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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Inducements and the Hard Sell


This paper takes a sociological approach to compulsive gambling and outlines the situational factors framing the subjective stages of becoming a compulsive gambler. Based on participant-observation at Golden Gate Fields, a horse-racing track in the San Francisco Bay Area, this paper examines the inducements the race track uses to get people to gamble.

Note: This paper was originally published in 1992 as a working paper by the Institute for the Study of Social Change, which later became the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues.

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