History of sports gambling

The historical past of sports betting in the usa extends back on 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 landed in the US from Europe and England in particular had betting in their veins because their ancestors gambled for generations. As a result “sports betting” was obviously a natural part and parcel of the early American culture.

Today it is obvious that sports betting activities are the rage around the globe. With the ease of on-line sports betting, it has made the activity all the more convenient and cheaper. Though in the past the sports betting segment was small, today it has permeated almost every element of society.

Horse racing was popular in the 19th and early 20th Centuries and was appreciated mainly by the upper class. But horse tracks started to appear following the Civil War and soon 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 increased the betting handle. Bookies would lower the odds on other horses to increase their attractiveness when there was a lot of money on a particular horse. By 1920s horse racing had reached a peak with more than 300 racetracks throughout the US.

Professional baseball became popular from 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. Although gambling was illegal 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 part of life and many 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 almost three decades.

Established in 1930 the corporation set lines in sports events and distributed them to bookmakers within the nation through 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 widely used was The Green Sheet. He was legitimate even though his clients were illegal bookies.

Sports gambling was finally legalized in Nevada in 1931 and also the states finances 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 altered its economic condition for the better.

A resolution was passed in 1951 by the Congress that charged 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 part of sports gambling and brought in the technology that completely changed sports gambling.