I went to ask.com and asked “what happened to the numbers racket”.
It gave me a few links to some encyclopedias. Apparently, this racket is still being played in various parts of the USA. Players bet on a 3 digit number. In an honest pool where no one profits except the winners, the odds would be 1,000 to 1.
But every reference I have found indicates the odds are usually 600 to 1. So if someone bets $1 and loses, 60 cents would go towards paying the winners but 40 cents would go to the people who run the racket.
As I understand it, there was a time (I’d guess that was in the 30s and 40s) when this was a very popular racket and many people would wager a dime or some other small amount of money almost daily. They hoped for the thrill of winning $60 when picking the right number and wagering a dime.
My question is, “Whatever happened to this racket?” Even if it is still played in some places, it used to be very commonplace and now you almost never hear of it anymore.
There must have been some event that largely shut it down. Maybe a big arrest? Maybe something else?
I’m curious how and why it is that the transition seems to be kept quiet.
Does anyone know what happened?