The history of sports betting in the US dates back to the times when the founders took risks. Back then bettors bet on cockfights, makeshift horse races and bare fist fights. Colonists and Pioneers that arrived in the US from Europe and England specifically had betting within their veins as their ancestors gambled for generations. Therefore “sports betting” was obviously a normal part and parcel of the early American culture.
Today it is obvious that sports betting activities are the rage around the globe. With the ease of online sports betting, it’s made the activity much more convenient and cheaper. Though in the past the sports betting segment was small, today it’s permeated virtually every facet of society.
Horse racing was popular in the 19th and early 20th Centuries and was appreciated mainly by way of the upper class. But horse tracks started to appear after the Civil War and soon gamblers 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 for a particular horse. By 1920s horse racing had reached a peak with over 300 racetracks throughout the US.
Professional baseball became popular in the late 1800s and “pool cards” came into use. The “Black Sox Scanal” which had been “fixed” rocked the US and the public received a negative view of sports bettors. Although gambling was against the law a lot of people regarded sports gambling to be a harmless victimless crime. College football and basketball also gained popularity 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 the majority of US cities, sports gambling activities were transforming into a part of life and most youngsters were being exposed to the sports betting industry in 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 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 the year 1931 and the states financial situation which had been in dire straits at that time, changed drastically. 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 initial legal sports books in Nevada and they were occasionally called “sawdust” rooms. In 1980s Roxborough became a significant part of sports gambling and brought in the technology that completely changed sports gambling.