Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Trim: 6¼ x 9¼
978-1-4422-6553-0 • Hardback • July 2016 • $47.00 • (£36.00)
978-1-4422-6554-7 • eBook • July 2016 • $44.50 • (£34.00)
Arne K. Lang is a freelance writer specializing in boxing and sports gambling. He also holds an MA in sociology and taught at UNLV and Tuskegee Institute. Lang has written for many weekly papers, leading boxing magazines, and for Stardust Sports Registry, a publication he created while affiliated with the Stardust Hotel in Las Vegas. He is the author of Sports Betting 101: Making Sense of the Bookie Business and the Business of Beating the Bookie (1992), Prizefighting: An American History (2008), and The Nelson-Wolgast Fight and the San Francisco Boxing Scene, 1900-1914 (2012).
Chapter 1: Leonard Jerome: The Towering Pillar of the Horsey Set
Chapter 2: Saratoga and Jerome Park: The Fountainheads
Chapter 3: Pool Sellers, Bookmakers, and Pari-Mutuels
Chapter 4: Off-Track Betting: The Poolroom Scene
Chapter 5: New York’s Racetrack-Building Boom
Chapter 6: Bookmakers and Their Modus Operandi
Chapter 7: Tipsters and Touts
Chapter 8: Big Plungers and Outlaws
Chapter 9: The Reformers Crank Up the Heat
Chapter 10: Racetracks in the Crosshairs
Chapter 11: New York Racing: Feast and Famine
Chapter 12: The Good-Bye Years
Chapter 13: Reanimation
Chapter 14: A Verdant Depression
Chapter 15: A Side Trip to the Windy City
Chapter 16: Mid-Century Reformers: La Guardia, Kefauver, and Kennedy
Chapter 17: The Tax Man Cometh
Chapter 18: Multiple-Horse Wagering Takes Flight
Chapter 19: Pro Football Corrodes the Racing Game
Chapter 20: New York Welcomes OTB
Chapter 21: A Side Trip to Old Nevada
Chapter 22: Simulcasting
Chapter 23: Lotteries, Casinos, and Racinos
Chapter 24: Offshore and Online
Chapter 25: Whales
Chapter 26: Pushing the Envelope
About the Author
Sportswriter Lang’s new book is a fascinating look at the history of legal and illegal horse-race and sports betting in the U.S. It combines his previously demonstrated strengths as a gambling expert and a cultural historian. The strength of Lang’s work comes from his deciding not to focus on the 'rogues and scandals' that have been common elements of early writings about horse racing; instead he looks at the history of playing the ponies as a 'robust industry' well fitted to sociology and entrepreneurial studies. His book is an unusual view of the history of America, and includes the racetrack-building boom in the years following the Civil War 'accompanied by a parallel boom in offtrack betting'; the 1905 opening of Belmont Park in New York, 'one of the last great spectacles of the Gilded Age'; the surge in racing papers published during the expansion of horse racing in the Great Depression; and the technological advance of simulcasting satellite video feeds of races to nonracetrack locations, which revolutionized off-track betting. This excellent look at 'America’s love/hate affair with sports gambling' delivers fascinating insights.
— Publishers Weekly
With casinos having expanded to most of the United States, and international markets more uncertain than certain, the next major frontier for gambling expansion seems to be sports betting. The American Gaming Association is now making major push for the broader legalization and regulation of sports betting, while professional sports leagues, the bulwark of past opposition to legal sports betting, are softening their stances. As we stand at the cusp of a historic expansion of legal sports gambling, Arne Lang’s new history of sports betting and bookmaking is an essential read.... This is an important book to read now because of the rising importance of sports betting to casinos.... Reading Lang’s brief, well-written history will give you a better appreciation for all of the dynamics in play with the fight to legalize sports betting, as well as the role of race and sports betting in American life. Lang’s book succeeds at telling the story of sports betting and bookmaking’s history in an accessible, readable way, and includes several hard-won nuggets of information that will come as a welcome surprise to even the best-versed historians of sports betting. Most importantly, Lang puts developments in sports betting history into the larger social, political, and cultural context of their time, demonstrating that nothing happens in a vacuum With football season just upon us, expect even more scrutiny of our national sports betting policy (or lack thereof). Having read Sports Betting and Bookmaking will give you much better insights into that debate.
— CDC Gaming Reports
In Arne K. Lang’s new book Sports Betting and Bookmaking: An American History he deftly tells the story of this era from its beginning to its end and how the end of the bookmaking era at racetracks and pool rooms evolved into the current era of sports gambling. Lang, who has published extensively on sports betting and boxing, points to state sanctioned gambling, especially in places like Nevada, and taxes imposed on racetrack wagers after World War II as the prime reasons for the migration of gambling dollars from horse racing to other sports.... If you are interested in the history of American sports, the evolution of bookmaking and gambling is an essential part of that history. Arne K. Lang, has produced a work that can be enjoyed by the casual reader and is destined to become a reference for scholars for many years to come.
— Colin’s Ghost: Thoroughbred Racing History
[Sports Betting and Bookmaking] is a well designed, beautifully executed book, a great read. We ‘reccomenth’ it!
— Gambling Book Reviews