The USA has a long history of illegal gambling in sports. Gambling scandals and political control have ended in the prohibition and regulation of sports gambling in the US. Laws that connected with sports gambling and other standards have been changing and the changes are actually named “Waves”. The first of such waves was during the Colonial Period that lasted till the 1800s. The next wave took place following the US Civil war up until the early Twentieth century. The 3rd of such waves started in the Great Depression till date.
Sports gambling has always been illegal in the US. Puritan attitudes while in the Colonial era were adopted towards sports and also other gambling, possessing cards, gaming tables, dice etc. Later on it was only allowed if this was not a trade but only innocent recreation. Early settlers had the view that gambling was just 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 United States. 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 throughout the nation. Horse racing betting became popular in those times.
In 1931 Nevada legalized casino gambling and here too organized crime took control over all the casino betting business. Mobsters operated illegal nationwide wire services Trans America Wire and Continental Wire Service. Mobsters such as infamous Al Capone put in place their own 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 US cracked upon mobsters and organized crime during the 1950s and forced them outside the Nevada Casino gambling industry. But this did not deter 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 manages all the big money 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 which are today popular with street gangs and big 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 in the US over the 1800s. It is still illegal today in 48 states. Legal issues in Minnesota makes any king of gambling bet Illegal. Thus any type of card game where one has to spend to participate in a game and have chances to win cash is a “bet” and thus also considered to be illegal gambling. It is essential to keep in mind that the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 only deals with the funding of internet gambling not the specific act of betting.