The USA 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 related to sports gambling and other standards have already been changing and these changes are actually named “Waves”. The earliest of such waves was during the Colonial Period that lasted up until the 1800s. The second wave came about at the end of the US Civil war till the early Twentieth century. The third of these waves started during 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 also other gambling, possession of cards, gaming tables, dice etc. Down the line it was only allowed if it was not 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 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 set up by organized crime all over the nation. Horse racing betting shot to popularity during this period.
In 1931 Nevada legalized casino gambling and here too organized crime took control of 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 personal wire services to prevent gamblers from taking any benefit of delays by making sure they posted winning bets before formal results were out.
The Federal Government of the US cracked down on mobsters and organized crime over the 1950s and drove them outside 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 in the nation yet it is evident that organized crime still controls all the big bucks in betting.
Animal fights also have a long history the United States despite the not so good reputation it’s got. Most animal fights involve dog fights and cock fights that have become 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 is still illegal today in 48 states. The law in Minnesota makes any king of gambling bet Illegal. Thus any type of card game where one has to spend to take part in a game and have chances to win cash is a “bet” and thus 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.