The historical past of sports betting in the usa extends back on the times when the founders took risks. Back then bettors bet on cockfights, makeshift horse races and bare fist fights. Colonists and Pioneers that arrived in the united states from Europe and England in particular had betting within their veins as their ancestors gambled for generations. Therefore “sports betting” was a normal part and parcel of the early American culture.
Today there’s no question that sports betting activities are the craze all over the world. With all the ease of on-line sports betting, it has made the activity all the more convenient and cheaper. Though in the past the sports betting section was small, today it has permeated virtually every facet 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 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 reduce the odds on other horses to increase their attractiveness when there was a lot of money for a particular horse. By 1920s horse racing had reached the peak with more than 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 illegal a lot of people regarded sports gambling as a harmless victimless crime. College football and basketball also became popular with bettors as baseball and boxing. Pool cards were as popular as ever 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 being exposed to the sports betting industry at a very early age. Some professionals 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 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 widely used was The Green Sheet. He was legitimate even though his customers were illegal bookies.
Sports gambling was ultimately legalized in Nevada in 1931 and the states financial situation 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 changed its economic condition for the better.
A resolution was passed in 1951 by way of 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 initial legal sports books in Nevada and they were occasionally called “sawdust” rooms. In 1980s Roxborough became a significant part of sports gambling and ushered in the technology that completely changed sports gambling.