The historical past of sports gambling in the US extends back to the occasions when the founders took risks. Back then bettors bet on cockfights, makeshift horse races and bare fist fights. Colonists and Pioneers that landed in the US from Europe and England in particular had betting within their veins because their ancestors gambled for generations. Therefore “sports betting” was obviously a natural part and parcel with the early American culture.
Today it is obvious that sports betting activities are definitely the rage around the globe. With the ease of on-line sports betting, it has made the activity much more convenient and cheaper. Though previously the sports betting segment was small, today it has permeated virtually every element of society.
Horse racing was popular in the 19th and early 20th Centuries and was enjoyed mostly by way of the upper class. But horse tracks began to appear following the Civil War and soon gamblers 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 increased the betting handle. Bookies would reduce the odds on other horses to enhance their attractiveness when there seemed to be big money for a particular horse. By 1920s horse racing had reached a peak with over 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 was “fixed” rocked the US and the public acquired a negative view of sports bettors. Although gambling was against the law most people regarded sports gambling as a harmless victimless crime. College football and basketball also became popular 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 part of life and many 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 the corporation set lines in sports events and dispersed them to bookmakers in the nation through the telegraph or telephone He also printed sports information which helped bookies produce better lines and gamblers make smarter decisions. The publication that was 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 finances which had been in dire straits during those times, 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 sometimes called “sawdust” rooms. In 1980s Roxborough became a major element of sports gambling and brought in the technology that completely changed sports gambling.