This is a pretty damn cool archive of photos and floor plans showcasing the hotspots for gambling in 1937. For the sake of space in this post, I’m only including a few of them here.
Here’s the summary from the Flickr page, which I highly recommend looking at:
In 1937, an unnamed Evening Courier reporter made a survey of the gambling conditions in Champaign. His 9-part series appeared nightly in the Evening Courier beginning April 29, 1937 and ending May 9, 1937. He found that even though gambling houses were hidden behind ambiguously marked doors, steep staircases, and peepholes, they were an open secret available to anyone.
Here’s the map itself, which showcases the various locations around Champaign. The text is a little small, so head to the Flickr (above) for the bigger version:
Here’s “gambler’s row” on Market Street, and some of the floorplans below that.