The history of sports betting in the US dates back to the times 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. Therefore “sports betting” was obviously a normal part and parcel with the early American culture.
Today there’s no question that sports betting activities are the craze around the globe. With all the simplicity of online sports betting, it’s made the activity all the more convenient and cheaper. Though in the past the sports betting section was small, today it has permeated virtually every element of society.
Horse racing was popular in the 19th and early 20th Centuries and was appreciated mostly by way of the upper class. But horse tracks began to appear after the Civil War and very quickly gamblers from all sectors of society flocked to those racing establishments. Bookies had a hold on 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 increase their attractiveness when there seemed to be big money for a particular horse. By 1920s horse racing had reached a peak with more than 300 racetracks all over 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 an adverse view of sports bettors. Although gambling was illegal a lot of people considered sports gambling to be a harmless victimless crime. College football games and basketball also became popular with bettors as baseball and boxing. Pool cards were as popular as ever although the odds of these cards were in the bookies favor.
In the majority of US cities, sports gambling activities were transforming into a section of life and most youngsters were coming in contact with the sports betting industry in a very early age. Some professionals 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 this company set lines in sports events and distributed them to bookmakers in the nation through the telegraph or telephone He also published sports information which helped bookies produce better lines and gamblers make better decisions. The publication that had been most widely used was The Green Sheet. He was legitimate despite the fact that his clients were illegal bookies.
Sports gambling was ultimately legalized in Nevada in 1931 and also the states finances which was in dire straits at that time, changed significantly. Legalized boxing and sports gambling activities caused it to be a hot spot for tourists and this also 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 sometimes called “sawdust” rooms. In 1980s Roxborough became a major element of sports gambling and ushered in the technology that revolutionized sports gambling.