ESSENTIALLY A GAMBLING PEOPLE is a quoted phrase from the historic documents of the early state of California. The new state legislature was discussing the advisability of a state lottery to raise public funds. “The people of California were ‘essentially a gambling people’, and it was no use to endeavor to deny it.” The phrase describes much more than one state in this country. Gambling seems universal. Nothing I’ve experienced has proven that wrong. This page has something to do with that: nothing is guaranteed, odds are…, roll the bones, life is a craps shoot (crap shoot?), lady luck, lucky dogs all agree.

In 2009 I finished a 23-minute video essay I entitled, Essentially a Gambling People, about gambling, the history of gambling in the United States, and the gambler in contemporary American society. Horseracing, casino gambling and Texas Hold ‘Em poker are highlighted in the movie, in which the very old human games of fate and fortune meet the modern notion of “the gambling type.”

Beginning with two questions: Why do people gamble? Is the history of America the history of gambling? The movie proceeds through vintage archival footage, clips and live video to explore gamblers, casino employees, the gambling industry and amateur as well as professional poker players, with a nod to the portrayal of each of these in Hollywood movies, books and music.


2 Responses to “About”

  1. Jim Rubin Says:

    And, um, where can I see this movie, pray tell?

  2. pamkray Says:

    For now, this movie is looking for a future. I’ll post its debuts, distributions, and/or developments.

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