The history of sports gambling in the usa dates back on the occasions 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 US from Europe and England in particular had betting in their veins as their ancestors gambled for generations. As a result “sports betting” was a normal part and parcel with the early American culture.
Today it is obvious that sports betting activities are definitely the rage around the globe. With the ease of on-line sports betting, it has made the activity much more convenient and cheaper. Though in the past the sports betting section was small, today it’s 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 started to appear following the Civil War and very quickly gamblers 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 enhanced the betting handle. Bookies would reduce the odds on other horses to enhance their attractiveness when there seemed to be big money on a particular horse. By 1920s horse racing had reached the summit with over 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 received a negative view of sports bettors. Although gambling was against the law most people considered 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 even though the odds of these cards were in the bookies favor.
In the majority of US cities, sports gambling activities were transforming into a part of life and most youngsters were being exposed to the sports betting industry in a very young 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 dispersed them to bookmakers in the nation via the telegraph or telephone He also published sports information that helped bookies produce better lines and gamblers make better decisions. The publication that was most widely used was The Green Sheet. He was legitimate even though his clients were illegal bookies.
Sports gambling was finally legalized in Nevada in 1931 and also the states financial situation which had been in dire straits during those times, changed drastically. Legalized boxing and sports gambling activities made it a hot spot for tourists and this changed 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 sometimes called “sawdust” rooms. In 1980s Roxborough became a significant element of sports gambling and brought in the technology that completely changed sports gambling.