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Jackpot Nation

3.19  ·  Rating Details  ·  26 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Is this a great country or what? You can bet on the turn of the card, a roll of the dice--but also the NFL, the NCAA, and which Olson twin marries first. We bet $80 million a year, the amount growing wildly as more and more people gain access to this huge American wheel of fortune. No longer quarantined in Las Vegas, gambling has become as local as our neighborhood cineple ...more
ebook, 256 pages
Published March 13th 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 2007)
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Aj Laberinto
Jun 03, 2014 Aj Laberinto rated it liked it
With great wealth comes greater responsibility or is it irresponsibility? In America it's both as I've read in Richard Hoffer's 'Jackpot Nation.'
Venturing across the variety and history of gambling enterprises legal and illegal, corporate and government-sponsored, Native American and non, I am given a tour of what make millions wager billions either chasing the American Dream or simply getting a mental high. Or being self-destructive.
Surprisingly the last constitutes only a very small minority.
...more
Erik
Jun 18, 2008 Erik rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I hopped on this book shortly after a whirlwind weekend in Sin City last month. (A Disneyland for adults, in my estimation. One, I might add, that completely had me in its thrall. But I digress.) Hoffer's style may be a little discursive -- or more crassly, ADHD-like -- for my tastes, but he sure packs a lot of a punch in his measly 200-some-odd pages devoted to America's greatest spending past-time after fast food consumption. I don't know much about March Madness, other than folks like my rela ...more
Michelle
Somewhat hit-or-miss book, writing-wise; but I did learn some interesting facts about gambling, such as the original slot machines showed pictures of lemons and cherries because those were the flavors of gum that you would win. Also, in Minnesota they have "charity" meat raffles!!

It also ended with an interesting discussion of crowdsourcing, and how internet betting sites capture the wisdom of crowds to correctly pick winners for things like elections, the Oscars, etc, more often than polls; and
...more
Brian Ayres
Mar 31, 2007 Brian Ayres rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those interested in the gambling cuture of America
Hoffer expands on two themes in this book. One, he uses funny and sad stories to show how easily we are influenced to take risks in the hope we will reap rewards in the short and long term. From the Gods we believe in (will I go to heaven) to the 401(k) plan I invest in (will I be able to retire at 55), Americans have intherited from the founding the nation this notion that life is a gamble and I can't win if I don't play.

The other, sadder aspect of this book is how our government has tapped int
...more
internat librarian
Gambling is inevitable, so why not enjoy it? Gambling is also very profitable for the organizers, so of course governments will eventually support the process. Those are the biggest messages Hoffer wants to make in Jackpot Nation. There’s a lot of little messages as well – all sorts of stories about how widespread and wild gambling can be. The big message gets quickly predictable, but the little stories make the book easy to read.

One somewhat creepy sidenote – Hoffer is a gambler. A very big ga
...more
Jjudyfl
From Bingo to Indian casinos, state lotteries to Vegas casinos, -they are all covered here, and more.
According to the book "we" spend more on gambling than all of our other entertainments.
(I admit I haven't the foggiest idea what to do with a deck of cards, don't know how to play football, OR bet on it & I find Bingo boring.)
This is a book about enormous odds and schemes, but Richard Hoffer does an excellent job of covering the vast number of types of gambling.
His trip to a gaming expo was e
...more
Jeff
Feb 27, 2016 Jeff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
interesting look at the hypocrisy of gambling in our country...written by a degenerate gambler cloaked in respectability.
Kayla
Sep 02, 2013 Kayla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable look at gambling in the United States, both through the personal experiences of the author, and through the eyes of the people that he speaks to. A fun read, but not a very difficult or fact filled one. The author tells of lives destroyed, but does not actually condemn. Instead he seems to argue that gambling is simply a fact of life, and that it should simply be kept in moderation. I did not put down this book any wiser, but at least I had enjoyed the trip so to speak.
Khairul H.
An interesting, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, discourse on the history of and obsession with gambling in the United States. Perhaps because I am neither a gambler nor an American that I found this book just OK and not great.
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