Gambling in America
An Encyclopedia of History, Issues, and Society, 2nd Edition
by William N. Thompson
February 2015, 505pp, 7x10
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-61069-979-2
$108, £84, 94€, A148
eBook Available: 978-1-61069-980-8
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Currently, 49 states have some form of legal gambling.

This one-volume reference provides a comprehensive overview of gambling in the Americas, examining the history, morality, market growth, and economics of the gaming industry.

This is the most complete encyclopedia of gambling, covering the industry in great detail including the players, the games, the venues, and the surrounding social issues. Updates in this second edition reveal the impact of technological advances on the games, the growing legislation regulating the industry, and the expanding global footprint of gambling across the world—from Manitoba to Montana.

Author William N. Thompson postulates on the impact of gambling on local communities and shows how the U.S. gaming industry is tied to the global market, most notably gaming expansion in Macau and Singapore. The book addresses the various forms of gaming, such as casino-based and online gambling, sports betting, and lotteries. Additional content examines the social issue of problem and pathological gambling and addresses the rehabilitation programs available for the mitigation and treatment of gambling problems.


  • Includes documents from prominent court cases
  • Profiles leading persons and organizations dealing with gambling operations
  • Features a detailed chronology of events including legalization and laws on Internet gaming
  • Offers an expanded bibliography that provides additional resources for further study
William N. Thompson, PhD, is professor emeritus of public administration at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Previously, he served on the faculties of Southeast Missouri State University, Western Michigan University, Troy State University, and Macau Polytechnic Institute. He consulted for the President's Commission on Organized Crime and the National Gambling Impact Study Commission. His published works include several titles from ABC-CLIO, including Native American Issues; Legalized Gambling: A Reference Handbook; and The International Encyclopedia of Gambling. Thompson received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Michigan State University and his doctorate from the University of Missouri-Columbia.


"A rich bibliography closes this impressive book which should interest the individual scholar and general reader alike. . . . This book belongs in all libraries with collections on social and economic history."—Library Journal, April 15, 2015

"This interesting reference is suitable for most public library collections."—Booklist, April 15, 2015

"Where this volume sets itself apart is in the author's analysis of, and reflections on, gambling and society. The discussion of demographic categories of players is especially insightful. . . . Thompson has a writing style that is very accessible. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates; general readers."—Choice, July 1, 2015

"I believe the quality of the entries is authoritative and sufficiently up-to-date for those seeking general knowledge on these topics. I recommend the eBook for academic libraries wishing to acquire an electronic version of this valuable work. This source should also prove useful for undergraduate research and for ready-reference inquiries into various aspects of the gambling world. For those interested in informed analyses of recent developments in Internet gaming and problem gambling, the new content on these topics will be a welcome addition."—Reference Reviews, July 18, 2016
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