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Best of Howard Schwartz

Gaming Guru

 

New books focus on lottery, betting on games, Wall Street

23 October 2008

Sometimes it's like a feeding frenzy as lottery terminals and computer terminals hum all across the United States. People bet billions of dollars annually on lotteries and on Wall Street. Sometimes it's tough to tell the difference between what your chances are of hitting the big one in either endeavor. Lotteries should be seen as fun. Wall Street as we know is serious business.

Two new books: one, titled Winner's Mindset on Lotteries by Wes Hurley (30 pages, 8x11 plastic spiralbound, $19.95), the second, A World of Chance: Betting on Religion, Games, Wall Street by Reuven and Gabrielle Brenner and Aaron Brown (339 pages, paperbound, $29.95). Each focuses on these popular forms of gambling -- and it is gambling -- and each is fascinating for those who have an interest in either area.

The lottery book by Hurley has a baker's dozen sections, which include an intelligent approach to having the money to play; thinking about how to handle winnings including the IRS factor; whether to choose numbers systematically or by quick pick; and how various states have different versions of the game.

Through logic, some humor and a refreshing approach to playing, the author presents ways of play for individuals or groups to "pool" their investment in order to share the rewards. The author even includes a phone number and email address should you wish to contact him for personal assistance.

Overall, this is an interesting venture into a quiet way to play for those who love to hope and dream about one big payday.

A World of Chance contains eight major sections which examine how chance impacts uncertainty and how societies have dealt with the subject throughout history; the evolution of gambling including prohibitions; problem gambling; futures betting, including the role of the insurance industry; why lotteries are actually a form of taxation; betting on ideas (creativity, uncertainty and risk-taking); and what a statistical profile of gamblers might be.

With 16 pages of references, 35 pages of notes and 15 pages of indexing by subject and name, it's a fine, freshly produced reference for those presenting the argument about pros and cons of gambling versus Wall Street and how they compare in the 21st century. Author Brown also wrote The Poker Face of Wall Street. The Brenners, who both teach at Montreal, Canada colleges, also authored the classic Gambling and Speculation.
Howard Schwartz
Howard Schwartz, the "librarian for gamblers," was the marketing director for Gambler's Book Club in Las Vegas, a position he held from 1979 to 2010, when he retired. Author of hundreds of articles on gambling, his weekly book reviews appear in numerous publications throughout the gaming industry.

Howard Schwartz Websites:

www.gamblersbook.com
Howard Schwartz
Howard Schwartz, the "librarian for gamblers," was the marketing director for Gambler's Book Club in Las Vegas, a position he held from 1979 to 2010, when he retired. Author of hundreds of articles on gambling, his weekly book reviews appear in numerous publications throughout the gaming industry.

Howard Schwartz Websites:

www.gamblersbook.com