Sport betting has been around since people began playing sports, but not until the 19th and 20th centuries did it really become widely known and accepted. In the years since, thanks in large part to the internet, it has grown to an astounding 100 billion dollar industry which spans the worldwide.
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In the 19th century, horse racing was the most popular betting sport. However, only the elite could afford to place large bets. This all changed at the end of the civil war, when all classes could make money by betting on different sports. Around 1920 horse racing hit a plateau and professional sport leagues took over, mostly baseball, which became so large and popular that the revenue generated from betting became larger than the salaries of the players. This eventually led to major scandals where players were caught taking bribes.
Las Vegas has been a large contributor to the growing Sports Betting Industry. Although the large casinos shunned the betting of sports at first, since it was illegal. In 1951 it was legalized by the legislation and there was a 10% tax imposed on the industry. But due to the high tax rate smaller gambling clubs found it hard to keep their doors open, and the tax rate was lowered to a mere 2%.
The internet has led to a great increase in online betting, with 15% of Americans betting yearly, betting is now one of the largest money making industries in history.