The history of sports gambling in the US dates back to the times when the founders took risks. Back then gamblers bet on cockfights, makeshift horse races and bare fist fights. Colonists and Pioneers that landed in the US from Europe and England specifically had betting in their veins as their ancestors gambled for generations. Therefore “sports betting” was a normal part and parcel of the early American culture.
Today there’s no question that sports betting activities are the craze all over the world. With the simplicity of on-line sports betting, it has made the activity all the more convenient and cheaper. Though previously the sports betting segment was small, today it has permeated virtually every element of society.
Horse racing was popular in the 19th and early 20th Centuries and was enjoyed mostly by way of the upper class. But horse tracks started to appear following the Civil War and soon gamblers from all sectors of society flocked to those racing establishments. Bookies had a hold on the gambling population and they were setting odds on horses that increased the betting handle. Bookies would lower the odds on other horses to increase their attractiveness when there was a lot of money for a particular horse. By 1920s horse racing had reached the summit with over 300 racetracks throughout the US.
Professional baseball became popular in the late 1800s and “pool cards” came into use. The “Black Sox Scanal” which had been “fixed” rocked the US and the public received a negative view of sports bettors. Although gambling was against the law a lot of people considered sports gambling as a harmless victimless crime. College football and basketball also gained popularity with bettors as baseball and boxing. Pool cards were extremely popular even though the odds of these cards were in the bookies favor.
In the majority of US cities, sports gambling activities were transforming into a section of life and most youngsters were being exposed to the sports betting industry in a very early age. Some professionals have said, “Sports gambling was getting more popular than hotdogs!” Soon Leo Hirschfield started Athletic Publications that became the sports betting world standard for almost three decades.
Established in 1930 the corporation set lines in sports events and dispersed them to bookmakers in the nation via the telegraph or telephone He also published sports information that helped bookies produce better lines and gamblers make smarter decisions. The publication that was most widely used was The Green Sheet. He was legitimate despite the fact that his customers were illegal bookies.
Sports gambling was ultimately legalized in Nevada in the year 1931 and the states financial situation which was in dire straits during those times, changed drastically. Legalized boxing and sports gambling activities caused it to be a hot spot for tourists and this changed its economic condition for the better.
A resolution was passed in 1951 by way of the Congress that imposed a 10% tax on every sports bet. New regulations allowed the bookies to come out of the dark and work openly. Turf clubs were the initial legal sports books in Nevada and they were occasionally called “sawdust” rooms. In 1980s Roxborough became a significant element of sports gambling and ushered in the technology that completely changed sports gambling.