Demaris, who muckraked Las Vegas in The Green Felt Jungle, here writes an even more sizzling expose about Atlantic City. Although casino gambling in that resort city is less than 10 years old, the annual take amounts to some $2 billion. And, of the 10 gaming palaces now in operation, most have ties to either organized crime or to figures whose backgrounds are unsavory, charges Demaris. He shows that big money overcomes all opposition: many casinos open with temporary licenses, spend millions on their buildings, hire hundreds of workers and then apply for permanent status; the state control commission is not likely to deny approval under such circumstances. And, while the high rollers arrive via free jets and the low rollers via day-trip buses, Atlantic City has become a boardwalk jungle; there has been no filtering down of casino prosperity to local residents, according to the author. Well-researched, providing documentation to support its allegations, thisbook is an eye opener. Major ad/promo.(April 30)
The author of the best-selling expose of the Las Vegas gambling industry, The Green Felt Jungle , now dissects the advent and aftermath of legalized casino gambling in Atlantic City. From the beginning the electorate was assured that the Las Vegas experience of organized crime and corruption would not be tolerated in New Jersey. In fact, says Demaris, it was not ``tolerated,'' but eagerly accommodated. ``Legalizing gambling in this Mafia-infested and most politically corrupt of states was tantamount to dropping the chicken coop into the heart of fox country.'' Demaris describes in detail the near-endemic corruption of elected officials and the all-pervasiveness of the Mafia; politicians, mafiosi, super-star entertainers, and national corporations are all part of the storyand the problem. Recommended.Jerry Maioli, Western Library Network, Olympia, Wash.