|Case 2: The Gambler - Anderson v. McGill Club|
In 1928, the Nevada Supreme Court faced a novel legal question arising out of a familiar human weakness. In the McGill case, Gladys Anderson asked the high Court to hold the McGill Club legally liable for the damage done to her marriage by her husband's chronic gambling and for the money her husband had lost at the McGill Club playing stud poker.
Calling the lawsuit "a novelty in both form and substance," Chief Justice Sanders summed up the Court's feelings on the matter in one sentence: "A husband is exposed to temptations, enticements and allurements of the world, which easily withdraw him from the society of his wife, and the wife had reason to expect all of these things when she entered the marriage relation, and her right to society had all these conditions." In a more pragmatic vein, Justice Sanders also wrote that the consequence of ruling in favor of the plaintiff would create " a most fruitful source of litigation." Unfortunately, Gladys Anderson's luck with the law was not to improve. Just four years later, in 1931, the state legislature legalized gambling in Nevada.
Narrated by Cheryl A. Lau. Cheryl Lau's election to the position of Nevada's Secretary of State in 1990 continued a tradition of service in the state she began while serving as a Nevada Deputy Attorney General. As Secretary of State (1991-1995) Lau demonstrated a similar commitment to the State of Nevada and its issues. She served on and chaired the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. Cheryl Lau dedicated herself to women's issues as a member of the Women Executives in State Government and as Vice-Chair of the Nevada Women's Commission. On the national level, Cheryl was Vice-Chair of the 1992 Republican National Platform Committee.
Photograph courtesy of the Nevada State Museum.