Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: June 02, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971928 | Print ISBN: 9781412950855 | Online ISBN: 9781412971928| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Race and crime have played and continue to play a prominent role in the realm of gambling, most notably in the United States, where many religious groups maintain that gambling is sinful because it intrudes into God's domain. Religious considerations, combined with notorious episodes of criminal skullduggery, led to the outlawing of gambling in all American jurisdictions near the end of the 19th century. But states, hard-pressed for funds to provide adequate services to residents, subsequently returned to lotteries and other forms of wagering as a painless political move, much more acceptable to citizens than tax increases. At first, gambling in the United States tended to be controlled by organized crime, but in recent years corporate interests have taken over big-time gambling enterprises, aware that such businesses could be operated legally and yield huge profits. All that is necessary is to arrange the odds—such as the percentage paid out by ...