The history of sports gambling in the US extends back to the times when the founders took risks. In the past bettors 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 because their ancestors gambled for generations. As a result “sports betting” was obviously a natural 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 sport all the more convenient and cheaper. Though in the past the sports betting section was small, today it has permeated almost every element of society.
Horse racing was popular in the 19th and early 20th Centuries and was appreciated mostly by the upper class. But horse tracks began to appear after the Civil War and soon gamblers coming from all sectors of society flocked to those racing establishments. Bookies had a hold on the gambling population and in addition they were setting odds on horses that increased the betting handle. Bookies would lower the odds on other horses to enhance their attractiveness when there was big 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 an adverse view of sports bettors. Though gambling was against the law a lot of people regarded sports gambling to be a harmless victimless crime. College football and basketball also became popular with bettors as baseball and boxing. Pool cards were as popular as ever although the odds of these cards were in the bookies favor.
In the majority of US cities, sports gambling activities were transforming into a part 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 30 years.
Established in 1930 the corporation set lines in sports events and dispersed those to bookmakers in the nation via the telegraph or telephone He also printed sports information which helped bookies produce better lines and gamblers make smarter decisions. The publication that had been most widely used was The Green Sheet. He was legitimate even though his clients were illegal bookies.
Sports gambling was ultimately legalized in Nevada in 1931 and the states finances which was in dire straits during those times, transformed significantly. Legalized boxing and sports gambling activities made it 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 permitted the bookies to come out of the dark and work openly. Turf clubs were the initial legal sports books in Nevada and they were sometimes called “sawdust” rooms. In 1980s Roxborough became a significant element of sports gambling and brought in the technology that completely changed sports gambling.