History of sports wagering

The history of sports betting in the usa dates back to the occasions when the founders took risks. Back then gamblers bet on cockfights, makeshift horse races and bare fist fights. Colonists and Pioneers that arrived in the united states from Europe and England specifically had betting in their veins as their ancestors gambled for generations. Therefore “sports betting” was obviously a natural part and parcel of 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 online sports betting, it has made the sport all the more convenient and cheaper. Though in the past the sports betting section was small, today it has permeated almost every element of society.

Horse racing was popular from the 19th and early 20th Centuries and was appreciated 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 those racing establishments. Bookies had a hold on the gambling population and in addition they were setting odds on horses that increased the betting handle. Bookies would lower the odds on other horses to enhance their attractiveness when there was big money for a particular horse. By 1920s horse racing had reached the summit with more than 300 racetracks all over the US.

Professional baseball gained popularity from 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 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 although the odds of these cards were in the bookies favor.

In the majority of US cities, sports gambling activities were becoming a part of life and most youngsters were being exposed to the sports betting industry at a very young age. Some professionals have said, “Sports gambling was getting more popular than hot dogs!” Soon Leo Hirschfield started Athletic Publications that became the sports betting world standard for nearly 30 years.

Established in 1930 this company set lines in sports events and dispersed those to bookmakers within the nation through the telegraph or telephone He also published sports information which helped bookies produce better lines and gamblers make smarter 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 the states financial situation which had been in dire straits during those times, changed drastically. Legalized boxing and sports gambling activities caused it to be 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 first legal sports books in Nevada and they were sometimes called “sawdust” rooms. In 1980s Roxborough became a major part of sports gambling and ushered in the technology that revolutionized sports gambling.