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Gambling — a growing problem

MILLIONS are seeking excitement and thrills through the allure of gambling.
From bingo to blackjack, roulette to horse racing, gambling is fast becoming a worldwide scourge.
And beneath the glitter and glamour is the sinister shadow of the underworld!
This article explains how to kick the gambling habit.


AMBLING is big business, today, around the world! In many Western countries, gambling has become a national "way of life"!

Said Wayne Pearson of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, "Statistically, gambling is the normal thing. It's the non-gambler who is abnormal in American society."


Why Gambling Fever?

Fifty million Americans are "addicted" to gambling — or gamble on a regular basis. So state leading authorities. State-run lotteries exist today in 84 countries. Even the staid British have fast become a nation of gamblers!

But lurking behind the back doors of the gambling casinos is the threatening hand of the syndicate — organized crime.

The infamous Cosa Nostra (meaning "Our Thing") controls much of the gambling in the United States. Their casinos and betting shops cash in on the all-too-human urge to have a fling, to make a bet, to get something for nothing, to take a chance. The organization will make more this year from illegal gambling than all the profits of General Motors Standard Oil, Ford, General Electric, and United States Steel combined!

In 1960, Attorney General William G. Rogers estimated the total income of the rackets in America at $20,000,000,000 a year, half represented by gambling. J. Edgar Hoover of the FBI, however, put the figure at about $22,000,000,000, also estimating that half came from gambling.

Compare this figure with the total production of the American auto industry. In recent years, the wholesale price tag of all automobiles has been about $9,000,000,000. Or, to put it plainly — the underworld's gross annual income from gambling profit SURPASSES the entire income of American automobile manufacturing!

Shocking? Unbelievable?

Yes, it is. It is incredible — but it is TRUE!

Think about it! According to a U. S. Commission on Law Enforcement, "Law enforcement officials agree almost unanimously-that gambling is the greatest source of revenue for organized crime."

Said the Commission, "There is no accurate way of ascertaining organized crime's gross revenue from gambling in the United States. Estimates of the annual intake have varied from $7,000,000,000 to $50,000,000,000, and most enforcement officials believe that illegal wagering on horse races, lotteries, and sporting events totals at least $20,000,000,000 each year."

Gaming operations pour many millions annually into the coffers of organized crime. Profits to racketeers may be as high as one third the gross intake — at least $6,000,000,000 to $7,000,000,000 every single year!

Every week, four million Americans make illegal bets with bookmakers. On an average fall weekend, when football games are played across the United States, between $50 and $60 million are bet illegally!

The gambling fever never lets up. During the baseball season in the summer between $40 and $50 million are bet.

But is it all just "innocent fun," as many claim? Let's look at the WHOLE picture! There is more behind the gambling mania gripping much of the world than you might think at first glance.


Something for Nothing?

Human nature is naturally greedy. It craves fun, fast living, and the risks involved in a gambler's odds. The bright lights of Reno and Las Vegas, Nevada, glitter and twinkle in the desert night, beckoning the tourist with money burning holes in his pockets. Reno, local people humorously say, is so close to hell you can see Sparks! (Sparks is a neighboring town.)

Once enveloped in the gambling atmosphere of these gambling capitals of America, the tourist is encouraged by the racy surroundings to spend his money wildly, to "have a good time." The odds, of course, are in favor of the house. Though gamblers have what they call "hot and cold streaks" of luck, the longer they play the more compulsive the urge to gamble becomes! Habitual gamblers forget everything else.

Food is forgotten. So is sex. Everything recedes into the vague, nebulous background as the gambler's concentration approaches a mystical trance as he watches the dice roll, or the roulette wheel spin, or the cards turn up.

The south shore of Lake Tahoe, on the California-Nevada border has become an American gambling Mecca. Large, plush casino-hotels and motels soar into the sky, surrounded by the natural beauty of the lake and mountains.

Harvey's casino, the Sahara-Tahoe, and other super-plush resort hotels operate day and night — 24 hours a day. Gamblers from California and elsewhere pour into the area every weekend. "High rollers" lose thousands in a single night's spree.

In order to make a profit, these huge resort-hotels must attract multiple thousands of gamblers every day of the year. The action never stops, flags or relents. On a particularly busy night, young people and elderly, wizened men and old women stand four and five deep, queued up behind the slot machines, waiting their turn at the "one-armed bandits."

Adding to the worldly allure and glamour of the scene, top-flight night-dub and Hollywood entertainers put on lavish shows, spiced with sex and ribaldry. The greatest names in show business glitter on the marquees, enticing people to come, see the show, and gamble. The atmosphere is racy, sensuous, hedonistic, permissive. Prostitution flourishes. As long as customers have money to spend lavishly, they are kept contented, satiated with a whirlwind of sensuous activity.

In the past decade new gambling resorts have sprung up in the Bahamas and Puerto Rico. Million-dollar establishments do their best to attract rich playboys and high spenders who don't mind losing.

Adding to the gambling craze are the national sweepstakes, the contests rigged by merchants to sell more merchandise, give-aways, the service stations' round of games, lucky bills and other gimmicks to attract repeat customers.

EVERYBODY is getting in on the act!

Everybody is itching for a piece of the action!

Or so it would seem.


Around the World

The gambling spas sprawl all around the Mediterranean Sea. Some are well known, such as Monte Carlo in Monaco, which is supported largely through revenue from the tourist traffic and gambling.

Less known, however, is the fact that even Australia has its state-operated lotteries in New South Wales, Queensland, and Western Australia. Other lotteries are operated under government license in Victoria and sell tickets in Tasmania and New Zealand.

The newest gambling center of Europe is swinging London, where the sights and sounds of youth have caught on like a contagion. The annual English income from gambling is £10,326,000 — or more than $30,000,000 a year (prior to devaluation).

By a conservative estimate, in 1965, Britons spent a record total of $2,500,000,000 on betting of all sorts; $1,700,000,000 of that total was wagered on horse racing . The British gambling boom traces back to a 1960 Act of Parliament which legalized gambling at 15,000 betting shops, in plush casinos and bingo parlors.

It is estimated that London has a hundred casinos. One thousand are located elsewhere in Britain. Gambling is Britain's biggest new "growth industry"! Gangster elements have felt encouraged. Protection rackets have sprung up around the casinos. The British government finds itself plagued with the gambling menace, not knowing where it will lead!

The London Weekend Telegraph (September 30, 1966) revealed that, prior to devaluation, for every person in Britain, £18 a year was spent on gambling. This was over $50 per person a year. The French spent £5 ($14.00) a year. The gambling turnover in Britain is one quarter the Government budgetary expenditure — a turnover of £2,000,000,000 or $5,600,000,000.

In Britain the gambling-mad have turned the business of electing the Government into a wild betting spree, betting as much cash on the elections as on the Derby.

What happens when gambling flourishes unchecked? Take London, the "Gambling Capital of the World," as an example. London's dusk-to-dawn world of roulette, baccarat and chemin-de-fer has turned into a GREEN FELT JUNGLE, wide open for racketeering and criminal influence.

Many have complained that London is the world's most crooked gaming center — as well as the world's biggest!

Dishonest croupiers, banned from Continental spas and transatlantic casinos, have turned up in London, setting up their own small casinos where thievery, cheating and malpractice thrive.

Britain's Home Secretary Roy Jenkins called Britain a "gambler's paradise" and noted "the close and growing connection between gaming clubs and organized crime — often violent crime — in London and other big cities" (Christian Science Monitor, December 30, 1966).

The British gambling industry has rocketed since the Betting and Gaming Act of 1960. In 1968 almost $3,000,- 000,000 was wagered on all games of chance. Because of gambling, England has attracted many underworld elements that feed on fast and easy money, including the Mafia or Cosa Nostra. Remember, the Cosa Nostra, together with the former Cleveland Syndicate, CONTROLS gambling in the United States.

One member of the British Parliament declared that Scotland Yard can handle small-time British hoodlums, "But once the Americans move in, then it becomes a different league. The Cosa Nostra knows how to divert gambling profits into narcotics and prostitution, how to infiltrate legitimate businesses . . ."

This British M.P. continued: "We simply cannot afford to let American gambling interests get a toehold here. They bribe, corrupt, steal, lie, murder.

All one has to do is to read the report of President Johnson's Crime Commission. It points out that nine men of Italian extraction supervise 24 Mafia clans in the United States, and that these men have become so powerful from gambling profits that they can now manipulate the stock market and rig the price of bread. Like gangrene they spread into everything, ruining whatever they touch."