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Often denigrated as a social evil, gambling has long been connected to financial ruin, broken homes, organized crime, and idleness. Nonetheless, the economic hardships of the depression years saw a rise in betting on games of chance. By 1939, close to one third of Americans admitted to spending a nickel on some form of gambling. Recently, gambling (often called by the less negative term, gaming) has become mainstreamed into the entertainment industry, and casinos have become legitimate places of recreation. Even governments now rely heavily on lotteries—formerly illegal in many states—for fundraising.

 


 

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