The States: How to Raise Money Without Really Trying

Some church groups hold that gambling is sinful. Newspapers often rail against its iniquities: the Detroit News recently warned that legalized gambling can only create a great "assemblage of shills, touts, confidence men, fast-dollar operators and freebooters." Politicians piously denounce gambling as a creator of corruptness. Yet for all that, legalized gambling is booming across the U.S., and for a simple reason: the revenue-hungry states have discovered that gambling, though it may be wicked, produces money that is as good as gold.

Last year was the biggest in the history of U.S. horse racing. More than 50 million people attended...

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