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The Border as Locator and Innovator of Vice

Kirk S. Bowman


The proposition of this article is that the border is not merely the place where vice exists, but an active and dynamic force both in locating vice businesses and in innovating the type of and marketing of legal vice being offered. Gambling in Nevada and around Utah will be used to illustrate the hypothesis that the border is a powerful stimulus in determining the location of businesses which feature legal vice. Then the Mexican-American border will be used to demonstrate the adaptive and mercurial phenomenon of border and vice. While changes in social mores and laws in the United States have undermined traditional vice industries, entrepreneurs south of the border have adapted and repositioned themselves in order to capitalize on the legal advantages which proclaim "Welcome to Mexico." The long partnership between the border and vice in Northern Mexico will be described. Finally, the contemporary results of that partnership - prostitution, betting and gaming and teenage consumption of alcohol - will be analyzed.

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Print ISSN: 0886-5655
Online ISSN: 2159-1229