1810: Former president Thomas Jefferson says he never gambles on lotteries, and he issues a letter very critical of lotteries and gambling.
1812: The first steamboat, Robert Fulton’s New Orleans, operates on the Mississippi River. The boat inaugurates an era of riverboat gambling in the West. Within a decade more than 60 riverboats are operating with gamblers on board.
1815: New Orleans licenses casino gaming enterprises in the city. New Orleans was already a wide-open “sin city” when it became part of the United States with the 1803 Louisiana Purchase. Legislation and licensing are seen as a means to control the widespread gambling and generate moneys for municipal improvements.
1826: Jefferson supports the use of lotteries as a means for persons to dispose of their property in a respectable manner so that they can pay their bills. He calls lotteries a tax “laid on the willing only.” His own lottery for sale of goods at Monticello is unsuccessful.
1827: John Davis opens the first complete casino in the United States in New Orleans, at the corner of Orleans and Bourbon Streets. The high-class establishment caters to aristocratic tastes, and although it is open only until l835, it serves as a model for modern Las Vegas– and Atlantic City–type casinos.
1828: The first Canadian horse racetrack opens in Montreal.
1832: The high point of early lottery play, with 420 lottery games in eight states. Scan¬dals plague many of the games, however, leading to a reaction prohibiting lotteries and other gambling.
1833: The Jacksonian era ushers in a mood of general governmental reform. Reform¬ers call for a cessation of gambling. Pennsylvania and Maryland are the first to pro¬hibit lotteries, and most other states follow suit. Between 1833 and 1840, 12 states
ban lotteries. By the time of the Civil War all legal lotteries have halted.
1834: Cockfighting is banned in England.
1835: New Orleans declares casinos to be illegal. John Davis’s house closes, but lower-class gambling dens continue to operate illegally. The antigambling reform movement moves up the Mississippi River, where a vigilante committee torches the gambling haunts of Vicksburg, Mississippi, and lynches five gamblers.
1836: The first stakes horse race in North America is held in Quebec.
1848 and following years: The gold strike in California marks a new trend: mining camp gambling halls. Eastern reform and western opportunities redistribute much of gambling sin activity in the l840s, lasting for 100 years or more. Although oppor¬tunity brings prospectors west, reform pushes gamblers in the same direction, with gamblers drawn by the opportunity to strike gold in the gambling dens themselves. San Francisco becomes a gambling center.
1855: Reformers close down open gambling in San Francisco. 1860: Riverboat gambling reaches its apex, with 557 boats operating on the eve of the
Civil War. It is estimated that 99 percent of the games on the boats cheat players.
Player-banked games are banned in California.
1864: The Travers Stakes horse race is run for the first time at Saratoga, New York, the first stakes race in the United States.
1865: The totalizator is invented in France. It permits horse race bets to be pooled and odds calculated as bets are being made. The device allows for the creation of the pari-mutuel system of betting. This makes it much easier to tax horse race betting and also to collect funds for race purses. The totalizator was not used in North American tracks until 1933, but the pari-mutuel system is now in place at every
major track in North America.
1867: The inaugural running of the Belmont Stakes takes place in Belmont, New York.
1868: Gambling activity gains a new momentum as the Louisiana Lottery begins a three-decade reign of abuse and corruption. Initially started in order to bring needed revenues to a war-torn, bankrupt state, the lottery is soon overcome by private entrepreneurs who sustain it by bribing state officials. The lottery enjoys great suc¬cess, as tickets are sold through the mail across the continent.
1873: The inaugural running of the Preakness Stakes takes place at Pimlico racetrack in Baltimore.
1875: The first Kentucky Derby is run on 17 May at Churchill Downs in Louisville. It is won by Aristides.
1876: Congress bans the use of mails for lottery advertising.
1877: Congress actually adjourns so that members can attend horse racing events at Pimlico racetrack in Baltimore.
1886: The first dog “coursing” events are held in the United States in Kansas.
1887: Charles Fey invents the slot machine in San Francisco. This first machine accepts and pays nickels. Soon similar devices are found throughout the city, and since patents on the concept of a gambling machine are not granted by the govern¬ment at this time, other manufacturers open the door for imitation.
1890: Congress bans the sale of lottery tickets through the mail. This significantly restricts the Louisiana Lottery. Lottery advertising in newspapers is also prohibited. Two years later the Louisiana Lottery is voted out of existence, yet its operators seek to keep it operating, using foreign ports for ticket delivery.
1891: The Broadmoor Casino Resort opens in Colorado Springs, Colorado. This casino brings a new elegance to western gaming. As many as 15,000 players visit the establishment each day. The casino fails to make money from gambling, how¬ever, as people gamble among themselves rather than playing house-banked games. The casino is destroyed by fire in 1897.
The first organized regulation of horse race courses begins with licensing of jockeys and trainers by a private board of control in New York State. The growth in popu¬larity of race betting requires the establishment of integrity in racing.
1892: An antigambling movement takes hold in Canada as Parliament bans most forms of gambling by means of revisions to the Criminal Code.
1894: The Jockey Club of New York is established. It helps develop national standards for horse racing.
1895: Congress bans the transportation of lottery tickets in interstate or foreign com¬merce. When the act is upheld by the courts, the Louisiana Lottery operations finally end.

No comments:

Post a Comment