Stop Predatory Gambling

Join Donate

History of Predatory Gambling

Timeline of Predatory Gambling

1931 The legalization of casino gambling in Las Vegas kick starts the modern era of predatory gambling in America.
1950 Senate investigative commitee spotlights links between organized crime, gambling.
1964 New Hampshire becomes the first state to create a state-owned lottery making the partnership between state government and predatory gambling official.
1975 Just over a decade after New Hampshire created the first state-owned lottery, there are lotteries in 12 states: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Michigan, Maryland, Ohio, Illinois, Maine, Rhode Island, and Delaware
1976 New Jersey approves casino gambling in Atlantic City, marking the first expansion of legal casino gambling outside of Nevada in the modern predatory gambling era.
1980 American Psychiatric Association recognizes pathological gambling as mental disorder.
1986 The first multi-state lottery game, Lotto America, begins operation with six participating states and the District of Columbia. In 1992, the game would be renamed "Powerball."
1988 The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act is passed by Congress, allowing federally recognized tribes to operate all types of games not forbidden by state law. This leads to one of the largest expansions of predatory gambling in the history of the U.S. To date, 28 states have Indian tribes operating full casinos.
1989 South Dakota becomes just the third state to allow non-tribal commercial casino gambling, as well as the first to legalize VLTs to be placed at various locations around the state.
1989 In response to tribal casinos, Iowa legalizes “limited” riverboat gambling.  And then in a border war response, Illinois, Mississippi, Louisiana, Missouri and Indiana all legalize riverboat gambling by 1993, and most “limits” are dropped.
1990 Colorado legalizes limited stake casino gambling in the historic communities of Blackhawk, Cripple Creek, and Central City in an effort to “preserve and revitalize” the historic sites.
1991 Minnesota signs contracts with 11 Indian tribes allowing them to own and operate full scale casinos. Today there are 18 tribal casinos in operation in Minnesota
1992 Rhode Island becomes the first state to legalize slot machines at race tracks, creating the first “racino.”
1994 National Coalition Against Legalized Gambling founded; reorganized in 2008 as Stop Predatory Gambling.
1994 Thirty years after New Hampshire debuts the first state-owned lottery, 36 states and the District of Columbia operate their own state lotteries.
1994 Delaware, Iowa, Louisiana and West Virginia all legalize racinos, bringing the total states with legal racinos to 5.
1994 South Dakota approves 9 tribal casinos
1995 Kansas legislature approves compacts with four Indian tribes to operate casinos on tribal lands.
1996 A second multi-state lottery game begins operation. Titled "The Big Game," it begins with six member states. In 2002, the game is renamed "Mega Millions."
1996 Supreme Court rules that tribes cannot sue state governments for damages for refusing to negotiate gambling compacts.
1999 Michigan opens its first commercial casino in Detroit, bringing the number of states with non-tribal commercial casinos to 11.
1999 California signs a compact with 61 Indian tribes, allowing them to own and operate casinos. Today, there are 58 tribal casinos operating in the state of California.
1999 National Gambling Impact Study Commission calls for rollback in "convenience" gambling; recommendations not acted on.
2002 Macau permits privately owned casinos; surpasses Las Vegas as world's biggest gambling center by 2007.
2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act prohibits use of credit cards or online payment systems for Internet gambling in United States." 2006 Florida and Pennsylvania open their first racinos; Pennsylvania also opens its first casinos becoming the 12th state to allow non-tribal commercial casinos.
2007 Kansas legislature approves licenses for four commercial casinos to be owned and operated by the state.
2008 Racinos open in Indiana, bringing the number of states with racinos to 12.
2008 Maryland approves 15,000 slots to be operated at 5 different locations across the state.
2009 Arkansas is the latest state to begin operating a state-owned lottery. With Arkansas included, the number of states operating either their own state-owned lottery or one of the two multi-state lottery games reaches 44 (including the District of Columbia).
2009 Despite rejecting four previous attempts to allow casino gambling in the state since 1990, yet another referendum was put before Ohio voters. This time, after a $50 million advertising campaign by predatory gambling interests heralding the "new jobs" and "education funding" casino gambling would create, the voters approved the proposition by a narrow margin. "Issue 3" allows for casinos to be built in each of the four major Ohio cities: Cincinnati, Toledo, Cleveland and Columbus, making Ohio the 39th state to allow casino style gambling.
2011 After spending more than $20 million on lobbying over the prior ten years, casino interests push through a bill allowing casinos in Massachusetts.
2011 The U.S. Department of Justice released a highly-controversial opinion – on the day much of the country was preparing for the Christmas holiday even though the ruling was completed in September- that said the Wire Act of 1961 prohibiting wagering over telecommunications systems that cross state or national borders does not prevent states from using the Internet to sell lottery tickets to adults within their own borders. The opinion reversed the DOJ’s long-held opposition to many forms of Internet gambling and removed a big legal obstacle for states desperate to sanction online gambling to collect more revenue.
2012 Illinois, a state on the verge of bankruptcy, becomes the first to legalize web-based lottery sales which some predict will soon lead other states to follow suit.
2013 New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada partner with gambling interests to sponsor and promote internet gambling to the citizens of their own states.

The Criminalization of Slot Machines in the 20th Century Was Effective Policy

This TIME Magazine article from 1953 offers a glimpse at the period following World War II when states recriminalized slot machines. “Though the state legally controlled them, the slots acted, increasingly, like a virus in the body politic, dividing Idaho citizens against each other, changing the shape of towns, altering social life, wounding business and giving whole communities a surrealistic civic philosophy.” By legalizing slot machines, the government was still unable to control the negative impacts: restaurants, doctors, dentists and other local businesses began to go broke as a result of slot clubs siphoning patrons and their money away and “as a result, in rapid and indignant succession, Idaho's bigger cities began banning slot machines.” Time Article, "Idaho: Out, Damned Slot"

© 2017 Stop Predatory Gambling Foundation. All Rights Reserved.