The USA has a long history of illegal gambling in sports. Gambling scandals and political control have led to the prohibition and regulation of sports gambling in the USA. Laws that connected with sports gambling and other standards have been changing and the changes have been named “Waves”. The first of such waves was during the Colonial Period that lasted up until the 1800s. The second wave came about following the US Civil war up until the early Twentieth century. The 3rd of these waves started in the Great Depression till date.
Sports gambling has long been illegal in America. Puritan attitudes during 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 had not been 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 both of them involved opportunism, risk taking and high expectations.
Illegal sports betting has always been linked to mobsters and organized crime in the US. 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 shot to popularity in those times.
In 1931 Nevada legalized casino gambling and here too organized crime took control of all of the casino betting business. Mobsters operated illegal nationwide wire services Trans America Wire and Continental Wire Service. Mobsters like the infamous Al Capone put in place their own personal wire services to prevent gamblers from taking any benefit of delays by making sure they posted winning bets before official results were out.
The Federal Government of the usa cracked down on mobsters and organized crime over the 1950s and forced them outside the Nevada Casino gambling industry. But this would not dissuade the organized crime mobsters who took over illegal bookmaking. Law Enforcement authorities do acknowledge that independent bookies are functioning within the nation but it is evident that organized crime still controls all of the big bucks in betting.
Animal fights also have a long history in the US despite the bad reputation it has. Most animal fights involve dog fights and cock fights which are today popular with street gangs and big numbers of weapons and cash are usually present in the course of these fights.
History of illegal gambling in sports reveals that cockfighting was illegal and banned by nearly all states the United States over the 1800s. It remains illegal currently in 48 states. The law in Minnesota makes any king of gambling bet Illegal. Thus any sort of card game where one has to pay to take part in a game and have possibilities to win cash is a “bet” and therefore also thought to be illegal gambling. It is important 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.