The state of illicit gambling in New Orleans was summed up well in the 1938 WPA New Orleans City Guide, "although gambling is, strictly speaking, illegal, these places are usually open for business from dusk to dawn." Gambling had a strong presence throughout the Greater New Orleans Area.

According to Hank Staples, part owner of the Maple Leaf Bar, "there was a lot of gambling; it was tolerated. I guess more than tolerated because it was so wide open, so blatant." Al Kleindienst, a lifetime resident of the Greater New Orleans Area, shared some of his memories of the prevalence of gambling as well. "They had a sheriff out that way [Arabi], who had his own place," Al said in a 2012 interview. "He had chips that had his initials on it."

Below you will find an excerpt from a video interview with New Orleans resident Buddy Adams discussing the past prevalence of gambling houses.


Interview with Buddy Adams, New Orleans resident and barber shop owner.
Source: Courtesy of Dr. Michael Mizell-Nelson.
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