Gambling in the 1920s
Gambling has come a long way since its humble beginnings. Roulette, Blackjack etc have been around for centuries in various forms, the concept of gambling as it’s known today is a relatively recent one. Its journey to legalisation has certainly been riddled with issues, fighting its way through various eras of criminalisation and prohibition.
Luckily, nowadays, we can enjoy gambling in its many forms across the world. While gambling laws still exist, they’re nowhere near as strict as they once were and with online sites such as SuperCasino available to the masses, you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your armchair to place your bets or spin the reels.
The American Prohibition Era remained in place between 1920 and 1933 and, while the law banned the sale, production and import of alcohol in the most part, it had its knock-on effect for the gambling industry, too. During these years, organised crime flourished, with Mafia bosses popping up all over the shop, bootlegging and trading in illegal booze, while towns all over the US, including Miami and Galveston became prolific gambling centres.
During the Depression, games including bingo became legalised so that churches and institutions could use the games to raise money. By 1931, most gambling games, including poker, craps, roulette and baccarat had become legalised in Nevada and, while this didn’t make much difference before the end of World War 2, it certainly helped to develop Nevada’s cult status as a gambling capital in later years.
With gambling being driven underground during the prohibition era, anti-gambling laws meant that gaming activity was stratified, with almost a hierarchy being put into place. For example, Chinese gaming houses would only cater to the Chinese gamblers etc.
By the time the 1930s arrived, gambling underwent great legalisation, as it was looked upon as a way to stimulate the economy. Legal gambling made a bit of a comeback and at the same time, illegal gambling was cracked down on, mainly because it was so incredibly common that something had to be done about it. Aggressive campaigns against mobsters that were involved in illegal gambling were run to try and draw them out into the public eye so that they could be reprimanded. Much of this meant that east coast mobsters were forced to head towards the west coast, with some settling in Las Vegas to build upon their gambling legacy.
The proliferation of speakeasies, the bootlegging of alcohol, the gang violence – life for wannabe gamblers in the 1920s and 30s wouldn’t have been easy. Luckily, with lax legislation nowadays and a whole new level of acceptance, gambling in its various forms is enjoyed all over the world. The sort of troubles that were faced during the Prohibition times aren’t encountered today, with the chance to gamble being made available to the masses and not just for those who are on good terms with the Mafia bosses.
Times have changed considerably since prohibition laws hit the US – nowadays, a flutter on the horses or a spin on the slots is as easy as pie – especially with SuperCasino being readily accessible on the internet. Whether you play in real life, or online, spare a thought for the speakeasy days, and count yourself lucky that gambling isn’t as frowned upon as it once was.
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