Tuesday, June 26, 2012

"Must Forsake Gambling God - Steward Refuses to Let Greeks Play with Chance 'New Year'" article - Chicago Daily Tribune, January 14, 1910


Published in the Chicago Daily Tribune, January 14, 1910

MUST FORSAKE GAMBLING GOD
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Steward Refuses to Let Greeks
Play with Chance 'New York'
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WAS A CUSTOM OF YEARS.
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Even Parents Would Give Children
Cash to "Try Their Luck."
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Hundreds in the Greek colonies of the city will pay homage today to a new god in celebration of the Greek New Year, which is some fourteen days late.

For many years the Greeks of Chicago have been worshiping at the shrine of the god of gambling, believing that this of all days in the year is luckiest.

It is customary for banana peddlers, guardians of fruit stands, and other latter day Hellenics to save for weeks to have a little fund to hazard on this occasion.  Even parents would give children small change to play with fortune.

Chief Steward Refuses Permit.

Today the great god of gambling goes into eclipse.  In his place will rule Chief, Leroy T. Steward of the police department, who has issued an order to prevent all forms of gambling in Greek saloons or elsewhere.

Some of the representative Greeks waited upon the chief and asked for the usual special permit for gambling.  The chief refused and told them that he would see to it that no games of chance - dice, wheel, or otherwise - would be played.

"I could not grant these men a request which would break a law," said Chief Steward.  "If I did I would have to give in to the Chinese and others who expect special privileges in celebration of some sort of an anniversary."

Will Arrest All Caught Gambling.

Policemen will be detailed in the Greek colonies to carry out the chief's orders and arrest those who attempt to gamble.  It is understood that a delegation of South Water street commission merchants, who do a large fruit business with the Greeks, complained to the chief against the manner of celebrating the New Year.  They said that following the festivities they have been unable to collect bills and have been forced to exchange many bunches of bananas for I.O.U.'s.



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