The historical past of sports betting in the usa extends back to the times 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 in particular had betting within 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 definitely the craze all over the world. With all the ease of on-line sports betting, it’s made the activity much more convenient and cheaper. Though previously the sports betting segment was small, today it’s permeated almost 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 started to appear after the Civil War and soon gamblers coming from all sectors of society flocked to these racing establishments. Bookies had a hold over the gambling population and in addition they were setting odds on horses that increased the betting handle. Bookies would reduce the odds on other horses to increase their attractiveness when there was big money for a particular horse. By 1920s horse racing had reached a peak with more than 300 racetracks throughout the US.
Professional baseball gained popularity in the late 1800s and “pool cards” came into use. The “Black Sox Scanal” which was “fixed” rocked the US and the public received a negative view of sports bettors. Though gambling was illegal a lot of people considered sports gambling as a harmless victimless crime. College football games and basketball also became popular with bettors as baseball and boxing. Pool cards were extremely popular even though the odds of these cards were in the bookies favor.
In the majority of US cities, sports gambling activities were becoming a section of life and most youngsters were coming in contact with the sports betting industry in 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 almost three decades.
Established in 1930 this company set lines in sports events and distributed those to bookmakers within the nation through 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 even though his customers were illegal bookies.
Sports gambling was finally legalized in Nevada in 1931 and also the states financial situation which had been in dire straits at that time, changed 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 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 sometimes called “sawdust” rooms. In 1980s Roxborough became a major part of sports gambling and brought in the technology that completely changed sports gambling.