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

Home / History / Gambling in france in all times
Volume I Volume II

The Gaming Table by Andrew Steinmetz

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GAMBLING IN FRANCE IN ALL TIMES

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Casino Gambling in history

CHAPTER V. page 32

Fouche, the minister of police, derived an income of
L128,000 a year for licensing or `privileging' gaming houses,
to which cards of address were regularly furnished.

Besides what the `farmers' of the gaming houses paid to
Fouche, they were compelled to hire and pay 120,000 persons,
employed in those houses as _croupiers_ or attendants at the
gaming table, from half-a-crown to half-a-guinea a day; and all
these 120,000 persons were _SPIES OF FOUCHE!_ A very clever
idea no doubt it was, thus to draw a revenue from the proceeds of
a vice, and use the institution for the purposes of government;
but, perhaps, as Rousseau remarks, `it is a great error in
domestic as well as civil economy to wish to combat one vice
by another, or to form between them a sort of equilibrium, as if
that which saps the foundations of order can ever serve to
establish it.'[62] A minister of the Emperor Theodosius II., in
the year 431, the virtuous Florentius, in order to teach his
master that it was wrong to make the vices contribute to the
State, because such a procedure authorizes them, gave to the
public treasury one of his lands the revenue of which equalled
the product of the annual tax levied on prostitution.[63]


[62] Nouv. Heloise, t. iv.

[63] Novel. Theodos. 18.

After the restoration of the Bourbons, it became quite evident
that play in the Empire had been quite as Napoleonic in its
vigour and dimensions as any other `idea' of the epoch.

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