Sports betting has a long history. It has been around since ancient times and spread to various countries throughout history. While pari-mutuel wagering dates back to the second half of the 1800s, the earliest recorded example of sports betting was during the ancient Olympic Games. After these games, sports betting became more popular and spread across the globe.

Sports betting was very popular in the late 19th century and eventually became a major industry. Even though gambling was illegal in many states, sports betting was still a part of everyday life. People would bet on different events, such as horse racing and chariot races. It was also popular to watch the races on radio, and millions of people listened to broadcasts.

While gambling on sports is never illegal between friends, professional sports betting is. This lack of legal definition has created a gray area for organized crime to flourish. This lack of regulation has also led to a growing underground economy. In the early 20th century, gambling laws became more liberal. This led to many new establishments that offered sports betting.

In the United States, sports betting was legalized in Nevada in 1949. It was not until the Murphy v. NCAA ruling that sports betting became legal in the state. Despite its controversial history, Nevada remains one of the few states that does not ban it. Sports betting is now legal in Nevada and many other states.