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Cutting the Wire: Gaming Prohibition and the Internet: By David G. Schwartz (2005). Reno, NV: University of Nevada Press, xi, 282 pp., ISBN 0-87417-619-0 (hardcover), 0-87417-620-4 (paperback). Price: US$49.95 (hardcover), US$24.95 (paperback).

Eugene Martin Christiansen

Abstract


Cutting the Wire examines the American experience with gambling through the lens of the 1961 Wire Act. The book is a well-researched history of federal gambling policy, focusing on the Wire Act as part of Robert F. Kennedy's initiative against organized crime. The evolution of gambling, illicit and legal, in the U.S. is traced from premodern times through the advent of the Internet, with a discussion of the Department of Justice's reliance on the Wire Act in its response to this development. Professor Schwartz's well-researched study of the Wire Act is a unique and valuable contribution to the literature. His careful examination of (unsuccessful) Congressional attempts to ban interstate wagering on horse races in 1910 and again in the early 1950s is particularly useful. This often forgotten legislation is the precursor of not only the Wire Act of 1961 but also the Interstate Horseracing Act (1978) and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (2006).


Keywords


Wire Act of 1961; Robert F. Kennedy; Internet gambling

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4309/jgi.2007.19.11

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