People have been betting on sporting events for a long time. Both the Greeks and Romans engaged in the practice. In more recent times, sports betting has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry. Betting on sports became popular in the United States in the 19th Century. The advent of television made betting on sports like baseball, football and basketball more popular among gamblers.

Delaware recently proclaimed that the state wants to allow single bets, in addition to its permission of making parley bets.  While the lawsuit regarding that issue is prepared for and litigated, there is always another option…over the years, placing wagers on sports has become a much easier process due to the rise of online sportsbooks.

Sports Betting in the Early Days

The most popular sport to bet on in the 19th century was horse racing. Hundreds of racetracks popped up throughout the country after the Civil War, widening the pool of bettors to include average citizens. The popularity of horse racing reached its peak in the early 20th Century. By this point, baseball had seen a dramatic increase in popularity and subsequently betting.

Damage of the Black Sox Scandal

The infamous Black Sox Scandal in 1919 disgraced the integrity of the game and gave gambling a black mark in the public eye. Arnold Rothstein and other gamblers bribed eight Chicago White Sox players, including Shoeless Joe Jackson, to throw the World Series. The fallout from the scandal was far-reaching. The players were banned for life, and the sports betting industry was perceived as a business rife with criminals.

Betting on College Sports

The growth in popularity of college football and basketball in the 20th Century led to an overall increase in sports betting. In earlier days, the odds were stacked heavily in the favor of bookmakers, resulting in soaring profits. With so much money at stake, college athletics have become a staple of the modern sports betting industry.

Legalized Gambling in Las Vegas

When gambling was legalized in Las Vegas in 1931, the prospect of a home for the sports betting industry became a reality. Initially, it was very difficult for sportsbooks to turn a profit because of the excessive 10 percent tax Congress imposed on wagers. After the tax was decreased significantly, the sports betting industry saw a dramatic rise in profits. Today, every major casino in Las Vegas has its own sportsbook.

Betting on Sports Online

In recent years, the sports betting industry has capitalized off the Internet. There are a countless numbers of online sportsbooks competing for your business. Most of these sportsbooks offer promotions and bonuses to new customers. Potential bettors can place wagers from the comfort of their own home safely and efficiently. In the unlikely event that you get bored with sports betting sites, online gambling fans can play internet poker or use an online Casino guide to help find a good casino to play at.

Maybe the decision in NFL v. Delaware (Part II) won’t be all that important…if people continue to migrate to online gaming.