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Doings In Gaming Houses

Volume I

The Gaming Table by Andrew Steinmetz, Volume II

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Doings In Gaming Houses

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Casino Gambling in history CHAPTER VII.

Besides the aristocratic establishments just described, there
were numerous houses or places of resort for gambling, genteel
and ungenteel. In vain did the officers of the law seem to exert
their utmost vigilance; if they drove the serpent out of one hole
it soon glided into another; never was the proverb--'Where
there's a will there's a way'--more strikingly fulfilled.


Sir John Fielding thus describes the men in the year 1776. 'The
deceivers of this denomination are generally descended from
families of some repute, have had the groundwork of a genteel
education, and are capable of making a tolerable appearance.
Having been equally profuse of their own substance and character,
and learnt, by having been undone, the ways of undoing, they lie
in wait for those who have more wealth and less knowledge of the
town. By joining you in discourse, by admiring what you say, by
an officiousness to wait upon you, and to assist you in anything
you want to have or know, they insinuate themselves into the
company and acquaintance of strangers, whom they watch every
opportunity of fleecing. And if one finds in you the least
inclination to cards, dice, the billiard table, bowling-green, or
any other sort of Gaming, you are morally sure of being taken in.

For this set of gentry are adepts in all the arts of knavery and
tricking. If, therefore, you should observe a person, without
any previous acquaintance, paying you extraordinary marks of
civility; if he puts in for a share of your conversation with a
pretended air of deference; if he tenders his assistance, courts
your acquaintance, and would be suddenly thought your friend,
avoid him as a pest; for these are the usual baits by which the
unwary are caught.'[42]

[42] The Magistrate: Description of London and Westminster.

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