The history of sports gambling in the US extends back to the occasions when the founders took risks. In the past gamblers bet on cockfights, makeshift horse races and bare fist fights. Colonists and Pioneers that arrived in the united states from Europe and England in particular had betting in their veins as their ancestors gambled for generations. As a result “sports betting” was obviously a natural part and parcel with the early American culture.
Today there’s no question that sports betting activities are the rage all over the world. With the ease of online sports betting, it has made the sport much more convenient and cheaper. Though in the past the sports betting section was small, today it has permeated virtually every element of society.
Horse racing was popular in the 19th and early 20th Centuries and was enjoyed mainly by the upper class. But horse tracks started to appear after the Civil War and very quickly gamblers from all sectors of society flocked to those racing establishments. Bookies had a hold on the gambling population and they were setting odds on horses that enhanced the betting handle. Bookies would lower the odds on other horses to enhance their attractiveness when there seemed to be big money for a particular horse. By 1920s horse racing had reached the 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 had been “fixed” rocked the US and the public received a negative view of sports bettors. Though gambling was against the law 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 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 many youngsters were coming in contact with the sports betting industry at a very young age. Some experts 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 three decades.
Established in 1930 this company set lines in sports events and dispersed those to bookmakers in the nation via the telegraph or telephone He also printed sports information that 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 despite the fact that his clients were illegal bookies.
Sports gambling was finally legalized in Nevada in the year 1931 and the states financial situation 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 also 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 allowed the bookies to come out of the dark and work openly. Turf clubs were the initial legal sports books in Nevada and they were occasionally called “sawdust” rooms. In 1980s Roxborough became a major part of sports gambling and brought in the technology that revolutionized sports gambling.