The United States 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 these changes have been named “Waves”. The earliest of such waves was in the Colonial Period that lasted till the 1800s. The next wave took place 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 the US. Puritan attitudes during the Colonial era were adopted towards sports and other gambling, possessing cards, gaming tables, dice etc. Later on it was only allowed if this was not a trade but only innocent recreation. Early settlers had the view that gambling was only 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 become linked to mobsters and organized crime in the United States. 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 the casino betting business. Mobsters controlled illegal nationwide wire services Trans America Wire and Continental Wire Service. Mobsters such as infamous Al Capone set up their own wire services to prevent gamblers from taking any benefit from delays by making sure they posted winning bets before formal results were out.
The Federal Government of the US cracked down on mobsters and organized crime during the 1950s and drove them out of the Nevada Casino gambling industry. But this did not dissuade the organized crime mobsters who took over illegal bookmaking. Law Enforcement authorities do acknowledge that independent bookies are functioning in the nation yet 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 not so good reputation it has. Most animal fights include dog fights and cock fights that have become favored by street gangs and large amounts of weapons and money usually are present at the time of these fights.
History of illegal gambling in sports reveals that cockfighting was illegal and banned by most states the United States during 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 spend to take part in a game and possess possibilities to win cash is a “bet” and therefore also considered to be illegal gambling. It is essential 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.