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A little 1800s gambling history: Gambling establishments were started in the river towns and were popular haunts for both travelers and professional gamblers. These gamblers preyed upon these cash-laden travelers who were, "Seduced by the bright prospects of their business deals as well as by the transience of the river frontier..." These professional gamblers, also known as sharps or sharpers, generally were dishonest and often turned to confidence games and cheating to make money.