Business: Billion-Dollar Gamble in Whisky

AMERICAN distillers operate within so dense a thicket of state and federal laws that many a seasoned drinker might think that the ghost of Carry Nation continues to haunt the industry. But the real reason behind all the regulations is not a spirit of Prohibition, which is in retreat almost everywhere, but the fact that liquor is the second largest source of revenue for the Federal Government (after the income tax). It is almost as important for hard-pressed state governments. Officials are understandably eager to keep close control over such a rich source...

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