The history of sports gambling in the US extends back on the times when the founders took risks. Back then gamblers bet on cockfights, makeshift horse races and bare fist fights. Colonists and Pioneers that landed in the united states from Europe and England in particular had betting within their veins because their ancestors gambled for generations. Therefore “sports betting” was a normal part and parcel of the early American culture.
Today it is obvious that sports betting activities are the rage around the globe. With all the ease 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 almost every facet of society.
Horse racing was popular in the 19th and early 20th Centuries and was appreciated mainly by way of the upper class. But horse tracks began to appear after the Civil War and very quickly 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 seemed to be a lot of money for a particular horse. By 1920s horse racing had reached a 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 was “fixed” rocked the united states and the public received a negative view of sports bettors. Though gambling was illegal a lot of people considered 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 even though the odds of these cards were in the bookies favor.
In the majority of US cities, sports gambling activities were becoming a section 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 this company set lines in sports events and distributed those to bookmakers within the nation via the telegraph or telephone He also printed 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 clients were illegal bookies.
Sports gambling was ultimately legalized in Nevada in 1931 and the states financial situation which was 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 changed 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 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 element of sports gambling and brought in the technology that revolutionized sports gambling.