GAMBLERS' MONEY by Wallace Turner


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Gamblers' Money is a marathon run through the facts and shadowy figures of Las Vegas's mid- and underworlds. Turner's thesis is that from their legal footing in Nevada, the gamblers are siphoning off untaxed lucre into quasi-legal ventures elsewhere. He surveys the famous casinos, their infamous syndicates and modes of operation. He also goes into the mores of the business of handling ""black money."" His book, in fact, is such a pile of figures and vaguely glimpsed names and tax-dodge corporations that only a Nevadan (or a reporter who relishes the dry meat of investigation) will likely be as supremely interested in his subject as he is. This, frankly, is no collection of anecdotes about big winners and losers, or even little ones. It lies somewhere between a Senate Crime Commission report and a Fortune magazine article. Turner thinks that ""by the social and ethical rules of the American culture, gambling is an immoral business, tainting those who operate it."" Apparently, it also taints State senators and Congressmen. One of the ironies of States-rights minded Nevada is that the gamblers will allow Nevada revenue officers to be present at the counting of the take each day, but not federal revenue officers. One of Turner's best chapters concerns Jimmy Hoffa's teamsters union underwriting the gamblers' real estate ventures in Las Vegas, and of Hoffa's refusal to give Frank Sinatra a loan...No romance, no sense of gambling fever.

Publisher: Houghton, Mifflin