The USA has a long history of illegal gambling in sports. Gambling scandals and political control have led to the prohibition and regulating sports gambling in the USA. Laws that connected with sports gambling and other standards have been changing and the changes are actually described as “Waves”. The first of such waves was in the Colonial Period that lasted till the 1800s. The next wave took place at the end of the US Civil war till the early Twentieth century. The third of these waves started in the Great Depression till date.
Sports gambling has always been illegal in the US. Puritan attitudes during the Colonial era were adopted towards sports and also other gambling, possessing cards, gaming tables, dice etc. Later on it was only allowed if this was not a trade but only innocent recreation. Early settlers had the view that gambling was just a harmless past time. Gambling was likened to the frontier spirit as each of them involved opportunism, risk taking and high expectations.
Illegal sports gambling has become linked to mobsters and organized crime in the US. Illegal sports gambling was a huge business for gang mobsters while 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 controlled 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 stop gamblers from getting any benefit of delays by making sure they posted winning wagers before formal results were out.
The Federal Government of the usa cracked upon mobsters and organized crime over the 1950s and drove them outside the Nevada Casino gambling industry. But this would not dissuade the organized crime mobsters who took over illegal bookmaking. Law Enforcement authorities do acknowledge that independent bookies are operating within the nation yet it is evident that organized crime still manages all the big money in betting.
Animal fights also have a long history in the US in spite of the bad reputation it’s got. Most animal fights involve dog fights and cock fights which are today favored by street gangs and big amounts of weapons and cash are usually present at the time of these fights.
History of illegal gambling in sports reveals that cockfighting was illegal and banned by most states in the US during the 1800s. It is still illegal currently in 48 states. The law in Minnesota makes any king of gambling bet Illegal. Thus any sort of card game where one has to pay to participate in a game and have possibilities to win money is a “bet” and thus also considered to be illegal gambling. It is essential to note that the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 only refers to the funding of internet gambling not the actual act of betting.