In 1912 almost all forms of gambling were illegal in the United States. A handful of states allowed betting on horse races, but that was pretty much it.
It wasn't until the Great Depression in the 1930s that gambling laws loosened, as gaming was seen by some as a way to stimulate the U.S. economy.
This illustration by Will Crawford appeared in the August 28, 1912 issue of Puck magazine and asked what was the difference between betting at the roulette table and betting in the stock market?
Watching the tape or watching the wheel -- what is the difference morally?
If it is legal to gamble in Wall Street, why isn't it legal to gamble in the West Forties?
Source: Library of Congress