Online sports betting in the United States began more than 150 years ago when the internet and online sportsbooks were introduced. The following is the historical milestones of online sports betting in the United States.

1860: U.S. Banned All Forms of Gambling

 After the revolutionary war, gambling had developed in the United States as a bad reputation associated with vice and corruption. Therefore, in 1860, the U.S. Federal Government imposed a ban on almost all forms of gambling, including betting on sports. The betting on horse-racing was excluded in the ban.

betting on sport

However, the ban encouraged negative public opinions about gambling and also inspired organized crime to offer gambling services illegally.

1867-1890: U.S. Legalized Horse Race Betting

In 1867, the horse racing was regulated at the state-level in the United States. It was the first time horses racing was organized at Belmont Stakes. The races then took place at the Preakness Stakes in 1873 and the Kentucky Derby in 1875.

By 1890, there were more than 300 race tracks across the United States, affirming the American’s love of sports betting.

1910: U.S. Banned All Gambling Again

Early 20th century, the United States again banned all forms of gambling, including lotteries. By 1911, only about 30 race tracks still organized and solidified its position as the main option for sports betting in the country.

1931: Gambling Legalized in Nevada

After the Great Depression, the United States needed revenue. To accomplish key elements of the New Deal, namely the Hoover Dam, Franklin D. Roosevelt legalized gambling in Nevada.

1949: First Legal Sportsbook Launched in Las Vegas

In 1949, the first legal bookmakers were launched in Las Vegas and accepted bets on all sports, including horse racing. Called Turf Clubs, the sportsbooks operated independently of casinos. This was a big milestone in sports betting in the United States, marking the first time people could bet on sports events like horse racing without being at race tracks. (to be continue)