History of sports gambling

The history of sports gambling in the US dates back on the occasions 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 in particular had betting within their veins as their ancestors gambled for generations. Therefore “sports betting” was obviously a natural part and parcel of the early American culture.

Today it is obvious that sports betting activities are the rage all over the world. With the ease of online sports betting, it’s made the sport all the more convenient and cheaper. Though in the past the sports betting section was small, today it has permeated virtually every facet of society.

Horse racing was popular in the 19th and early 20th Centuries and was enjoyed mainly by way of the upper class. But horse tracks began to appear after the Civil War and soon gamblers coming from all sectors of society flocked to these racing establishments. Bookies had a hold over the gambling population and in addition they were setting odds on horses that increased the betting handle. Bookies would reduce the odds on other horses to enhance 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 became popular in the late 1800s and “pool cards” came into use. The “Black Sox Scanal” which was “fixed” rocked the united states and the public received a negative view of sports bettors. Though gambling was illegal a lot of people regarded 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 becoming a part of life and many youngsters were being exposed to the sports betting industry at 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 almost 30 years.

Established in 1930 the corporation set lines in sports events and dispersed them to bookmakers within the nation through 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 clients were illegal bookies.

Sports gambling was ultimately legalized in Nevada in the year 1931 and the states financial situation which had been in dire straits at that time, transformed 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 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 sometimes called “sawdust” rooms. In 1980s Roxborough became a major element of sports gambling and brought in the technology that completely changed sports gambling.