The history of sports betting in the US dates back to 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 arrived in the US from Europe and England specifically had betting within their veins because their ancestors gambled for generations. As a result “sports betting” was a normal part and parcel with the early American culture.
Today it is obvious that sports betting activities are the craze around the globe. With all the ease of on-line sports betting, it has made the activity all the more convenient and cheaper. Though previously the sports betting section was small, today it has permeated virtually every facet of society.
Horse racing was popular in the 19th and early 20th Centuries and was enjoyed mostly by the upper class. But horse tracks began to appear following the Civil War and very quickly gamblers coming from all sectors of society flocked to those racing establishments. Bookies had a hold over 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 seemed to be a lot of money on a particular horse. By 1920s horse racing had reached a peak with more than 300 racetracks throughout the US.
Professional baseball became popular from the late 1800s and “pool cards” came into use. The “Black Sox Scanal” which was “fixed” rocked the united states and the public received a negative view of sports bettors. Though gambling was illegal most people regarded sports gambling to be 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 becoming a section of life and most 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 hotdogs!” 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 them to bookmakers within the nation via the telegraph or telephone He also published sports information that helped bookies produce better lines and gamblers make better decisions. The publication that had been most popular was The Green Sheet. He was legitimate even though his clients were illegal bookies.
Sports gambling was finally legalized in Nevada in the year 1931 and the states financial situation which was in dire straits at that time, changed significantly. Legalized boxing and sports gambling activities caused it to be a hot spot for tourists and this also 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 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 element of sports gambling and ushered in the technology that revolutionized sports gambling.