Gambling Controls

December 14, 1951

Report Outline
Crime Syndicates and Commercialized Gambling
Federal Taxation as a Control Device
Control Under Federal Commerce Power
Gambling Control Through Legalization

Crime Syndicates and Commercialized Gambling

Disclosure by the Senate Crime committee and other investigating groups that illegal gambling is the principal basis of support for organized crime syndicates operating throughout the United States has brought widespread demand for new laws and law enforcement that will put these criminal combines out of business. None of the anti-crime legislation recommended by the Senate committee was enacted at the 1951 session of Congress but new federal taxes were levied on gamblers and gambling, effective Nov. 1, 1951. Effects of the new taxes and accompanying requirements for reports are being watched with close attention; it should soon be possible to tell whether the levies will serve to break up commercialized gambling or will do no more than drive it under ground.

Under the controversial gambling section of the Revenue Act of 1951, bookmakers and others in the business of taking bets are required to pay an occupational tax of $50 a year. In addition, they must report to the Treasury each month the total amount of wagers placed with them and pay a tax of 10 per cent on the money handled.

Effects of New Federal Taxes on Gambling

The gambling taxes are designed to tap profits drawn from an annual gambling turnover which has been estimated by the Kefauver committee at $20 billion. The levies were not put forward as a control device, but many gamblers now say they cannot remain in business if they comply with terms of the federal law. Because most forms of commercialized gambling are illegal in all states except Nevada, the gambler who pays federal taxes lays himself open to prosecution by local authorities. If he does not obey the federal law, he risks prosecution by the federal government.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Gambling and Lotteries
Oct. 28, 2016  Betting on Sports
Jun. 15, 2012  Gambling in America
Mar. 07, 2003  Gambling in America
Sep. 06, 1996  Gambling Under Attack
Mar. 18, 1994  Gambling Boom
Nov. 09, 1990  Lucrative Lure of Lotteries and Gambling
Feb. 27, 1987  State Lotteries
Sep. 28, 1979  Gambling's New Respectability
Mar. 08, 1972  Gambling in America
May 25, 1960  Betting: Legal and Illegal
Dec. 14, 1951  Gambling Controls
May 21, 1942  Government Lotteries
May 04, 1934  Lotteries for Public Revenue
Regulation and Deregulation
Sports and Recreation