The Association for Legalizing American Lotteries

The Association for Legalizing American Lotteries

The Association for Legalizing American Lotteries was a well thought up name for an illegal lottery in 1936. It had been disguised as an organization so that the American government would not know it was an illegal lottery as lotteries were illegal across all the states.

New members would be enrolled into The Association for Legalizing American Lotteries at, let’s say, $1 per head and hold a contest of sorts so that prizes could be won. As The Association for Legalizing American Lotteries was about to close its third competition of that kind the post office department caught on to the scheme and put a fraud order on it barring all mail sent to the promoters.

The History of Lotteries in America

Gambling itself is an old pastime and has roots within the United States from as far back as the early settlers in the 1600’s. Not all of the colonies allowed gambling however those that did expected the games to be played in a polite manner. Gambling within the colonies was however short lived and became frowned upon throughout the colonies.

Instead lotteries became the way to entertain and raise revenue for funding of the colonies. This became quite a successful pastime that soon all of the colonies created a lottery to raise revenue. The revenue from the lotteries had always been used to fund schools; roads; bridges and more but by the 1830’s the evangelical reformers began denouncing the system on moral grounds. They began petitioning the constitutional conventions to ban lotteries which led to anti lottery attitudes, especially after the financial crisis of 1837. By 1890 all states had outlawed lotteries apart from Louisiana and Delaware. By 1895 all states had been prohibited from taking part in lotteries.

The Rise of America’s Illegal Lotteries

Illegal lotteries such as The Association for Legalizing American Lotteries and the numbers game eventually came about due to the fact that when lotteries did slowly emerge they did not have great reputations and the states continued to ban them. One of these unsavoury lotteries was the national lottery which had been approved by Congress to fund Washington DC but this lottery never paid out.

Before the government sanctioned lotteries emerged many of the illegal lotteries thrived. The Association for Legalizing American Lotteries was not too successful and didn’t last long but others like the numbers game which dates back to as far as the 1500’s when the Italian lottery first came about.

The numbers game was run mainly by underground crime syndicates and mostly played in the poorer neighbourhoods. The greatest attractions to this game was the fact that it was low cost and the bookies extended credit where needed. All winners did not even have to pay income tax on their winnings.

Later in the 1900’s legal lotteries began to emerge which led to less and less illegal lotteries like those that were similar to The Association for Legalizing American Lotteries and the numbers game. Similar legal lotteries have even been created to emulate those that were illegal.