The history of sports betting in the US dates back on the times when the founders took risks. In the past bettors 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 because their ancestors gambled for generations. Therefore “sports betting” was obviously a normal part and parcel with the early American culture.
Today there’s no question that sports betting activities are definitely the rage all over the world. With all the simplicity of on-line sports betting, it has made the sport much more convenient and cheaper. Though in the past the sports betting section was small, today it has permeated almost every facet of society.
Horse racing was popular from the 19th and early 20th Centuries and was appreciated mainly by way of the upper class. But horse tracks began to appear following the Civil War and very quickly gamblers from all sectors of society flocked to those racing establishments. Bookies had a hold over the gambling population and in addition they were setting odds on horses that increased the betting handle. Bookies would reduce the odds on other horses to enhance their attractiveness when there seemed to be a lot of money on a particular horse. By 1920s horse racing had reached a peak with more than 300 racetracks throughout the US.
Professional baseball gained popularity 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 an adverse view of sports bettors. Although gambling was against the law most people considered sports gambling to be a harmless victimless crime. College football and basketball also gained popularity with bettors as baseball and boxing. Pool cards were as popular as ever even though the odds of these cards were in the bookies favor.
In most US cities, sports gambling activities were transforming into a section of life and most youngsters were coming in contact with the sports betting industry in a very early age. Some experts have said, “Sports gambling was getting more popular than hotdogs!” Soon Leo Hirschfield started Athletic Publications that became the sports betting world standard for almost three decades.
Established in 1930 this company set lines in sports events and dispersed those to bookmakers within the nation through the telegraph or telephone He also published sports information that helped bookies produce better lines and gamblers make better 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 finally legalized in Nevada in the year 1931 and also the states financial situation which was in dire straits during those times, changed significantly. 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 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 sometimes called “sawdust” rooms. In 1980s Roxborough became a major element of sports gambling and ushered in the technology that completely changed sports gambling.