This thoughtful book examines the ten major campaigns to legalize casino gambling in America that were waged between 1976 and 1986 and proposes an explanation for why legalization of casino gaming lags behind legalization of other forms of gambling.
“Dombrink and Thompson base their well-reasoned argument on their careful studies of the failed 1974 New Jersey casino measure and one that failed in Florida, as well as on press accounts and interviews with participants in other casino-legislation battles. From this chaos of facts, the authors have discerned patterns that reveal meaning in these complex and confusing political events, identifying key obstacles that proponents must overcome to win a legalization fight. They specify four veto factors: the extant political environment, the attitudes of political elites and active interests, the identity of the legalization campaign’s sponsors, and the framing of the issues to be mulled by voters. All four factors must work in support of legalization or a casino measure will fail. . . . The Last Resort provides a well-focused lens to aid our understanding of where and why future casinos will be built.” —David Johnston, Nevada Historical Society Quarterly, Winter 1990