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The History Of Dice And Cards

Volume I

The Gaming Table by Andrew Steinmetz, Volume II

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The History Of Dice And Cards

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Casino Gambling in history


Machinery has been called into requisition in card-playing. In
1815 a case was tried in which part of the debt claimed was for
an instrument to cut cards so as to give an unfair advantage to
the person using it. The alleged debtor had been most fortunate
in play, winning at one time L11,000 from an officer in India.
For an exactly opposite reason another machine was used in 1818
by the Bennet Street Club. It consisted of a box curiously
constructed for dealing cards, and was invented by an American
officer.

Another curious fact relating to cards is the duty derived from
them. In the year 1775 the number of packs stamped was 167,000,
amounting to between L3000 and L4000 duty. Lord North put on
another sixpence. Of course, a vast number of packs were
smuggled in, paying no duty, as in the case of tobacco, in all
times since its fiscal regulations. In the time of Pitt, 1789,
L9000 were to be raised by an additional duty of sixpence on
cards and dice, consequently there must have been no less than
360,000 packs of cards and pairs of dice stamped in the year
1788, to justify the calculation--a proof that gaming in England
was not on the decline. In the year 1790, the duty on cards was
two shillings per pack, and on dice thirteen shillings per pair.

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