The history of sports betting in the US dates back to the times when the founders took risks. Back then 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 within 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 there’s no question that sports betting activities are the craze around the globe. With the simplicity of on-line sports betting, it’s 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 facet 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 very quickly gamblers coming from all sectors of society flocked to those racing establishments. Bookies had a hold on the gambling population and in addition 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 seemed to be a lot of money for 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 had been “fixed” rocked the US and the public received a negative view of sports bettors. Although gambling was against the law 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 although the odds of these cards were in the bookies favor.
In the majority of 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 professionals 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 nearly 30 years.
Established in 1930 this company set lines in sports events and dispersed those to bookmakers within the nation via the telegraph or telephone He also published sports information which helped bookies produce better lines and gamblers make better decisions. The publication that was 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 had been in dire straits at that time, changed drastically. Legalized boxing and sports gambling activities caused it to be a hot spot for tourists and this also 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 occasionally called “sawdust” rooms. In 1980s Roxborough became a major part of sports gambling and brought in the technology that revolutionized sports gambling.