Since the late-twentieth century, commercial gambling has become increasingly popular as a mass form of leisure and consumption, albeit one that is often controversial and subject to criticism.

In the past fifty years, gambling has undergone a profound transformation. For much of its history, it was regarded as economically marginal and politically corrupt and was criticized by organized religions as an immoral vice. Games of chance (with the occasional exception of lotteries) were viewed as wasteful and often deviant, and legislation was designed to strictly limit their consumption, particularly among lower socioeconomic groups. Despite this, gambling was nevertheless popular and was often carried out illegally.

From around the mid-twentieth century, however, a gradual shift from prohibition to regulation saw a more pragmatic approach to gambling, which encouraged ...

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