The history of sports gambling in the usa dates back to the times when the founders took risks. Back then bettors bet on cockfights, makeshift horse races and bare fist fights. Colonists and Pioneers that landed in the US from Europe and England in particular had betting within their veins because their ancestors gambled for generations. Therefore “sports betting” was obviously a normal part and parcel of the early American culture.
Today it is obvious that sports betting activities are definitely the craze all over the world. With the simplicity of on-line sports betting, it has made the activity much more convenient and cheaper. Though previously the sports betting segment was small, today it’s permeated almost every facet of society.
Horse racing was popular from the 19th and early 20th Centuries and was appreciated mainly by the upper class. But horse tracks began to appear following the Civil War and very quickly gamblers coming from all sectors of society flocked to these racing establishments. Bookies had a hold over the gambling population and they were setting odds on horses that enhanced the betting handle. Bookies would reduce the odds on other horses to increase their attractiveness when there was a lot of money on a particular horse. By 1920s horse racing had reached a peak with over 300 racetracks all over the US.
Professional baseball gained popularity in the late 1800s and “pool cards” came into use. The “Black Sox Scanal” which was “fixed” rocked the US and the public received an adverse view of sports bettors. Though gambling was illegal most people regarded sports gambling as a harmless victimless crime. College football games and basketball also became popular with bettors as baseball and boxing. Pool cards were extremely popular even though the odds of these cards were in the bookies favor.
In most US cities, sports gambling activities were becoming a section of life and many youngsters were coming in contact with the sports betting industry in a very young age. Some professionals have said, “Sports gambling was getting more popular than hot dogs!” Soon Leo Hirschfield started Athletic Publications that became the sports betting world standard for nearly 30 years.
Established in 1930 this company set lines in sports events and dispersed them to bookmakers within the nation via the telegraph or telephone He also printed sports information which helped bookies produce better lines and gamblers make better decisions. The publication that was most popular was The Green Sheet. He was legitimate despite the fact that his customers were illegal bookies.
Sports gambling was finally legalized in Nevada in the year 1931 and the states financial situation which had been in dire straits at that time, changed significantly. Legalized boxing and sports gambling activities made it a hot spot for tourists and this altered 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 permitted the bookies to come out of the dark and work openly. Turf clubs were the first legal sports books in Nevada and they were occasionally called “sawdust” rooms. In 1980s Roxborough became a major element of sports gambling and brought in the technology that completely changed sports gambling.