The history of sports gambling in the US extends back on the occasions when the founders took risks. In the past bettors bet on cockfights, makeshift horse races and bare fist fights. Colonists and Pioneers that landed in the US from Europe and England specifically had betting in their veins as their ancestors gambled for generations. Therefore “sports betting” was a natural part and parcel with the early American culture.
Today it is obvious that sports betting activities are the craze 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 virtually 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 after the Civil War and soon gamblers coming from all sectors of society flocked to these 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 enhance their attractiveness when there was a lot of money on 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 acquired an adverse view of sports bettors. Though gambling was against the law 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 extremely popular although the odds of these cards were in the bookies favor.
In most US cities, sports gambling activities were transforming into a part 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 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 distributed them to bookmakers in the nation through the telegraph or telephone He also printed sports information which helped bookies produce better lines and gamblers make smarter decisions. The publication that was 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 also the states finances which had been in dire straits during those times, transformed 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 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 initial 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 revolutionized sports gambling.