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 USA. Laws that related to sports gambling along with other standards have already been changing and the changes have been named “Waves”. The first of these waves was in the Colonial Period that lasted up until the 1800s. The next wave came about following the US Civil war till the early 20th century. The 3rd of such waves started during the Great Depression till date.
Sports gambling has long been illegal in America. Puritan attitudes during the Colonial era were adopted towards sports and other gambling, possessing cards, gaming tables, dice etc. Later on it was only allowed if it 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 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 during this period.
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 personal wire services to prevent gamblers from getting any benefit of delays by making sure they posted winning wagers before official results were out.
The Federal Government of the US cracked upon mobsters and organized crime over the 1950s and forced 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 in the nation yet it is evident that organized crime still controls all the big bucks in betting.
Animal fights furthermore have a long history in the US in spite of the not so good reputation it has. Most animal fights involve dog fights and cock fights which are today popular with street gangs and large numbers of weapons and cash are usually present at the time of these fights.
History of illegal gambling in sports reveals 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 type of card game where one has to pay to participate in a game and possess chances to win money is a “bet” and thus 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.