Gambling: The Kefauver Commitee Case
The immediate growth on the American gambling scene was the Kefauver committee case which involved organized crime and gambling in the 1950s.
Like the touring evangelists, Senator Kefauver brought his hearings to 14 cities all over United States. The hearings' publicity gave rise through the burgeoning medium of television.
The investigators of the Kefauver committee, however, overlooked the fact that various organized crimes' utmost control of gambling and its profits.
One witness after another stated that gambling was indeed dominated by the mob and that gaming profits were used to finance plenty of nefarious syndicate agendas, that include bribery, drug trafficking, prostitution, and loan sharking.
Moreover, the Kefauver committee showed countless remarkable police corruption evidences and analyzed that large-scale illegal gambling was more likely only with the mutual effort of corrupt law enforcers.
As the Kefauver informants stated, the syndicate controlled its beneficial bookmaking enterprise through ownership of the race wire. They additionally alleged that the syndicate also controlled casino gaming - slot machines included, and number rackets.
The committee enforced extensive federal legislation to prohibit and limit gambling. It also called on local and state agencies to step up their provision of antigambling laws already in the books.
Even though the trials of the Kefauver committee were broadly publicized, the recommendations did not impel follow-through action. On the federal level, the only denoting legislative action taken was the Wagering Tax in 1952.
This act expected gamblers to pay excise taxes a 10 percent on any wagers they took and to acquire a gambling stamp that was worth $50. However, the act did not accommodate financing for enforcement, and its agreements were barely applied.
The bland response to the committee's advocacies was expected by a Kefauver investigator said there was a section of public opinion in various cities affirmed that gambling, in some instances -- 'just a little gambling,' was all right for business, and that limited enforcement of antigambling laws could be erroneous.
This perspective on the part of honest citizens can only come from a lack of success to understand the violence and breaking laws which, necessarily, include gambling operations, and the degree of the ensuing damage to the social and economic fabric.
Follow-up from the Kefauver committee briefly crippled the support for legalization of gambling, as presented by the American Bar Association's announcement in 1953 that professional gambling should not be legalized or licensed, under any degree or in any circumstances.
One Chicago crime commission member harshly detailed antigambling's philosophical basis; that gambling, as a source of income, was duly wrong; and that gambling was a starting point for any appropriate bull session of the issue.
It was, however, not only founded on morality, but on the fact that gambling extracts money from the fixed channels of trade essential for the nation itself, as a whole.