The United States has a long history of illegal gambling in sports. Gambling scandals and political control have led to the prohibition and regulation of sports gambling in the USA. Laws that connected with sports gambling along with other standards have been changing and the changes have been named “Waves”. The first of such waves was in the Colonial Period that lasted up until the 1800s. The next wave came about following the US Civil war up until the early Twentieth century. The third of such waves started in the Great Depression till date.
Sports gambling has always been illegal in the US. Puritan attitudes during the Colonial era were adopted towards sports and 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 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 over all of 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 stop gamblers from taking any benefit from 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 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 operating within the nation but 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 bad reputation it has. Most animal fights include dog fights and cock fights which are today popular with street gangs and large numbers of weapons and cash 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 remains illegal currently in 48 states. The law in Minnesota makes any king of gambling bet Illegal. Thus any sort of card game where one has to spend to participate in a game and possess 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 deals with the funding of internet gambling not the specific act of betting.