Chapter

Winners and Losers in the Age of Reform

Maryjean Wall

in How Kentucky Became Southern

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780813126050
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813135410 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5810/kentucky/9780813126050.003.0007
Winners and Losers in the Age of Reform

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Racing continued to expand beyond all expectations, with more than 300 racetracks operating throughout the United States, six in the region of New York. This vast expansion brought lots of problems, not the least of which was the spread of racetrack gambling into the urban poolrooms that the working and the lowest economic classes patronized. Poolrooms made off-track wagering possible, offering direct competition with the racetracks. One way in which racetracks attempted to fight the poolrooms was by forbidding the use of the telegraph on track grounds. Reformers began to expand their critical look beyond the poolrooms to the entire sport of horse racing. Social concern over poolrooms merely constituted the warm-up to antiracing legislation. In 1868, Turf, Field and Farm made the argument that the elite status of turf sports lent a wholesome character to racing.

Keywords: poolrooms; reformers; racing; racetrack gambling; track grounds

Chapter.  10951 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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