The USA has a long history of illegal gambling in sports. Gambling scandals and political control have led to the prohibition and regulation of sports gambling in the USA. Laws that connected with sports gambling along with other standards have been changing and these changes are actually described as “Waves”. The first of these waves was during the Colonial Period that lasted up until the 1800s. The next wave came about at the end of the US Civil war up until the early 20th century. The 3rd of these waves started during the Great Depression till date.
Sports gambling has always been illegal in America. Puritan attitudes during the Colonial era were adopted towards sports and also other gambling, possessing cards, gaming tables, dice etc. Down the line it was only allowed if this was not a trade but only innocent recreation. Early settlers had the view that gambling was only a harmless hobby. Gambling was likened to the frontier spirit as each of them involved opportunism, risk taking and high expectations.
Illegal sports betting has always been linked to mobsters and organized crime in the United States. Illegal sports gambling was a huge business for gang mobsters while in the 1920s and 1930s. Organized bookmaking systems were put in place by organized crime throughout the nation. Horse racing betting shot to popularity in those times.
In 1931 Nevada legalized casino gambling and here too organized crime took control over all of the casino betting business. Mobsters operated illegal nationwide wire services Trans America Wire and Continental Wire Service. Mobsters such as infamous Al Capone put in place their own personal wire services to prevent gamblers from taking any benefit of delays by making sure they posted winning bets before formal results were out.
The Federal Government of the US cracked down on mobsters and organized crime over the 1950s and drove them outside the Nevada Casino gambling industry. But this did not deter the organized crime mobsters who took over illegal bookmaking. Law Enforcement authorities do acknowledge that independent bookies are operating in the nation but it is obvious that organized crime still controls all the big bucks in betting.
Animal fights also have a long history in the US in spite of the not so good reputation it’s got. Most animal fights include dog fights and cock fights which are today favored by street gangs and big numbers of weapons and cash usually are present in the course of these fights.
History of illegal gambling in sports uncovers that cockfighting was illegal and banned by nearly all states in the US over the 1800s. It is still illegal currently in 48 states. The law in Minnesota makes any king of gambling bet Illegal. Thus any sort of card game where one has to spend to take part in a game and possess chances to win cash is a “bet” and thus also considered to be illegal gambling. It is important to keep in mind that the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 only refers to the funding of internet gambling not the specific act of betting.