The history of sports gambling in the usa 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 in particular had betting in their veins as their ancestors gambled for generations. Therefore “sports betting” was obviously a natural part and parcel of the early American culture.
Today there’s no question that sports betting activities are definitely the rage all over the world. With the ease of on-line sports betting, it has made the sport much more convenient and cheaper. Though in the past the sports betting segment was small, today it’s permeated almost every element of society.
Horse racing was popular in the 19th and early 20th Centuries and was enjoyed mostly by way of the upper class. But horse tracks started to appear after the Civil War and soon gamblers from all sectors of society flocked to those racing establishments. Bookies had a hold over the gambling population and in addition 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 big money for a particular horse. By 1920s horse racing had reached the peak with over 300 racetracks all over the US.
Professional baseball gained popularity in the late 1800s and “pool cards” came into use. The “Black Sox Scanal” which had been “fixed” rocked the united states and the public acquired a negative view of sports bettors. Though gambling was against the law a lot of people regarded sports gambling as a harmless victimless crime. College football games and basketball also gained popularity 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 becoming a section of life and most youngsters were being exposed to the sports betting industry at a very early 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 30 years.
Established in 1930 the corporation set lines in sports events and distributed 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 better decisions. The publication that was most popular was The Green Sheet. He was legitimate even though his customers were illegal bookies.
Sports gambling was ultimately legalized in Nevada in 1931 and the states finances which was in dire straits at that time, changed drastically. Legalized boxing and sports gambling activities made it a hot spot for tourists and this altered 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 first legal sports books in Nevada and they were sometimes called “sawdust” rooms. In 1980s Roxborough became a major element of sports gambling and ushered in the technology that revolutionized sports gambling.