History of sports wagering

The history of sports gambling in the usa extends back to the times when the founders took risks. Back then gamblers bet on cockfights, makeshift horse races and bare fist fights. Colonists and Pioneers that landed in the united states from Europe and England in particular had betting in their veins because their ancestors gambled for generations. As a result “sports betting” was 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 all the simplicity of online sports betting, it has made the sport much more convenient and cheaper. Though previously the sports betting segment was small, today it has permeated almost every element of society.

Horse racing was popular in the 19th and early 20th Centuries and was enjoyed mostly by the upper class. But horse tracks started to appear after the Civil War and very quickly 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 enhanced the betting handle. Bookies would lower the odds on other horses to increase their attractiveness when there was big money for a particular horse. By 1920s horse racing had reached the summit with more than 300 racetracks all over 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 US and the public received a negative 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 became popular with bettors as baseball and boxing. Pool cards were extremely popular although the odds of these cards were in the bookies favor.

In the majority of US cities, sports gambling activities were becoming a part of life and many youngsters were coming in contact with the sports betting industry at a very early age. Some experts 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 almost 30 years.

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 better decisions. The publication that was most popular was The Green Sheet. He was legitimate despite the fact that his customers were illegal bookies.

Sports gambling was ultimately legalized in Nevada in the year 1931 and the states finances which had been in dire straits during those times, transformed drastically. Legalized boxing and sports gambling activities made it 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 permitted 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.