It is estimated that only 1-3% of sports gambling activities are accounted for in the Nevada Sports books and the majority of the gambling is the illegal gambling in sports. The FBI estimated in 1998 that this illegal sports gambling was an industry worth billions of dollars.
Illegal gambling in sports includes different types of activities. Most of these illegal bets on different sporting events are placed with sportsbooks or bookies. Online gambling is a very popular method of gambling. Other sporting events are those that are illegal and associated with gambling like dog fighting and cockfighting.
Illegal gambling in sports has been associated with organized crime for a long time in the US. In the 1920s and 1930s illegal sports gambling was a business for gang mobsters and they established organized bookmaking around the nation. Emphasis was on horse racing at that time. Nevada legalized casino betting in 1931 and here too organized crime controlled a major portion of casino gambling business. Continental Wire Service and Trans America Wire were the two illegal wire services that were operated by mobsters.
In the 1950s the federal government came down hard on organized crime and drove the mobsters out of the casino industry in Nevada. These were then taken over by corporations, and the mob took over the illegal bookmaking business. Most illegal books provide bookies that are illegal ways of spreading risks on wagers.
The action of transmitting wagering and gambling information and details across state lines for either taking or placing bets is considered illegal. News details regarding point spreads could be reported only for entertainment and informational purposes but many US newspapers still publish betting lines. This practice is defended by the Newspaper Association of America as “free speech” under the First Amendment of the Constitution, claiming that readers just want to learn or read about teams favored to be winners rather than for betting.
Other illegal gambling in sports involves animal fights that take place in the US in spite of the unsavory reputation it has. These staged fights involve animals like dogs that are trained and bred for this purpose and male chickens. This time of animal fighting is usually in the rural areas but city police reports on dog fighting and cockfighting have increased and this sport has become the rage among gangs in the street. This type of illegal sports betting activity is a great concern to the authorities because of the weapons and large quantities of hard cash present at the fights.
The issue of illegal gambling in sports is a matter of grave concern. Minnesota laws make any type of wager or bet illegal. It is best if the gambler finds out all the laws relating to sports gambling in his state or area before placing bets on a sporting event. Most states declare sports gambling as illegal in the US except for Nevada, Montana and one or two other states.