1950

Feeling the cold political winds, crime boss Winter moves his operations from Portland to Las Vegas, where he becomes a partner in the new Sahara Casino.

1951

State police raid 100 Clackamas County night spots suspected of illegal gambling on a tip from a not-so-anonymous Jim Elkins. He quickly fills the vacuum left by Winter.

1952

Elkins pays new mayor Fred Peter-son $100,000 to appoint James “Diamond Jim” Purcell as chief of police. Purcell himself gets another $500 a month for turning a blind eye to Gypsies living illegally on W Burnside Street. Two years later, Elkins helps install William Langley, a gullible investor in one of Elkins’s gambling joints, as district attorney.

1954

The Pinball Wars heat up when Elkins’s goons loot clubs that use competitor pinball machines. The following year Elkins grabs the reins of the Coin Machine Men of Oregon, a powerful, Teamster-backed union for pinball and coin machine operators. Meanwhile, denying operators’ appeals, the state Supreme Court declares Portland’s law against pinball machines constitutional.

1956

Oregonian investigative reporters Wallace Turner and William Lambert pull the covers off illegal gambling and political corruption in Portland, winning a Pulitzer in the process. (Their source is none other than a disgruntled Jim Elkins.) The landmark series of articles marks the end of city government control by the Teamsters and opens the floodgates for criminal prosecution of vice in Portland.

1957

As chief counsel to the Senate Rackets Committee, Bobby Kennedy hauls local officials—including newly elected Mayor Terry Schrunk—to Washington, DC, for hearings televised on prime-time TV, with Elkins playing star witness. Infuriated by the evasiveness and flat-out lies of the assembled suspects, South Dakota Senator Karl Mundt pulls no punches: “It is embarrassing to think of the people of Portland, Oregon, with a mayor who flunks the lie detector test and a district attorney who hides behind the Fifth Amendment. If I lived there, I would suggest they pull the flags down at half mast in public shame.”

1960s

Portland gamblers refuse to fold. Grand juries hand down 115 indictments to 41 suspects, but the city government’s corruption keeps the games going. Elkins’s career as a fixer ends with a whimper when he is arrested for possession of narcotics and stolen property. In 1968, he is found dead.

1972

Public polling shows 58 percent of Oregonians favor a lottery to raise money for government operations. The Oregonian calls it an “inefficient tax which is very likely to hit poor people hard.” The Legislature refuses to even allow the public the chance to vote on it.

1984

Voters take matters into their own hands: in the midst of a deep recession, they approve ballot measures 4 and 5 by a nearly 2–1 margin, creating the Oregon Lottery to encourage economic development.

1985

Pennies finally have another use with the introduction of the first Scratch-It game, called Pot of Gold.

1988

“Money Game,” the first Oregon Lottery television game show, debuts.