Gambling Up
By Earl
Americans spent $63.3 billion on gambling in 2002, all across the country, according to a study made by Christiansen Capital Advisors (CCA) of New York. CCA’s president, Sebastian Sinclair, broke that figure down as $600 per household. The study reports that at any time day or night people are buying lottery tickets, bingo cards, making sports bets, playing the casinos online and off, and spending money, too, on their office pools.

Virtually every form of gambling is popular and growing in popularity. Sinclair notes that his multi-billion dollar figure above represents only legal gambling. Popular illegal gambling includes sports bets, dice games, poker games, numbers (illegitimate lotteries) and dog fights.

“It wasn't always so,” said Sinclair, who mentioned the interesting history of gambling in the United States. “While lotteries helped rebuild the South after the Civil War,” Sinclair said, “state-sponsored gambling all but disappeared between 1890 and 1964, when New Hampshire approved a lottery. New York followed suit in 1967. Since then, lotteries, off-track betting, keno and video poker have spread to all states except Utah and Hawaii. Even the Defense Department operates 8,000 slot and video machines at overseas bases.”

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