History of illegal gambling in sports

The USA 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 US. 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 second wave took place at the end of the US Civil war till the early 20th century. The third of such waves started in the Great Depression till date.

Sports gambling has always been illegal in America. Puritan attitudes during the Colonial era were adopted towards sports and other gambling, possession of cards, gaming tables, dice etc. Down the line it was only allowed if this had not been a trade but only innocent recreation. Early settlers had the view that gambling was just a harmless past time. Gambling was likened to the frontier spirit as each of them involved opportunism, risk taking and high expectations.

Illegal sports betting has become associated with mobsters and organized crime in the US. Illegal sports gambling became a huge business for gang mobsters in the 1920s and 1930s. Organized bookmaking systems were set up by organized crime all over the nation. Horse racing betting shot to popularity during this period.

In 1931 Nevada legalized casino gambling and here too organized crime took control over all of the casino betting business. Mobsters operated illegal nationwide wire services Trans America Wire and Continental Wire Service. Mobsters such as infamous Al Capone set up their own personal 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 upon mobsters and organized crime over the 1950s and forced 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 within the nation but it is obvious that organized crime still manages all of the big money in betting.

Animal fights also have a long history the United States despite the not so good reputation it’s got. Most animal fights include dog fights and cock fights which are today popular with street gangs and big numbers of weapons and money usually are present in the course of these fights.

History of illegal gambling in sports reveals that cockfighting was illegal and banned by most states in the US during the 1800s. It is still illegal today in 48 states. The law in Minnesota makes any king of gambling bet Illegal. Thus any type of card game where one has to spend to take part in a game and have possibilities to win money is a “bet” and therefore also considered to be illegal gambling. It is important to keep in mind that the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 only deals with the funding of internet gambling not the actual act of betting.