Owners, trainers, touts and hangers-on fill hotels and rooming houses, and throng the sunny streets, their patter concerned with odds, entries, and past performances. Paddocks and stands swarm with eager humanity each afternoon and evening. The playboy and plowboy, the dowager in pearls and the sylph in shorts, the banker on vacation and the grifter on prowl keep turnstiles clicking and feed staggering sums to the pari-mutuels. More than $34,000,000 was wagered at the horse tracks during the 1938-39 season, and nearly $10,000,000 at the dog tracks. … Gambling is both legal and illegal, for while it is quite within the law to buck pari-mutuels at the tracks, the same business with bookies is strictly illicit.
—Florida, A Guide To the Southernmost State (WPA, 1939)