The historical past of sports betting in the US extends back on the times when the founders took risks. Back then gamblers bet on cockfights, makeshift horse races and bare fist fights. Colonists and Pioneers that arrived in the US from Europe and England in particular had betting in their veins because their ancestors gambled for generations. As a result “sports betting” was a normal part and parcel with the early American culture.
Today it is obvious that sports betting activities are the rage all over the world. With the simplicity of online sports betting, it has made the activity much more convenient and cheaper. Though in the past the sports betting segment 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 started to appear following the Civil War and very quickly gamblers from all sectors of society flocked to these racing establishments. Bookies had a hold on the gambling population and they were setting odds on horses that increased the betting handle. Bookies would lower the odds on other horses to enhance their attractiveness when there was big money on a particular horse. By 1920s horse racing had reached the peak 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. Though gambling was illegal most people regarded sports gambling as a harmless victimless crime. College football and basketball also became popular 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 most 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 early 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 30 years.
Established in 1930 the corporation set lines in sports events and distributed them to bookmakers in the nation through the telegraph or telephone He also printed sports information that helped bookies produce better lines and gamblers make better decisions. The publication that was most popular 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 financial situation which had been in dire straits at that time, changed drastically. 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 allowed 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.