To learn what started gambling on sports one has to first examine the history of sports gambling in the US. The US had a long history of allowing certain types of legal gambling and even illegal gambling to a certain degree. Political control and scandals concerning gaming interests have ended in certain backlashes that have lead to prohibition or regulating sports gambling. Standards and laws relating to sports gambling have kept altering.
Nelson Rose describes these changes in law as three waves. The first wave was in the colonial era that lasted up until the mid 1800s, the second wave started following the Civil War and lasted up until the early Twentieth century and also the third wave commenced during the Great Depression and it’s still continuing.
During the Colonial Era, diverse attitudes were enforced towards betting. Puritan attitudes were adopted towards gambling and possessing dice, cards, gaming tables etc were outlawed. Later on it was allowed as long as it wasn’t 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 since it involved risk taking, high expectations and opportunism. tomorrow football betting totesport
Eventually all colonies used lotteries as being a solution out of financial problems as well as help the colonies. It was a civic responsibility and profits were used to establish some of the first prestigious universities, build churches and even libraries. Lotteries continued to be popular right to the early 19th Century. Horse racing was also preferred and the Long Island built the very first race track in 1665. Casino gaming began to emerge slowly as roadhouses and taverns began 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 was a major trade avenue for wealthy merchants and farmers. New Orleans soon gained recognition as being 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 seemed to be increasing attack of gambling especially lotteries and when operators absconded with all the proceeds lottery scandals eventually concluded in 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 US. During 1849 and 1855 gambling spread widely and also by 1850 California and lots of 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 all the numerous scandals within 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 popular tourist destination. Regardless of its illegality sports gambling became quite popular and today is a billion dollar industry.