To learn what started betting on sports one has to first examine the history of sports gambling in America. The USA had a long history of permitting some kinds of legal gambling and even illegal gambling to a certain degree. Political control and scandals concerning gaming interests have ended in selected backlashes which have lead to prohibition or regulating sports gambling. Standards and laws pertaining to sports gambling have kept changing.
Nelson Rose describes these adjustments in law as 3 waves. The 1st wave was in the colonial era that lasted up until the mid 1800s, the second wave started following the Civil War and lasted till the early 20th Century and also the 3rd wave commenced while in the Great Depression and is still continuing.
During the Colonial Era, diverse attitudes were enforced towards gambling. Puritan attitudes were adopted towards gambling and possession of dice, cards, gaming tables etc were banned. Later on it was allowed as long as it wasn’t a calling or trade except for moderate and innocent recreation. Settlers brought with them views that said gambling was nothing but a harmless activity. The frontier spirit encouraged the appeal of gambling as it involved high risk, high expectations and opportunism. arbitrage betting free tips
Ultimately all colonies used lotteries as a solution from financial problems as well as help the colonies. It was a civic responsibility and profits were used to create a number of the first prestigious universities, build churches and also libraries. Lotteries remained popular right to the early 19th Century. Horse racing had also been popular and the Long Island built the very first race track in 1665. Casino gaming started to emerge slowly as roadhouses and taverns started to permit card games and dice.
The Lower Mississippi Valley became a structured and legitimate gambling area in 1800s. The mighty river featuring its riverboats became a major trade avenue for both wealthy merchants and farmers. New Orleans soon gained recognition as being the gambling capital. During the 1830s southern settlers turned against professional gamblers who were held responsible for carrying out crimes, debasing morals of society and endangering streets. During 1800s there was increasing attack of gambling especially lotteries and when operators absconded with all the proceeds lottery scandals finally led to prohibition of gambling.
The Gold Rush in California set off a huge surge in the types of gambling and San Francisco was crowned the new gambling capital in the USA. During 1849 and 1855 gambling spread widely and by 1850 California and many cities had licensed gambling centers. But soon the Legislature made most types of gambling illegal and a number of professional gamblers were lynched. This prohibition drove gambling activities underground and did not eliminate it. Gambling was legal during 1869-1910 in Nevada.
It is possible to now understand what started gambling on sports in the USA. With the numerous scandals in the lottery gambling segments, 35 states in the US including California prohibited lotteries. In 1933 pari-mutuel betting was legalized and new automated systems and laws made horse racing betting more honest. In 1978 casino gambling was legalized by New Jersey and Atlantic City became a preferred tourist destination. Regardless of its illegality sports gambling became very popular and already is a high dollar industry.