The Consumer Age Turned Americans Into Gamblers
When the Economy Shifted From Production to Consumption, How You Spent Money Mattered More Than How You Earned It
Today legal gambling in the United States is widely accepted and more prevalent than ever. But as recently as the 1950s, gambling was seen as a fundamentally un-American way to make a living. This shift in attitudes towards gambling—which took about a half-century to achieve—spoke to generational shifts in American beliefs about morality and capitalism.
While Americans have always loved to gamble, the 19th century saw a strong pushback against the lottery promoters and bookmakers who had made gambling possible. The …