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Gamblers Fleece College Students

Gamblers Fleece College Students image
Parent Issue
Day
6
Month
February
Year
1903
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

There is much less garubling in Ann Arbor than one would think wlio reads the Chicago Tribune. Neither is it believed that there are as many students who gamble as were here a few years ago. The Chicago Tribune of Sunday contained the following article: "The gambling octopus, with lts many tentacles - poker, dice fan tan, faro, roulette, aiid betting- is flrmly intrenched in many American collegees and universities, and faculties everywhere are now fully aroused to the necessity of eradicating the monster. At the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor the authorities are Onding that their eflorts to drive away the Sambling octopus are a gigantic undertaking. The students do not live iu dormitorieswhere they are under the more or less personal supervisión of the faculty, but in private families and boarding houses, whére they disobey the edicts of the university aunmch danger of being found out. The faculty lias deereed that the students eljall not indulge in gambling or betüng. Some of the students obey the edict. With others it is about as binding as though the authorities Bhould pass a law that the sun should begin shining every flay at 4 o'clock or that snow should not fa 11 on Satprday. "Detroit is only an hour's rlde from Aun Arbor. The first weck of every iii'intli, during whlch most of the stuJ'iits recelve thelr checks from home, they slip away ii hu-ge numbers nlght to Detroit, where poker fooms abonnd. The value of the stuSent patronage to the keepers of the öger in Detroit is so great that repfesentatlvea f the big gambling hells i'i that city are sent over every month t( Ann Arbor to solieit the students' Patronage for the various resorts. The poker and roulette drummers dlshibute the business eanls of the 'lilis: rooms they represent and extend personal invitaiions to the students and talk to them on the ring possibilities of winning a fortune or breaking the bank In one evening's play. '-Many professional gamblers from Chicago, Detroit, and Milwaukee make fegular visits to Ann Arbor during the school year. They organize llttle toteries who wish to play poker or foulette and then set up their layouts '" some student's room, where as iiiiiny collegians gather as eau get into tll(' room and play until tlieir last dollar is gone. Some of the gamblers in the guise of book agents make a "use to house canvass of the town. Tl'ey get several students together ani, a f ter they have talked awhile bout, the books they are supposed to selling, they propose 'a little game just to remind them of the dear old days when they, too, were in college.' It has sometimos happeiied that these gamblers have had to borrow or wlre for inoney to keep from walking out of 1ovn. PROFESSIONALS SOMBTIMBS LOSE. "Some of the students, from conBtant practice and much dearly bougbt experience, have become extremely clever in bandling the eards, and when they play in their own roms, wlth tlieir own carda, and all of their assoclatea as comrades, it goes pretty hard wlth the professional gambler who has do accomplice and who is so elosely watched that he flnda it tmposslble to work his favorito trlcks. The gambler who is taken into camp in this manner by the students usnally gets revenge, however. fïe submits to his losses with good grace, and flatters the collegians on being so expert wlth the carde. He tella them that they are the best playera he has ever met and succeeds in getting them to promise to come over to Detroit and have a little game with some friends of his who play a nice little game and would like to have some of. the University boys join them. The students go over, and after they invade the tiger in his lair they are not allowed to go until they are plucked clean. ALWAYS READY TO BET. "Card playing, roulette, and dice, however, form but a part of student gambling, as betting is a popular form of the vice. Betting on the athletic contests involves thousands of dollars at every game or big field meet. On the day on which a big game is to be played there is always a large crowd of students at the depot to meet the visitors and cover their money before it is bet somewhere else. At the hotels a clerk is kept on these days solely to handle the monoy that is placed upon the game. "Frequently students will be so fascinated by the gambling habit that they will take chances on almost anything- the weather, the trains, or the number that will be present at a class, the number of examplos that a 'Prof.' will give out, the day on which a quiz will come, or tne chances of a professor 'bolting' a class. One of the most amusing of the games l'iacticed by the boys was betting on an old turnstile that stood by the okl railway station. An enterprisini; youth stole it, put it in lus back yard, numbered the arms, and offered chances of 2 to 1 on which of the four arms would point nearest to a certain mark on it being spun. He declared that he earned onough to pay bis college expenses during the three years that he kept a book on it. WATCH AS ROULETTE WHEEL. "Another student had a wateh of which the chink pin was removed, allowing the hands to spin freely on pressing the stem, and he took odds of three to one on their stopping at any hour the victim might clioose. This game the students played during classes even, and at such odds he made quite a tidy sum from his old watch. "Some time ago when the new hot water appratus was being instailed at the gymnasium a student ran a book at one to two on the chances of there being hot or cold water on a certain day. As long as the repairs were going on he got along all right, but soon there began to be hot water all the time and the collegian had to give it up. "At a certain boarding house there is a student who runs a book on a roulette wheel made out of salt eellars and a knife, which is played between courses. As ruuch as $10 at a time is sometimes wagered on this crude apparatus."