The USA has a long history of illegal gambling in sports. Gambling scandals and political control have ended in the prohibition and regulation of sports gambling in the US. Laws that related to sports gambling and other standards have been changing and these changes are actually described as “Waves”. The first of such waves was during the Colonial Period that lasted up until the 1800s. The next wave came about at the end of the US Civil war till the early Twentieth century. The third of such waves started during the Great Depression till date.
Sports gambling has always been illegal in America. 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 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 gambling has always been linked to mobsters and organized crime in the US. 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 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 of the casino betting business. Mobsters operated illegal nationwide wire services Trans America Wire and Continental Wire Service. Mobsters such as infamous Al Capone set up their own wire services to prevent gamblers from getting any benefit of delays by making sure they posted winning bets before formal results were out.
The Federal Government of the US cracked upon mobsters and organized crime over the 1950s and drove 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 operating within the nation but it is obvious 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 favored by street gangs and big amounts of weapons and money are usually present in the course 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 is still illegal currently in 48 states. Legal issues 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 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 actual act of betting.