History of sports wagering

The history of sports betting in the usa 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 landed in the US from Europe and England in particular had betting within their veins because their ancestors gambled for generations. As a result “sports betting” was a normal part and parcel of the early American culture.

Today it is obvious that sports betting activities are definitely the craze around the globe. With the ease of on-line sports betting, it’s made the activity all the more convenient and cheaper. Though previously the sports betting segment was small, today it’s permeated almost every facet of society.

Horse racing was popular in the 19th and early 20th Centuries and was appreciated mainly by the upper class. But horse tracks started to appear following the Civil War and very quickly gamblers coming from all sectors of society flocked to these 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 reduce the odds on other horses to enhance their attractiveness when there seemed to be big money on a particular horse. By 1920s horse racing had reached a peak with over 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 was “fixed” rocked the US and the public acquired an adverse view of sports bettors. Although gambling was against the law most people considered sports gambling to be 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 most US cities, sports gambling activities were transforming into a part of life and many 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 nearly three decades.

Established in 1930 this company set lines in sports events and dispersed those to bookmakers in the nation through the telegraph or telephone He also printed sports information which helped bookies produce better lines and gamblers make smarter 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 finally legalized in Nevada in the year 1931 and the states finances which was in dire straits during those times, changed drastically. Legalized boxing and sports gambling activities caused it to be a hot spot for tourists and this changed its economic condition for the better.

A resolution was passed in 1951 by way of the Congress that charged 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 first legal sports books in Nevada and they were occasionally called “sawdust” rooms. In 1980s Roxborough became a major element of sports gambling and brought in the technology that revolutionized sports gambling.