The United States has a long history of illegal gambling in sports. Gambling scandals and political control have led to the prohibition and regulation of sports gambling in the USA. Laws that connected with sports gambling and other standards have been changing and these changes have been described as “Waves”. The earliest of such waves was in the Colonial Period that lasted till the 1800s. The second wave took place at the end of the US Civil war till the early Twentieth century. The 3rd of these waves started during the Great Depression till date.
Sports gambling has long been illegal in the US. Puritan attitudes during the Colonial era were adopted towards sports and also other gambling, possession of cards, gaming tables, dice etc. Down the line it was only allowed if this was not a trade but only innocent recreation. Early settlers had the view that gambling was only a harmless hobby. Gambling was likened to the frontier spirit as each of them involved opportunism, risk taking and high expectations.
Illegal sports gambling has always been linked to mobsters and organized crime in the US. Illegal sports gambling was a huge business for gang mobsters while in the 1920s and 1930s. Organized bookmaking systems were put in place by organized crime all over the nation. Horse racing betting shot to popularity in those times.
In 1931 Nevada legalized casino gambling and here too organized crime took control of all of the casino betting business. Mobsters operated illegal nationwide wire services Trans America Wire and Continental Wire Service. Mobsters like the infamous Al Capone put in place their own personal wire services to stop gamblers from taking any benefit of delays by making sure they posted winning wagers before formal results were out.
The Federal Government of the usa cracked down on mobsters and organized crime over the 1950s and forced them out of the Nevada Casino gambling industry. But this would not dissuade the organized crime mobsters who took over illegal bookmaking. Law Enforcement authorities do acknowledge that independent bookies are operating within the nation yet it is evident that organized crime still controls all of the big bucks in betting.
Animal fights also have a long history in the US in spite of the not so good reputation it has. Most animal fights include dog fights and cock fights that have become favored by street gangs and large numbers of weapons and cash are usually present at the time of these fights.
History of illegal gambling in sports reveals that cockfighting was illegal and banned by nearly all states the United States over the 1800s. It remains illegal today in 48 states. The law in Minnesota makes any king of gambling bet Illegal. Thus any sort of card game where one has to spend to participate in a game and possess possibilities to win cash is a “bet” and therefore also thought to be illegal gambling. It is essential to note that the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 only deals with the funding of internet gambling not the actual act of betting.