The false beliefs held by the gambler persuade him or her that success is imminent.The medicalisation of gambling as an 'addiction' 217 true they can be elicited with ease and analysed statistically (Gaboury and Ladouceur 1988. mastery of the environment is real. patient through failure. is doomed to failure and bound to be financially hazardous. When asked after the event. They are engaged in similar endeavours and may function as a support to the legitimacy of the enterprise. bridge or computer games. They know the history of machines. First of all. as real knowledge or skill functions in relation to games where skill is possible. Imagine how you would feel if the very next coin (not yours) won the jackpot. Not surprisingly. The financial outlay will be rewarded with persistence. the slot machine provides small prizes quite frequently. perseverance and involvement that is afforded by other life-absorbing activities such as chess. The tragedy is that such commitment. jackpots and players. and that these beliefs function in the same way. heavy slot-machine players play a little faster following these rewards (Dickerson et al. 1992). To stop playing now is unthinkable when the jackpot is so much closer. The mechanisms by which failure can be rationalised as success have been made explicit elsewhere (Walker 1990). Beyond the special knowledge and skills that the player has gained there will be a network of friends and acquaintances that has been built up over time. The combination of financial loss and lowered self-esteem associated with failure have effects on the gambler that have often been described. The gambler is entrapped (Brockner and Rubin 1985). the contest attracts the same determination. It is in a broad sense their area of expertise. when a person focuses their life on one activity or project. the heavy slot-machine player is engaged in a contest with the machine. What these studies show is that more irrational beliefs are expressed by players who play more frequently. they become proficient in the activity in a way that may not happen in other parts of life. Thus persistence will be rewarded. and convinced that ultimately they will succeed. Moreover. Why does the slot-machine player not stop once it is clear that winning is not possible? There is perhaps a range of contributing factors. They become immersed in the struggle. For some players.

Gambling is better understood as a leisure activity which is potentially dangerous. that attempts to medicalise gambling as an addiction are based on the mistaken belief that drug abuse and heavy gambling are similar. to master hobbies. Whether or not Sartin’s claims are well-founded. Although that help may come from agencies which accept the addiction perspective. Sartin has taken the argument one step further by teaching problem gamblers how to gamble with a greater chance of winning. It is the heavy gambler who is labelled ‘pathological’ rather than the society in which diligence in one legitimate sphere is rewarded but in another punished. CONCLUSION The central claim in this chapter is that heavy gambling is wrongly interpreted as an addiction. Nevertheless. and similar claims have been made for excessive gambling (Blaszczynski 1988). and that gambling is better understood as a commitment of resources similar to that involved in success at games of skill. to play hard. according to some clinicians. To work diligently. Yet such a therapy has been offered to problem gamblers (Sartin 1988). However. Allcock and Dickerson (1986) have argued that gamblers would enjoy their gambling more if they knew the best strategies of betting and of money management. However. The view is that the gambler has become addicted to the activity. the surprising fact is that alternatives exist for the gambler which would be unthinkable for the drug addict. Sartin claims that his approach to ‘therapy’ is much more effective than methods based on the assumption that gambling is pathological or addictive. However. it is unthinkable that the drug addict might be shown how to consume his or her drug more effectively so that the effect is even more attractive. A new approach to overcoming gambling problems Controlled drinking is. to acquire competence through practice. Attempts to install pleasure as the common ingredient of drug abuse and heavy gambling are misplaced. and the reward even more potent. There are two main types of explanation for the plight of the heavy gambler who loses all assets: those which focus on individual weaknesses and those which take a . the possibility that problems with gambling might be lessened by raising the real skill level of the gambler places problem gambling in a different category of activity from drug addiction. the slot-machine player may be forced to seek help.Gambling cultures 218 up. It is argued here that no pathology of the heavy gambler has been demonstrated. a realistic goal for the alcoholic. The reasons why gamblers persist in the activity are not agreed upon. where the financial losses are too great or the social pressure to desist from the activity too powerful. It is ironic that the persistence displayed by the heavy gambler is lauded in other aspects of life. the dominant view among treatment agencies is that there is something wrong with the gambler who persists in the face of mounting financial losses. The danger is that persistence will cause heavy financial losses. are part and parcel of successful socialisation in modern western industrialised societies. Addiction is understood as a pathology that afflicts certain people. and the heavy gambling that causes serious financial losses is defined as pathological.

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However. Furthermore. various special interests. But for the most part. In some. Based on the events leading up to the mid-1990s. though many were based on exaggeration or had become outdated by changing legal or institutional factors. on the one hand. gambling remained quite controversial as an activity and a commercial enterprise. Canada. lobbied for the right to offer commercial gaming services to the general public so as to capture the resultant economic benefits. commercial gaming industries would still come under question on legitimacy grounds. and the possible negative social effects of widespread gambling. Attempts to bring about its expansion or to change the existing institutional structures that offer gambling services would often encounter vociferous opposition. on the other. association with political corruption or links to moral decay. From a consumer’s perspective. there were enough vestiges of the past surrounding commercial gaming to keep members of the interested general public wondering about the actual level of integrity—or lack of it—associated with commercial gaming industries and their regulators. and continues to be. Furthermore. there had emerged a substantial increase in the legal and social acceptance of commercial gambling. Clearly. in spite of its increased presence and acceptance. there had been considerable variation in experience among jurisdictions that allowed commercial gaming. They would often be stigmatised by old perceptions such as ties to organised crime. the European Community. Gaming industries had become increasingly sophisticated and legitimate to reflect this reality. gambling had transformed itself over the previous thirty years from an inappropriate.Eadington By the 1990s in the United States. . social damage and adverse impacts were perceived as considerably more severe than in others. such a strong trend towards legalisation of new forms of commercial gaming and the relaxation of constraints on existing commercial gaming activities over the past decade. often for some higher purpose than merely their own self-interest. ranging from charities to churches to private enterprises to government agencies.13 ETHICAL AND POLICY CONSIDERATIONS IN THE SPREAD OF COMMERCIAL GAMBLING William R. the issues of corruption. some of these perceptions had valid historical roots. Yet. Australia and New Zealand. Furthermore. as acceptability had increased. these trends promise to continue and perhaps even accelerate by the turn of the century. This is perhaps the main reason why there was. public policy attitudes towards gambling throughout the industrialised world had shifted from viewing gambling as a vice to seeing it as an opportunity to be exploited. ‘sinful’ endeavour to a mainstream participatory activity.

and revenue enhancement for deserving interests. Such values require the head of household to contribute income for the well-being of the family unit rather than squander it on vices. Second. pull-tab tickets or ‘Las Vegas nights’—because the revenues extracted from gambling’s excess rents allow the organisations to fulfil their charitable objectives better. moral and social considerations. Indian gaming in America and Canada has received political support because of its ability to provide economic development opportunities and wealth for otherwise impoverished Indian tribes and bands. gambling is inseparable from law-breaking. Allocation of such economic rents then becomes an integral part of the public policy process. Thus.Ethical and policy considerations in the spread of commercial gambling 223 ETHICAL AND POLICY ISSUES IN JURISDICTIONS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD As possibilities for legal commercial gambling have arisen in various countries through legislative or other processes. gambling is immoral and works against family and social values that directly link reward to hard work. though allocation of the social costs is usually ignored. The fact that there is a strong latent demand for gambling—that is. substantial potential economic rents often arise. difficult to measure and on balance considered to be negative. for example. The traditional arguments against gambling are three-fold. given the option. quantifiable and perceived as positive. Charities have been authorised to sponsor a variety of gambling activities—such as bingo. Generally speaking. when gambling is moved from the list of prohibited activities into legal status with specified criteria for eligibility for gambling suppliers and particular rules as to how gambling services can be offered. political corruption and infiltration by organised crime. Furthermore. However. lotteries have been introduced for the express purpose of enhancing government revenues. the latent demand among the general public to participate in gambling activities emerges when gambling moves from illegal to legal status. In order to be politically acceptable. regional economic development or redevelopment. and revitalising or bolstering existing tourist industries. many people will choose to gamble—has not by itself been a sufficient reason for moving from prohibition to legalisation. job creation. Such higher purposes can be grouped into tax benefits. They also encourage activities that lead to self-improvement rather than the wasting of time. Revenues generated by legal gambling typically far exceed the volume of illegal or social gambling that such legalisation might have displaced. whereas moral issues and social impacts linked to gambling are usually intangible. policy-makers have had to weigh a variety of economic. First. This is because it preys on the weaknesses of individuals for whom gambling leads to . the legalisation of gambling must be linked to one or more ‘higher purposes’ that can receive a portion of the created economic rents and overcome the arguments against gambling. The economic impacts of introducing commercial gaming industries are generally tangible. But seldom does gambling become legal without a public debate on both its merits and its costs. since the guidelines by which commercial gambling can be operated and controlled are created by a political process. investment stimuli. Casinos have been legalised in the hope of stimulating local and regional economies. the allocation of economic rents to ‘deserving’ parties also becomes part of the deliberation.

or to pursue other illegal means to stay ‘in the action’.1 Political corruption and organised crime concerns are likely to emerge in an environment where gambling is either prohibited or highly constrained but where public officials have some discretion as to whether they will enforce the law.Gambling cultures 224 irresponsibility. the opportunities for corruption and for the infiltration of organised crime into gambling operations have diminished. how prevalent is the incidence of compulsive gambling. and second. Such activities are placed outside the reach of normal contract law and can therefore be exploited through a ‘black market’ in such a manner as to meet demand. policy-makers must evaluate the strength of these arguments in light of the consequences of keeping gambling in a prohibited state. even though there is no guarantee that illegal gambling will truly be prohibited. The issue of compulsive or pathological gambling is complex. The general objections to legal gambling have weakened during the second half of the twentieth century. and as regulatory bodies have become more professional and sophisticated. especially when society changes the legal status of gambling. Third. which in the past had been most strongly put forward by churches and government bodies. Organised crime can enter any vacuum created by an activity linked to gambling which is popular but officially prohibited. in comparison to circumstances where gambling will be legally sanctioned but constrained through a variety of regulatory or statutory options. increased spouse or child abuse or a higher incidence of family disintegration. Moral arguments. Political corruption will take place as long as society establishes rules to constrain gambling legally or prohibit certain types of gambling. Law-breaking will take place even with legal gambling because the need for gambling money will lead some to theft or embezzlement. There are really two related issues that emerge. whether or not it is legal? The issue of incidence involves both the question of definition—what constitutes being a ‘compulsive gambler’?—and measurement—the number of compulsive gamblers in jurisdictions with different degrees of access to legal or illegal gambling opportunities. to deal with ‘loan sharks’. In public debate concerning gambling legalisation. and public officials have the ability to thwart such constraints or prohibitions by ‘looking the other way’ or removing them in return for bribes or other considerations. church bingo and lotteries—in the delivery of gambling services. As legal commercial gaming has become more legitimate and established. and may manifest itself through greater degrees of family problems in the form of erosion of trust and communication. in comparison to those of previous generations. the attitudes of the general public do not rank gambling as much of an immoral activity in the 1990s. have suffered partly because of the diminishing authority such institutions presently carry in comparison to previous times. studies that have been completed in the United States and elsewhere indicate . Alternatively. First. Though still an area that needs considerable refinement. Furthermore. Some individuals who are unable to control their gambling behaviour will financially ruin themselves and their families as a result of gambling. what strategies will be most effective in shaping policies that deal with the consequences of compulsive gambling. and partly because many churches and governments have themselves become actively involved—through charitable gambling. gambling can lead to personal and family tragedies from compulsive or pathological gambling behaviour. irresponsible gambling will lead to greater personal and financial stress on the individual and his or her family.

the economic trade-offs can become more difficult and the moral and social costs more ambiguous. On the question of appropriate public policy. and a history of changing social and legal tolerance and acceptance. Because of this. pari-mutuel wagering often suffers from the new competition (Syme 1992. with gambling. Thus. greater access to legal gambling seems to lead to a greater incidence of compulsive gambling. To hold the individual fully responsible for actions that result from gambling raises the spectre of diminished capacity. some comparisons can be made regarding societal treatment of gambling and other ‘morally suspect’ activities. illicit drug use. With some activities—such as illicit drugs—there has been a strong drive to prohibit both use and sale. Thus. With other activities—such as tobacco-smoking—there has been an increase in restrictions on both users and producers. when other forms of commercial gaming are introduced. If legal gaming industries already exist when a jurisdiction is considering introducing new forms of commercial gambling.Ethical and policy considerations in the spread of commercial gambling 225 an incidence of compulsive gambling of between 1 per cent and 5 per cent of the adult population (Volberg and Steadman 1989). . racing lobbies often become formidable opponents to the introduction of new forms of legal gambling in their jurisdictions. such as alcohol. but instead of couching their arguments on the adverse economic impacts. tobacco. To allow gambling but require commercial gaming industries to absorb the costs and consequences of compulsive gambling places an undue burden of identification and policing upon suppliers of gaming services. it has been difficult to ascribe guilt or responsibility to the adverse consequences that arise from compulsive gambling. To prohibit gambling penalises the majority for the weaknesses regarding gambling behaviour inherent in a distinct minority. as with street prostitution. Compulsive gambling has been variously interpreted to indicate that the individual has little or no control over his or her actions while gambling. Thalheimer 1992). accompanied by severe penalties for violations of legal sanctions. as a result of the economic threat. there has been a trend towards allowing people to have greater control over their choice of activities and to be more responsible for the consequences for their actions. But this principle has not been applied uniformly over the so-called ‘vices’. government is often expected to mitigate the severity of compulsive gambling through appropriate regulatory and operational constraints both on operators and gamblers. they often revert to moral or social arguments which criticise gambling in general. However. the response has been with stiffer penalties on those who abuse the activity—as with more severe penalties for drunken driving violations—or selective non-enforcement of the law in certain geographic areas. and therefore cannot be held responsible for the consequences (Rose 1988). In some cases. For example. partly to protect the potential smoker against being ‘seduced’ into smoking (hence prohibitions against certain types of marketing) and to protect nonsmokers from the health and aesthetic costs of having to share space with smokers (leading to the creation of ‘smoking prohibited’ spaces). an acknowledgement that the activity must be constrained to some extent to control its negative social consequences. pari-mutuel wagering associated with thoroughbred racing has had a considerably longer legal status than most other forms of gambling in many countries. along with gambling. have similar economic and social characteristics: strong demand for consumption of the activity from select segments of the population. On the one hand. prostitution and pornography. These vices. Furthermore.

They might restrict the access to or ambience of the gambling activity. Such restrictions are usually above and beyond the ‘fundamental’ objectives of regulation. existing legal gaming industries often find themselves in the company of organisations which oppose gambling on more idealistic grounds: Church groups who are morally opposed to gambling and its impact on values and the family. Or they might protect the existing competing gaming or nongaming industries by limiting the areas in which newly legalised gaming operations might compete. entrance fees or dress-code requirements. as with prohibitions on advertising or solicitations. They may take the form of restrictions on the ability of the gaming industry to promote itself. such restraints might later be analysed more in terms of their adverse competitive impacts. there remains enough lingering doubt about negative side effects that such authorisation is often accompanied by a wide array of restrictions and regulations to limit the overall negative impacts that might arise. and social services organisations who see gambling as a disruptive factor for a class of people whose lives are already somewhat tenuous. Because there has been so little experience with easily accessible commercial gaming in the past. Because of the historic prohibitions against gambling. even when a jurisdiction makes the commitment to legalise a form of gambling for whatever ‘higher purpose’. maximum wager size limitations or maximum loss limits. to protect the integrity of tax collections by requiring acceptable accounting standards and practices. and a higher propensity for embezzlements and petty theft. This creates the dynamic that will likely influence the future policy . Whereas economic impacts are tangible and quantifiable—in the form of jobs. a greater incidence of spouse and family abuse. there are concerns about what widespread gambling might do if unleashed on a previously unexposed public. mandated closing hours. Yet when placed within the context of increasing presence of commercial gaming activities. introducing gambling rapidly and openly carries with it many risks of the unknown—of what might go wrong in society as a by-product of a cornucopia of available gambling opportunities. In summary. or prohibitions against alcohol or live entertainment. and to protect the general integrity of the gaming industry by establishing procedures to guard against infiltration by undesirables into ownership and management positions in gaming operations. Moral and social considerations are difficult to identify and evaluate in the legislative process. However. although many legislative bodies have chosen to allow commercial gambling to become a legal presence within their jurisdictions. the general effectiveness of such campaigns in opposition to gambling have weakened in recent years in the face of apparently successful and acceptable new forms of legal gambling. as with geographic constraints. such as with prohibitions against the granting of credit for gambling purposes. or protect existing economic interests. Such regulations might be directed at protecting consumers of gambling from their own folly. law enforcement agencies which are concerned about the potential for criminal spillovers.Gambling cultures 226 When this occurs. which are: to protect the integrity of the games and wagers by regulating against cheating and fraud. there is usually enough lingering doubt concerning the wisdom of such an act to induce policy-makers to saddle the new industries with a variety of regulations and constraints that will hopefully mitigate the potential for social damage. payrolls. tax revenues and new investments—negative social impacts are usually qualitative and intangible—such as increased financial distress within families. Yet.

serving as a form of ‘voluntary’ taxation that would be paid for largely by residents of other states. and many of these are reflected by the experience of jurisdictions in the United States. it is useful to note their initial organisational and market structure characteristics (Clotfelter and Cook 1989). whether involved with gambling at present or not. were reintroduced into New Hampshire in 1964. pari-mutuel wagering and charitable gambling. In terms of understanding why modern lotteries came back to America. casino-style gambling. Lotteries were created by state legislatures as government-owned monopolies whose explicit purpose was to generate revenues for state government. a common theme that emerges among industrialised countries is the struggle to answer the following broad questions. The first twentieth-century lottery was authorised primarily to generate tax revenue. Each will be discussed in the context of the challenges pointed out above. by the 1990s. Advocating traditional tax increases had become politically unpopular in the United States. Of every dollar spent on lottery products. which they typically did. Lotteries Lotteries. which primarily have been economic in nature. There are four main commercial gaming industries in America that have emerged in the second half of the twentieth century: lotteries. This would allow states to avoid having to increase other taxes. especially by the 1970s. Yet important common patterns emerge. the states could charge monopoly prices and extract monopoly rents. which were outlawed in all the states by the end of the nineteenth century because of widespread fraud and corruption. be protected against the adverse competitive pressures that could arise? The following discussion looks specifically at the experience in the United States in trying to provide some insight into these issues. the proliferation of gambling took place in a variety of ways in different countries throughout the world.Ethical and policy considerations in the spread of commercial gambling 227 debates among decision-makers for how best to allow commercial gaming to exist within the social framework. Legalisation of commercial gaming in the United States has tended to be directed at specific objectives. With a monopoly on lottery gambling. COMMERCIAL GAMING AND THE LEGALISATION PROCESS: THE US EXPERIENCE From the mid-1960s to the 1990s. This lottery model was copied and improved upon by neighbouring states so that. 50 . lotteries had spread throughout the country. Thus. If commercial gambling is going to be authorised: • who should be allowed to capture the economic rents associated with supplying gambling services? • how should the general public be protected against their own potential weaknesses when confronted with the opportunity to gamble? • and how should the interests of other presently legal industries. and with regard to the policy alternatives that have presented themselves.

Gambling cultures 228 per cent would usually be retained by the lottery and the other 50 per cent would be paid back to lottery winners as prizes. the unemployed and the gullible. Furthermore. Lotteries in the United States are big business. pressure increased for non-lottery states. Furthermore. But lotteries have not been free of controversy. It is one thing to authorise an activity and then regulate it in the public interest. because they are political bodies. These situations eroded the arguments in opposition to lotteries. Once one state was successful in operating lotteries in a region. In states without a lottery. to jump on the bandwagon. Where introduced. many of the older images linked to other forms of gambling—such as corruption. People who buy lottery tickets come disproportionately from lowerincome groups. there is little doubt that lottery sales are strongly influenced by marketing efforts. as competition for discretionary income gets stronger and niche marketing becomes more finely tuned. Lottery Commissions. have always been sensitive to the issue that government revenues raised through lotteries are effectively regressive taxes (Clotfelter and Cook 1989:215–34). To the extent lotteries are. and because of that. but there is enough lingering sentiment about gambling being morally suspect that a case can be made regarding whether the government is best serving its citizenry by acting as a supplier of gambling services. Furthermore. Lotterystyle gambling. has also been economically successful and free of scandal. lotteries were proving popular as a ‘harmless’ form of gambling. Gross sales before payment of prizes for lotteries in 1991 exceeded $20 billion. and then exploit that monopoly for revenue purposes without an obvious system of regulatory checks and balances (Clotfelter and Cook 1989:235–49). Lotteries have had the general effect in the United States of sanitising and popularising commercial gaming in the minds of the general public. encompassing more than 80 per cent of America’s population. By 1992. ethnic groups. First on the list is the question of whether the government should even be in the lottery business. rigged games and destroyed lives— were revised in light of the relatively clean image of lotteries. A third issue that lotteries raise is whether governments should be concerned that lottery sales are disproportionate among society’s have-nots. disadvantaged groups. A second and related controversial issue regarding lotteries is whether government should be using sophisticated marketing techniques to increase lottery sales. However. There are various intriguing and difficult policy issues that have emerged with American-style lotteries. it is likely that these groups are where new market growth for lottery products will most effectively be developed. lotteries had spread to over thirty-four states. Lotteries in America are sold with the same verve and effectiveness as are soaps. a tax—indeed. by their essence. as run by the government. the elderly. especially those adjacent to lottery states. some observers have called them ‘a tax on the stupid’— . it is legitimate to pose the question as to whether the lottery is indeed a product that should be sold with the same techniques that are so effective with other consumer goods. many of the remaining non-lottery states were under increasing pressure to authorise their own lotteries. It is quite another to establish a legal monopoly. citizens would often cross borders to purchase lottery tickets. beer and other consumer commodities. because of the morally ambiguous view towards gambling that is held in some quarters. nefarious characters. State lotteries have introduced more Americans to commercial gaming than has any other form of gambling.

the kind of gambling envisaged within the lottery legislation was usually far more passive and uninteresting than interactive casino-style gambling. Since 1988. As a result. Perhaps the best illustration of this is video lottery terminals. the VLTs have been quite successful in their first few years of operation. Aside from the legal issue of whether lottery laws can be used to authorise casino-style gambling under the aegis of the lottery. then lotteries represent a regressive form of taxation. many American jurisdictions have begun the process of determining how the economic opportunities that casinos promise can best be exploited. Casinos The second major commercial gaming industry in the United States in terms of gross gaming revenues is casino gaming.2 VLTs were introduced by the South Dakota Lottery in 1989. Furthermore. Until the mid-1970s. there is considerable political pressure on Lottery Commissions to find new ways to expand lottery sales. Many lotteries are considering introducing gambling activities that traditionally have not been viewed as lottery games but rather as casino games. or heretofore illegal forms of gambling. Such performance is quite strong in comparison to traditional lottery sales in the United States. However. or VLTs. In South Dakota.000 units placed in age-restricted outlets such as bars and taverns throughout the sparsely populated state by 1992. for example. pressure for better revenue performance by lotteries will likely continue consideration of this type of product development. and potentially more addictive and damaging to society at large. when lotteries were authorised. as states and provinces confront record budget deficits in the 1990s. Probably the most intriguing question for lotteries in the future is whether they should expand by introducing forms of gambling that are traditionally not lottery products. more interesting. there is a broader ethical question of whether statutes prohibiting casino-style gambling should be invalidated by administrative action of a Lottery Commission. In total. In 1976. All other attempts to bring casino gaming to the United States between 1976 and 1988 failed (Dombrink and Thompson 1989). When lotteries were established in the various states. beginning in the fall of 1988. or about $200 per capita. As such. Nevada was the only state in the United States that allowed ongoing casino operations. Furthermore. there were about 6. such as VLTs or Keno.Ethical and policy considerations in the spread of commercial gambling 229 if a greater proportion of income from lower-income groups is spent on lotteries. three important events occurred that started a process of rapid change in the presence of casino gambling in the United States: a statewide ballot issue in South Dakota approving limited stakes casino gaming in the small . New Jersey voters authorised the development of a casino industry in Atlantic City which has since grown in terms of gross gaming revenues to nearly the size of Las Vegas’s casino industry. and by the Oregon and West Virginia lotteries in 1992. lotteries are becoming more exciting. casino-style gaming was uniformly illegal in every one of them. such as sports pool wagering. the conflicts inherent in these issues pose intriguing questions about lotteries that are far from being resolved. and the gross winnings of all VLTs amounted to $150 million. As revenue generators. This experience is occurring at a time when Lottery Commissions in many states are finding the sales growth of traditional lottery products flattening or declining.

for example. Indian gaming has had a different set of political consequences. Since then. the presence of casino-style gambling in America has exploded. the state could have no regulatory authority over the Indian gaming operations within their borders. casino gaming was restricted to riverboats along major waterways only.Gambling cultures 230 mining community of Deadwood. when Illinois authorised riverboat gambling in 1990. then Indian tribes with reservation land within that state could not be prohibited from operating the same type of gambling on tribal land. the remoteness of Deadwood would minimise social problems that might be associated with casino gaming. The pattern that emerged was for new jurisdictions to copy the legislation of their predecessors. with variations of mining-town casino gaming and riverboat casino gaming. Thus. and players were limited to a maximum loss of $200 per riverboat excursion. the State of California (Eadington 1990). The Cabazon decision recognised that Indian tribes in America were autonomous governmental entities which existed within states but were independent from civil or regulatory control from the states. When Mississippi legalised riverboat casinos in 1990. passage by Congress of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988. Furthermore. Though they did not realise it at the time. the state of Iowa earmarked 0. Both the South Dakota and Iowa authorisations began with the implicit premise that those forms of casino gaming were relatively benign and controllable in terms of their possible negative social side effects. they did not restrict the size of the gaming operations to any pre-set number of games or devices. if a state allowed any person for any purpose to operate gaming within their jurisdiction. And Iowa established funding mechanisms to mitigate whatever damage might occur as a result of casino gaming. The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) was passed in response to a Supreme Court decision in 1987. Both South Dakota and Iowa began casino gaming with the belief that the economic benefits which casino gaming would create would be within the scale of what the affected communities could utilise. with a wide variety of new forms of casino gaming appearing in various jurisdictions. Thus. respectively. which implied not only that riverboats with casinos did not have to sail on the river. Furthermore. such casino facilities did not even have to be boats as long as they were built over the water. they allowed credit and did not incorporate maximum wager limits or loss per excursion limits. South Dakota and Iowa established models for other states to follow suit. There have been distinct patterns which have emerged from these consequential events. Furthermore.3 per cent of gross gaming revenues for problem gambling treatment programmes in the state. When the voters of Colorado approved small stakes casino gaming for three Rocky Mountain mining towns in 1990 based on South Dakota’s approach. but to be slightly less restrictive in the regulations governing their new casino industry. wagers in excess of $5 were not permitted. Admission fees would be charged to gain entrance onto the riverboats. they allowed ‘dockside’ casino operations. limited the maximum wager size to $5 and kept casino operations small by allowing no more than thirty table games or gaming devices per casino licence. Cabazon v. Both states devised constraints that would limit the appeal of casino gaming to out-of-state or major corporate interests. In Iowa. . The South Dakota referendum. and legislative approval of riverboat gambling in Iowa in early 1989. Missouri’s 1992 referendum authorising riverboat casinos also allows boats in some locations to remain dockside.

No longer would states have to debate the issue of whether or not to have casinos. casinos in Europe and America had been geographically isolated from population centres. St Louis and Kansas City (Missouri) authorised riverboat casinos close to their urban centres. Major Indian casinos appeared in the states of Connecticut. many of the important consequences of IGRA and Indian gaming have come about as a result of Indian law suits and court interpretations. However. and created over 50. There is very little economic hope left for these places. so Congress passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act so as to create a framework for states and tribes to negotiate what forms of Indian gaming would be allowed and how the state’s public policy interests might be protected through regulatory oversight. did not alleviate the urban blight or poverty that had plagued that city. Historically. especially as far as urban redevelopment is concerned (Sternlieb and Hughes 1983). it was still unclear what its true impacts would be. Another noteworthy development of American casinos has been the emergence of urban casino gaming. New Orleans became the first American jurisdiction to legalise an urban casino. on riverboats or on Indian reservations—had all held to that general pattern. such as charity ‘Las Vegas’ casino nights. Often Indians were able to gain the right to operate full-service Nevada-style casinos because the state in which their tribal lands are located allowed a highly restricted form of casino-style gambling. Indian casino gaming spread rapidly in the five years following IGRA’s passage. there are harsh lessons to be learned for such cities from Atlantic City. Wisconsin. the debate shifted to how many casinos a state should have. . and following closely behind it would be the continued proliferation of non-Indian casino gaming. or in mining towns. As of 1993. in 1992. Atlantic City. Other cities unsuccessfully attempted to legalise casinos in recent years because they found themselves in dire economic straits and felt that casinos offered one of the only ways out. and that if states did not negotiate in good faith. California and Arizona. Such cities as Gary (Indiana). it was clear that Indian casino gaming was continuing to spread throughout the United States. Detroit (Michigan) and East St Louis (Illinois) share an economic desperation not unlike that which prevailed in Atlantic City in 1976. the creation of a casino industry that brought 30 million visitors to the city each year. where they should be located and who should benefit. Legal American casinos in operation as of the end of 1992—whether in Nevada. at least partly because of a belief that casinos are deleterious for urban. Washington. Rather. with passage of a law authorising a monopoly casino for that city. Michigan. However. because of the similarities of Atlantic City to these other cities—in terms of economic desperation and circumstances—the same general disappointing outcomes would also be likely to apply. and a casino or casinos could perhaps save them. Hartford and Bridgeport (Connecticut) actively debated the possibility in 1992. Because such situations led to full-scale casino gaming for Indian tribes within those states. Regrettably. the public policy debate was substantially changed.000 jobs. In Atlantic City. Minnesota. Indian casinos were clearly established. However. working-class populations. As a result. when IGRA was passed into law. Either by negotiating processes or through judicial findings. Subsequently. tribes could go to federal court for mediation or arbitration. IGRA noted that states must negotiate in good faith with Indian tribes. Other American cities such as Chicago.Ethical and policy considerations in the spread of commercial gambling 231 Cabazon carried the implication of the unregulated spread of a variety of forms of gambling.

All this has come about in the last thirty years. a place filled with transients. The causes of population growth in Las Vegas are easy to see. and Atlantic City also failed to cure its fundamental problems. but there is increasing concern about the future health of Atlantic City and its casino industry.2 million and Las Vegas the centre of growth in the state. By 1994 Las Vegas had the ten largest hotels in the world. all of them casino hotels. and as of the 1990s no end is in sight for its casino-fuelled growth boom. such as urban blight. In Atlantic City fifteen years after legalisation. on the other hand. especially in comparison to other American jurisdictions with casinos. It did not.000 hotel rooms in Las Vegas. and legalisation of casino-style gambling threatens to compete for and cut into some of Atlantic City’s eastern seaboard markets. Las Vegas is probably the premier convention city in the world. as with other American industries that expanded in that period. According to the 1990 census. Between 1988 and 1992. • protecting the integrity of casino owners and key employees by precluding undesirables from obtaining gaming licences. there is reason to believe that Atlantic City’s slowdown in growth may indeed be permanent. low-lifers and opportunists. in terms of convention facilities and available hotel rooms. Nevada was the fastest-growing state in the United States for the decade of the 1980s. In the 1960s. The Atlantic City casino industry effectively gambled that the growth it experienced in the 1980s would continue. Few of the social concerns related to widely available casino gambling have affected Nevada’s public policy towards gambling or its regulation of the casino industry. with the population increasing by more than 50 per cent to 1. One reason for the continued growth of Las Vegas—and of other casino centres in Nevada—has been the underlying philosophy by which governmental bodies have regulated Nevada’s casinos. As far as the state . the casino industry has grown to apparent maturity. Las Vegas. more than can be found in Manhattan and London combined. Thus. Some of these problems may no longer be curable. The purpose of regulation of casino gaming is to protect the image of the state’s casino industry by • ensuring the integrity of the accounting procedures used by casinos to assure the state its appropriate share of taxes. Nevada. many of the problems of Atlantic City’s casinos can be traced to over-leveraging and over-reliance on debt financing for capital expansion. • monitoring the honesty of the games and wagering opportunities offered so that the public can be confident of protection against cheating. Las Vegas compares favourably with virtually all of the world’s capital cities. and one of them closed permanently. has been a boom town virtually without precedent. In terms of variety and quality of live entertainment available. Atlantic City experienced its major growth in the 1980s and. The transformation of Las Vegas is a direct result of the popularity and growth of casino-style gambling. conventional wisdom viewed Las Vegas as a city controlled by organised crime. The principles by which regulators have overseen the casino industry are relatively narrow. hotel and recreation sector. There are over 90.Gambling cultures 232 The past decade has also brought about significant growth and change for the major existing casino cities in the United States. About 30 per cent of the labour force is employed in the gaming. over half of Atlantic City’s dozen casinos went through bankruptcy. Nevada has incorporated few moral positions about casino gaming into its regulatory framework.

Skolnick 1978). Most fundamental is the question of whether tourists will continue to visit Las Vegas. sports betting or even charity gambling. compulsive gambling and other social costs to Ohio. The economic plight of the pari-mutuel wagering industry can be attributed to difficulties associated with new player development. In Ohio in 1990. is far more cumbersome in terms of restrictions. Often. the pari-mutuel wagering industry and the horse-racing industry have become quite politically astute in America. Generally speaking. And if it does. smaller casino properties which may not be able to compete effectively against the newest and largest ‘must see’ casino destination resorts that have been built in that city. Pari-mutuel wagering The third component of the US commercial gaming industries is pari-mutuel wagering. regulation should not adversely affect the economic performance of the casino industry unless an absence of regulatory action threatens the long-run integrity or image of the industry itself. because of their long-term economic weakness and their vulnerability to competition. Opponents to casinos argued through the media that casinos would bring organised crime. There is an ongoing issue about if and when Las Vegas will become over-built. they have been the major opponents to new forms of commercial gambling. in the form of on-track horse-racing and dog-racing. Such feelings are based in the formative period of Nevada’s regulation. pari-mutuel wagering. These in turn are probably related to the fact that it takes much longer to become proficient at handicapping races than it does to master other forms of gambling.3 Pari-mutuel wagering in the United States is clearly the weakest member of the American commercial gaming industries. The loss of racing’s regional monopolies over legal commercial gaming with the introduction of new legal gambling options has undoubtedly contracted the size of pari-mutuel markets. used to be the ‘only game in town’. the racing industry was the major contributor to the opposition campaign against a casino. and spend as much time and money there. However. by contrast. for example. Finally. But in spite of its recent successes. casino-style gambling. along with jai alai and off-track wagering. there are questions about the Las Vegas casino economy that pose concerns over the next few years. when they can find casinostyle gambling opportunities in a variety of other states and jurisdictions throughout the country.Ethical and policy considerations in the spread of commercial gambling 233 is concerned. there might be severe attrition among the older. amassing a war chest of $1 million. requirements and costs of regulatory compliance imposed on casinos. In the 1950s and 1960s. the racing industry has not been very effective in broadening the base of pari-mutuel bettors. This is at least partially because the position that New Jersey regulatory bodies have been reluctant to give up control of a variety of areas of decision-making that in Nevada are left to the discretion of casino management. The regulatory process in Atlantic City. It is vulnerable to virtually any competition from alternative forms of commercial gaming. Furthermore. pari-mutuel wagering has not been able to compete effectively against other legal forms of gambling during the expansions of the past three decades. whether they be lotteries. especially on-track horse-racing. yet managed . the real risk to the state’s casino industry was the threat of federal intervention because of historic associations with organised crime and a federal view that gambling was morally wrong (Cabot and Schuetz 1991.

One of the effects of economic hardship on a socially regulated gaming industry is the pressure that arises at a political level to bring about a relaxation of the constraints under which the industry must operate. it is clear that the economic interests of the racing industry would have been at risk if the casino referendum had passed. One of the main reasons why under-regulation of such activities occurs has been a naïve attitude on the part of authorising legislative bodies that strict regulation would not be necessary because people working for charities would not steal or cheat. is an activity that often gets ignored when examining gaming industries. Furthermore. For example. However. charitable gambling has typically been under-regulated. less cost-effective or less accessible forms of gambling. in the form of bingo. and the lack of regulation in charitable gambling has led to numerous scandals and control problems. once a gaming industry is established in a region. though somewhat disorganised. it begins the process of becoming legitimate—as a taxpayer. with a population of just over 4 million. Charitable gambling The final component of commercial gaming industries in America to be noted here is charitable gambling. Experience has demonstrated that this is not the case. If its continued existence is . such rules may initially have been the only way to make such gambling legislation politically palatable to opponents. However. eventually someone will have their hand in the till. with gross gaming win of about $230 million. a gaming industry may have been legalised because policy-makers felt it could be controlled—symbolically or in reality—and made acceptable through constraints on location. pull-tab tickets.2 billion in 1991. some policy objectives will come into conflict with the economic viability and survival of competing forms of gaming. accounting irregularities and fraud (Fiscal Analyst’s Report 1990). less convenient. Charitable gambling. For example. It has been a common pattern that when gambling is established without regulation or over-sight. in Minnesota. THE INTERACTION OF ECONOMIC FORCES AND POLICY OBJECTIVES As more forms of commercial gaming compete for what eventually will be a saturated commercial gaming market. industry. an employer and a member of the local or regional community. operations or wagering conditions. total charitable gambling sales were approximately $1. perhaps because they were committed to the causes reflected in their charities. cheating.Gambling cultures 234 to skirt the issue of similar problems within the racing industry. As new gambling activities become available to the general public. Initially. less exciting. often encountering serious problems with theft. they will displace other. but in many parts of the United States it is a rapidly growing. However. Pragmatically. it has achieved significant dimensions in some jurisdictions. racing and pari-mutuel wagering in the United States will probably continue to go through major contraction because of the proliferation of other competing forms of gambling and their inability to compete effectively.4 and low stakes casino-style gambling.

In general. it becomes far more difficult to argue to preserve the social constraints. Though its riverboat casinos only began operations in 1991. Some of lowa’s problems were related to location. customers will choose the convenience of gambling venues close to where they live if they are able. and moved to more favourable gaming markets and regulatory environments in Mississippi. In the same manner. The same could be said about lowa’s prohibition against casino credit in contrast to Illinois’s allowance of credit. especially if they have not been very effective in accomplishing their initial purposes. Deadwood (South Dakota) may find its casino industry contracting in the 1990s because of competition from more recently authorised gaming venues which are closer to their customer markets. For example.Ethical and policy considerations in the spread of commercial gambling 235 threatened by competitive forces. The $5 maximum wager and $200 maximum loss per excursion limitations were intended to protect customers from problems related to over-indulging in gambling. it is likely that it would be followed by a proliferation of non-Indian gaming as well.5 Remote locations for gaming operations—which were initially tolerated because they were distant from population centres—may become the unwitting victims of the changing legal norms governing access to gambling. This pattern has already begun to emerge among some of America’s new gaming industries. VLTs or another similar product. Atlantic City will lose customers to the new venues. substantial attrition soon arose in the state’s riverboat gaming industry. The best the casino industry there can hope for is to ask legislators and regulators to relax many of the expensive regulations so that they would be better able to compete with new competitors. It is clear that if California legalises casinos. Alternatively. Because it has a casino industry whose major attraction to date is that it is the closest locale with casino gaming to the population centres of New York. but rival riverboats operating across the Mississippi River in Illinois were not subject to such limitations and therefore were more appealing to customers who do not want to gamble under such constraints. Even that may not be enough. if new locations develop with casinos that are more convenient to its primary markets. DC. it would have major negative impacts on the state’s casino gaming industry. Philadelphia and Washington. if California state policies open the door to Indian casino gaming in that state. Atlantic City is perhaps most vulnerable of all to the proliferation of gambling. a third was scheduled to cease operations within two years of its inauguration and move to a better location in another state. Iowa provides an excellent example. Atlantic City does not have much to offer its visitors besides the gaming that can take place in its casinos. . Any of these events could adversely affect Nevada’s gaming primarily because Nevada would be at a distinct locational disadvantage. Thus. but some of their economic difficulties could be linked to the ‘socially responsible’ legislation they initially passed for their riverboat casinos. Nevada’s gaming industry is vulnerable to legal changes regarding gambling in California. It has relatively little it can draw on to develop or retain the loyalty of its customer base in a more competitive gaming environment. where many of Nevada’s gaming customers live. Two of the original five riverboat casinos closed after the first year.

Because of more socialistic ideologies and a different perspective in the appropriate role of competition versus monopoly in these countries. Such attitudes have clearly been usurped by a combination of the related economic benefits—jobs. Ontario. capital investment. In comparison to other countries. equal access to markets and the underlying principles of the Treaty of Rome. attitudes towards gambling in America were dominated by stereotypes of organised crime and political corruption. governments have kept a tighter degree of control over the ownership and market structure of commercial gaming industries than in the United States. This is reflected in the structure of laws and regulations overseeing commercial gaming. Saskatchewan and Quebec. capital formation and job creation. with greater deliberation and greater concern for social impacts. In past decades. . Also. there has been a strong tendency to replicate or improve upon initiatives from other nearby jurisdictions which had already decided to exploit the economic benefits of commercial gambling. Economic justifications in these countries are similar to those in the United States: tourism development. European countries have tended to alter legislation more slowly. this might reflect the tendency for policy-makers in America to concentrate on only a single dimension at a time of the impacts of commercial gaming on society. In comparison. the potential for the European Community to force standardisation among some commercial gaming industries. However. in the name of harmonisation. tax revenues. or more directly to capture the economic rents that legalisation can bring about.Gambling cultures 236 CONCLUSIONS The experience of the United States provides an interesting case study as to the dynamics of legalisation of commercial gaming. there has been a tendency to control the creation of new gaming industries in order to shape their ultimate role in local or regional economies. these countries have also been changing the legal status of commercial gaming industries quite rapidly in the 1980s and 1990s. For example. Nova Scotia. In Australia. This has led to a ‘domino effect’ of legislation as adjacent jurisdictions try to improve upon the approaches of their neighbours. gambling policy in the United States in the 1990s has been far more focused on economic rather than social concerns. whereas Canada has experimented with government-owned exclusive franchise casino development in Manitoba. New Zealand and Canada. tax revenue generation. perhaps because of a perceived need by government to keep up with competing jurisdictions and the resulting ‘domino effect’. and this has created a different dynamic than that of either the United States or Europe. regional development—linked to the exploitation of commercial gaming. may become an important catalyst for change among the European countries for the rest of the decade (Coopers and Lybrand 1991). This is primarily because there are so many autonomous jurisdictions which have the ability and inclination to move quickly in changing the legal and regulatory status of gambling within their authority. However. as well as concerns over the social damage that could occur from widespread gambling. Interestingly. exclusive franchise monopolies to privatesector operators has become the standard for casino development in Australia and New Zealand.

Ethical and policy considerations in the spread of commercial gambling 237 Thus. economic benefits. Such activities will muddy the distinctions among gaming industries such as casinos. This is an aspect of the process that other countries besides the United States have a better opportunity to control in the intermediate and long term. Potential beneficiaries include governments through lottery commissions and as tax recipients. who evaluate the financial risks that are present in any project due to the possibility of changing legal status of gaming in neighbouring jurisdictions. cities or communities hoping to be designated exclusive franchise locations for gambling outlets in their market areas. Job creation. Finally. various new products and new gaming concepts are developed. Such policies may be misdirected in the long term because their main justifications are likely to be only temporary. Furthermore. but also because of increased competition among commercial gaming industries or governments. lotteries and the like. either through infrastructure requirements. For the United States at least. or other budgetary commitments. the government sector also has to ‘buy in’ whenever gaming is authorised. tax revenue generation. creation of regulatory bureaucracies. they may be more prone to err on the side of optimism in making projections on the job-creating or revenuegenerating capabilities of new gaming industries. there is a strong asymmetric nature to regulatory and statutory commitments regarding . The unstable legal status of commercial gaming in competing jurisdictions in America is usually taken into account by private investors. as different sectors of the gaming industries pursue growth opportunities. One other point should be noted. However. Such benefits to a region may only be sustainable if that jurisdiction can hold its monopoly on gambling for some period of time. In effect. the trend in recent years to exploit the opportunities associated with the changing social acceptance of gambling has led to a variety of experiments with legalisation and regulation of commercial gaming. Also. not-for-profit organisations through charitable gambling or as sponsors of other gambling activities. and concerns over continued economic viability of established gaming industries. Not every jurisdiction can be as successful as the first one to legalise. society’s acceptance of gambling as a mainstream recreational activity is becoming increasingly established. must eventually be dissipated by continued proliferation. many of the constraints that were initially placed upon new commercial gaming industries to protect the ‘public interest’ have become targets for relaxation in response to changes in public and legislative attitudes towards gambling. However. the political process described in this analysis is driven largely by the opportunistic benefits linked to legalising gambling. and private-sector interests as vendors of gaming equipment or suppliers of gambling services. especially those that depend upon capturing customers from other jurisdictions. with regard to the potentially damaging social effects linked to gambling. These may arise as a result of greater understanding of social costs and benefits associated with gambling. investment stimulation and other related benefits will become diluted as gambling proliferates into more and more jurisdictions. In the United States and other countries. Governments quite often are not as conscientious in evaluating their commitments as private-sector investors because it is not their own money they are committing. there is still going to be considerable political in-fighting over the question of who will be allowed to benefit from offering gambling services to the general public.

5 In 1994 Iowa law was changed to remove the $5 maximum wager and the $200 loss limit per excursion.Cornelius (eds) Gambling and Public Policy: International Perspectives. C. Only 10 per cent found casino gaming as ‘not acceptable for anyone’. a report prepared for the Commission of the European Communities. Reno: University of Nevada Press. Dombrink. W. Coopers and Lybrand (1991) ‘Gambling in the Single Market’. MA: Harvard University Press. the economic rents will be dissipated as monopolies are eroded. P. and Cook. especially when it is under increasing competitive pressures from other gaming jurisdictions. in W. The player will purchase such a ticket for about $1. Cambridge. BIBLIOGRAPHY Cabot.A. This is because it is difficult to increase the constraints on a legally created commercial gaming industry once it has been established and generally accepted. (1989) Selling Hope: State Lotteries in America. and pull paper tabs to reveal whether the ticket is a winner or a loser. and Schuetz.R. University of Nevada.Eadington and J. following local voter suppport. video blackjack and video keno machines. however. Whether this is good or bad for society at large will probably remain somewhat questionable. NOTES 1 A January 1993 survey conducted by the Home Testing Institute for Harrah’s Casino Hotels revealed that 55 per cent of Americans found casino gambling as a form of behaviour ‘perfectly acceptable for anyone’.N. As a result the Iowa riverboat casino industry immediately became more economically successful. (1989) The Last Resort: Success and Failure in Campaigns for Casinos. R. 2 These are electronic gaming devices in the form of video draw poker. and Thompson. the major long-term effect will be in terms of improved consumer access to a variety of gambling activities. that if commercial gaming continues to expand its presence in society. A. 4 Pull-tab tickets are similar to ‘scratch-out’ lottery tickets and are sometimes called ‘paper slot machines’. Australia or New Zealand. In the same legislation.Gambling cultures 238 the operation of authorised commercial gambling. J. Those tracks which qualified for slot machines soon found that slot machines had become the dominant source of their revenues and profits. (1991) ‘An economic view of the Nevada gaming licensing process’. Gambling remains an activity that has considerable moral ambiguity associated with it which may not be dispelled in spite of extensive changes in its legal status. Reno: Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming: 123–54. an additional 35 per cent said it was ‘acceptable for others but not for me’. and mandated sailing for the state’s riverboat casinos. Clotfelter. It is clear. slot machines were authorised at existing racetracks in Iowa. The events of the last decade do not paint a clear picture of how commercial gaming will evolve over the next ten or twenty years in terms of who will ultimately benefit as suppliers of gambling services or recipients of economic rents. and experienced considerable expansion over the subsequent two years. 3 The US racing industry does not allow on-track bookmaking as can be found in the United Kingdom. Brussels. .

Research and Practice.Cornelius (eds) Gambling and Commercial Gaming: Essays in Business. Reno: Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming. (1988) ‘Compulsive gambling and the law: from sin to vice to disease’. (1978) House of Cards: Regulation of Casino Gambling in Nevada. (1992) ‘The impact of intrastate intertrack wagering. Reno: Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming.R. University of Nevada: 315–32.Ethical and policy considerations in the spread of commercial gambling 239 Eadington.R. MA: Harvard University Press. University of Nevada: 285–94. Thalheimer. Eadington and J. in H.R. Philosophy and Science. St Paul.Eadington and J. B. Reno: Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming. casinos. Rose.Cornelius (eds) Gambling and Commercial Gaming: Essays in Business. (ed. Reno: Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming. Eadington. (1992) ‘He manako te koura i kore ai—the dilemma facing New Zealand’s parimutuel racing industry’. Volberg. J. University of Nevada. and Cummings. Cambridge.Shaffer et al. Skolnick. H. W.N. University of Nevada. Shaffer.R. Philosophy and Science. (1989) ‘Policy implications of prevalence estimates of pathological gambling’. Economics. Philosophy and Science. MN. University of Nevada. I.) (1990) Indian Gaming and the Law. (eds) (1991) Gambling and Public Policy: International Perspectives. R. Boston: Little Brown. Stein. a case study’. Gambino.. H. S. (1989) Compulsive Gambling: Theory. Journal of Gambling Behavior 4(4):240–60. . and Cornelius.. T. J. and a state lottery on the demand for parimutuel horseracing: New Jersey. Fiscal Analyst’s Report (1990) Lawful Gambling in Minnesota. in W. (1983) The Atlantic City Gamble. Lexington. and Hughes. R. Lexington. G. and Steadman. Sternleib. D.. Reno: Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming.A. Syme.A. ——(eds) (1992) Gambling and Commercial Gaming: Essays in Business.A. Research and Practice. MA: Lexington Press. in W. J. Economics. W. Compulsive Gambling: Theory. MA: Lexington Books. Economics.

This process of globalisation has been a common denominator in the rapid expansion and transformation of commercial gambling in Europe. Two interrelated themes are developed. it is necessary to understand the intimate and reciprocal connection between the control of significant economic resources. In trying to come to terms with the globalisation of casinos. including gambling. Strange 1986. The post-war mixed economy has undergone significant transformations with the strengthening of commercial and financial linkages across different regions of the globe (Emy 1993. the emergence of international financial markets. and it is these connections which will be examined here.14 FROM GLAMOUR TO GRIND The globalisation of casinos Jan McMillen The purpose of this chapter is to describe the emerging global trends in casino development and in the process to attempt to understand the complex relationship between political. The interdependence which links states and their societies through the market. The legalisation of casino gambling and its mode of economic and social organisation are the results of political interaction constituted through the institutional structures of the nation state. the exercise of political power and notions of local cultural identity. In turn. in many respects dominated by transnational economic interests which can elude the instruments of domestic state policy. First. global transformations in the casino market have been intimately bound up with important changes in the political-economic and cultural domains at both domestic and international levels. Second. Technological innovation. National authorities are losing control of domestic economies as they are subsumed by global markets. . Stubbs and Underhill 1994). Australasia. both the theory and the practice of state authority are inextricably linked with the society within which it has evolved. Clearly. transnational forms of gambling and the commercialisation of existing gambling traditions. Africa and the former east European communist bloc. the changing global structure and interactions of the casino market give rise to new patterns of economic and political forces at the local level. Business and political leaders in all parts of the globe are embracing gambling policies which would have been anathema to governments and the community alike a decade ago. resulting in profound socio-cultural transformation. help to define the policy choices which are made and their socio-cultural consequences. economic and cultural domains in this contemporary social trend. the period since the 1970s has been an age of extraordinary change in all realms of human activity. the Americas. This chapter highlights the role of the state as the site of contested politics resulting from the fusion of global and local influences in contemporary gambling. and growth in mass tourism and leisure industries have all contributed to the development of new.

Rose 1979:267–99). Britain and the United States. But while the general trend to globalisation of casino development has promoted the emergence of transnational casino corporations and the rapid interconnections between states and economies. some nation states have retained a greater capacity to determine which pattern of development is appropriate for their citizens. in America’s market-orientated and federal system. Throughout the world. While there has been a dramatic global expansion of commercial casinos since the 1970s. beginning with the commercialisation and expansion of casinos during the post-war years in Europe. it is concerned merely to understand the evolution of the modern global phenomenon of commercial casino gambling. Despite the fact that casinos have become part of an international political economy.1 Since then. economic and socio-cultural contexts. as always. first appearing in their modern organisational form in the nineteenth century to cater to the amusement of the aristocracy in European spa resorts. how it fits within society and how it is to be regulated. In the past two decades. there have been two basically different solutions to this last problem: control by government regulation or control by government ownership (Marcum and Rowen 1974:34. lotteries and horse-racing. casino development is more specialised and stratified. The chapter does not investigate the particular cultural character of casinos in any depth. Not all states and casinos are equally integrated into the international economy. the specific shape of casino policies has varied between countries primarily because of national differences in the role of the state and the complex social factors that govern change. although in many respects similar patterns have occurred with other forms of gambling such as lotto. Wiesbaden and Monaco (Miers 1980. in Britain the central state plays an important role in coordinating casino regulation and restricting market practices. Casinos have had a long history. the investment mobility of private economic interests and the sensitivity of casino markets to one another have eroded the boundaries between separate national and regional markets. and predicated on an aversion to state intervention and control of markets. the nature of these changes varies under different national conditions. Wykes 1964. The following sections trace the sources and consequences of these differences and explore the historical relation between the emergence of commercial casinos and changing political. Kelly and Eadington 1986). These structural and cultural differences inevitably have an impact on the character and performance of the two systems. Global processes have heavily influenced casino developments and policies across a range of countries. such as Baden-Baden. Casinos have become progressively internationalised as the growth of global tourism.From glamour to grind 241 Discussion will concentrate on the rapid and consistent expansion of commercial casinos throughout the world since the 1970s. legalised casinos have become an integral element of mass tourism and the political and commercial delivery of casino gambling has diverged into a number of vastly different systems. There have been considerable variations between different countries in the role of the state and the direction and purpose of casino policy. but the broad picture is one of a dramatic and widespread investment of economic surplus into casino enterprises. all governments must confront questions of who is to operate the casino.2 The pattern of development has been uneven. legalised commercial casinos have spread rapidly throughout the world and currently operate in almost 100 different countries (La Fleur and Hevener 1992). When a decision is taken to establish a casino.3 The approach taken in each society . For example.

Any policy preference is connected with a set of social attitudes and cultural values which at certain times may be reinforced by economic pressures. technological innovation and the intensification of global cultural flows. THE EVOLUTION OF CONTEMPORARY CASINOS The purpose of this section is to itemise the historical origins and tendencies which have produced the characteristics of contemporary casino gambling: commercialisation. cultural preferences. or existing political-economic conditions may prevent its acceptance. the physical beauty of many of the spa locations and the assumed health-giving properties of the mineral waters attracted . European casinos and the aristocratic ‘leisure class’ Since the eighteenth century the aristocracy and royalty of Europe have openly indulged their enthusiasm for gaming in the recreational and health resorts of aristocratic Europe. the rise of transnational corporations involved in leisure and tourism rather than production.Gambling cultures 242 is a product of prevailing political-economic objectives. cannot be considered in isolation from these factors. with the types of casino and the objectives to be achieved. and the selection of which one to follow. although far from conclusive. The growing popularity of travel in the nineteenth century. the emergence of an affluent middle class and consumerism. The features of any casino model. fully integrated into the power structure of society. 2 It introduces a conceptualisation of legal casinos as a state-regulated commercial enterprise and as a mechanism of cultural integration. notably in Europe. One approach or the other may be considered unsuitable for a particular society. The chapter will introduce preliminary observations about the history and character of casino gambling. This provides an initial understanding of the general issues and global preconditions of modern casinos and their more recent expansion to other nations. raises some fundamental concerns about the nature of the international casino industry and its effects. In this way an analysis is developed which. These processes underlie the fact that gambling has been historically and materially structured. social concerns and the changing nature of casinos themselves. gaming survived and developed as a favoured recreation of the aristocracy to the stage that the social demand for legitimate outlets could no longer be ignored. even though European states officially were opposed to public gaming and it was illegal in most countries. Britain and the United States. The analysis proceeds in two steps: 1 It examines the emergence of modern casinos as an historical process. Structural and ideological characteristics of casinos have combined with social mechanisms which entrench the power of specific groups. Thus the role of government with respect to casinos varies from one society to another and between periods. Notwithstanding periodic attempts by the state to suppress the gambling activities of the general population. Links between the royal families of Britain and the German states and the emergence of an affluent mercantile and industrial class encouraged the establishment of permanent gaming amenities for regular visitors to places such as Baden-Baden and Wiesbaden in Germany and Baden in Austria.

one-room operations. including theatre. prestigious German and Monte Carlo casinos to small. As casinos have become more popular with the public. The extent to which casinos are commercially exploited as a catalyst for tourism or a major source of government revenue is constrained by the strength of social concerns in each nation. A key feature of the post-war European approach is the close integration of casinos into other recreational and cultural activities. became a model for stimulating regional development which fuelled the proliferation of resort casinos throughout Europe. the large casinos have provided a private room (salon privé) for the exclusive use of gamblers playing for high stakes (high-rollers) or for people of rank or reputation who do not wish to be seen by the general public.5 However. Cannes and Biarritz. restaurants. palatial monuments in the style of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. As well as numerous gambling rooms. Moreover. legal casinos spread to other parts of western Europe. Casinos also were established in Italy. The success of casinos such as those in Monte Carlo led to similar ventures in other European nations. The Casino de Monte Carlo. In general. Polders 1987–88). primarily to prevent the loss of local revenues across national borders and to increase government revenues from tourists. Rich and elegant furnishings and objets d’art add to the regal and luxurious atmosphere. After France legalised casino gambling in 1907. Contemporary European casinos. spartan. government motivations for the post-war growth of casinos in European countries have been based on attempts to provide a complementary facility for the expanding tourism trade while simultaneously boosting public revenues necessary for social amenities and services. Casino gambling expanded and flourished most markedly in the period of affluence after the Second World War. casinos provided a diversion and entertainment during their vacation or recuperation. primarily in resort areas. surrounded by parkland and gardens. The buildings themselves are often magnificent. The casino provided the major source of revenue and the impetus for urban development. Belgium. which range in size and style from the large. the casinos have not abandoned their traditional elitist clientele. governments have been equally motivated to counteract the spread of illegal gaming clubs (Kelly and Eadington 1986. Although European casinos have their historical roots in the elitist market of aristocratic resorts. Astute and entrepreneurial management of the casino to attract the rich and famous produced immediate results which provided a boost to the growth of tourism facilities and infrastructure. and the Casino de Monte Carlo rapidly became the most famous and most profitable casino in Europe.From glamour to grind 243 wealthy visitors from all over Europe. as well as offering gaming and entertainment facilities to cater for middle-class tourists.4 In these traditional-style European casinos. in particular. casinos were established in several resort areas such as Deauville. From Germany and Austria. the remaining small principality lacked a productive economic base. dignity and refinement. When France annexed most of Monaco in 1861. Spain and Portugal. the casinos feature a vast complex of spacious areas which are used for a variety of purposes. The Riviera became a popular holiday area for wealthy Americans as well as the European aristocracy. lounges and vestibules. the emphasis was on elegance. are intended primarily as an entertainment venue for the mass tourist market. there are considerable differences in approach and philosophies which underlie the . In some cases. modern casinos are directed at a much wider market and present a greater variety of operating conditions.

The premises are owned by the city or state in which they are located. Casino management is guided by a strong sense of social responsibility which balances commercial considerations. the social objective of community protection and the economic goal of encouraging revenues from tourism have been complemented by a third political principle: the prevention of crime and fraud. European casino policies have been grounded on various operating models intended to maximise the benefits for the local population. taxes are levied by both central and local governments.6 Austria provides another example of a European strategy of government involvement to maximise social benefits from casino profits. cheating. The privately owned casinos in Germany.Gambling cultures 244 legislative and regulatory structures which have established post-war European casinos. casinos often are seen as a proper and acceptable area for public enterprise. Yet the company is very entrepreneurial in purpose and management style. holds exclusive licences for all of the eleven casinos established in Austria. The corporatist structure of casino ownership effectively strengthens the collaboration of political and commercial representatives in the successful pursuit of both commercial and social objectives. Most European governments limit each region to a single casino intended mainly for tourists. The distinctive institutional arrangements and policies of Austrian casinos are the product of historical and cultural conditions conducive to corporatism. assistance for ‘problem’ gamblers. public access is limited in various ways. which has a majority government shareholding. a political and economic strategy for securing organic cooperation between public and private sectors and unions to achieve relatively advantageous policies for state and society (Marin 1985). such as entrance fees. dress requirements and restrictions on advertising. Since the nineteenth century. casino policies have been strongly influenced by variants of democratic socialism which stress the importance of state intervention to ensure that goods and services are distributed on a basis distinct from the market principle. a number of scandals involving fraud. a restrained and socially responsible approach to casino gambling has been sustained by policies intended to both contain the commercial scope and political power of the industry and avoid possible social problems and adverse impacts on the local community (entry fees. and casino revenues are subject to high marginal tax rates (80 per cent by state governments plus a city tax). to a greater or lesser extent overriding the profit motives of casino management. the government’s Board for Casino Games. renewal of the operators’ franchise is dependent upon their contributions to community objectives. extending its monopoly over Austrian casinos to invest in other countries and cruise-ship casinos. Casinos Austria AG. Since the nineteenth century. In all European casinos. Until recently the Netherlands took the extreme position of requiring that all games of chance be conducted on a non-profit basis by a single public authority. In France. In contrast to the private-enterprise model of Britain and the United States. which are reserved for tourists. blackmail and political corruption in casinos have been aggravated by bad publicity concerning apparent links between . In many European countries. strict dress codes. are regulated by regional authorities which set an operational framework sensitive to local conditions (Kelly and Eadington 1986:59–61). for example. Moreover. and local residents are prohibited from gambling in the casinos. there are over 145 private-sector casinos of various sizes which are closely regulated in all aspects of management by a central authority (the Commission Supérieure des Jeux). town planning ordinances).

Its management practices are more compatible with established communal political and social expectations in these countries than the more aggressively commercial American or Asian casino corporations. however. the former Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia have opened the way for international investment in tourism and the introduction of casinos to those countries. political relations and social structure of the regions. but it is likely to accelerate the flow of cultural and economic influences across local and national boundaries. Elsewhere. as European casinos (with the exception of Monte Carlo) are not a powerful force in the local economy. This new era is being further complicated by the institutional and regulatory uncertainty associated with the development of the federated European Union (Miers 1991). many older casinos have enlarged and modernised their facilities. Organised casino gambling was prohibited in socialist countries as an intolerable expression of capitalist society which reproduced class inequalities. In order to obtain a share of an increasingly competitive international market. In Europe. which has a demonstrated capacity to work within a model informed by democratic socialist principles. Poland and Russia. Moreover. the global expansion of the more profit-orientated American model of casino development has introduced to Europe the economic and political influence of large non-European casino corporations with transnational resources and ambitions. it is notable that the most successful applicant to operate casinos in eastern European countries has been Casinos Austria AG. most contemporary European casinos have been relatively trouble-free and policies have successfully mitigated the potential social costs often associated with casinos. government intervention and control over market expansion historically has been accepted as a general principle. the collapse of socialist regimes in eastern Europe by the end of the decade and the urgency of economic reforms in countries such as Hungary. control procedures have been tightened with little risk of the casino management pressuring government for more liberal operating conditions. As these casinos become larger and new types of casinos are introduced they are likely to exert new and greater influences on the local economy. . In France. More significantly. To restore public confidence all governments have been obliged to impose more stringent political controls over casino operations.7 In the 1980s. This ideological objection to casinos has broken down with the demise of socialism in the eastern bloc and attempts to open these economies to capitalist market forces. however. relaxed entry requirements and introduced non-traditional mechanised games. The final shape of this new European geography has yet to emerge.From glamour to grind 245 notorious criminals and the casino industry. materialism and the exploitation of working-class culture for profit. Consequently. taxation scandals and criminal infiltration have tarnished the reputations of French casinos. Political and economic pressures for industry expansion have begun to erode the stability of the traditional European model. Czechoslovakia. It may be that casino policy systems based on the hitherto unchallenged authority of nation states will be profoundly modified. a number of influences brought considerable change to European casinos which reflect changing national interests and community objectives. With the recent shift in policy. Casinos have recently opened in Hungary. the control system has been less successful and political corruption.

such as the use of penalties against running a gaming house for profit. This policy shift seems to have been influenced more by attempts to address persistent non-compliance with the law than . which continued to cater for the urban working class. gaming as such was not illegal. The new policy involved more direct intervention by the state. the primary concern of the Crown was to deter gambling by the propertied classes. although specific games popular with the working class and the conduct of common gaming houses were prohibited (Miers 1980). who often conducted gaming sessions on their estates as well as frequenting the common gaming houses. However. but unlike the European perspective this was construed narrowly in the liberal view of a protective mechanism which might safeguard gamblers against arbitrary commercial exploitation by others. Restrictions on the commercial exploitation of gambling activities and the paternalistic concept of ‘player protection’ from the ‘seductions of gambling’ remain as central principles of contemporary British gaming policy (Miers 1984:184). These principles were re-affirmed between 1949 and 1951 by a Royal Commission which signalled a more tolerant attitude to gambling by the British government. benign enforcement ensured that the policy was virtually unchanged for over a century. however.Gambling cultures 246 The British tradition: player protection A variation of the European model is the contemporary British ‘club’ casino. the fundamental freedom to gamble was still seen as the non-political preserve of the individual. but with only limited success until the Victorian era. In the liberal tradition. with some establishments devoted solely to gaming. Campaigns against the gambling habits of the poor were maintained. The British nobility and wealthy gamblers simply transferred their gaming activities to European casinos. and by the eighteenth century the first casino was established at Bath and was well patronised by British and European gentry. Coffee houses and private clubs in London also became popular venues for wealthy gamblers during the Georgian period. The history of British gaming has been characterised by class-based preferences for different games and the existence of different gambling outlets to cater for these activities. indebtedness and cheating among the wealthy had become so widespread by the seventeenth century that both Charles II and Queen Anne legislated to prevent the loss of land and wealth through gambling debts. Concern by the Victorian middle class to reform public morality and a perceived need to distinguish gambling transactions from the speculative investment activities of the respectable new capitalist class prompted legislative changes intended to protect the community from the social and personal effects of their own predilection for gambling. however.8 The British nobility and aristocracy have been enthusiastic gamblers since the eleventh century. Parliamentary representatives of the propertied classes. The practical effects of this policy meant that there was little attempt to close illegal public gaming houses. but the extent of high-stake gaming. illegal public gaming houses thrived with only spasmodic attempts to control them. Gaming by the nobility and rich continued to flourish. these illegal clubs operated well into the nineteenth century without any serious attempt to enforce the legislation. Often protected by royal patronage. Despite criticisms by moralists that the law was being flouted. Even so. From the sixteenth century. took a serious view of the socially dangerous effects of illegal gambling by the working class.

the more entrepreneurial clubs cooperate with tourism operators to arrange temporary membership for visitors to Britain. British casinos are organised in the style of private ‘clubs’. are required by law to confine access to club members. the social costs of ‘excessive’ gambling mean that it should not be stimulated for commercial gain or revenue. application for membership must be made at least 48 hours in advance. Although it was not the government’s intention to provide a service for tourists. Kelly and Eadington 1986:33–44).9 Inadequate and ambiguous regulations allowed commercial gaming to expand uncontrolled until 1968. usually small venues devoted almost exclusively to table games. it must be controlled to prevent criminal involvement or mismanagement. national interests are secured by restricting casino ownership to British citizens. The numbers of casinos were limited (since maintained at around 120) and a Gaming Board for Great Britain appointed with extensive powers to license club premises and ensure honest conduct of gaming (Miers 1984. 1984). The elimination of criminal influence became an explicit policy objective for the first time. ‘problem’ gamblers can be excluded from the casino. whether Conservative or Labour. By the 1960s. effectively decriminalising the illegal gaming clubs and clearing the way for the establishment of hundreds of new clubs throughout Britain (Royal Commission on Gambling [Rothschild Report] 1978). competition among the club-casinos for these valued ‘high-rollers’ led to a series of scandals which exposed serious flaws in the government’s control strategy (Miers 1983. Rather.10 During the 1970s global recession. and alcohol cannot be served at the gaming tables. British governments. the erosion of public confidence in law-enforcement officials had become a serious problem for the British government. British casinos. Furthermore. it was rejected on moral grounds and the risk to governments if the casinos were unprofitable. have adopted the position that because casino gaming cannot be eradicated. Since the 1960s. The Gaming Act of 1968 was introduced to reduce drastically the numbers of commercial gaming clubs and to establish a strict regulatory system to enforce the stated policy principles. Without adequate legislative controls over their activities. Some of the more luxurious London club-casinos also compete vigorously with one another to attract wealthy players from the Middle East who form a core clientele of regular high-stake gamblers. To avoid impulsive gambling. with licensing (certificates of consent to operate) as the central strategy to eliminate undesirable elements from the industry. affluent section of the population. In this way British governments have hoped to prevent the spread of social problems while satisfying the minimum gambling demands of citizens. many of the new clubs commercially exploited the market and were used as fronts for criminal activities. Premises vary from the elegant and intimate to the basic and austere.11 . depending on location and the class of patrons. there was no serious challenge to private ownership. The combination of new crime control principles and the legacy of the player protection principle resulted in a more restrictive regulatory regime over casinos than that which existed in either Europe or the United States at the time. which was seen as a culturally and politically acceptable way of confining casino gambling to a small.From glamour to grind 247 by a conscious liberalisation of attitudes or by fiscal pressures and the need for revenue. Further changes to the Betting and Gaming Act in 1960 permitted premises to be used for gaming. credit betting and advertising are prohibited. 1987:82–4. Although the Labour government explored the possibility that casinos could be managed by local government authorities. Even so.

Gambling cultures 248 The British regulatory system places considerable trust in the ultimate power of legal sanctions to achieve honest casino management. The popularity of gambling spread westward with the migration to California which followed the discovery of gold in 1848. and entrepreneurs who sought to turn the gambling activities of the population to their commercial advantage. including professionals and politicians. Hicks 1981). 1984). Gaming became the principal recreational activity for males in mining communities. notably in the desert state of Nevada. This ‘commercial subversion of the legal sanction’ (Miers 1989:29) prompted legislative reform but it remains an open question whether the new policies are an adequate safeguard against management’s efforts to bypass regulations in global economic conditions similar to those which caused the 1970s decline in casino revenues. Elliott and Rowley 1987. gambling policies have been shaped by the polarised views of two antagonistic forces: intense anti-gambling campaigns by moralists demanding its total prohibition. the east coast casinos were attracting gamblers from among the wealthy middle class. the larger illegal operators could offer credit. Policy debates have been informed by liberal-democratic assumptions about the capacity for individuals of all classes to represent their competing interests to the state and for the state to act as an impartial guardian of community values. In defiance of prohibition. with official attempts at prohibition followed by relaxation or non-enforcement of the law. where card and dice games flourished in the back rooms of saloons and gambling halls (Eadington and Hattori 1976. ‘symbolic enforcement’ of the law and widespread corruption of police by illegal gambling operators ensured that illegal gaming casinos. Immigrants from Europe brought their gaming practices with them. Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. flourished despite strong anti-gambling legislation. prostitution and free liquor. By the 1930s. Casino policy in the United States has been determined less by the state’s attempt to regulate the market or by differential treatment of the gambling preferences of the wealthy and the working class than by conflicts between religious. and by the eighteenth century. the existence of heavy legal sanctions discouraged small operators and cleared the way for criminal syndicates with substantial illicit funds to develop more luxurious facilities and improve services for clients. The United States: from ‘organised crime’ to global dominance The expansion of legalised casinos in the United States has had a markedly different history from that of Britain or Europe. Makeshift illegal gaming clubs were well established in New Orleans by the time the first illegal Europeanstyle casino opened its doors in 1872. A similar history of entrepreneurial initiative and regulatory failure evolved in western states. legal and economic groups to control gambling policy. Nevada has been at . The history of casino gambling in the United States is fraught with evidence of links with illegal enterprises and criminals. On the east coast. illegal gaming was prevalent in eastern cities such as New Orleans and New York (Reuter 1983. the illegal casinos in New York and New Orleans experienced a history of legislative fluctuations. However. Rather than eradicating gaming. before the Gaming Board could proceed against the offending casino licensees they were subject to a corporate takeover at deflated prices. The benign and inconsistent approach of policy-makers. thus allowing gaming to continue.

despite vocal and wellorganised opposition from churches and women’s groups. cheating reached epidemic proportions and brawls and violent disputes between drunken gamblers over winnings created major problems for local law enforcement officials. a fact reflected in the laissezfaire approach of casino legislation. Skolnick 1978:363). seeing them as a ‘pariah’ industry (Skolnick 1978:141). One contributing economic factor was the traditional source of investment in the Las Vegas casinos. legislation initially prohibited conduct and participation in gaming. and the involvement of some casinos in profit-skimming and corruption of public officials. Wary of the industry’s reputation for crime and not wishing to offend middle-class moralists. Although the residential population is small. illegal games continued to grow in size and number and from 1913 the anti-gambling policy was gradually reversed. the rowdy and disruptive behaviour of gamblers soon attracted criticism from churches and community leaders hoping to establish permanent towns. even with strengthened licensing and enforcement powers. paving the way for investment by respected entrepreneurs such as Howard Hughes and legitimate hotel corporations such as Hilton. were licensed by the state government after 1945 and taxes were imposed on gross earnings. In line with eastern states. but the tough penalties imposed on prohibited games drove most gaming underground and attracted criminals to their operation. In 1931 the Nevada legislature took the final step towards legalisation and passed a new ‘wide open gambling bill’ which permitted all forms of commercial gaming (Commission of the Review of the National Policy toward Gambling [Morin Commission] 1976:184). MGM and Holiday Corporation. Hyatt. 1982b. Antigaming legislation had little effect. efforts at regulation were ineffective and public officials were unable to remove corrupt and undesirable influences.12 However. Ramada. This revenue dependency has had three main effects for government: it is economically indebted to the casino industry. which at that time were little more than gaming rooms. During the 1950s and 1960s the close association between casinos and crime syndicates and known criminals. The small ‘casinos’. However. The casino industry is crucial to the Nevada economy. respectable investors and lenders had shunned casinos. in the 1960s Nevada officials took action to improve the reputation of the industry and coincidentally its economic viability. hundreds of casinos of all sizes are located throughout Nevada. Casinos are the state’s main generator of economic development. Legislative reforms allowed publicly traded corporations to own and operate casinos. employment and government revenue (Ebel 1990). Nevada casino operators consequently turned to criminal sources to finance the construction and refurbishment of the large casino-hotels which began to appear in the post-war years. Reno and Laughlin. attracting millions of tourists throughout the year (Elliott and Rowley 1987:325–48. particularly in Las Vegas. The first official attempt to restrict gambling in Nevada coincided with the formation of the Nevada Territory in 1861. Skolnick 1978). prompted a federal investigation and several attempts by federal authorities to intervene (Special Senate Committee to Investigate Organised Crime in Interstate Commerce [Kefauver Committee] 1951). To avoid further federal intervention. Without proper legal controls.From glamour to grind 249 the forefront of casino developments in the United States ever since. The Nevada casino industry grew steadily in the post-war years (Eadington 1982a. it must encourage the casino corporations to expand and create new . The shift by the state from an ineffective crime control approach to a policy of facilitating commercial expansion has transformed the casino industry and the state economy.

to increase employment and to boost government revenues (Abt et al. problems which had not been completely resolved. Others suggested that legalisation would prevent organised crime from profiteering from gambling and the state would be helped financially. divorce and even prostitution’ which other states have shunned (1987:373). Although initial casino proposals were successfully opposed by the anti-gambling lobby. drinking. The socio-cultural effects have been profound. pointed to the fact that the history of Nevada casinos was tainted by crime and corruption. also began to view the casino industry in a more favourable light (Eadington 1982a. Clotfelter and Cook 1989). Against the recommendation of a national inquiry (Morin Commission 1976) many proponents of legalised casinos argued that legalisation was the only way US citizens would be discouraged from gambling valuable dollars in other jurisdictions. 1985:145–7. introducing new forms of gambling such as state lotteries (Abt et al. encouraged by the tourism lobby. Puerto Rico or the Bahamas. literature and the values of family life to a society with one of the highest standards of living in the United States (1987:372–400). Havana was a popular and accessible playground of the affluent middle class from the eastern states until closure of the casinos following the coup led by Fidel Castro. establishing ‘continuity between its original mining frontier and the gambling-based society of the late twentieth century’ (Elliott and Rowley 1987:373). Sternlieb and Hughes 1983).Gambling cultures 250 markets. Morin Commission 1976). Critics question the general health and quality of life in a permissive community founded on the ‘excesses of gambling. The ‘unapologetic pursuit of wealth and the quest for lady luck at the gambling tables’ have provided Nevada with its main source of cultural cohesion. and it has to trust that its licensing procedures are adequate as the main mechanism of control. either in Nevada or in illegal casinos in eastern cities. Lehne 1986:26–56. but the Nevada experience had shifted concerns to the involvement of ‘organised crime’ in casinos and doubts about the capacity of governments to remove criminal activities from the industry. on the other hand. Negative public perceptions of casinos were explicitly tied to the poor image of the Nevada model. By this time many Americans had experienced casino gambling for themselves. Mounting pressures to legalise gambling in order to stimulate economic growth and growing scepticism about the honesty and ethics of private operators dominated a strong campaign by casino and tourism interests for commercial casinos in New Jersey. Arguments about the immorality of gambling and its socially destructive effects still carried considerable political weight. Its defenders stress the economic bonanza which has financed the transformation of Nevada from a state deprived of arts. other state governments. 1985.13 These economic arguments were supported by some who favoured decriminalisation of gaming laws on the grounds that they are ‘unenforceable’. Opponents of the New Jersey proposal. however. By the 1970s. public attitudes towards gambling in the United States began to change as various states sought to resolve their fiscal problems by liberalising existing gambling policies. The main motivations were to revitalise the decaying Atlantic City resort. Changes to the corporate structures of the Nevada casinos during the 1970s and a more professional approach to management proved to be the major factors which eventually led to public approval via referendum in 1976 for the legalisation of . Hawkins 1982. Lampen 1982. An increasing number of Americans could afford to travel to casinos in Europe.

Casino developments in both states have been driven fundamentally by commercial competition and are owned and operated by large corporations with other heavy tourism investments. however. The large American casino is a far cry from the hushed and sedate small casinos of nineteenth-century European spas. that officials are over-zealous. should be open to market competition rather than protected or regulated by government. and the proportion of slots to table games in most casinos has increased progressively to attract the occasional gambler. Casinos also compete vigorously for the lucrative. Lehne 1986:119–222. 1985:217–20. Nevada’s highly competitive. 1985:79). Ransom 1991. It is widely believed that any profitable industry. Modern American-style casinos above all are distinct entertainment venues where a variety of table and machine games can be played ‘in a timeless hermetic environment of elaborate unreality’ (Abt et al. Satré 1982). Under considerable pressure from commercial interests to protect profit margins (and thus state revenue). the market was accepted as the most appropriate mechanism for casino management. market for international tourists and high-rollers. there are no entry requirements and the traditional European table games have been complemented by versions of American games (craps. other than those perceived as ‘vices’ or those controlled by organised crime. a stance which has not been accepted without a struggle (Lehne 1986:57–118. Nor has the government been able to prevent bankruptcies and market failures resulting from over-capitalisation and reliance on debtfinancing for expansion in the 1980s. Seton Hall Legislative Journal 1982). The New Jersey regulatory approach. The bulk of patrons are small and irregular gamblers who go to the casino for entertainment and sightseeing.From glamour to grind 251 commercial casinos in New Jersey. and it was unlikely that any government could have seriously questioned the concept of private ownership. is unusually interventionist for an American state government. Critics from academia and the industry have claimed that the New Jersey casinos are over-regulated. The United States has rejected government-run casinos from a deeply embedded philosophical opposition to government involvement in the economy. With the decriminalisation of casino gambling and its control by respectable casino corporations. 1991. particularly from the newly affluent industrialised economies of Asia.14 Casinos in Nevada and New Jersey operate primarily as amenities for destination tourism. the New Jersey authorities have gradually adjusted the legal and administrative framework to facilitate commercial viability and further expansion of the industry. open casino market is evidence that the state lacked the inclination or the capacity to prevail over private control of the market. In contrast to efforts by British and European governments to limit the social problems associated with casinos. Casino operators in Nevada since the 1930s had firmly established a structural model based on commercial enterprise. fourteen commercial casino facilities were concentrated along the Boardwalk in Atlantic City in a ‘strip’ development reminiscent of that in Las Vegas. American casinos operate twenty-four hours a day. By the 1980s. Management strategies are directed towards attracting a mass market. as in Nevadan casinos. Commercial . stud poker) and thousands of ‘slots’. These problems are seen as the inevitable outcome of unwarranted government involvement. but more unstable. using sophisticated marketing techniques to stimulate gambling (Macomber 1984). Lowenhar et al. and that the bureaucratic inflexibility of the regulatory process has undermined profitability (Abt et al.15 The primary focus is on the ‘grind’ market.

Excalibur. building an illusory image of a luxurious and exciting world where visitors can escape from the mundane reality of twentieth-century life. Ohio. high-quality restaurants and entertainment. gamblers crowding around hundreds of gaming tables. Each of these proposals was defeated after opposition by several organised anti-casino groups. A matrix of constant activity and bright flashing lights. and the high cost of travel have restricted access to casino gambling for most American citizens. the most recent and largest casinos (Caesar’s Palace. Hawkins 1982. Rubenstein 1984. While Americans may be willing to travel considerable distances to gamble in casinos. Sternlieb and Hughes 1983).16 Debates continue to be influenced by allegations of links between Nevada and New Jersey casinos and criminals and political corruption (Adams 1983. two casino innovations have been introduced: riverboat casinos have been legalised in five states along the Mississippi and on the Gulf Coast. Nevada and New Jersey. Gambling is not the only facility offered to attract patrons. alcohol and money flow freely.17 These developments have provided the impetus to legalise casinos further throughout the United States and introduced cultural dimensions which may represent a resurgence of inherited meanings and vernaculars. selfcontained resorts constructed around exotic themes. Modern casinos are self-contained social settings clearly separated from ordinary life activities: they usually have neither clocks nor windows. Rosecrance 1988:8–4. the Luxor) have introduced a new fantastical dimension to the casino industry. the regional concentration of casinos in only two American states. The failure of the New Jersey casinos to achieve the promised urban renewal in Atlantic City has raised doubts about the social and economic merits of casino developments (Eadington and Cornelius 1991:8.Gambling cultures 252 operators have adapted and exaggerated the games and ambience of traditional aristocratic casinos to attract a mass market and maximise profits. In the intensifying competition for customers. mobilised around arguments of public morality. normal constraints over conduct and spending no longer apply (Goffman 1967. creating lavish. With proposals to introduce urban casinos. a range of convention facilities and indoor and outdoor resort amenities. Policy-makers in Indiana. and the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 has allowed Indian tribes to introduce forms of casino-style gambling on their reserves in a number of states (Eadington 1990. But in the face of continuing political and cultural obstacles to market expansion in their own country. Rose 1979:258). Skolnick 1978). the Taj Mahal. While the corporate emphasis on mass markets has promoted commercial advances. The commercial success of Nevada and the regulatory innovations in New Jersey failed to overcome public scepticism in other American states about casinos. many American casino . Eadington 1986a. Michigan and Illinois tried to persuade the general population that a European type of casino development would be more acceptable to local needs and expectations than the current American approach (Dombrink and Thompson 1990. Hawkins 1982. Each distinctive theme creates an extravagant fiction. Kelly 1994). Lehne 1986. the Mirage. Typical casino-hotels provide luxurious but relatively inexpensive accommodation. the MGM-Grand. 1991). the continual clatter of coins from seemingly endless rows of electronic gaming machines have created a frenetic social world which combines the features of a fantasy playland and a money factory. the concern for adverse community impacts assumed greater significance. Minnesota. Against this cautious response. adverse community impacts and competing development objectives. it seems that many view the prospect of casinos in their own community with suspicion or determined defiance. Colorado.

with direct government controls over investment in order to ensure that they will contribute to commercial and tourism development. Casino gambling in the Bahamas was legalised in 1939 and has been actively promoted as an important component in economic development and as a source of government revenues. Local advertising and admittance of local residents are prohibited so as to ensure that revenues come from tourists to the island. Latin America and Africa (Kent-Lemon 1988. strong cultural and legal links with Britain have meant that the Bahamas have emulated some aspects of the socially restrictive British approach to casino policies. Like Britain and Nevada. However. and in many nations. American-style commercial imperatives have been modified to a greater or lesser extent by local conditions and social expectations derived from British and European models. in large part due to the investment strength of American casino corporations and the market structure of international tourism. the pattern of casino development has been similar to that in Nevada. corruption and widespread cheating. Puerto Rican casinos have been closely regulated and supervised. the Middle East. bribery. In this regard. flaws in crime-control policies have led to the Bahaman casinos being accused of having criminal connections and to problems of casino mismanagement. The spread of American influence has come to represent the defining feature of casino development in the late twentieth century. In the post-war period.18 In Puerto Rico. governments have introduced casinos explicitly to encourage destination tourism and to increase revenues. casino-hotels form ‘the base of the island’s tourist industry’ (Morin Commission 1976:100). although this is difficult to enforce. With the exception of Asia. quality facilities have limited successful applicants to reputable corporations in the field. numerous American-style resort casinos also have appeared in Asia. In most cases. Restrictions have been placed on the number of casinos. as a major force in shaping economies and gambling cultures in many areas of the world. Levy 1992). Selesner 1984). However. The commercial orientation.19 Priority is given to regulating the extent and type of development which does occur and to alleviating impacts on the local community. technology and style of the modern American approach to casinos has strongly influenced the objectives and character of global casino developments over the past twenty years.From glamour to grind 253 corporations have sought to establish new markets in other nations which were being integrated into a global economic order. casinos in the Bahamas are provided only for tourists and visitors. the growing acceptance of the tourism potential of casinos is not unambiguous or relentless. Theoretically. several small island nations in North America— notably the Bahamas and Puerto Rico—had encouraged large-scale investment in resort casinos as the central strategy to revitalise tourism (Clark 1990. most of the large casinos which have been established in these countries are managed by experienced American . which has seen the emergence of powerful indigenous gambling corporations. and specifications for large. Since their introduction in 1948. Long before Nevada and New Jersey. However. Globalisation of casinos: transnational linkages The recent expansion of casino gambling throughout the world has brought a qualitative change to national gambling cultures and policies. Some governments have resisted the drift to commercial casinos. the comprehensive political controls over Puerto Rican casinos contrast sharply with the market forces which prevail in Nevada and the Bahamas.

21 In Malaysia. games played and employment practices. Two western provinces (Alberta and British Columbia) award temporary casino licences to charities which engage operators to manage the games and raise funds (Campbell 1987. has been influenced more by the restrictive British and European approaches. In the eastern provinces of Manitoba and Quebec. The appeal of commercial casinos and destination tourism.23 Casino gaming in Canada. Where casino gaming is allowed. the provincial governments have viewed the task of keeping organised crime out of the casinos as more important than allowing welfare agencies to control their own revenue raising and have taken over casino ownership and operations themselves. itself owned by an Indonesian plantation operator. for example. American-style destination resort casinos have been rejected as inappropriate in some countries. Hyatt and Holiday Corporation. Even so. ultimately may convince Canadian legislators to take a more pragmatic view of casino policies (Campbell and Lowman 1989). Islamic beliefs. conditions in each country have required adaptation of the basic features of the archetypical American destination resort casino in order to suit local needs. Different national cultural and religious values are reflected in the wide variations in architecture. However. it is in a restricted form so as to minimise its social effects. it is common for the local population to be restricted or prohibited from gambling. Osborne and Campbell 1988. Campbell and Lowman 1989). Canada.22 Canada has not had a history of aristocratic support for gaming as in Britain and Europe or of entrenched illegal casinos as in the United States. Campbell and Ponting 1984). Some successful Asian casino operators have themselves become transnational investors. often on religious grounds. the proximity of casinos in neighbouring countries attracts many gamblers from these nations. Whereas gambling tourists are viewed as a valuable source of foreign exchange. This focus on a crime-control model reflects the traditional emphasis of Canadian governments on social issues and concern that the entrenched corruption and crime in some states of the eastern United States has the potential to infiltrate Canadian casinos. However. conditions of entry. the commercial success of the United States’ casinos has not been lost on Canadian provincial governments confronting the difficult task of finding ways of attracting investment to their local economies and solutions to their fiscal problems. the governmentowned casinos are operated by the private sector. Genting Berhad’s casino in the highlands resort above Kuala Lumpur was designed to be invisible to resort patrons who might be offended by gambling. for example. for example. despite its proximity to the commercial casino developments of the United States.20 However. as in Britain. which reject gambling as evil. and the leakage of Canadian gambling revenues as Canadians flock to the more glamorous casinos in Nevada and Atlantic City.Gambling cultures 254 operators such as Hilton. Indonesians denied gaming opportunities in their own country have ready access to the Christmas Island casino. have been one factor which has limited the growth of casinos in parts of Africa and Asia.24 The historical nexus between welfare and gaming revenues and concern for the potential for crime and corruption thus far have prevailed over economic imperatives in Canada (Beare 1990). and the revenues generated are used for social purposes. dress codes. Ramada. is treated as a social phenomenon which should not be stimulated for private profit (BC Gaming Commission 1988. In Ontario and Nova Scotia. using American casino management techniques and investment strategies. It was similar pressures .

and each casino has a regional monopoly (McMillen 1987. Yet despite the cultural predilection of Asian societies for gambling. Laos. Even so. the potential of the growing and lucrative Asian tourist and ‘junket’ markets have assumed a new importance (McMillen 1993). 1991b. and manufacturers of gaming machines and equipment have become major suppliers to casinos around the world. On the contrary. Australian casinos do not restrict access of the local population in the way that British and European casinos do. some newly developing Asian countries (Cambodia. Casinos legalised since 1980. the political uncertainty as the former British colony approaches its takeover by China in 1997 is an additional disincentive to casino development. While the stimulation of tourism has always been a stated policy objective. Casino operators and governments aim to stimulate mass consumption and mass spending within acceptable cultural and political limits. As interstate rivalry for the tourist market accelerated in the 1980s. China’s commitment to state . the earlier Australian casinos also have been compelled to adopt a more aggressive commercial approach so as to maintain market share. Australian casinos have derived many of their characteristics from the models of development which have evolved in Britain. Vietnam) have authorised casinos in order to stimulate regional economic growth. Japanese corporations have invested in casinos in several nations. Australia’s fourteen casinos are all situated in major urban centres with a stable population base. Asia itself has been the area of the world most resistant to casino development. however. although most have legalised other forms of gambling. Australian casino developments have been distinctive in several respects: casinos have been introduced to all Australian states in three waves of expansion associated with the regional impacts of global economic recessions. however. Japan seems to be content to capitalise on casino developments elsewhere. but with limitations on participation of the local population. Europe and the United States. and were small facilities in remote locations. in line with popular cultural expectations. 1993). Australian casinos are more ‘egalitarian’ and accessible to the whole population. in many cases albeit in a less ostentatious way. in practice most Australian casinos have derived the bulk of their revenues from local gamblers. With further intensification of interstate competition during the global recession of the early 1990s and the rapid growth of an affluent Asian middle class. The government of the People’s Republic of China overcame its ideological reluctance to legalise any form of gaming in 1987 to permit a number of small provincial lotteries to raise funds for designated welfare services. Their structural form differs quite markedly from the smaller casinos which operate in Britain and Europe. and in 1994 an American-style casino-resort was approved for Hainan Island as part of China’s economic diversification into global tourism.From glamour to grind 255 which convinced some Australian state governments in the 1970s to turn to commercial casinos as a way of solving their immediate political and economic problems. nor are casinos isolated in destination resorts as in the United States.25 The first Australian casinos opened in the 1970s adapted the discreet ambience and restrained operating style of British clubstyle casinos. The large prosperous nations have maintained an even more cautious policy on casinos. are fashioned on the glitter. More importantly. South Korea. 1991a. Gambling in Hong Kong is dominated by a thriving horse-racing industry. However. luxury and showmanship of the American prototype. often for ideological and commercial reasons. As communist governments have opened their national economies to trade and integration with the global capitalist economy.

but strengthening the directive capacities of the state to deliver benefits for the local community. The emerging global casino culture is a heterogeneous phenomenon. particularly in Asia. and the uneasy balance between unique local cultural identities and the reshaping of that uniqueness by transnational influences. welfarism). This is not a simple process of American cultural hegemony but the fusion of a range of core meanings (consumerism. stresses the contested and undecided nature of the encounter between global and local forces. variants of a European approach. regional and national forces acting primarily through the state have created a variety of different types of casinos and achieved different policy outcomes. and the US model. Related to the globalisation of casinos is the rise of cultural flows across local and national frontiers. ranging from commercialisation of gambling to the universalisation of machine gaming. confining development to remote regions devoted to ‘fantasy’ tourism. and on the other by principles of economic liberalism which facilitate profit maximisation and market expansion.26 CONCLUSION The result of the processes described above is the rise of global casino markets. both in the migration of casino management practices and in the intensification of transnational gambling markets. In other ways globalisation has produced a chain of localised casino developments and markets scattered around the world yet increasingly connected with one another. competitive individualism) with local identities and beliefs (nationalism. conformity and novelty. the state remains the crucial pivot for political conflict over issues of culture and cultural identity in casino development. It remains to be seen if the rise of global casino projects dominated by the west. The global spread of casino gambling represents borderless networks of corporate alliances quite different from those of the past and the flow of gamblers across local and national boundaries.Gambling cultures 256 socialism and its strong rate of economic growth during the 1992–93 global recession make casino development on the mainland less likely in the immediate future. technology and marketing. The growing sensitivity to the relationship between global markets and local outcomes. which is more accepting of the integration of casinos and economic development. which is guided on the one hand by a residual moralism. the transnationalisation of casino gambling has . using state power to restrict both market expansion and public access to casinos. ultimately represents an homogenising threat to distinctive local cultural identities. In some respects this has meant the centralisation of power and control in the core (often American) corporations exercising structural power through their command over finance. folklore. Within this general pattern of globalisation. At another level. in divergent social settings. At least three different conceptions of casinos represent recognisable policy options: the British ‘non-stimulatory’ approach guided by a realist tolerance of the inevitability of gaming in the community but a reluctance to encourage further growth. play. From their marginal origins as either the exclusive recreation of aristocratic and wealthy elites (in Europe) or the commercial ‘front’ for organised crime (in the United States). a juxtaposition of sameness and difference. casinos since the 1960s have become a legitimate and integrated part of the world economy. At one level.

casinos compete strongly for these players and offer them VIP services. 8 Although common gaming houses were often dilapidated and bawdy establishments. ‘tourist revitalisation’. both by corrupt police ignoring the laws and by police pressure for changes to unenforceable laws (see Dixon 1982. NOTES 1 The word ‘casino’ refers to premises primarily devoted to the playing of games of chance. The Belgian casinos. conversation and playing table games. By the same token. casinos were clearly distinguished on class lines from the ‘gaming houses’ of the poor. In the case of gaming. 3 Rose (1979) suggests that there are four models of control: the ‘free enterprise’. operated outside the law but none the less with the tacit approval of the governments which collected taxes from each casino (BC Gaming Commission 1988:9). In their absence. 4 Not all of these were legal. The articulation of these interests within the state provides some insight into the real impact of American capitalist hegemony. As the domain of the aristocracy and wealthy. Sytze Kingma explains the distinctive combination of religious. continuing criminal involvement in casino ownership. the interests of transnational casino corporations with access to international markets have found expression in the policies of liberalisation of nations around the world. . The concept originated in Europe where the wealthy established small garden houses specifically for entertainment. where the state historically has had a more directive economic and social role. 1984). ownership wars between different casinos and the use of illegal gaming machines as a source of revenue by criminal groups (Kelly and Eadington 1986:62–3). easy credit and prostitution were additional attractions available to the nobility. These categories seem to conflate the basic methods of control with more general state objectives for casino development. social and political factors which have shaped gambling policies in the Netherlands. 6 In Chapter 11 of this volume. 11 High-rollers are regular players who gamble large amounts of money. 9 Police have played a critical role in the liberalisation of British betting and gaming policies.From glamour to grind 257 reduced the cultural and economic arena controlled by the nation state and intensified the pressures its domestic constituencies have to bear. defence of distinctive local cultures could supplant moral and commercial concerns as the major site for contested casino politics. 2 For convenience. 10 In 1989 there were only twenty-one casinos in London. including music. In the case of Asia. casinos have been grouped by geopolitical location. 5 See Spanier (1980) for a description of the various games played in European casinos. but it is important to note that in practice there are many commercial linkages and overlapping features between the different groupings as well as variations within each group. but they generated 70 per cent of Britain’s casino revenues (Miers 1989:28). widespread police corruption had been an important factor in the continued existence of illegal gaming clubs (Rothschild Report 1978). the encounter between global cultural flows and local inherited identities constitutes an opportunity to recognise the power of local culture in resisting and thereby reshaping globalisation. 7 Persistent regulatory failure in France is the result of a number of factors: inadequacy of enforcement powers. The cooperative political constituencies and institutions needed to manage the problems of contemporary global casino developments are relatively underdeveloped. ‘social control’ and ‘complete or partial state ownership’ models. for example.

13 One enterprising argument was that rumours of criminal involvement may actually attract patrons seeking excitement (Marcum and Rowen 1974:35). E. operator of nine casinos in Macau. 20 For example. was unsuccessfully challenged in the Supreme Court. Amendments to the Criminal Code in 1970 and 1985 allowed provinces to expand gambling opportunities. sub-national governments have formal powers over gaming policy.M. these casinos have been granted operating licences for Atlantic City (Rose 1979:286–7). J. and Christiansen.Gambling cultures 258 12 The frontier gambler became a central figure in American folklore and popular culture. Smith. Melbourne: Government Printer. 17 This federal legislation. the indigenous population and ethnic groups has been a problem. Further information about international casinos also can be found in the growing body of literature on casinos. lotteries and casinos continue to be banned by the more market-orientated government of Taiwan. Lawrence: University of Kansas Press. 18 Some of these revelations came to light during investigations of casino operators by New Jersey authorities. BIBLIOGRAPHY Abt. Canadian Indians have challenged the constitutional authority of provincial governments to regulate gambling on Indian reserves. 21 Such discriminations can backfire. Report of the Board of the Inquiry into Casinos (Connor Report). 22 As in the United States. R. Puerto Rican casinos have been relatively free of accusations of corruption or criminal involvement. Adams. (1985) The Business of Risk: Commercial Gambling in Mainstream America. while only two casinos offered table games which were reserved for tourists. . has been granted a casino licence in the north Vietnamese port of Haiphong.. 25 Australian government reports on casino proposals have often given detailed accounts of European. 26 Ironically. Genting Berhad of Malaysia has extended its casino operations to the Bahamas and Australia. and Stanley Ho. 24 Similarly. V. which overrides state authority over gambling managed by Indians. 1994). Following a dispute over a large machine prize claimed by a local citizen. 23 Illegal gaming among the working class. in Board of the Inquiry into Casinos. including poker machines and other video gaming machines.Smith explains (see Chapter 5). as occurred in Turkey. ‘slots’ is the term given to all gaming machines. 19 It has not been unusual for a casino applicant to be refused a licence to operate in Puerto Rico because there are doubts about the company’s probity or connections. however (Starr and Menczer 1989). in 1979 temporary licences were granted to two casino corporations although neither had complied with statutory requirements. Despite such evidence. 14 For example. Local gamblers were restricted to machine gaming in the country’s twenty-five casinos. thus effectively denying itself the major source of casino revenue and forcing the closure of the casinos (Kent-Lemon 1988). British and American casino developments and are useful reference sources on the varied history of casinos. Appendix J. the liquor industry. 15 In the United States. (1983) Report of Attorney General Robert Adams in Opposition to Legalised Casino Gambling in New York State. 16 A proposal for a monopoly urban casino in New Orleans was approved in 1993 (Esoten et al. as James F.F. an issue which remains unresolved. Canadian governments have owned and controlled another popular ‘vice’. the government forbade residents from playing the machines.

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The analysis that is presented here was prompted by the decision taken in early 1990 by Directorate 12 of the European Commission to contract research into the national regulation of betting. or offering the medium but under different terms from other member states. The object of the research was to identify areas of common control. The research undertaken implies an analysis of the regulatory regimes operated by each member state in connection with each gambling medium allowed by its law. between different member states. operated across national frontiers. are . those that could be. gaming by machine. The scope of the study included all commercial gambling and similar transactions—in particular. for example. Besides discrete analysis of individual states or of individual gambling media. or were already. potential conflict and transferable regulatory mechanisms. lotteries and bingo. according to a standard set of factors. carry with them the possibility that the European Commission will in due course seek to harmonise aspects of the law governing gambling across the Community. of its adoption of a given regime regulating that medium. both intended to bring about a closer degree of economic and social union within the Community. Its regulation is currently a matter for domestic governments.1 The research findings were published in 1991 (European Commission 1991).15 OBJECTIVES AND SYSTEMS IN THE REGULATION OF COMMERCIAL GAMBLING David Miers This chapter seeks to analyse the principal objectives and systems constituting regimes intended to regulate commercial gambling in any of its five principal forms: casino gaming. It was intended by the Directorate that the findings would allow comparisons to be made of the manner in which gambling is regulated: (1) between the different media permitted within one member state. The design and play parameters of both machines and lottery products. On this basis. These matters are of considerable importance to those involved in the commercial gambling industry within the European Community. it was also intended that the research findings should present gross outcomes in terms of the patterns of control preferred throughout the European Community. and (2) in respect of a given medium. informed judgements could be made about the likely impact within a member state not currently offering a given gambling medium. but the enactment of the Single European Act in 1986 and the adoption of further mechanisms at the Maastricht summit in November 1991. gaming and lotteries in the member states of the European Community in view of the completion of the internal market in 1992. betting (both pool or pari-mutuel and fixed odds).

So far as the transferability of regulatory mechanisms is concerned. in particular where the gambling medium in question is not lawfully available there. As the European Commission’s research observes: ‘With the development of international banking systems. A traditional example is the promotion in Great Britain of the Irish Sweepstake. until recently. the issues raised by this initiative are clearly of more than parochial relevance to the European Community. that is. Eadington remarked: . foreign lotteries would represent an increasingly competitive diversion of domestic gambling revenue: ‘without a national lottery of our own. it is impossible to control cross-border horse racing and event betting without the co-operation of these three industries’ (European Commission 1991:I. whether lawful or unlawful. or is lawful but is offered on different terms. two factors influenced the government’s decision. Such availability can and does arise in one or both of two ways: first. The first is readily illustrated by the delivery of lottery tickets from one jurisdiction to another.2 The second was that. Spillage may occur in one of two ways: by the deliberate purchasing of gambling opportunities across frontiers. The former is illustrated by the tradition among French nationals to cross into Belgium on certain days because it is cheaper to bet on the French Tierce in Belgian than in French francs. by the deliberate export of a gambling medium. 23). The latter is illustrated by the ready availability in Belgium and the Netherlands of televised horse-racing (and the accompanying betting odds) from Britain. One was that the continuation of the unlawful status of foreign lotteries beyond 1 January 1993 might contravene Community law.3 There is also extensive osmotic cross-border purchasing of El Gordo. by ‘spillage’. During the late 1980s there was a revival of interest in the establishment of a national lottery (which is available in virtually all other member states) in the United Kingdom. and by the availability of gambling opportunities across frontiers as a consequence of technological diffusion. international telecommunication and international audio-visual programming. and second. a lottery with a substantial prize structure that has had no counterpart in the lotteries that. the Spanish Christmas lottery. Of the proliferation of gaming media during the 1970s and 1980s throughout the world. by Portuguese nationals. The first draw under the National Lottery Act 1993 took place in November 1994. Following publication in 1992 of a White Paper (Home Office 1992).Gambling cultures 264 readily amenable to the kind of technical prescription that the Commission has already brought to such matters as food products and carbon emissions from motor cars. may lawfully be promoted there. The British public might therefore be able to participate in lotteries benefiting the citizens of other countries but not their own’ (Home Office 1992: paras 9–10). The smaller national lotteries available in Denmark. the United Kingdom market would continue to be attractive to lotteries from other EC countries and elsewhere…. Belgium and the Netherlands have for some years been similarly vulnerable to aggressive marketing by the German Klassenlotterien (European Commission 1991:I. the inevitable availability that occurs across national frontiers. A further important dimension concerns the kinds of legal controls that could be exercised by a member state or introduced by the European Commission where gambling opportunities lawfully offered in one state become available in another. 18). Apart from considerations concerning the income to its beneficiaries. legislation introducing a national lottery was enacted in 1993.

others may therefore be contemplating the introduction of. and second over participation by the consumer. These matters are elaborated in the sections which follow. I make some observations about the value of making comparisons between regulatory regimes. no appreciation of the likely effect of the selection of one regime over another can be made without an analysis of the factors that. first. which is the other ideal-type objective. or amendment to. revenue generation or. and compulsive gambling. but it is possible to present what constitute their objectives and systems as ideal types. 3 It is also apparent that social control. the regulation of commercial gambling involves a complex interplay of controls. rather than as an objective in itself. 2 The crime control model is misleading because. McMillen 1989:403). In so far as it may encourage an appreciation of what factors conduce to. differentiate. existing regimes. since these represent two idealtype objectives. like the European Commission’s study. and that. some chosen mix of them? 5 Viewed as a system of demand management. organised crime. for example. to make significant contributions to government coffers through taxation.4 It is obviously not possible to provide here a conspectus of all extant regimes. that have historically accompanied legal gaming? (Eadington 1988:2) Like the Canadian provincial governments (Beare 1989:184. 4 Viewed as a means for achieving an objective. the likely success of a chosen regime. Whatever these local differences. . an instrumental purpose. perhaps through the adoption of measures currently operating. first. Australia or the United States.Objectives and systems in the regulation of commercial gambling 265 in all these jurisdictions. second. regimes regulating commercial gambling. As other chapters in this book indicate. the same types of issues keep coming up: how can legal gaming operations be managed and regulated in such a manner as to protect the honesty of the games and the integrity of the revenues generated. when set against the objective of revenue generation. it is apparent that that objective will not be efficiently realised if it is the case that uncontrolled (illegal) suppliers remain within the market. will also fail to be efficiently realised if it is the case that uncontrolled (illegal) suppliers remain within the market. first over the supply of gambling opportunities. and what prejudice. crime control thus merely becomes one aspect of a broader systemic question: how is the demand for commercial gambling opportunities to be managed (regulated) in order to achieve either social control.5 The argument that is advanced here can be summarised as follows: 1 Any analysis of the regulation of commercial gambling that posits the elimination of criminal elements from the supply of gambling opportunities (crime control) as the sole or the main objective of regulation is misleading. cultural variations may have an important effect on the configuration and impact of regimes designed to regulate gambling. this chapter has. are common to. in Great Britain. with some examples. and to protect society from the possible negative sideeffects. such as political corruption.

and that the United Kingdom has the most and Greece the least extensive variety of gambling opportunities. fairly evenly spread between member states. If we then consider the market share claimed by each member state. It can be seen that casino gaming and lotteries are available in eleven of the twelve member states (though the odd one out in each case is not the same member state). Table 15.04 per cent. The lottery market. it becomes clear that any regulatory changes proposed by the European Commission will be very much more important for some countries than for others. 55. bingo has the smallest market share. which is the second largest market segment (31. by comparison with the other sectors. casino gaming. while casino gaming.1 Commercial gambling outlets in the European Community Country Bingo Casino Machines Bookmaking Pari mutuel Lottery Belgium Denmark Eire France Germany Greece Italy Lux.95 per cent).Gambling cultures 266 COMPARING THE AVAILABILITY OF GAMBLING FACILITIES The availability of gambling facilities. though available (like lottery products) throughout the European Community (with one exception). or the share of the market in each gambling medium taken by individual member states. N’lands Portugal Spain UK No No Yes No No No No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes No No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes However. However. either in terms of the total share of the market within the European Community taken by each gambling medium.80 per cent of turnover. for example. It is a relatively simple task to compile tables (first) showing the extent to which a given gambling medium is available in any given group of countries. 36. while lotteries account for the biggest.29 per cent). has less than a fifth of the market (16. this kind of comparison does not indicate market salience. is. vary both across jurisdictions and across gambling media. while depicting availability. while bingo is least well represented. as well as the characteristics of particular regimes. On the other hand. 4.85 per cent. As might be expected of a medium offered in only four of the member states. with Germany and Spain accounting for 54. widely available throughout the .1 contains this information as it relates to the European Community. or indeed throughout the world.6 Table 15.21 per cent of the horserace betting market. lies within the United Kingdom. and (second) showing the variety of gambling media available within any one country.

and though they are less easy to depict. This exercise also demonstrates the tensions that accompany the adoption of this objective where the regulatory authority is closely implicated within the institutions of government. the regulatory objectives within any given jurisdiction and. One conclusion to which McMillen is drawn in a later discussion (1988) is that there have for many years been significant differences of opinion within Australia as to what are the most appropriate measures for the regulation of its casinos. and lotteries are in most states likewise run by government. first. the systems it employs to secure those objectives. By contrast. However. New South Wales and the Northern Territory have been available only in stateregistered casino clubs. viewed across all the gambling media it makes available. but some are confined to that (France. . but in Queensland and Victoria. This is of central importance. Germany and the United Kingdom (86. most member states within the European Community permit pari-mutuel (or totalisator) betting. Comparisons of this kind generate answers to such questions as whether. Off-course betting is directly managed by each state government through a Totalisator Agency Board (TAB). the government will own the machines which will be leased to clubs and hotels. there is a prevailing or consistent ideology underlying. Germany. condition of the successful regulation of commercial gambling is a match between regulatory objectives and regulatory systems. which permits pari-mutuel betting only. is dominated by France. comparisons can be made concerning the ways in which any one jurisdiction regulates the gambling media that it makes available. Comparisons of this kind help to answer such questions as whether. Portugal and Spain) or both on. new and distinctive roles for government are contemplated. the Netherlands). Italy). and if so. there is a preferred regime regulating any given gambling medium.and off-track (Belgium. public monopoly maintained by a statutory body (the United Kingdom). Ireland. In Queensland. second. First. while in Victoria machines will be jointly owned by the TAB and Tattersall’s (the private lottery operator). Greece. France and the United Kingdom). there is variation in the events that may lawfully be the subject of pari-mutuel betting—they all extend to horse-racing. For example.Objectives and systems in the regulation of commercial gambling 267 European Community. though not a sufficient. In both states an independent commission has been appointed with statutory powers to regulate the industry and to monitor the administration of policy. its management varies as between private monopoly (the Netherlands. which are both in the process of introducing poker machines. the poker machines that are permitted in the Australian Capital Territory. For example. to the active promotion of the resort locations in which the casinos are situated. Portugal). Second. since a necessary. what are the necessary and sufficient characteristics of the successful regulation of that medium. In addition.96 per cent of the market) (European Commission 1992:7–15). they also offer two bases for comparison. viewed across all the jurisdictions in which it is available. while others are more extensive (the United Kingdom and Ireland permit pari-mutuel betting on dog-racing—and on whether such bets can be made only on-track (Denmark. McMillen and Eadington (1986) have described the development in Australia of a variety of regimes involving greater or lesser degrees of governmental involvement. This is substantially attributable to shifts in objectives: from a desire merely to cater for existing demand. Variations will also exist concerning the nature of the regulatory regime where gambling media are permitted. and management by a department of state (France. comparisons can be made concerning the ways in which any one gambling medium is regulated across all the jurisdictions in which it is available.

it is commonplace within the gambling literature to posit. product management and development. regimes regulating commercial gambling nevertheless present structural characteristics that are persistent and shared features of other regimes regulating. 1991). It is this structural coherence that distinguishes a regulatory regime from a simple congeries of rules enforced by private individuals or by agencies of general social or fiscal control (though these may have a role to play within the regime) (Aranson and Miller 1980:851). investment. tendencies to monopoly. capitation. (2) has powers to set or to initiate the modification of standards of entry and/or performance. communications and the supply of financial services. such as standard-setting. the elimination of illegal gambling or.8 When regulated. criminal involvement in gambling. staffing controls and costs.Gambling cultures 268 As has been the case elsewhere. REGULATORY OBJECTIVES Formulating objectives: managing the demand for gambling facilities The regulation of commercial gambling typically involves the supply of those facilities that will meet such demand as would otherwise be satisfied by an uncontrolled (illegal) supplier or that will encourage consumer spending in turn to serve some specific or general economic purposes. and is one of the bases . both of which have important parallels with the gambling industry. typically entail temporary or permanent exclusion from the enterprise.7 the desire of Australian state governments to generate revenue for public purposes from the taxation of off-course betting and lotteries has regularly been in conflict with the persistent and powerful consideration that governments should not. in the case of histories of the regulation of off-course betting in the United Kingdom and Australia (McMillen and Eadington 1986. The results of these comparisons can be used as a basis upon which to identify the characteristics and the impact of the detailed prescriptions of any regime regulating commercial gambling. Dixon 1987. in the event of noncompliance. as Fels has noted. Skolnick and Dombrink 1980). this is a main purpose of the European Directorate’s initiative. marketing (O’Donnell 1980)—it may also be possible to identify constant features of regulation as a method of economic and social control. compliance-seeking. the collective aspects of a given enterprise are subject to a regime under which either entry is validated or performance is monitored (or both) by an agency that (1) is formally independent of the enterprise. for example. Thus. as one objective of regulation. the definition of regulation ‘varies with the purpose of the discussion’ (1982:31) and is often used in different senses. but any permutation involves to a greater or lesser degree the containment (social control) or stimulation (revenue generation) of a demand for gambling facilities. By contrast with social control. and (3) may. It is therefore to be expected that the control of commercial gambling will encounter the difficulties that concern any regulatory regime. invoke sanctions which. for example. and capture (Breyer 1979. Since the commercial considerations that affect the supply of gambling facilities are broadly the same as those that affect other regulated industries—for example. although. Sometimes the aim is to achieve a mix of these objectives. This has been so. where it is otherwise lawful. promote gambling. in addition to monetary penalties. as a general proposition.

the realisation of either objective. To posit the elimination of criminals as one objective of gambling regulation. but a closer analogy to the regulation of commercial gambling lies with the control of alcohol (Eadington 1988): here the object is to permit a market to exist in which demand is satisfied on the state’s terms. requires that those supplying whatever gambling facilities are permitted are fit and proper. the pre-eminent example is the regulation of casino gaming in Nevada (Skolnick 1978. Eadington 1989). for example. Of course. Smith and Christiansen’s analysis of commercial gambling in the United States (1985). not on those of the supplier. and the generation of gambling revenues as a second. but given the existence of demand. and elides the fact that this characteristic is central to the realisation of any instance of demand management. Suits 1982). it should not be permitted to obscure other ways in which the regulation of commercial gambling may arguably be more usefully analysed (Aranson and Miller 1980. for example. Nevertheless. social control is typified by the British approach. and in some states continues to be. which is to provide only such facilities as will satisfy any ‘unstimulated demand’ for them. Chapter 2 above). an option. and if possible to neutralise the demand itself (Skolnick and Dombrink 1979. governments would not need to remove the uncontrolled supplier if the social costs of the supply of gambling facilities (or liquor or drugs) did not in their view justify such action. social control or revenue generation (or a mix thereof). This requires emphasis. such characterisation is clearly understandable. First. while revenue generation is typified by the florid casinos of Las Vegas and Atlantic City. because the presence of uncontrolled suppliers is also a relevant consideration for the success of attempts to stimulate demand for the purpose of revenue generation. Given its historical background. Given the circumstances in which casino gaming in Nevada in particular came to be regulated. but to prevent the diversion of revenues from the intended beneficiary. not the elimination of all suppliers.Objectives and systems in the regulation of commercial gambling 269 employed in Abt. compare what is typically the explicit and primary purpose of laws penalising drug trafficking: to eradicate the supply. the state has no further interest in the supply of gambling facilities. King 1980. There are some further reasons why the depiction of the objectives of gambling regulation in terms of the management of demand is attractive. both confuses the function of regulation (to manage demand) with one of its systemic characteristics (control of the supplier). but between these are what have been described as commercial gambling ‘hybrids’ (Eadington 1989:16–18). as was the case in Nevada. Concerning casino facilities. Analyses of the Morin Commission (United States 1976) similarly emphasise its origins in the Organised Crime Control Act 1970 (Snyder 1980. These . As is widely acknowledged. see also Dombrink. Here the need to regulate the supplier arises not primarily for the purpose of controlling the social costs of commercial self-interest. One might. Reuter 1982). save to prevent such suppliers re-entering any tolerated gambling markets. it can be clearly shown that there is a continuum in the supply of gambling facilities both within and between jurisdictions from containment to stimulation. one objective of gambling regulation typically involves the substitution of controlled for uncontrolled suppliers. This is clearly at odds with what governments have sought to do when regulating commercial gambling. Prohibition of gambling facilities was. irrespective of the existence of any demand for it. Over-emphasis on criminal involvement in gambling implies first that once all or at least the most undesirable suppliers have been eliminated. Australia and the United Kingdom.

or hotel facilities’ (Eadington 1989:16). alcoholic beverages. mutually incompatible objectives (no regime can consistently seek both to stimulate and to contain existing demand). seldom resulted in ‘a bit of Europe being introduced into today’s Detroit’ (Thompson and Dombrink 1989:354). in their pure forms. and second. while in the case of the latter. to contain demand. These investigations have. as the example of Canadian charitable casinos illustrates. the other typically sparsely decorated and with minimal refreshments. the primary objective of the supply of off-course betting facilities in Britain is social control. so what comprises containment is open to negotiation. however. but which do not emulate the facilities supplied in Nevada or New Jersey. Instances of the ‘modified version of the United States “gambling for revenue” model’ (Beare 1989:187) are especially to be found in Canada—for example. These ‘tend to be relatively austere. in some cases with the explicit aim of creating a ‘relatively unexciting’ facility (Eadington 1989:343). anyone over 18 years can walk in from the street and make a bet in any of the approximately 9. Allowing for the difficulties of talking meaningfully about the existence of an ‘unstimulated’ demand. but the supply of each set of facilities is intended to respond only to unstimulated demand. that the same objective may be served by the supply of radically different facilities.Gambling cultures 270 are gambling facilities whose revenues are intended for public expenditure. as the following example illustrates. with restaurant and licensed bar facilities. Anyone who has visited both a casino and a betting shop in Britain would surely remark on the very substantial differences in the gambling environment. no one may use the facilities who has not already expressed an intention to game in one of the 120 casinos in Britain (by applying for membership and having to wait 48 hours before gaming on the first occasion). While the government adheres to the rhetoric of containment. Not all of these differences are attributable to legal compulsion.9 The depiction of gambling regulation in terms of demand management also helps to show.800 betting shops. As the objective of revenue generation may be operationalised in different ways. The justification for the differential treatment between the two outlets is that in the case of the former. there are no restaurants. Another reason why it is misleading to describe the elimination of criminals as the objective of gambling regulation is that to do so makes . the one typically wellfurnished. Objective failure: the inevitability of unmanaged demand On the basis that social control and revenue generation are. in the lottery and bingo arrangements of Quebec (Caron 1989) and in the charitable casinos of the western provinces. a gambling facility whose object is. leaving aside members’ bona fide guests. crisps and peanuts) will stimulate demand (Miers 1989:39–40). Kelly and Herbig 1988). entertainment facilities. As has been noted. it is important to identify accurately the different effects that control of the supplier is intended to achieve. that the same kind of facilities may serve differing objectives. it is nevertheless clear that the government now perceives the nature of this demand differently than when the regime was established in 1960. like the policy with regard to casinos. it has abandoned the view that the provision of light refreshments (non-alcoholic drinks. Other locations in the United States have also investigated the merits of revenue generation tempered by the less exploitative style associated with casino facilities in continental Europe (Mitler 1985. An instructive comparison is the British betting shop.

even if. and in the case of revenue generation. Revenues generated by the stimulation of demand for gambling may be realised as a simple tax benefiting the state or a charitable organisation. Take. a wider choice of event on which to bet. Blakey 1982. but also to specific betting and gaming duties. a tax hypothecated to the benefit of horse-racing (Home Affairs Committee 1991). and tax-free winnings (Beare 1989:186). even though seeking to contain demand. The illegal market in Australia principally supplies the consumer with betting at starting prices (SPs). Thus it has been argued that the existence of an illegal SP betting market in Britain is attributable to bettors wishing to avoid paying the higher price per bet caused by the aggregation of general betting duty and the horse-race betting levy. in meeting the existing level and variety of demand such that no uncontrolled supply now exists (or if it does. uncertainties about the extent of the illegal sector have in turn traditionally inhibited the scope of proposals to increase the levy. the supply of off-course pari-mutuel betting via the TABs has been largely unsuccessful due to a preference among the Australian states for revenue generation. but whether the regime has succeeded. which is also the main betting option lawfully supplied by off-course bookmakers in Britain. The evidence is the presence of a very substantial illegal betting market. There is also some illegal SP betting in Britain. the question whether the regimes regulating offcourse betting in Britain and Australia respectively have been successful. the supply of controlled gambling facilities had met the demand. Since one systemic characteristic of all regimes regulating commercial gambling is the exclusion of uncontrolled suppliers. the evidence shows that there would continue to be a complementary illegal sector (Snyder 1980. or indirectly as the regeneration of a local economy. Hybels 1982). but there is an explanation for this failure other than that the wrong objective was given priority. but it has never been suggested that there is any illegal pari-mutuel betting either there or in Australia. questions that only concern their exclusion are of limited analytical value. The latter may assume a variety of forms: tourism. better odds. like instances in which revenue generation is the primary objective. This price will of course be further increased where. but that having given priority to revenue generation they did not permit the supply of the gambling medium for which there was the greatest demand. anonymity. in ensuring the full and efficient delivery of gambling revenues to their intended beneficiary.10 It is also attributable to the increase in the price of a bet that is implied by a controlled supplier being subject not only to the usual taxes on income. Viewed in terms of the management of demand. The reason why there is a substantial illegal market in Australia may therefore be attributable not to state governments preferring the ‘wrong’ objective. the state nevertheless looks for some revenue generation. The question for regulators is not simply whether the regime has succeeded in eliminating such suppliers. is de minimis). in the case of social control. see also Chapter 4 above) shows that whereas the objective of social control has been substantially achieved in Britain by the controlled supply of off-course bookmaking. . In part this is attributable to the fact that uncontrolled suppliers can offer services possibly denied to the legal supplier: credit.Objectives and systems in the regulation of commercial gambling 271 analysis of the efficacy of such control incomplete. an economic analysis of gambling regulation asks what effects the controlled (legal) supply of gambling facilities has upon demand for them. Even though the levy is the lowest by comparison with other jurisdictions in which a similar tax is imposed (less than 1 per cent of turnover). for example. as in the British case. However. Dixon (1987.

there will be further questions concerning the impact of the controlled facilities upon other lawful gambling media (Christiansen and Shagan 1980:856. the levels of revenue actually generated (Hawkins 1982. The second will consist of measures controlling the conditions under which participation by the player occurs. per se. contrary to the public interest. If the demand that is to be stimulated is to be profitable for the state. it remains potentially profitable to the private operator.12 . Kaplan 1989. to a greater or lesser extent. and. The most obvious paradigm lies in the highly sophisticated controls over the supplier of casino gaming.11 Viewed in terms of the management of demand. it is generally acknowledged that there are certain characteristics that will need to be present in any system if the objectives of gambling regulation are to be met. Christiansen 1991). These are no doubt relevant considerations. Smith et al. For revenue generation. (Suits 1982:52) In other words. to all regimes. nor impose so high a level of take-out in the form of levies and taxes (thus increasing the price) that players look instead to uncontrolled suppliers. the state announces that the activity is not. REGULATORY SYSTEMS Although the detailed measures of regulatory systems vary (McMillen 1989:403). whether preference is given to social control or revenue generation. the construction industry and so on (Cohen 1982). McMillen 1989:380. however. Peters 1989). One will consist of measures designed to ‘provide a workable method to screen undesirable elements from the gaming enterprise and ensure the continued integrity of the operation’ (Nevada State Gaming Control Board 1983). there will inevitably be some level of unmanaged demand for gambling facilities. 1989. but a system of supplier control applies.Gambling cultures 272 convention services. of course. rather the state has merely attempted to transfer to itself the monopoly of the product by continuation of the prohibition of private production. These characteristics in turn comprise two principal subsystems (Miers 1984). it places itself in a peculiar position. To the degree that this monopoly is profitable to the state. but they merely serve to aggravate a subsisting and inevitable problem. it would seem that a regime whose objective is revenue generation must neither stimulate any greater or more varied a demand than it can supply. By offering the service itself. it must also be so for the uncontrolled supplier: When the state steps into the picture and provides gambling or other services banned to private producers.

it is no more than a registration procedure. or they may require positive evidence of demand on the part of individuals (as in Britain). Typically such controls envisage the vetting of an applicant’s prior record in this or similar regulated activities and of the applicant’s known or reputed associates. unrecorded. A second characteristic is the imposition of restrictions on the number of suppliers who may be permitted to operate at any one time. Management controls Gambling involves the making and re-making of countless exchanges of cash sums. the applicant’s external financial condition. and on the other by the imposition of arbitrary controls based on demographic or geographical factors. A primary feature of such controls will be the inclusion of highly discretionary decisions (Lehne 1986:85–118). Arbitrary controls may place gambling facilities beyond what is. the legal status of the applicant. even if. Michael 1982). demand criteria may thus depend on (controversial) assessments by the regulatory body (such as the Gaming Board for Great Britain). usually in accordance with the susceptibility of the medium in question to exploitation by the supplier. from those other than tourists—as in the Bahamas—or of those under 18 years—this is commonplace). in some instances. or on whether the applicant is likely to be ‘capable of and diligent in’ securing the integrity of the facilities (Miers 1987:85–8). if it is not autonomous. and any present and predicted ability to establish and enforce controls by which the conduct of the facilities will comply with the law. notably casino gaming. a distance that prior to automotive travel was thought to be too far for a day’s return journey). be established to discourage citizens from going to other countries to gamble (as in Denmark) or confine facilities to areas popular for tourism (for example. turning on judgements of an applicant’s ‘character’ (Skolnick and Dombrink 1980. the reach of certain members of a community (for example. Where they are based in part on hearsay and uncorroborated evidence. may exclude some indicators of demand altogether (for example. the existence of sufficient capitation and resources to comply with the law. such decisions inevitably raise questions of due process. but the desirability of such individualised screening is generally held to be beyond question. managerial and administrative structures. The question which arises here is what criteria of quantity are employed. It follows from this feature of what . Portugal and Spain). Such vetting may also extend to an applicant’s employees and to the premises on which the facilities are to be located. or was at one time considered. the applicant’s internal financial. Using examples concerning the availability of casino gaming. there are no casinos within 60 kilometres of Paris.Objectives and systems in the regulation of commercial gambling 273 Supplier controls Market entry controls The first characteristic of a regulatory system is the imposition of quality controls upon prospective suppliers of gambling facilities—and possibly also upon those who are to be the regulators (Cohen 1982:13–15). as in the case of small-scale lotteries. the other entities of which it is a part. These vary in their intensity. These may broadly be distinguished on the one hand according to some conception of existing or potential demand.

provide for universal and routine information about the odds against winning. rounding down in pari-mutuel betting). place restrictions on their attractiveness. some basic principles of effective gambling control need to be adopted (Santaniello 1982:37. restrictions on the availability of credit. a fourth area of management control concerns the training and supervision of the employees themselves. should be made for the . McMillen 1989:388). personal attributes as conditions of entry to the facilities—typically. both by employees and by the regulatory authority (Vernooij 1988). since such opportunities are likely to subvert its realisation. reliable and durable. Broadly speaking. however. age or membership conditions (Thompson and Dombrink 1989:345). Participation controls Like supplier controls. Whether the preference is revenue generation or social control. It is clear. Equipment and procedures need to be secure. where cash or cheques are exchanged for chips in a casino—but where it cannot—such as each bet at a blackjack table—other controls. the greater the degree of reliance upon the honesty and skill of the employee. Environment-related controls concern the physical appearance of the premises in which the gambling facilities are set. Eadington 1989:14–15). depending in part on the regime’s objectives. if any. prohibitions on junkets (Donnelly 1982). financial attributes as a condition of participation—typically. their layout. participation controls can be more or less intensive.14 and require legal modifications where technological change alters the manner in which a game is played (Holmes 1985. For this reason alone. Game-related controls may stipulate the number and variety of games offered. Each transaction should ideally be recorded—for example. These concern advertising. that there are considerable differences between the environment of a Las Vegas casino and that of one located in Vancouver. may serve to protect the destination of gambling revenues. the greater the need for the regulatory authority to insist upon strict compliance with exemplary standards. eliminate mug bets and counting techniques that systematically work to the disadvantage of the bettor (for example.Gambling cultures 274 is in most other respects a normal commercial transaction (Meyer 1980) that the opportunities for defalcation by employees and theft by customers are endemic. or between casino gaming and other gambling facilities. London or Sydney. A further consideration that is wholly absent from the European Commission’s proposed study is the question of what public provision. Compliance with these requirements is typically ensured by the setting of standards. and the provision of refreshments and entertainment. in particular where participation controls aim to protect players from over-commitment. The need is greater where the primary objective is revenue generation. there are three sets of such controls. The first are access-related controls. Accordingly. Participation controls centre upon a variety of factors which may be manipulated as part of the process of demand management. The efficacy of equipment and transaction controls inevitably depend upon the levels of honesty and training of employees.13 and hours of play. such as counting and recording the total of chips and money deposited at or taken from the table. Certain levels of expertise and of surveillance are also necessary in connection with ensuring the integrity of the game. followed by inspection and testing. there is good reason to ensure that the player is not conspicuously being placed at a disadvantage vis-à-vis the supplier.

those who had supported the Act were becoming apprehensive. their argument was not so much that it would in turn be difficult to refuse the full licence.Objectives and systems in the regulation of commercial gambling 275 diagnosis and treatment of problem gambling. but that the regime’s authors had. in particular where the preference is for revenue generation (Thompson and Dombrink 1989). the major active applicant. and there being no likelihood that Resorts International. would be cleared in time for that summer’s tourist season. Nevertheless. it seems right that if the European Community is to consider the social costs associated with the regulation of gambling. reversed the regime’s priorities (Skolnick and Dombrink 1980). The economic imperatives of revenue generation may also impinge upon the integrity of a regime’s supplier controls. and hours of play). Its view was that serious consideration should be given to the enactment of stringent measures controlling both the opportunity of individuals to participate in casino gaming (such as restricting the number and location of premises and their advertisement and ease of access). that neither conditional nor temporary licences should be permitted. As noted above. while the state reaped the financial benefits. a compromise was reached. The Casino Control Act 1977 initially included the recommendation of the Interim Report of the New Jersey Staff Policy Group on Casino Gambling (New Jersey 1977). with no casino in operation. the argument that the state should take an interest is stronger where it stimulates demand for the purpose of revenue generation. Governments may well take the view that they need make none. at the first test. as the decision to grant a temporary licence in Atlantic City in 1978 illustrates. much as the Morin Commission had in mind when it reviewed the desirability of extending casino facilities to states other than Nevada and Puerto Rico (United States 1976). Suits 1982. Given the regressivity of gambling as a form of taxation (Aranson and Miller 1980. in the light of the evidence on the impact of over-commitment on gamblers and their families (Lesieur and Rosenthal 1991). efforts have been made in both Canada and the United States to introduce lower-key gambling facilities that generate revenue. Critics were less sanguine. FACTORS AFFECTING THE CHOICE OF CONTROLS The salience of supplier and participation controls While both systems are necessary to the realisation of any regulatory objective. State officials presented this as a triumph of good sense: the investigation into Resorts (who would have every incentive to operate honestly for the duration) could continue unpressured by economic demands. in March 1981. the regime’s executive branch (the Casino Control Commission) granted a conditional licence to the Bally Park . In the event. By early 1978. leaving these matters to voluntary effort. The salience of participation controls is high where the objective is to contain demand for gambling facilities. and the subsequent reinforcement of that initial decision (such as restricting entertainment and refreshment. but it decreases as the objective of revenue generation becomes more important. Livernois 1987). it should also consider the costs borne by the individual. the Act was amended and Resorts were granted a six-month licence. Their criticisms assumed further significance when. their salience varies.

though they still exhibited aspects of the pronounced stringency of the British regime. or is not appropriately adapted when objectives change. Instead of being located in those relatively affluent urban areas where demand existed.Gambling cultures 276 Place Casino notwithstanding a recommendation by the regime’s investigative branch (the Division of Gaming Enforcement) against the grant of a full licence (Beare 1989:191). implementation-led movements as well as the consequence of deliberate choices. with the greater importance given to supplier controls reflected in the incorporation of the regulatory bodies into central government institutions and ‘a strengthening of their directive powers over operators’ (McMillen 1988:161). it announced that this was now the preferred objective. but while the objective was revenue generation there was also a widespread disinclination to replicate the more aggressive style associated with the gaming industry in Nevada. casinos were authorised for resort areas. the recent history of casino regulation in the Netherlands discloses what Thompson and Pinney (1990) describe as a mismatch between objective and system. they represent a deliberate effort to match controls to the regulatory objective. Mismatches occur when a system is initially chosen that is inappropriate for the desired objective. though no change in objective is desired. In the first. They may also occur. again the kind of location likely to frustrate the stated objective. but the system that was preferred created exactly those conditions which are conducive to increased participation. This produced two unwelcome consequences: existing demand continued to seek uncontrolled suppliers. These systems were. In other words. These points are illustrated first by the development of casino regulation in Australia. By contrast. casinos were permitted as modest elements in attempts to resuscitate the economies of Tasmania and the Northern Territory. As ‘the market objectives of Australian casinos directly corresponded to neither the British nor the American approaches’ (McMillen 1988:158). Even when the Dutch government acknowledged the need to provide a controlled supply in urban areas. in which ‘a different style of casino based on a more explicitly competitive set of commercial criteria’ was favoured. when systems are amended in consequence of implementation problems. While there may be questions concerning the efficacy and the impact of these arrangements (McMillen 1990). The objective was social control. and those frequenting resorts were drawn into casino gaming. which McMillen (1988) identifies as comprising two stages. however. The system now adopted was very much more akin to that introduced in Atlantic City. the regulatory systems chosen at this stage sought to combine elements of each. states that had little other than tourism as a focus for exploitation. it chose expensive central hotels. the issue is whether there is a match between those controls that are employed and the regime’s objectives. their governments rejected the highly restrictive participation controls associated with British casinos as being antithetical to the regulatory objective. In choosing their regulatory systems. Thompson and Pinney .15 Acknowledging the pressures that inevitably affect the salience of supplier and participation controls. rejected during the second stage of development. shifts along the continuum may be unintended. This in turn raises the question whether the system that had unintentionally stimulated demand was the one best suited to the newly declared objective. The government’s response to this further stimulus to gambling was to redefine its regulatory objectives: having created the conditions for revenue generation.

it was not.Objectives and systems in the regulation of commercial gambling 277 argue that.16 Within federal jurisdictions. Even if there were overwhelming evidence of unstimulated demand within an area of the country not stipulated by these regulations. However. local residents may wish to object to aspects of the ecological conditions of those locations: exterior presentation. due in part to a failure to regulate casino employees adequately (that is. Snyder 1980:670–1). can be uniformly imposed on all suppliers. hours of opening. variety and conditions under which gambling facilities are permitted. local preferences concerning casino gaming are only permissible within the nationally imposed criteria of the Permitted Areas Regulations (Gaming Board for Great Britain 1971). being open only to tourists. Some of these concerns may properly be made the subject of the same planning and zoning regulations that apply to the location of all commercial premises (Hawkins 1982). as is the case concerning casinos in Great Britain. an issue that also concerns the balance between federal and state interests. with consequent advantages for the enforcement agencies. since regulators will be unable to apply uniform standards throughout the industry. Such matters as the type. National and local interests A second factor concerns the extent to which the regulation of commercial gambling should be determined by national as opposed to local criteria. any attempt to match supply with unstimulated demand must make some effort to test the existence of such demand. will be required to adjust the conditions under which they supply gambling facilities in accordance with irregular standards. Those local preferences which do not compromise these national criteria. such as the particular location of an outlet. Conversely. This increases implementation costs. numbers of users and so on. betting shops. for example. In addition there will be opportunities for suppliers to maximise uncertainties in the regime. others may be specifically catered for by the regulatory regime. Costs will also be increased for suppliers who. a mix of national and local controls may offer an effective base. For example. there is no possibility of such local preference being accommodated within the law. such a division of influence may still be controversial. the existence of local variations in the supply of commercial gambling facilities may subvert rather than advance the regulatory objective. bingo and off-course betting in Great Britain. as McMillen (1988:161–6) has demonstrated in connection with Australian casino regulation. but the response in Australia. One disadvantage is the proliferation of smallscale regimes operating to idiosyncratic standards. Their objections may be the more acute where particular facilities are unavailable to them—for example. this issue is in fact mediated by existing and potential suppliers. Where. may also be accommodated. as in the case of the control of casino gaming. even if. Thus. a failure of management controls). the ease with which gambling media may be operated across state lines naturally gives a federal government an interest in their control (King 1980:745–6. facilities need to be in fixed locations (casinos. by whom and after what vetting procedures. Local criteria hold out the possibility of sensitivity to the interests of those most closely affected by the presence of gambling facilities. Canada (Osborne and . transport and parking. Nevertheless. In the case of the European Community. there is likely to be an additional conflict between national and supra-national interests. to the disadvantage either of the consumer or of the Exchequer. bingo parlours).

(Eadington 1989:12) . it is the private operator who can most efficiently supply the appropriate facilities (O’Donnell 1980:729. As Eadington has remarked: the push for greater revenues has encouraged state operated lotteries to acquire many of the attributes that they would have been expected to acquire if they had been part of the private commercial gambling sector… if past trends continue. the Netherlands and Spain. King 1980:751). This matter is already exercising the gaming machine industry in those countries mainly involved in their manufacture. it is likely that lotteries will continue to develop products [such as video and mechanical lottery devices] similar to those now found in modern casinos. British. possibly allied to notification requirements (as with lotteries in Great Britain). supply and use: Germany. by way of anticipation of any Commission proposals. It embraces facilities wholly owned and operated by the state (for example. this is not the only option. within a clear and stringent regime. prize values. such as staking levels. and those privately owned and operated by persons who need do no more than comply with certain statutory requirements. The assumption of control by the Manitoba Lotteries Foundation was prompted by a concern to ensure closer supplier and participation controls after it was observed that public expenditure on lotteries had increased by 500 per cent. in particular. should it seek to put forward proposals for the harmonisation of commercial gambling within the Community. Manness (1989). the view which has prevailed is that. those privately owned and operated by persons licensed by a state regulatory authority (for example. One of the primary characteristics of state lotteries. prize-stake relationship. is the extent to which they are operated by governments themselves. those privately owned and operated by licensees subcontracted to a state regulatory authority (for example. the United Kingdom. machine registration and inspection. that lottery tickets were of poor quality and were thus open to abuse. The form of control may therefore vary (Steeves 1989). During 1991 there were a number of meetings at which efforts were made to identify those matters upon which the industry itself could adopt a common stance.Gambling cultures 278 Campbell 1989) and the United States reflects their cultural diversity as much as any homogeneity of interest (McMillen 1989:384). Australian and American casinos). France Loto). for example. but as the Canadian experience with charitable casinos shows. has described the shift from private to public control that followed the success of charitable and religious lotteries in Manitoba. For the casino industry in the United States. The allocation of influence between national and supra-national interests will of course be one of the major issues facing the European Commission. Public and private suppliers A third important factor concerns the extent to which gambling facilities should be operated by public as opposed to private suppliers. But the form does not necessarily dictate the manner in which the facilities will be promoted. and that the fees and overheads charged by some private operators were significantly reducing the amount of revenue potentially available to the beneficiaries. charitable casinos in Manitoba and the Australian TABs).

we may see the development of a cycle in which controls become progressively weaker. intrusive and unnecessary. its competitors. governed the supply of gaming machines. however. The difficulty for governments is. 8). the revenue generation objective is being subverted by the greater access now offered to what are. not the government. but by commercial self-interest in substituting for a social control model. NOTES 1 The Directorate described the research as comprising: . places greater emphasis on the visibility and maintenance of stringent participation controls if the state also wishes to protect the consumer and to provide value for money controls.17 This relaxation is of importance because it is being driven not by any perceived changes in the level of demand for the facilities. undermining the very objective (social control) which that regime traditionally has sought to realise. the government introduces a national lottery whose regulation permits greater rather than lesser player access to the opportunity to gamble. conceives to be the appropriate management of the demand for commercial gambling facilities. for some thirty years. which finds itself seeking to hold on to a regime for which it is statutorily responsible. it will argue. arguably. a regulatory system whose characteristics more closely follow a revenue generation model. outdated. in pursuit of a revenue generation model. in their view. Thus changes in gambling regulation come increasingly to reflect what the supplier. The tensions created by a government’s promotion of gambling are well illustrated by the response of the existing commercial market to the introduction in Great Britain of its National Lottery. resulting in homogenisation of once discrete regulatory systems. this preferential access encourages existing suppliers who have been operating under a regime aimed at social control to seek a relaxation in the system applying to them. Once this is granted. ‘The promotion and stimulation of gambling necessary if the [National] Lottery is to be a success is regarded as difficult to reconcile with the Government’s established policy. the government has permitted the promoter of the National Lottery (Camelot plc) a number of advantages over its rivals in the long-odds market. Notable among these is access to prime-time television advertising. by virtue of these progressive relaxations. that the demand for gambling should not be unduly stimulated’ (Gaming Board 1994: para. casino. the operator of the National Lottery will return to government to seek yet greater access (or other changes to operating conditions) because. and that participation controls have traditionally been accorded less importance where revenue generation is the preferred objective. together with the elision of some of the traditional distinguishing features of games in the interest of revenue generation. The government’s response to these commercial pressures has been to relax aspects of the regimes that have. under which the Board operates. these being. In consequence. This pressure has also proved difficult for the Gaming Board for Great Britain. bingo and off-track betting facilities. In line with its explicit objective of revenue generation. Thus. existing commercial gambling interests have brought considerable pressure to bear on the government to relax the regimes under which they operate. accordingly. while the government of the day is.Objectives and systems in the regulation of commercial gambling 279 The assumption by state-operated gambling facilities of the characteristics of the private supplier. that they may be perceived as having too close an interest in their citizens’ gambling losses. These characteristics imply a less rigorous management of demand.

It is the presence of organisation that distinguishes commercial gambling from casual profiteering. 5 Commercial gambling comprises the organised supply of gambling opportunities by groups or individuals for the primary purpose of extracting business profit. contains the New Jersey Control Commission’s opinions in each of the following licence applications: Resorts . 3 A number of states in the United States deliberately locate gambling media near state lines so that they can benefit from any unsatisfied demand from their neighbours. This location also means that the associated costs of problem gambling return to the neighbouring states. the practice of declaring dividends rounded down to the next (or possibly lower) whole currency unit. see also Rosecrance (1988:138–55). such as laws prohibiting or curtailing gambling in premises licensed for the consumption of alcoholic drinks. The analysis should identify the different categories of activity covered and clearly indicate the ways in which such activities are regulated. Manness 1989:74). The principles underlying the different ways in which such activities are authorised and controlled. concerning the promotion of state-run lotteries in Canada (Beare 1989. Gerhart Schindler (The Times. prohibition on junkets serves to deny access to specific groups of privileged gamblers (high-rollers) and as such tend to be highly selective. the objective typically is to exclude ‘foreign’ criminal elements and such activities as money-laundering and ‘kickbacks’. but for the sake of public order in the conduct of some other activity. 14 In pool betting. 30 March 1994). 13 As a participation control. 10 On the other hand. 105–316. 11 Revenue generation is by no means a novel objective. though this says nothing about the legality of the organisation. Christiansen and Shagan 1980:864). more likely to be honestly conducted and offer greater security of payment to the player (King 1980:750–1. this prohibition does not primarily seek to minimise participation as a means of protecting the player (although it may do this). 15 A special issue of the Seton Hall Legislative Journal. The ways in which these principles are enforced and the effectiveness of the controls applied should be examined. lotteries have for centuries been so employed (Brenner 1990). legal gambling markets are.Gambling cultures 280 the preparation of a comparative analysis of the situation in all member states in relation to the relevant regulations and controls and the actual nature and degree of the activities involved. 6. 8 See the collection of essays on regulation in Great Britain in Baldwin and McCrudden (1987). 12 For a fuller working out of how these subsystems can be used as part of a regulatory structure controlling a national lottery. see text below. controlled and conducted in each member state. D2) 2 The Court of Justice of the European Communities has decided that member states’ domestic law proscribing the importation of lottery products from elsewhere within the Community is lawful: Commissioners of Customs and Excise v. This chapter is not concerned with this kind of incidental control. should be explained. or prohibited. in general. (European Community Directorate 1990: para. It may also serve as a management control to protect the casino against scams. 6 Tables showing the availability of gambling media throughout the world are published annually by Gaming and Wagering Magazine. 9 Other shifts in government policy have resulted from the inertial force generated by the National Lottery. sometimes also called ‘breakages’. see Miers (1996). 7 For example. 4 Gambling can also be controlled. not for its own sake. Unlike other access-related controls.

) Gambling Research: Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Gambling and Risk Taking. less restrictive alternatives. and in the case of AWP machines. (1990) Gambling and Speculation. the payment of pools winnings. Christiansen. and Miller. problems and promises’. 16 These regulations were under review in April 1995. Brenner. ——(1991) From Prohibition to Regulation: Bookmaking. Aranson. (1982) ‘State conducted lotteries: history. Harvard Law Review 92. ——(1989) ‘Issues and trends in world gaming’. in W. in W. M. (1987) ‘Responses to illegal betting in Britain and Australia’. and reform’. Eadington. Christiansen. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. course-to-course betting. and McCrudden.Campbell and J. (1988) ‘The changing face of gambling in America in the 1980s and some comparisons to changes in the rest of the world’. 2. Caesar’s Boardwalk Regency (1980). Baldwin. and Christiansen. Seton Hall Legislative Journal 6:71–84.Lowman (eds). Connecticut Law Review 12:822–53. E. P. (1982) ‘Junkets: regulation of casino marketing under the Casino Control Act’. (1985) The Business of Risk. British Columbia: School of Criminology. Caron. Simon Fraser University: 53–60. J. R. the removal of their ‘dead frontage’. (1980) ‘Economic aspects of public gaming’. in the case of casino. D. Dixon. BIBLIOGRAPHY Abt. (1989) ‘Current law enforcement issues in Canadian gambling’. Anti-gambling and the Law. (1989) ‘Quebec lotteries’. W. M. 1. Journal of Social Issues 35:62–86. Simon Fraser University: 177–98. in the case of greyhound totes. Cohen. V. the Home Office has proposed or introduced changes involving. R. 1.Lowman (eds) Gambling in Canada. the introduction of an all-cash machine (they currently give a mix of cash and tokens). M. in C. Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming Newsletter. and Shagan. increases in the number of jackpot machines.Eadington (ed.Lowman (eds) Gambling in Canada. C. Smith. Beare. S. E. G. E.. British Columbia: School of Criminology. 17 Since the summer of 1994. bingo and members’ clubs. Reno: University of Nevada: 247–79. R. which shielded betting activities from the gaze of passers-by. Connecticut Law Review 12:854–69.Eadington (ed. Reno: University of Nevada: 1–17. Oxford: Clarendon Press. (1980) ‘The New York off-track betting law: an exercise in selective decriminalisation’. in C. . in Gambling in Canada. and the installation of drinks vending machines. (1987) Regulation and Public Law. Kansas: University of Kansas Press. Blakey. Seton Hall Legislative Journal 6:1–22. the installation of AWP machines. Reno: University of Nevada. C. Donnelly. in the case of betting shops.) Gambling Research: Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Gambling and Risk Taking.Objectives and systems in the regulation of commercial gambling 281 International (1979). R. (1979) ‘Analysing regulatory failure: mismatches. British Columbia: School of Criminology. Bally’s Park Palace and Bally’s Manufacturing (1981). the sale of racing publications and societies’ lottery tickets. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson.Campbell and J. Breyer. (1991) ‘The New Jersey experience and the financial condition of Atlantic City casinos’.Campbell and J. Simon Fraser University: 3–26. (1982) ‘The New Jersey Casino Control Act: creation of a regulatory system’. GNAC (1981) and Marina Associates (1981). J.

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C. T. 186. 164 abortion 43. 79. 66. 272.I INDEX Abbia (dice game) 167 Abbott. 68 Adams. 114. 105. and Dickerson. 307 . 89 Bacon. R. 163. 175 Albagli. D. 53 Akpaca. et al. 175. 26. 190. 177 Albanese. H. 179.M. A. 113. 107–8. 276. 92–4. 7. 189. 274–5. 113 American Psychiatric Association 160 amusement arcades 213 Andrews. 78. and Smith. 8. 21. 179 attribution theory 236 Australian Post 127 Avery. J. 301 aristocracy 266–9. 270 Armley survey 139–41. 51. 14 Alchin. C. 180. P. B. J. 277 addiction 227–8. A. 113. 246. 49–50. M. 182. C.229–30. R. consumption curves 228–9. 45. 7 Altman. 113 Alvarez. cross. 24. 274. 274 Aranson. 65. and effect of tolerance/withdrawal 231 Adler. 53 Altman. 60 Abt. 294. 295 Alcoholics Anonymous 230 Alford. 82. 53. R.H. 48. 105 Baldwin. 228. G. and McCrudden. 44. 46. V. 66. and Miller. 9 alcohol 48. 58.L. J. 131 anti-gambling 30. J. 229 AIDS 51. 115. 161. 52. 150 art 44–5 Asbury. 183 Adams. 187. R. 18–19. M. 239. 22.C. 238. M. 80–1.G. 17. 185 Allcock. 90. 58. 238 Altman. 78. and Volberg. R. 59. R. 229–30. 147 Baker.

191. 270 bingo 3–4. 129 Becker. R. H. 158. 69 .Index 286 Banker.D. ritual of 144–6. 129 Blakey. J. L. et al.D. 290. and Harrison. 44 Bongiorno. 111. 207–8. 15. 238. 45 Bejerot. D. 21 Blaszczynski. 220 Bowman. W. winning/losing at 143–4. shops 295.A. 227 Bell. 125 Beare. 297. 112. 13. and Chambliss. 140 bookmakers/bookmaking 86. C. 17 Block. 139. 88. 88. 93. 279. H. W. M. 288. as working-class preoccupation 141 birth rate 83 Blackmun. as a club 146–7. A. 104. 211. 180. 307. H. 303. 139 Bottom. J. and Whitebread. D. 120. 187. C. sociability of 142–3. et al. 295.J.G. E. 288. H. 295. D. 302. 297. 54 Booker. 230 Bloch.P. 303 Betting Duty (1926–29) 91–2 Betting and Gaming Acts 136. Georgio 235 Bergler. 139 Belladonna. R. 88 Bluestone. B. D.H.A. R. N. 16. S. 114 Booth. female 139. 213. 67. 113 Bolton. J. C. 307 Beasley. 186 Blume. 97 Blake. 109. 244. explained 141–2. B. G. 230 Board of Inquiry into Poker Machines 156 Bolen. 215.S. 304. 11 Blascovich. 32. 214 Becker. C. 14. M. 227. 97 Bourdieu.B. 79. and women 147–50. 23 Bolt. L. 96. 97 Bonnie. Justice 59 Blackstone. 115 Barlett. P. B. 296. 13 betting 66. J.W. and Steele. 205. 90–1. 106 Baritz. 185 Barthes. 185. 136–41. and Kurland. B. 196 Boorstin. and McConaghy. F. and Bejerot. A. B. 220. et al.

43. R. A. 186. 205.F. and Robertson. 50 Bush. George 44. 215. and Lowman. N. J.Index 287 Box. R. and Clotfelter. development of 25–9. J. 154. H. 179 Caldwell. 299. 25. 17.S. G. 169–70.I. 213. 167. 31. 177 Brinner. 104. M. defined 282. 257–8. 295 Carter. 187 Carlson. J. 170. and Rubin. 296. 230 Campbell. British 269–72.T.Z. et al. 182. 112. 20 Campbell. and Brenner.A. and Ponting. 118 Brenner. 130 The Bulletin 83. C. S. J. W.E. 291. 153. S. S. G. 277–81. et al. 300. 256–7 . B. American 272–7. 18 card games 103. 279. 237. 104. 131 Brasey. Doyle 105. 111. 113 Capling. 244. 279 Campbell. 174. 30 charitable gambling 249. 227. 301–2. 12. J. 307. 54. G.J. evolution of contemporary 265. 183. 237 Brown. 255 Caillois. 107–8 Buffy. 17.R. 304. and Galligan. 57. 27. C. 288. 24.R. 279. 7.J. 30. 110. 9. 157. 112. R. 177 Breyer. 23. R. H. 283 Chafetz. European 266–9. 30. 119 Bursik. A. 139 Box. R. 112 Chambliss. 152. globalisation of 263–5. R. 192–5. E. H.N. 226. 104. 110. and Schuetz. 189 Brockner. 31.A. 23. 175 Brennan. 208–9. 195 Business Week 175 Cabot. R. 294 bridewealth 171. 102. 230. 249. 14. 236.T. 48. 234 Browne. B.R. 118 Bulbeck. control and regulation of 295. F. 30 Bradshaw.G. 219. 24. 175 Brenner. 231 Caron. J. 235 Brunson. 281. and Grasmick. 89 Brown. 188. D. 14. 94. N. 251–5. Jimmy 183 Casino Control Act (1977) 301–2 casinos 5. K. 7.

25. 48. curves 228–9 control see regulation and control control theory 13–14 Cook. 307. 298. 136. 84 Council on Compulsive Gambling 83. 74. et al. 86. 89. 43.A. 226 Cornell Law Project (1977) 11. 87 Clark. 75 Cilento. 53 consumption 111. 274 Cochrane. 58.R. 65. 77. 113 Colasanto. 108. 153 corruption 89–91. 268. 89. A. 122 Chinn. D.C. 294. D. 175 Cohen. C. 296. 298. 250. 71–2. 114. 93 chess 232–4 Childress.J. K. 298. 94. R. 245. 70 cinema 113. G. and Cook. 113. R. 245. 91 Clark. M. L. M. 281. 11. 102. 272–7. 112.R. 56. 17. 66. 67. D. and Shagan. 229 Coopers and Lybrand 259 Coral 96 Corbitt. K. 47. C. C.B. 71 Cohen. Bill 45 Clotfelter. D. F. 177. 92 Currie.Index 288 Charlton. 26. J. 78–80. 307 Chuter. 146 civil rights 53. 95 Crisp. 65. 91 Christiansen. 97 Council of Churches 76. P. T. 114. 29–32. 55 . 299 coin-operated gaming devices 102. 13 credit-card lotteries 197 Cressey. 27 Cohen. J. 54. 30 crime 14. 49. 278 Clinton. P. 90. 101. 131 Crombie. 109. 111. 268 Costigan. 243. M. 174–5. and the law 46–7 Crime Control Act (1970) 29 Criminal Justice Commission (CJC) 88. R. 25. 93–4. 249. 138–9. 52 Childs.M.T. 20. 57 Cornish. 81. 60 Clapson. S. 83 Courier-Mail 82 Cowan.D. 54 competition 101 computer games 234–5 Comstock. 183. E. E. 82.

13. 33. D. 229 Davies. 307 Dombrink. 71 Dulles. 51 Downton.L. P. 67. 21 Downes. 129 Das. 22. et al. 179. 23. 17 deviancy theory 15. 224. 31 dog-racing 292. 147 D’Emilio. 53 Dennis. J. J. 148.G. 58 Dutton. R. 211 drugs 43. 209 Dylan. et al. 87. T.M. D. R. 277 Donnelly. 164. E. P. 8. 15. 16. and Rock. 43–4. 13 Downs. 57. 13. et al.N. 25. 46. 236. 96. 161. E. 159. F. 58. 141. 158. H.D. and inheritance 226–7. 14. 225–6. 48. 236 Dandalos. and physiology 227 Duhig. 49. 142 Dunleavy. J. 163. M. R. 300 Doogue. 161. P. 14. R. and Milt. J. D. and Thompson. 11 Devereux. 30. and Baron.A. 224. 153 Dessant. 122 Dostoevsky. 229. 91 Deem. Nick ’the Greek’ 106 D’Angelo. J. 90. changes in legal/societal treatment of 53–6. T. 144. F. 297. and Miers. C. J. 147 Dixon. 8. 59. 158 Dielman. 49. 12 Dixey.K. W. J. 44. 91. 93. 8. 33 Duster. 131 Duyne. 32. 16 Devlin. 199 Dickerson. and Hinchy. M. E. 246. 97. 47. effect of tolerance/withdrawal 231. 153. 21. 238. 15. W. 17. 17 Dark. F. 295. 21 Driehuis. 251. 8. 46 dice-playing 103 Dickens.. N. 160. 154. B. 294. 26–7. 126–7 . A. 179. J. A. 86.E.Index 289 Custer. et al. D. 232 Dowie. 20. 14. 232. 227 Daily Express 137 Daily Telegraph 136 Daley. K.C.

196 Finnane. L. and Hattori.M. 89 Fitzgerald. R. 33. R. 6 free enterprise 28. R. 184. 29. . and Savage. M. 112. C. 90. 292 euthanasia 45 Express Loterie 168.S. 27. 218–19 Elliott. 7. 220 Feinberg. W. J. J. 57. 112. 118 Elias. 97 France. Le 154. S. 220 Economic Intelligence Unit 171 Eldershaw. 274 Emy. 101. et al.J. 305. J. J. 277. 30 Freud. 54.A. 229 Fey. 169 Ezell. 97 Fitzgerald. J. E. C. J.A. 219 football 140.H. and Eadington. N. M. 217 Foucault.R. and Ciminero. M. 273 Ebel. G. 155 Findlay.R. 263 Encel. 60. 94. 15 Frow. 294. M.S. 71 Focus 181 Fokker. 18 Esolen. F. 56. 9. 200. 7 Fricke. 252. S. A. 219. 295. 293 Ferrioli. W. L. A. 26. 7. 208 Fuller. U. G. 22. G. and Cornelius. 191. 52 Featherstone. 177 Faderman.J. 60 Fels. 103. 122. 290. 283 ethnic minorities 212 European Commission 288. and Rowley.A.P. 181. 274 Eco. 130 fruit machines 154. 23. 301. 26. 32 Fox. 136 Gaboury. and Ladouceur. P. et al. and Dunning. 290.D. W. 273. 227 Fuller. H. 86. A.R. 24. N. 237 gamblers 15. 17.Index 290 Eadington. et al. R. J.E. 92. 8. 277. 122 Friedman. 273. 296. 274.R. 289. 26.D. G. 26. C. 13 Frey. 194.

8. 293–4. 260. 290. 257–8. popularity of 3. 243–4. 283. cultural transformation of 179–85. 24. as goal-orientated activity 236. 296–8. 9–10. 275–7. moral/social considerations 4–5. private 77–8. 247–8. 244–8. ambiguities in 14. image of 93–4. defined 6–7. image of 102–3. 200–1. 170. 182–4. 102. 190–5. 29. economic objectives 257–8. acceptance of 46. as blacklegs 103. 23. history of 7–10. 259. medical model of 4. heavy 223–4. 181. explanations of 2–3. 238. opposition to 247. disapproval of 7. 57–8. 235. 223–4. different forms of 1–2. 232. commercial 2. legalisation of 9–10. 273. 307. negative view of 12–15. and public debate 245. 19. 274. heavy 229–30. as controversial 243. facilities for 291–6. 111–12. 9. compulsive 167. . 258. 104. 245. 260–1. types of 114. globalisation of 277–82. 230. compulsive 246–7. 205–6. 235 gambling 139. 196. future direction 4. by exception 180. 16. 32. 238. 283. 237–8. in fiction 116–31. rebellion of 102. 246. effect of tolerance/withdrawal 231. 239. excessive 224.Index 291 in Africa 170–3. 260. conventional views of 11–12. 102. 239. growth of 108. frequency of 159–61. motivations for 170–1. 243. frontier 103. 270. 163. 21–2. 267–9. demand for 244. 129 Gamblers Anonymous 83. 259. positive perspective 15–24. 243–4. attitudes towards 17–18. problems of 224. 92. and policy issues 4. 260–1. and reform 190–5. and choice 158. 24–5. 23. 3. age distribution of 172–3.

131 Goody.F. fraudulent 170. 130. 107. 15 . (il)legal 209–10. 60 General Dutch Lottery (ALN/SUFA) 205 Giddens. 288. permissive culture of 205–10. as controversial 214. 276 Golden Casket Art Union 65–6. 177 Graham. 306 Gaming and Wagering Business 26 Garland. 9.Index 292 social administration 12. cheating at 103. age. 57. 219. growth of 215–16. 16. 66. 217. maintaining success of 74–8 Golden Ten 209–10 Goldman. 79. 16 Gollan. 247. class distinctions 214–15. and Thompson. 110.L. W. J. 51 Goldthorpe. gender.E. J. 47. 235 Great Depression 191–2. active 211. 80. traditional 104. 48. 17. and addiction 215. of skill 235. 101. 53 Greenfield.B. move to computerisation 111. D. D. 20–4. 249–57. D. L. and Bakalar. G. short-odds/ long-odds 211. 54 Gruen. 13 Griffiths. M. 217. 220. 195. 237 Grinspoon. A. 137–8.D. of chance 108. 299. C. J. role of 212. 15. commercialisation of 201. uncertainty of 130 games of hazard 202. 131 Grichting. as instant pleasure 216–19. et al. 7 Geis. 67. J. 103–4. 204. 207 games/gaming 6. W. 52. 235–7. style of 212 Gaming Acts 203. 51 Greenberg.S. 69–74. 271 Gaming Board for Great Britain 31. 25 Geertz. 220 Goffman. A. 216. C. postmodern 211–16. 104. M. C. scientific understanding of 214. and consumers 213–14. autonomy and independence of 213. 144. 304. 196 Greek. status of 56–8. E.

J. 193 Harris.Index 293 Gurstein. 124 . J. 97 Haller. The Outcasts of Foolgarah 124–5.L. 128. The Loser Now Will Be Later to Win 126. 45. 127. R.D. F. 227 Hickie. W. 13. 17. 139 Hart. 123 Harrison. 113.D. R. 235 Herald-Sun 127 Herman. R. Journey to the Future 118–19. 275. 131. 56 Hood. 73. 298 Hayano. 52–3. P. 23 Himmelstein. 46. J. 273 high-rollers 271. 17. The Yarns of Billy Borker 122–3 Harrah. 202 Home Affairs Committee 297 homosexuality 43. 89.J. R. P.R. 129. 45. R. 48. 191 Hogg.E. The Obsession of Oscar Oswald 126. The Great Australian Lover 122. I. B. D. 131 Hirst. 125. B. 17 Hermkens. 128. 121. F. D. M. P. 58 Haig. 9 Hall. 121. et al. G. P. and Fuller. F. 277.M. 120–1. The Unlucky Australians 124. 76–7 Hardy.L. 231 Hanlon. 46 Harvard Law Review 56 Harvey.L. D. 276.L. 8. 301 Holthoon. But the Dead Are Many 119. 24 Hornadge. 213. 88. 119. 44. 110. M. J.A. 220 Hawkins. 127. 54. 89 Holland Casinos 208–9. A. and Zimring. 107. 122. H. 214 heroic gambling 105–8. 190 Halliday. 94. M. 307 Hill. The Hard Way 122. 58 Hindess. The Four-Legged Lottery 119.R. 129. B.J.E. 109. Power Without Glory 118. 131 Hofstadter. 125–6. 69. 97 Hicks. et al. 117–19. W. 128. 45 Gusfield. E. 13 Hand. 127. 217 Holmes. 11. 51 Hawkins. 283.219. C. et al. C. 116. 114 Hickey. 120.

21 Kamisar. D. 203. and Herbig. 278. 124. 55 income 171. 174. S. 267. J. 130 King. 305. 113 Johnson. 14 . 45 Kaplan. 251. 195. 21 Kapteyn. 257. V. L. 7. 175 Jacobs. 120. 17. 130 Hunter. D. 298 Kaplan. and Kingma. 188. 177 information/communication 122 Inglis. 50 Jewison. 47. H. 186. N. and McBride.A. 280. 131 Jordan. D. S. 12. I. N. 48. K. L. and Rubenstein. 93. 55 jambo 168 Jenness. 106. 264. 247. 307 King. 189 Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) 90. A. P. 191. J. 220 Kallick-Kaufman. M. J. 182. N. 271. and Eadington. D. 103. 283 kienen 205. 123. Y. 45 Hunter. 70 Kadish. 44 Hunter.F. 289 Islam 167. 252. 169.Index 294 Horne.B. 116 Irish Sweepstake 81. 55 Kaplan. and Maher. J. 297 Inciardi. N. 304. M. 297 Huddersfield Friendly and Trade Societies Club 137 Huizinga. 227 Jacobs. 26 Johnson. 97 Indian gaming 152.D. 47 Kalb. H. 277 informal economy 173. 290. 244 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (1988) 182. 9. 51 Kimura. 176–7. J. P.D. J. R. 204 Kefauver Committee 273 Kelly. 207–8 Kimmel.C.R. 282. D. 196.S. 54.R. W. 277. 253. 168. 114 Humphry. 131 horse-racing 6. J.K. J. 53 Hybels. J. M. 20. 140. 294. 264. 296 Kent-Lemon. and Beal. 68. 217. 60 King. 109.

191 Light. 253 Lasch. 176 .R. 33. R. 24 Krivanek. T. 207. and Senyard. 55 Kok. 95 Lockwood. I. 278 Lewis. see also regulation and control Lawson. 13. B. 8. 220 Lasky. and Hevener. M. 131 Lehne. B.A. S. 77 Langer. 299 leisure/recreation 15–20.Index 295 Kingma. 224 Kuper. 197 Leach. J. 138 Kurata. 269–71. B. J. 259–60 Lelart. 29–32. P. 275. 115 Ledermann. A. A. E. P. 96. 24. S.P. E. and Rosenthal. R. 23 Lesieur. 283. A. 230. K. 301 Lloyd-Jones. 218. K. M. C. J.R. 282. 13. 177 Lemon. 212 Lampen. 277. 9. A.J. S. and Puig. I. and Custer. 274–5. I. 214 Korac. 140 Loterie congo 169 Loterie Nationale 169 Loterie Nationale du Sénégal (LONASE) 169. 219. B. 112 Lasch. 86. 28. 267. E. 259. 60 Kornblum. 78. 302. 136 Levy. 92 Kisch.J. 14. 220 Kinsella. 223. J. 119 Kleiman. 117. 30 Kozlowski. 29. J. H. 119 Le Fleur. 47–9. S. L. 264 Ladbrokes 93. 60 Kutchinsky. H. et al. E. 162 ‘Las Vegas nights’ 244. 13. R. D. R. 111. 54. 247–8. 60 law/legislation 28. et al. 14 Lindesmith.R.L. 301 Levin. 229 Lees. 54 Livernois. 111. 202–5. 275 Land Act Amendment Act (1920) 71 Lang. 52 La Fleur.

205. mammoth 73. 188. 27. K. G. G. 111. 102. 94–5. 169. D. William 74 McCoy. 131 machine gaming 4 Macintyre. A. 95 Lynch. private 78–9. 92. 26. 78. 14. 130. 293. J. J. 14 McCormack. 199. popularity of 65–6. 117 MacGinley. 294. 170. 93. J. 244. 45. as controversial 78–9.R. see also Golden Casket Art Union Lottery Bill (1966) 77 lotto 109–10. 24. absence of private enterprise control 80–1. 60 . 6. G. illegal 81. 185 Lucas. moral motives for participating in 200. 48. 111. 81.J. 82. 249–51. 50. 158. 23. 23. 97. 87. prohibited 67–9. and community projects 72. 17. 18. 49.A. 76. as source of government revenue 77. 236 Maastricht 288–9 McCall. 108. 88. 139 McLaren. 7. 110. 57. and finance of public works 181–2. and Lafferty. 71 McGregor. 290. 305. 18 Macomber. 291–2. 67. 140. scandals connected with 75–6. exclusive 200. 307. 126. S. 33. factors conducive to 70–2. 44. 7 McMillen. 113. 264. E. 304. 114. demographics of 109. 185. N.M. 43. 164. 307 Maples. G. 264 Louisiana Lottery scandal 48. and Eadington. D. 299. et al. 305. 177. M. 181. 89. 95.W. 292. 167. W. J. 67 McKernan. 276 Mafia 88 Mahon. 23. 75–6 Lusher. 80. 217. C. 118 McKibbin. 24. A. 158. 114. 298. in Africa 173–5. 219. 58 Lund. 79. 154. M. S. R. drawing systems 75–6. 295. 186 Lowenhar. 275 Lowy.Index 296 lotteries 4. 288. 302–3. 75 Luker. 280. 18. 194 Manness. R. 117 Maclean.

138 Meyer. 200. Robert 45 March. 298. 275. A. 117 Mitchell. 17.P. J. 29. and Olson. D. R. 176. E. 299 Middelburg. 278 Morris. and Appleby. 60 Neumann. J. 15 Maze. 25. 268 Marotta. N. 46 Minangoy. 300 Michael. 264.S. 8.J. Child Welfare and Hospital Fund 72–3 Musto. 54 National Council on Problem Gambling 183 National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) 44 National Foundation for the Exploitation of Casino Games 208 National Lottery (Camelot plc) 305–6 National Sports Totalisator (SNS) 203. 299. 88. 138 Meeker. J. 265 Marcuse. B. S. and Eason. 296. 270. 245 Morin Commission 20. 126 . M. R. 307. 168 morality 4–5. E. M.A. 205. 177 Mitchell. H. 210. T. 232–4 Nadelman. 119 Martinez. and Rowen. J. D. 124 Marin. 179 Marty. V. 7. H. 121 motherhood 72–3. 300. 13. 44 Marx. K. 32 materialism 101 Maternity Act (1922) 72. 31. D. D. 73 Matthews. 24. G. M. 271–2. 53 Meller. 274.W.Index 297 Mapplethorpe. T. 14. 273. A. 213. 97 Mecca 96. 131 Morrison. 224 Meagher. 33 Marcum. 83 Motherhood. and Dixon. 53 Marshall. V. 54 Nabokov. D. D. 14. 209 Miers.G. B. A. 207. 219 Monteil. 83 Matza. J. 269. H. J. M. 25 Mill. et al. 218. 296 Model Penal Code 47 Moffitt. 97 money 170. 106 Mitler. 48. 217 Nederlandse Staatswetten 203 Negrete. 8. J. J.

‘Banjo’ 117 Paton. 45 Painter. 33 O’Malley. J. 304 Packer. 97 Oldfield.A.R. S. F. 297. D.H. 51 play 101. 297. M. O. 66. 14.W. 12. and Campbell. 224. and taxation 91–2 Offe. J. 24.Index 298 Nevada State Gaming Control Board 298 New Deal 191 New Right 45 Newman. 18 Palmer Raids 192 Palmer. 94. J. J. 247. 168 Noble. 191 O’Donnell. and Shopland. 93. 257. 86. H.A.B. 305 O’Farrell. P. 65. 45 Peters. 288. 139 News Chronicle 136 Nieti Xob 169 Nile. 219 Pivar. 114.S. 212. 13 Philadelphia Inquirer 110 pillarisation 203. 293. 304. 228 Osborne. and Tiako. 279. 67. 183. 33 Njoh Soppo. 194. 306. 18. 118 Pari Sportif 168–9 pari-mutuel 112. 136. C. 17. 93 Niskanen. 292. D. 249. 30. 21 Olson. A. 168–9. 255–6. 71 off-course betting 86. M. 177. 47 Paglia. C. 292. and information/communication 87–9. 16 Paterson. D. 191 O’Hara. 17. 175. 182. 185. enforcement and corruption 89–91. 294. local/national state differences 94–5. . 296. L. 164 Oldman. A. 89. C. 30. W. 298 Peterson. 13. 158. M. 67–8. 23. 94. 301 Parker. P. 89 one-armed bandits 154 Orford. 92.J. 192.L. J. V. M. W. 185. W. 13 People 127 Pertschuk. 187. 181. 183. M. V. 75 Nova 137 numbers games 189 Observer 149 O’Connor.

274.Index 299 defined 114 player activated lottery machine (PALM) 187 poker 105–8. 90–1. factors affecting choice of 301–6. 14. 118 privacy rights 59 Proctor. 5. R. K. 145 RICO see Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organisations Ridge. 292–3. 77 Quiggin. 58. P. management 300–1. 27. 179. 130 police 31. national/local interests 303–4. B. Charles 55 Ransom. 235. 50–1. 89. 288–91. 283 Protestant ethic 183–4. 187. 29. 164 Polan. 24. 293–308. 59 Reagan. 14. public/private suppliers 304–6. 30. 97–8. S. see also law/legislation Reisz. N. 126. 46. 163–4. 113 religion 45. 202 Pryor. 14 pornography 43. 128 risk 102. 54. 21. 272. 46 Reuter. 246. 117. 181 Rich. objectives 294–8. 46. 32 Posner. C. 195 regulation and control 3. 33 Postal Act (1901) 68 power 117. V. machines 154. A. 246 positivism 20–3. 112. 58. 183. and Rubenstein. 110. 89 Prohibition 192–4. 272 prostitution 43. J. M. 122 Polsky. 83 Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organisations (RICO) 52 Rangel. 283 Pollak. D. systems 298. F. K. 88. 195. 30. 275 Ranulf. ‘Amarillo Slim’ 105 Prichard. 51–2.L. 70. 123 pragmatism 212 Preston. supplier 299. Ronald 45. 272. 191. 82. 49. P. 97.J.S. 180 . 7. 16 psycho-social theories 153 public choice theory 25–9 Queensland loans affair 70–1 Queensland Parliamentary Papers 76.

129 Servet. and Sarason. 84.K. 57. 265.D. A. 47. P. K. M. B. R. L. B. 27. 199 Schultz. H. 69. M. 277 Rubner.F. F. 8. 13 Simmel. I. 8. 253. J.H. R. W.G. J-M. 56. J.A. 113 Scott. 257 Robins. George 54 Schur. 13. 210. 24. 53 Shonkwiler. 175 Santaniello. 51 Seigel. 211 Rowlatt. 106. 90 Royal Commission on Gambling (1977) 148 Rubenstein. 71. O. 113 Rosenthal. 275 Schalken.N. 278 Self. 60. 105 Skogan.B. P. 152. Benjamin ‘Bugsy’ 193–4 Selesner. 26. and Bedau. 191 scratch games 82. 252. 60 sin tax 59–60. 33 Semmler. A. 226 Sartin. 13 Rothschild Report (1978) 20. 180 Single European Act (1986) 288 Skinner. 17. 74 Sané.R. 219 Simon. H.A. 277. 238 Satré. S. 95. 300 Sarason. 180. T. J. 282. 191 Rose. L. 156 Segal. 283 Rosecrance. G. and McIntosh. 47 Scimecca.Index 300 riverboat gambling 49. 183. 109 Roosevelt. 246. D. T. M. S.M. 9. 126. J. G. 176 Seton Hall Legislative Journal 275 Shelton. 14. Revd Louis 53 Shilts. F. N. E. F. 24. 60 Scott-Fitzgerald. C. 276. 26 Simmel. 283 roulette 204. 103. 93. 24 Russian roulette 176 Ruthven. R. 130 Ryan. 170. 50 .S. 16. 270. 161 Sklansky. 307 Rosen. 210 Schama. E. 21 Scorsese. J.G. 119. 13. 167 Rosett.

M. 263 Stuurman. Jack 105 Street Betting Act (1906) 31. 263 Strauss. R. 129–30 Starr. 27–9. access to 157. 55. V. P. 182. 104. 97. 295. 161.L. 33 Strange. role of 15. 235. and Underhill. 60. 26. 106.W. excessive/problematic players 160–1. R. 17 smoking 59. 276. 236. 227 Soper. and computerised monitoring 156. 213. 283 starting price odds (SP) 87. J. 30. 20. and Miller. 282 Sparrow. 190 Sternlieb. et al.H. 82. 114. and Hughes. B. 143 Solomon.W. 219. 294. 96. J.K. 297 state. J. legalisation policy of 180–1. 304 Soja. 90 spillage 289–90 Spiro. L. 211. 47. 196. 30–2. low/medium frequency players 159–60. 218. D. 95. 24.J.A. W. 48. 125–6. 201. F. 298 Smith. 113 Smith. 273. government control/regulation of 163–4. and causes of impaired control of play 161–2. development of 154–7.B. 86 Stubbs. 299 Slater. 255. 168. Amarillo 235 slot machines 110. 82–3.J. 195.Index 301 Skolnick. fiscal crisis of 185–90. L. 19. 25.D. high frequency players 160. 274. M. 208. J. 264–5. 216–17 Steeves. 148 stagflation 211–12 Stalinism 118–19. 49. 94.W. 8. R. fiscal needs of 192. and psychological process of playing 157–61. 267–8 state lotteries 67–8. 294. 181–5. S. and Preston. 220. 276. J. 246 SNS see National Sports Totalisator Snyder. 308. 98. M. and control over individual expenditure 161. G. 88. 29. 48. and Corbitt. 43. 254. S.I. and Dombrink. 305 Steffens. 212. and Menczer. G. 189 sports betting 48. 187 Spring-Rice. 111 Slim. 185–90. G.F. 193 Smith. 277 Stigler. 229. 204. 163 Small Lotteries and Gaming Act (1956) 137 Smith. et al. 163. M. 237–8. 58. 202 . E. 297. 234 The South Wales Argus 148 SP see starting price odds Spanier. 152. 70.

changes in legal/societal treatment of 47–56. 295. 77. 164 Symanski. 57. 153 Thompson. . Edward (Red Ted) 69. R. 88. classic 43–6. 305. 298 Sullivan. 148 Thompson. 173. 307 telephone gambling 197 television 139. W. 47. R. J. 180. 303 Thorp. 103. decriminalisation of 46. 264. 43. M. 59–60. R. 267–8. and Pinney. 292 tourism 23. D. 280. R. 189. 71 Thomas. R. 23 van der Roer. 50. 177 Totalisator Agency Boards (TABs) 87. 91–2. 141. 209 van Poelje.P.Index 302 Suits. 13 two-stage model 200 sweepstakes 68. 307 Tocqueville. 83 Sykes. 82. 15 Vernooij. 81. 27. 188. 175. 213. and Dombrink. 96.H. 95. Gaming and Other Offences Bill (1931) 74 Vamplew.N. 68. 194–5. G. 296. 80. 92. W. 246. 235 Vagrants. 300. 60. 297. D. 247 Taft. 301. 45 Turner. 124. 111. 247 Theodore. 174. 176 Sullivan. 24. T. 269. 44. G. E. A. 17 three cards 168 Time International 82 The Times 137. A. 9. 230 Tattersall 66. T. 301. 51 Syme. W. K. 157–9 United States 18–20 Uston. 281. 77–8 tax 48. W. 268. 184. 84. 180. 46 103 tontine 173.A. 196. 299 Traditional Values Coalition 53 Tremblay. E. 131 Sunday Times 119 Suppression of Gambling Act 74 Swaan. Ken 105. et al. 203 Veblen. A. 74.O. 22. 175 Tribe. 167. 219 Thalheimer. 186. 300 vice/s 7. A. 183.I. L.

7. R. and Dickerson. 210 Zola. 122 Wolfe. A. J. 153 Zuckerman. 204. H. 247 Walker. 121 Ward. 21. 67. E. 122 Wilson. 83. 65. 16. 187–8. 168. G. 226. 50 Whitlam. and Steadman. L. 204 working class 14. 51 Williams. H. 103. 110. 71.G. M. 8. 145