To learn what started betting on sports one has to first examine the history of sports gambling in the US. The US has a long history of permitting certain types of legal gambling and also illegal betting to some extent. Political control and scandals regarding gaming interests have led to selected backlashes that have lead to prohibition or regulating sports gambling. Standards and laws relating to sports gambling have kept altering.
Nelson Rose describes these adjustments in law as three waves. The first wave was in the colonial era that lasted till the mid 1800s, the 2nd wave started following the Civil War and lasted till the early Twentieth century and the third wave commenced during the Great Depression and it’s still continuing.
During the Colonial Era, different attitudes were enforced towards betting. Puritan attitudes were adopted towards gambling and possessing dice, cards, gaming tables etc were banned. Afterwards it was allowed as long as it was not a calling or trade but for moderate and innocent recreation. Settlers brought along with them views that said gambling was merely a harmless activity. The frontier spirit encouraged the appeal of gambling as it involved high risk, high expectations and opportunism. sport betting tipster
Ultimately all colonies used lotteries as a solution out of financial problems as well as help the colonies. It was a civic responsibility and profits were utilized to establish some of the first prestigious universities, build churches and also libraries. Lotteries remained popular right to the early Nineteenth century. Horse racing was also popular and the Long Island built the first race track in 1665. Casino gaming started to emerge slowly as roadhouses and taverns started to allow card games and dice.
The Lower Mississippi Valley became a structured and legitimate gambling area in 1800s. The mighty river with its riverboats became a major trade avenue for wealthy merchants and farmers. New Orleans quickly gained recognition as the gambling capital. Through the 1830s southern settlers turned against professional gamblers who were held responsible for committing crimes, debasing morals of society and endangering streets. During 1800s there was increasing attack of gambling especially lotteries and when operators absconded with the proceeds lottery scandals finally led to prohibition of gambling.
The Gold Rush in California set off a tremendous surge in the types of gambling and San Francisco became the new gambling capital in the USA. During 1849 and 1855 gambling spread widely and also by 1850 California and many cities had licensed gambling centers. But soon the Legislature made most forms of gambling illegal and a number of professional gamblers were lynched. This prohibition drove wagering activities underground and could not eliminate it. Gambling was legal during 1869-1910 in Nevada.
It is easy to now understand what started gambling on sports in the US. With the numerous scandals in the lottery gambling segments, 35 states in America including California prohibited lotteries. In 1933 pari-mutuel betting was legalized and new automated systems and laws made horse racing betting more straightforward. In 1978 casino gambling was legalized by New Jersey and Atlantic City became a preferred tourist destination. Despite its illegality sports gambling became quite popular and today is a high dollar industry.