History of sports gambling

The history of sports gambling in the US extends back to the occasions when the founders took risks. Back then gamblers 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 within their veins because their ancestors gambled for generations. As a result “sports betting” was 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 simplicity of online sports betting, it’s made the sport all the more convenient and cheaper. Though previously the sports betting section was small, today it has permeated almost every facet of society.

Horse racing was popular from 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 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 was a lot of money on a particular horse. By 1920s horse racing had reached the summit with more than 300 racetracks all over the US.

Professional baseball became popular from the late 1800s and “pool cards” came into use. The “Black Sox Scanal” which was “fixed” rocked the US and the public received a negative view of sports bettors. Although gambling was illegal most 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 extremely popular even though the odds of these cards were in the bookies favor.

In most US cities, sports gambling activities were transforming into a section of life and most youngsters were being exposed to the sports betting industry in a very young age. Some experts have said, “Sports gambling was getting more popular than hotdogs!” Soon Leo Hirschfield started Athletic Publications that became the sports betting world standard for nearly three decades.

Established in 1930 this company set lines in sports events and distributed them to bookmakers in the nation via the telegraph or telephone He also printed sports information that helped bookies produce better lines and gamblers make better decisions. The publication that had been most popular was The Green Sheet. He was legitimate even though his clients were illegal bookies.

Sports gambling was finally legalized in Nevada in 1931 and the states finances which had been in dire straits at that time, changed significantly. 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 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 occasionally called “sawdust” rooms. In 1980s Roxborough became a significant part of sports gambling and brought in the technology that revolutionized sports gambling.