To learn what started gambling on sports one has to first examine the history of sports gambling in the US. The US had a long history of permitting certain types of legal gambling and even illegal betting to a certain degree. Political control and scandals regarding gaming interests have ended in selected backlashes which have resulted in prohibition or regulation of sports gambling. Standards and laws relating to sports gambling have kept changing.
Nelson Rose explains these changes in law as 3 waves. The first wave was in the colonial era that lasted up until the mid 1800s, the second wave started following the Civil War and lasted till the early 20th Century and the third wave commenced during the Great Depression and it’s still continuing.
During the Colonial Era, different attitudes were enforced towards gambling. Puritan attitudes were adopted towards gambling and possession of dice, cards, gaming tables etc were outlawed. Afterwards it was allowed so long as it wasn’t a calling or trade but for moderate and innocent recreation. Settlers brought with them views that said gambling was merely a harmless past time. The frontier spirit encouraged the appeal of gambling since it involved risk taking, high expectations and opportunism. sport betting group
Ultimately all colonies used lotteries as being a solution from economic problems as well as benefit the colonies. It was a civic responsibility and profits were utilized to create some of the first prestigious universities, build churches and also libraries. Lotteries remained popular right to the initial 19th Century. Horse racing had also been preferred and the Long Island built the very first race track in 1665. Casino gaming started to emerge slowly as roadhouses and taverns began to allow card games and dice.
The Lower Mississippi Valley became a structured and legitimate gambling area in 1800s. The mighty river featuring its riverboats was a major trade avenue for both wealthy merchants and farmers. New Orleans quickly gained recognition as being the gambling capital. During the 1830s southern settlers turned against professional gamblers who had been blamed for carrying out crimes, debasing morals of society and endangering streets. During 1800s there was increasing attack of gambling especially lotteries and when operators absconded with all the proceeds lottery scandals finally led to prohibition of gambling.
The Gold Rush in California triggered a tremendous increase in the kinds of gambling and San Francisco was crowned the new gambling capital in the USA. During 1849 and 1855 gambling spread widely and by 1850 California and many cities had licensed gambling centers. But soon the Legislature made most forms of gambling illegal and a number of professional gamblers were lynched. This prohibition drove wagering activities underground and did not eliminate it. Gambling was legal during 1869-1910 in Nevada.
It is easy to now understand what started gambling on sports in the US. With the numerous scandals in the lottery gambling segments, 35 states in the US including California prohibited lotteries. In 1933 pari-mutuel betting was legalized and new automated systems and laws made horse racing betting more honest. In 1978 casino gambling was legalized by New Jersey and Atlantic City became a preferred tourist destination. Regardless of its illegality sports gambling became quite popular and already is a high dollar industry.