Reno at the Races: Sporting Life versus Progressive Reform
AuthorMarcus, Emerson Bunting
AdvisorRowley, William D.
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The thesis examines horse race betting in the state of Nevada from 1915 to 1931 and how two opposing forces — sporting life and progressive reform — converged as state lawmakers passed progressive gambling legislation. While maybe not a catalyst, this legislation began Nevada’s slippery slope to becoming a wide-open gambling state. It examines how the acceptance of horse race betting opened the door for more ambitious forms of gambling while other states eventually followed Nevada’s lead and passed similar horse race betting law during the Great Depression. While other western states followed suit and legalized horse race betting during the Great Depression, month-long race meetings in Reno disbanded as Nevada opened itself to wide-open gambling.