But gambling in all its various forms has been, and to a great degree still is, an illegal activity that the vast majority of mafiosi and their mob associates as well as many independents alike have engaged in at one time or another. Most have made it their life work and their underworld “specialty” to engage in gambling.
Aside from liquor bootlegging, which of course was the illicit manufacturing of alcoholic beverages, or the smuggling of branded liquor from Canada and Europe where it was still legal to buy, that the American underworld trafficked in for nearly 13 years during what’s commonly referred to as the “Prohibition Era” from 1920 until the failed Volstead Act was finally repealed in 1933, no other underworld racket has ever been so pervasive, lucrative, and widespread as the gambling rackets.
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