Britain Casinos

    Britain Casinos

    Gambling: Contemporary Legitimation

    Recent events that have significantly boosted the legitimation of gambling include the following, in chronological sequence:

    1955--- Las Vegas develops the Strip; 1963--- New Hampshire approves a state lottery; 1970--- New York approves offtrack betting; 1978--- Atlantic City casinos open for business; 1984--- five states pass gambling referendums; 1986--- The California lottery takes in over $billion in one year.

    In 1955, the nine-story Riviera Hotel opened on the Las Vegas Strip and ushered in the era of high-rise casino complexes.

    The twenty-four-story Sahara and twenty-nine-story Landmark were built soon after the Riviera's opening.

    After World War II, Las Vegas became an increasingly important gambling location. Spurred by tourists from Southern California, who arrived by recently completed freeways, and junketeers, who arrived en masse on new jumbo jets.

    Las Vegas expanded its facilities to meet the demand.

    The multi-storied casinos that appeared on the Strip were tangible signs that gambling was a profitable business endeavor.

    The intimate, unsophisticated clubs of the 1940s were replaced by the pleasure palaces of the 1950s. Gambling had come of age, and the Las Vegas Strip, with its massive, neon-decked edifices, reflected that sophistication.

    With the development of the Strip, Las Vegas became America's ultimate resort.

    Strapped for funds since its efforts to institute a state income tax had been deemed unconstitutional, the 1953 New Hampshire legislation approved a state-run sweepstakes; thus the lottery was revived in the United States after a seventy-year hiatus.

    Proceeds for the new lottery were earmarked for public education, a pattern that other states would also follow.

    New Hampshire's lottery consisted of two biennial sweepstakes, with winning numbers determined by the outcome of designated horse races.

    In 1966, New York State authorized a lottery with monthly drawings: the proceeds again were to aid education.

    These first two lottery systems were relatively unsuccessful, with sales falling below projected estimates. The long intervals between drawings caused interest to wane and participation to fall off.

    In addition, the waiting for drawings was passive; the lack of active participation further discouraged players.

    Although not spectacular financial successes, these first lotteries had broken legal ground, and other states followed with more marketable schemes.

    In 1970, New Jersey piqued players' interest by holding weekly drawings; two years later, operators introduced daily games. To increase player participation, Massachusetts lottery officials sold instant winner scratch-off tickets.

    These games have been termed 'paper slot machines'. Lotto and superjackpots offering prizes of several million dollars further advanced the popularity of lotteries. As of 1987, twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia offer legalized lotteries.

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