The United States has a long history of illegal gambling in sports. Gambling scandals and political control have led to the prohibition and regulating sports gambling in the US. Laws that connected with sports gambling and other standards have already been changing and these changes have been described as “Waves”. The first of such waves was in the Colonial Period that lasted up until the 1800s. The second wave came about following the US Civil war up until the early Twentieth century. The 3rd of these waves started during the Great Depression till date.
Sports gambling has always been illegal in the US. Puritan attitudes while in the Colonial era were adopted towards sports and also 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 hobby. Gambling was likened to the frontier spirit as both of them involved opportunism, risk taking and high expectations.
Illegal sports gambling has always been associated with 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 put in place by organized crime throughout the nation. Horse racing betting became popular during this period.
In 1931 Nevada legalized casino gambling and here too organized crime took control over all the casino betting business. Mobsters controlled illegal nationwide wire services Trans America Wire and Continental Wire Service. Mobsters like the infamous Al Capone set up their own wire services to prevent gamblers from taking any benefit of delays by making sure they posted winning wagers before formal 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 did not dissuade the organized crime mobsters who took over illegal bookmaking. Law Enforcement authorities do acknowledge that independent bookies are operating within the nation yet it is evident that organized crime still manages all the big money in betting.
Animal fights also have a long history the United States despite the not so good reputation it’s got. Most animal fights include dog fights and cock fights that have become popular with street gangs and large numbers of weapons and cash usually are present at the time of these fights.
History of illegal gambling in sports reveals that cockfighting was illegal and banned by most states in the US over the 1800s. It remains illegal currently in 48 states. The law in Minnesota makes any king of gambling bet Illegal. Thus any type of card game where one has to pay to participate in a game and have chances to win cash is a “bet” and thus also considered to be illegal gambling. It is essential to keep in mind that the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 only deals with the funding of internet gambling not the actual act of betting.