Betting the Line: Sports Wagering in American Life

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Ohio State University Press, 2001 - Games - 212 pages
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A study of gambling, particularly sports gambling, and how it has thrived in American culture. According to Davies and Abram, the culture of betting results from two complementary influences in American society: risk-taking and speculation. This is the first effort by academic writers to describe and interpret the history of sports wagering in the United States. Although many books have been written about 3how to bet and win, 4 Betting the Line presents a serious history of this popular activity in Colonial and Civil War eras to today, from early betting on horse racing and baseball to the modern venues of basketball and football. By considering topics as diverse as the business of a bookie, the expansion of legalized gambling, and the increase in popularity of televised sports, the authors offer readers an insightful look into a practice that has become commonplace in American popular culture. In a mere seventy years, the number of states where gambling is legal jumped from one to forty-eight. Yet Nevada remains the only state where sports betting is legal. This book challenges many long-standing myths and stereotypes that revolve around the enterprise, arguing that sports gambling is reflective of the American free enterprise culture.
 

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User Review  - bluetyson - LibraryThing

An overview of American sports betting, done in a bit of an academic style. The author is not particularly familiar with the inner workings of the industry it seems, and is looking at it from mostly a ... Read full review

Contents

A People of Chance
9
The National Pastime Imperiled
18
Moses Annenberg and His Wire Empire
29
Bootleggers and Bookies
41
The Point Spread Revolution
51
Doing Business
61
Senator Kefauver Slays His Dragons
73
The Brave New World of the Modern Bookie
81
The Lengthening Shadow of Scandal
97
Bugsy Lefty and the Boys in the Nevada Desert
115
Essential Facts about Nevada Sports Books
169
Notes
181
Bibliography
197
Index
207
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