History of sports wagering

The history of sports gambling in the US extends back to 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 landed in the united states from Europe and England specifically had betting in their veins as their ancestors gambled for generations. As a result “sports betting” was obviously a natural part and parcel with the early American culture.

Today there’s no question that sports betting activities are the craze all over the world. With all the simplicity of on-line sports betting, it’s made the sport all the more convenient and cheaper. Though previously the sports betting segment was small, today it has permeated virtually every element of society.

Horse racing was popular from the 19th and early 20th Centuries and was appreciated mostly by the upper class. But horse tracks started to appear after the Civil War and soon gamblers from all sectors of society flocked to these 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 enhance their attractiveness when there was a lot of money for a particular horse. By 1920s horse racing had reached a peak with over 300 racetracks throughout 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 received a negative view of sports bettors. Although gambling was against the law a lot of people regarded sports gambling as a harmless victimless crime. College football and basketball also gained popularity with bettors as baseball and boxing. Pool cards were extremely popular although the odds of these cards were in the bookies favor.

In most US cities, sports gambling activities were becoming a part of life and most youngsters were coming in contact with 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 three decades.

Established in 1930 the corporation set lines in sports events and dispersed those to bookmakers in the nation through the telegraph or telephone He also published sports information that helped bookies produce better lines and gamblers make smarter decisions. The publication that had been most popular was The Green Sheet. He was legitimate even though his clients were illegal bookies.

Sports gambling was ultimately legalized in Nevada in the year 1931 and the states finances which was in dire straits during those times, changed drastically. Legalized boxing and sports gambling activities caused it to be a hot spot for tourists and this altered its economic condition for the better.

A resolution was passed in 1951 by the Congress that imposed 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 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.