Gambling is a fascinating subject which for many centuries has attracted public interest. Yet, despite its ubiquity, gambling (or gaming) leads a marginal existence within the boundaries of scholarly research. Providing a longue duree survey, this volume promotes a historical understanding of the subject enriched with a diverse academic approach that draws upon sociology, economics and psychology.
Each chapter in the collection is the work of a renowned scholar with a long standing interest in gambling research. The contributions offer historical analyses of the medieval origins of the 'Gambler State' and of mathematical risk calculation. They cast light on the roles of different stakeholders in gambling including the playing public, business, and the state. They provide a controversial discussion of the alleged 'pathological' nature of chance games and the reasons for either regulating or freeing them from state control. Last but not least, two authors deal with country-by-country specifics in gaming cultures and gambling markets.
Taken as a whole, the chapters in this volume chart the development of European gambling culture from the medieval to modern times. In so doing it provides essential context for both historical and current debates about the nature of gambling and lotteries, addiction to gambling, poverty and social degradation on the fringes of the welfare state.
List of Figures and Tables
Notes on Contributors
Dealing in Chances—An Introduction
PART 1: Paths Toward Modern Gambling
1 The Ancient Roots of Modern Gambling
2 Bingo! A Material History of Modern Gaming
3 The Lure of Lady Luck: Lotteries and Economic Culture in the Fifteenth- and Sixteenth-Century Low Countries
4 Taking Chances: Girolamo Cardano on Gambling, and the Art of Memory, and Magic
5 Debating the Lottery in Britain c. 1750–1830
6 Heterotopias of Chance: Gambling and Subjectivity around 1800
PART 2: Gambling in Contemporary Consumer Societies
7 Cultural and Social Meanings of Gambling in Finland and Sweden: A Historical Perspective
8 The Economic and Fiscal Impact of Syndicate Play
9 All You Need is a Dollar and a Dream: Explaining the Inverse Relationship between Socio-economic Position and Lottery Play
Jens Beckert and Mark Lutter
10 A Brief Survey of German Casinos before and after World War II
11 Casino Gambling as Part of the German Gambling Market
PART 3 Perceptions and Realities of Gambling, Chance, and Risk
12 Games and Passions: Huizinga’s Homo ludens as Spieltrieb
13 "Pathological" Gambling in an Age of Chance
14 Gambling and Speculation: Perceptions and Reality