The history of sports betting in the US extends back on 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 within their veins as their ancestors gambled for generations. As a result “sports betting” was a natural part and parcel with the early American culture.
Today it is obvious that sports betting activities are definitely the rage around the globe. With all the ease of online sports betting, it’s made the activity all the more convenient and cheaper. Though previously the sports betting segment was small, today it has permeated almost every facet of society.
Horse racing was popular from the 19th and early 20th Centuries and was appreciated mostly by the upper class. But horse tracks began to appear after the Civil War and soon gamblers from all sectors of society flocked to those racing establishments. Bookies had a hold on the gambling population and 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 over 300 racetracks throughout 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 US and the public acquired a negative view of sports bettors. Though gambling was against the law most people considered 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 the majority of US cities, sports gambling activities were transforming into a part of life and many youngsters were coming in contact with the sports betting industry at a very young 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 those to bookmakers within the nation through the telegraph or telephone He also published sports information that helped bookies produce better lines and gamblers make better decisions. The publication that was most widely used was The Green Sheet. He was legitimate despite the fact that his clients were illegal bookies.
Sports gambling was finally legalized in Nevada in 1931 and the states financial situation which was in dire straits during those times, 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 imposed 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 occasionally called “sawdust” rooms. In 1980s Roxborough became a significant element of sports gambling and brought in the technology that completely changed sports gambling.