The history of sports gambling in the US dates 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 arrived in the US 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 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 ease of on-line sports betting, it’s made the sport much more convenient and cheaper. Though in the past the sports betting section was small, today it’s permeated almost every element of society.
Horse racing was popular from the 19th and early 20th Centuries and was enjoyed mainly by way of the upper class. But horse tracks started to appear after the Civil War and soon gamblers coming from all sectors of society flocked to those racing establishments. Bookies had a hold on the gambling population and 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 was a lot of money for a particular horse. By 1920s horse racing had reached a summit with over 300 racetracks all over 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 US and the public acquired an adverse view of sports bettors. Though gambling was against the law most people considered sports gambling as a harmless victimless crime. College football games 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 part of life and most youngsters were being exposed to the sports betting industry in 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 the corporation set lines in sports events and dispersed 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 widely used 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 also the states finances which had been 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 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 initial legal sports books in Nevada and they were occasionally called “sawdust” rooms. In 1980s Roxborough became a major part of sports gambling and brought in the technology that completely changed sports gambling.