FOREST HILLS, N.Y.
"Good. Under legalized gambling I'm sure there'd be less gambling than there is now. During prohibition there were more people drinking. Speakeasies were everywhere. People thought it was smart to drink. Not as many of my friends are drinking now."
"Nevada has legalized gambling. It's a great success. There's never been a scandal. Nevada would operate at a deficit without legalized gambling. Also, in the field of sports, there wouldn't be the same danger of a 'fix' as there is now. And I don't necessarily mean boxing. We've had 'fixes' in baseball, football and basketball. Only when gambling is illegal is a 'fix' likely. Understand, I'm not a gambler. The most I've ever bet is $25."
PAUL D. GREEN
"It's impossible to curb the gambling instinct by laws. And you can't legislate morals into people. Prohibition remains a vivid example. We now have a ridiculous law which permits betting at race tracks but prohibits it elsewhere. This law is responsible for many of our gangsters."
August 22, 1954
DOROTHY E. WILSON
CYPRESS HILLS, N.Y.
"Conditions are bad now, but they'd be worse with legalized gambling. I know some women who dash out of their homes to bingo games as soon as their husbands leave the house for work. At five o'clock they hurry to delicatessen stores to buy their husbands' 'home cooked' dinners. If it were legal to place a bet with the bookies, some of them would hock their husbands' clothes the minute they got a 'sure' tip."
THOMAS E. DEWEY
"Legalized gambling, generally, would be shocking, immoral and indecent. It is fundamentally immoral to encourage the belief in gambling as a source of family income. It would be indecent for government to finance itself out of the weaknesses of the people. Under legalized gambling there would be no logic in refusing to license lotteries, betting pools, dice games and slot machines. They would be a continuous invitation for husbands and wives to gamble away money needed for the family."
"If a man could gamble legally, conditions would be better than they are now. He would use more sense and better judgment. He might even stop gambling. You know it's like Eve's forbidden apple. He'll eat eagerly, even if it isn't good for him."
NEW YORK CITY
"Bad. Take me as an example. Years ago a friend took me to my first horse race in Miami. I placed my first $2 bet on a horse and won $94. I grabbed my hair and asked myself why I had been working all my life. Since then I've lost over $30,000 at the tracks. The habit I acquired is impossible to break. Sure I'm Fatzo—behind the ears."
ROBERT F. WAGNER
NEW YORK CITY
"We have legalized gambling at race tracks. However, the subject of off-track betting should and will be explored. It seems hypocritical that a track bet is legal while one made over the fence is not. Legal off-track betting would help the city raise needed revenues."
NEW YORK CITY
"If foresight is used in legalized gambling to protect the poor man against himself, the result will be good. I'm an American from England. There street betting is legal, but only on a credit basis. If a man doesn't have credit he can't bet. The law permits him to recover from a betting agent, but the agent can't recover from him. The betting taxes add to the national revenue instead of filling the pockets of criminals, who always manage to evade the law."