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What's Luck Got to Do with It? by Joseph Mazur

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From Coffee Houses to Casinos

Gaming Becomes Big Business

It is calculated that a clever child, by its cards, and itsnovels, may pay for its own education.—London Times, November 2, 1797

As with every other culture of Europe during the reign of Louis XIV, the French were obsessed with gambling. The royal apartments of Versailles were turned into casinos nightly, and in Paris at least ten maisons de jeux were licensed to operate as long as the amusements were games of skill.1 However, most often they were not. Gambling was embedded in ...

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