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Gambling in france in all times , chapter 5, page 1

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Casino Gambling in history

CHAPTER V. page 30

`I have found cards and dice in many places where people were in
want of bread. I have seen the merchant and the artisan staking
gold by handfuls. A small farmer has just gamed away his
harvest, valued at 3000 francs.'[60]

[60] Dusaulx, _De la Passion du Jeu_, 1779.

Gaming houses in Paris were first licensed in 1775, by the
lieutenant of police, Sartines, who, to diminish the odium of
such establishments, decreed that the profit resulting from them
should be applied to the foundation of hospitals. Their number
soon amounted to twelve; and women were allowed to resort to them
two days in the week. Besides the licensed establishments,
several illegal ones were tolerated, and especially styled
_enfers_, or `hells.'

Gaming having been found prolific in misfortunes and crimes, was
prohibited in 1778; but it was still practised at the court and
in the hotels of ambassadors, where police-officers could not
enter. By degrees the public establishments resumed their
wonted activity, and extended their pernicious effects. The
numerous suicides and bankruptcies which they occasioned
attracted the attention of the _Parlement_, who drew up
regulations for their observance, and threatened those who
violated them with the pillory and whipping. The licensed
houses, as well as those recognized, however, still continued
their former practices, and breaches of the regulations were
merely visited with trivial punishment.

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