Norms of the 18th-century Frankfurt lottery and their enforcement

May 08, 2018

Debates about the most appropriate concession model for online sports betting might seem like a modern problem, but only at first glance. Punters love to gamble, and governments have been trying to regulate organised gambling since its inception. Christian Kullick, lawyer and doctor of legal history, traces the history of the lottery to show that modes of legal control and administration, including ad hoc legislative reactions, follow a tradition that stretches back into the 18th century. The age’s »ruling spirit of folly«, a boundless drive to gamble evident across all social classes, provided lottery entrepreneurs with healthy returns, but it also had a dark side. The chance to get rich overnight — a historical first — was associated with crime, forgeries and fraud.

The free city of Frankfurt exemplifies the development of the lottery and its technical and legal conditions, which help to elucidate the processes of legislation and enforcement practiced by the Frankfurt city council. This represents the first scholarly investigation of how the lottery was regulated for the purposes of good order in the 18th century. The volume is part of the Studien zur Policey, Kriminalitätsgeschichte und Konfliktregulierung series.

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