The history of sports gambling in the US extends back on the times when the founders took risks. In the past gamblers bet on cockfights, makeshift horse races and bare fist fights. Colonists and Pioneers that arrived in the US from Europe and England specifically had betting within their veins as their ancestors gambled for generations. Therefore “sports betting” was obviously a normal part and parcel of the early American culture.
Today it is obvious that sports betting activities are the rage all over the world. With the ease of on-line sports betting, it’s made the activity much more convenient and cheaper. Though previously the sports betting segment was small, today it’s permeated virtually every facet of society.
Horse racing was popular in the 19th and early 20th Centuries and was appreciated mostly by way of the upper class. But horse tracks started to appear after the Civil War and soon gamblers coming from all sectors of society flocked to those racing establishments. Bookies had a hold over the gambling population and they were setting odds on horses that enhanced the betting handle. Bookies would lower the odds on other horses to increase their attractiveness when there was big money on a particular horse. By 1920s horse racing had reached the peak with more than 300 racetracks throughout the US.
Professional baseball became popular in the late 1800s and “pool cards” came into use. The “Black Sox Scanal” which was “fixed” rocked the united states and the public acquired an adverse view of sports bettors. Though gambling was illegal most people regarded sports gambling as a harmless victimless crime. College football games and basketball also became popular with bettors as baseball and boxing. Pool cards were as popular as ever although the odds of these cards were in the bookies favor.
In most US cities, sports gambling activities were becoming a section of life and many youngsters were coming in contact with the sports betting industry at a very young age. Some professionals 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 the corporation set lines in sports events and dispersed them 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 popular was The Green Sheet. He was legitimate despite the fact that his customers were illegal bookies.
Sports gambling was finally legalized in Nevada in 1931 and the states financial situation which was in dire straits during those times, changed drastically. Legalized boxing and sports gambling activities made it 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 charged a 10% tax on every sports bet. New regulations allowed the bookies to come out of the dark and work openly. Turf clubs were the initial legal sports books in Nevada and they were sometimes called “sawdust” rooms. In 1980s Roxborough became a major part of sports gambling and ushered in the technology that completely changed sports gambling.