Monday, May 2, 2022

Gambling in the United States


By Kristy McCaffrey

Games of chance first came to the American colonies with the first settlers and lotteries were often used to help raise money to establish universities and secondary schools throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. As America grew, lotteries continued to be used at the state and federal levels, while privately owned gambling businesses began to develop.


New Orleans became the epicenter of gambling but in the mid-1800’s a backlash formed, and gambling was pushed from the Mississippi River toward the less-regulated western territories, as well as to Mississippi River boats. Anti-gambling forces in the northeast brought most state-sponsored lotteries to an end, while the California Gold Rush spurred San Francisco into a gambling mecca.


Reconstruction after the Civil War saw a brief return of lotteries as a way to generate revenue, but by the beginning of the 20th century, gambling was almost uniformly outlawed in the United States. This created many forms of illegal gambling, especially among organized crime syndicates.


The stock market crash of 1929 and the building of the Hoover Dam led to the legalization of gambling in Nevada. During the 1950’s and 1960’s, Las Vegas saw rapid growth and development. In 1977, New Jersey legalized gambling in Atlantic City, and in 1979, the Seminole tribe opened the first reservation-based commercial gambling. Today, gambling is legal under U.S. Federal Law.

* * * *

Don't miss Kristy's Wings of the West series - historical western romances with honorable heroes and courageous heroines.

Coming August 2, 2022

Colorado 1899 

Kate Ryan has always had a streak of justice in her. When she decides to apply to the Pinkerton Detective Agency, nothing will stand in her way. Initially hired in a clerical position, she quickly works her way up to field agent with the help of her mentor, Louise Foster. When Louise is injured, Kate gets her first assignment and the opportunity of a lifetime.

Henry Maguire has been undercover in the household of wealthy cattleman Arthur Wingate. Employed as a ghostwriter to pen the man’s memoir, Henry is also searching for clues to a lucrative counterfeiting scheme. When Henry’s “wife” shows up, he’s taken aback by the attractive woman who isn’t Louise. Now he must work with a female agent he doesn’t know and doesn’t necessarily trust. And because he has another reason for coming into Wingate’s world, Kate Ryan is unavoidably in his way.

Kate Ryan is the daughter of Matt and Molly from THE WREN, and THE STARLING is the first of five novels featuring the second generation of Ryans in the Wings of the West series.



Julie Lence said...

I never knew the lottery dated back that far. Interesting, and something that needs to be part of a hero's story. Thank you for sharing, Kristy.

Kristy McCaffrey said...

I was surprised too, Julie. I was researching for my latest novel and came across it.