IDAHO: Out, Damned Slot

After World War II the thinly populated (589,000) logging-mining-farming state of Idaho found itself surrounded east, west and south by a locust-like infestation of rattling slot machines. The one-armed bandits ran legally in Nevada and (until last year) in Washington, and clanged away illegally but just as noisily in Montana and Wyoming. Some of them ran illegally in Idaho, too, but even so, the state legislature began visualizing whole creeks of Idaho money rushing away into the voracious slots of neighboring states.

In the hope of turning the flow inward and damming it into a reservoir to serve the public, Idaho...

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