The history of sports betting in the US dates back on the times 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 as their ancestors gambled for generations. Therefore “sports betting” was a normal part and parcel with the early American culture.
Today it is obvious that sports betting activities are definitely the craze around the globe. With all the simplicity of online sports betting, it has made the activity all the more convenient and cheaper. Though previously the sports betting section was small, today it’s permeated almost every element of society.
Horse racing was popular in the 19th and early 20th Centuries and was enjoyed mostly by the upper class. But horse tracks began to appear after the Civil War and very quickly gamblers coming from all sectors of society flocked to those racing establishments. Bookies had a hold over the gambling population and in addition they were setting odds on horses that enhanced the betting handle. Bookies would lower the odds on other horses to enhance their attractiveness when there seemed to be a lot of money on a particular horse. By 1920s horse racing had reached a 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 had been “fixed” rocked the united states 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 even though 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 coming in contact with the sports betting industry at a very early age. Some experts 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 almost three decades.
Established in 1930 the corporation set lines in sports events and dispersed those to bookmakers within the nation through the telegraph or telephone He also printed sports information that helped bookies produce better lines and gamblers make smarter decisions. The publication that had been most popular was The Green Sheet. He was legitimate despite the fact that his customers were illegal bookies.
Sports gambling was finally legalized in Nevada in 1931 and the states finances which was in dire straits during those times, changed significantly. Legalized boxing and sports gambling activities made it a hot spot for tourists and this altered its economic condition for the better.
A resolution was passed in 1951 by the Congress that imposed a 10% tax on every sports bet. New regulations permitted 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 ushered in the technology that completely changed sports gambling.