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 USA. Laws that connected with sports gambling and other standards have been changing and the changes have been described as “Waves”. The earliest of these waves was during the Colonial Period that lasted up until the 1800s. The second wave took place following the US Civil war till the early Twentieth century. The third of these waves started in 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 other gambling, possessing cards, gaming tables, dice etc. Down the line it was only allowed if this was not a trade but only innocent recreation. Early settlers had the view that gambling was only a harmless hobby. Gambling was likened to the frontier spirit as each of them involved opportunism, risk taking and high expectations.
Illegal sports gambling has always been linked to mobsters and organized crime in the US. Illegal sports gambling was a huge business for gang mobsters while in the 1920s and 1930s. Organized bookmaking systems were put in place by organized crime throughout the nation. Horse racing betting became popular in those times.
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 wire services to prevent gamblers from taking any benefit from 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 out of the Nevada Casino gambling industry. But this would not deter the organized crime mobsters who took over illegal bookmaking. Law Enforcement authorities do acknowledge that independent bookies are functioning in the nation but it is evident that organized crime still manages all the big bucks in betting.
Animal fights also have a long history the United States despite the bad reputation it’s got. Most animal fights include dog fights and cock fights that have become popular with street gangs and big amounts of weapons and cash usually are present in the course of these fights.
History of illegal gambling in sports uncovers that cockfighting was illegal and banned by nearly all states the United States during the 1800s. It is still 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 spend to participate in a game and have possibilities to win money 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 refers to the funding of internet gambling not the specific act of betting.