Davis presents gambling as a multibillion-dollar drain on society; but only late in the book does she show how it affects individuals: compulsive gamblers lose control of their lives. Quoting a wide variety of sources, the author clearly shows how the various games work (readers will not have to visit casinos or racetracks to see for themselves) and defines some of the more colorful terms. Controversies over the legal status of gambling, the involvement of organized crime, and state-sponsored lotteries get fair treatment; Gamblers Anonymous's 12-step program is outlined (and its low success rate mentioned). A good resource. Extensive source notes; very brief bibliography. Index not seen.