The USA has a long history of illegal gambling in sports. Gambling scandals and political control have ended in the prohibition and regulating sports gambling in the US. Laws that related to sports gambling along with other standards have been changing and the changes have been described as “Waves”. The first of these waves was during the Colonial Period that lasted till the 1800s. The second wave took place at the end of the US Civil war up until the early 20th century. The third of such waves started during the Great Depression till date.
Sports gambling has always been illegal in the US. Puritan attitudes while in the Colonial era were adopted towards sports and other gambling, possession of cards, gaming tables, dice etc. Down the line it was only allowed if it was not a trade but only innocent recreation. Early settlers had the view that gambling was just 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 US. Illegal sports gambling was a huge business for gang mobsters 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 the casino betting business. Mobsters operated illegal nationwide wire services Trans America Wire and Continental Wire Service. Mobsters like the infamous Al Capone put in place their own wire services to prevent gamblers from taking any benefit of delays by making sure they posted winning wagers before official results were out.
The Federal Government of the usa cracked down on mobsters and organized crime during the 1950s and drove them out of the Nevada Casino gambling industry. But this did not dissuade the organized crime mobsters who took over illegal bookmaking. Law Enforcement authorities do acknowledge that independent bookies are functioning in the nation but it is obvious that organized crime still manages all of 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 involve dog fights and cock fights which are today favored by street gangs and big numbers of weapons and money usually are present in the course of these fights.
History of illegal gambling in sports reveals that cockfighting was illegal and banned by nearly all states in the US over the 1800s. It remains illegal currently in 48 states. The law in Minnesota makes any king of gambling bet Illegal. Thus any type of card game where one has to pay to participate in a game and possess chances to win cash is a “bet” and therefore also thought 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 actual act of betting.