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 USA. Laws that related to sports gambling along with other standards have been changing and these changes are actually described as “Waves”. The earliest of such waves was in the Colonial Period that lasted up until the 1800s. The next wave took place at the end of the US Civil war up until the early 20th century. The third of such waves started in the Great Depression till date.
Sports gambling has long been illegal in the US. Puritan attitudes while in the Colonial era were adopted towards sports and other gambling, possessing cards, gaming tables, dice etc. Later on 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 linked to mobsters and organized crime in the United States. Illegal sports gambling was a huge business for gang mobsters 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 of all of 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 stop gamblers from taking any benefit from 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 forced them out of the Nevada Casino gambling industry. But this would not dissuade the organized crime mobsters who took over illegal bookmaking. Law Enforcement authorities do acknowledge that independent bookies are functioning within the nation yet it is obvious that organized crime still controls all of the big money in betting.
Animal fights also have a long history in the US despite the not so good reputation it’s got. Most animal fights involve dog fights and cock fights which are today favored by street gangs and big numbers of weapons and cash are usually present at the time of these fights.
History of illegal gambling in sports uncovers that cockfighting was illegal and banned by most states the United States 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 pay to take part in a game and possess possibilities to win cash 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 specific act of betting.