History of sports wagering

The history of sports betting in the usa dates back to the occasions when the founders took risks. In the past 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 in their veins because their ancestors gambled for generations. As a result “sports betting” was obviously a natural part and parcel of the early American culture.

Today there’s no question that sports betting activities are 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’s permeated almost every facet of society.

Horse racing was popular from the 19th and early 20th Centuries and was appreciated mainly by the upper class. But horse tracks started to appear following the Civil War and soon 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 increase their attractiveness when there seemed to be big money for a particular horse. By 1920s horse racing had reached the peak with more than 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 united states and the public acquired a negative view of sports bettors. Although gambling was against the law a lot of 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 extremely popular although the odds of these cards were in the bookies favor.

In most US cities, sports gambling activities were becoming a section of life and many youngsters were being exposed to 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 via the telegraph or telephone He also printed sports information that 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 financial situation which was in dire straits at that time, transformed drastically. Legalized boxing and sports gambling activities made it 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 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 significant part of sports gambling and brought in the technology that revolutionized sports gambling.