History of sports wagering

The historical past of sports betting 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 because their ancestors gambled for generations. Therefore “sports betting” was obviously a natural part and parcel with the early American culture.

Today it is obvious that sports betting activities are the rage all over the world. With the simplicity 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’s permeated almost every facet of society.

Horse racing was popular from the 19th and early 20th Centuries and was enjoyed mainly by the upper class. But horse tracks started to appear after the Civil War and very quickly gamblers from all sectors of society flocked to these 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 lower 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 peak with over 300 racetracks throughout the US.

Professional baseball became popular from 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 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 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 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 nearly three decades.

Established in 1930 this company set lines in sports events and dispersed them to bookmakers within the nation through the telegraph or telephone He also published sports information that helped bookies produce better lines and gamblers make smarter decisions. The publication that had been most widely used was The Green Sheet. He was legitimate even though 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, transformed 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 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 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.