The Art of Gambling in Nineteenth Century England Essay

The Art of Gambling in Nineteenth Century England Essay

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In 19th century England, gambling was made popular by the upper and elites classes of English society. Whereas the lower classes spent most of their leisure time drinking alcohol in the local alehouses, elites preferred to enjoy their lesire time spending money and placing hefy wagers. Many historians have compare the lower classes to the upper classes during this era, they try to describe gambling in a simplistic way and discuss what games were popular and among what social class. However gambling was deeply entwined in English society, it became seen as a morality problem by the English government and thought to threaten the development of England because of extreme gambling behaviors. This concern for excessive gambling rose due to many increased accounts of English inhabitants gambling to the extent of losing their homes due to the enormous debts and the never ending thrill of chance in the games . Since elite Gamblers tended to have more leisure time and more disposable income they preferred to play safely among their social equivalences and even establishing exclusive private clubs where they could play in splendid isolation. All classes played with cards and dice, however the elite clubs allowed for more table games like hazard and roulette. Amongst the lower class the pub was the central to gambling, bets were placed on anything that was competistion. In 1851 Chambers Edinburgh Joural noted that foot-racing was where bets were made on poor men who literally would run for bread and bets would be placed on these men.
Scholars have examined gambling primarily as a trivial amusement. In one of the first academic works devoted to European, The Gaming Table, Andrew Steinmetz maintains that “History, as it is commonly writte...


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... Consequently, it was impossible to trace these locations since they changed frequently to avoid detection and the law. It also emerges that the laws and regulations in the 19th century has sought to restrict banking games while promoting the more social games which included horse racing and football matches. However, the laws developed had loopholes since they could not be implemented easily thus allowed illegal gambling to continue under the watchful eyes of the enforcement officers. The 1845 amendments promoted the growth of horse racing as a public game with lesser legal restrictions. This allowed room for operators to meet and interact on the horse racing tracks and distribute business cards aimed at promoting their gambling houses. Most betting was also conducted outside the horse tracks thus turning horse racing game into a more civilized gambling activity.

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