History of illegal gambling in sports

The United States has a long history of illegal gambling in sports. Gambling scandals and political control have ended in the prohibition and regulating sports gambling in the US. Laws that connected with sports gambling and other standards have been changing and the changes have been described as “Waves”. The earliest of such waves was in the Colonial Period that lasted up until the 1800s. The next wave came about at the end of the US Civil war till the early Twentieth century. The 3rd of these waves started during the Great Depression till date.

Sports gambling has always been illegal in America. Puritan attitudes during the Colonial era were adopted towards sports and also 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 both of them involved opportunism, risk taking and high expectations.

Illegal sports betting has always been associated with mobsters and organized crime in the United States. Illegal sports gambling became a huge business for gang mobsters while in the 1920s and 1930s. Organized bookmaking systems were set up by organized crime throughout the nation. Horse racing betting shot to popularity in those times.

In 1931 Nevada legalized casino gambling and here too organized crime took control over all the casino betting business. Mobsters operated illegal nationwide wire services Trans America Wire and Continental Wire Service. Mobsters like the infamous Al Capone put in place their own wire services to prevent gamblers from taking any benefit of delays by making sure they posted winning bets before official results were out.

The Federal Government of the US cracked down on mobsters and organized crime over the 1950s and drove them outside the Nevada Casino gambling industry. But this did not deter 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 evident that organized crime still manages all of the big money in betting.

Animal fights furthermore have a long history the United States despite the not so good reputation it’s got. Most animal fights involve dog fights and cock fights that have become favored by street gangs and big amounts of weapons and money are usually present in the course of these fights.

History of illegal gambling in sports reveals that cockfighting was illegal and banned by nearly all states in the US during the 1800s. It remains illegal today in 48 states. Legal issues in Minnesota makes any king of gambling bet Illegal. Thus any sort of card game where one has to spend to participate in a game and possess possibilities to win money is a “bet” and therefore also thought to be illegal gambling. It is important to note that the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 only refers to the funding of internet gambling not the specific act of betting.