A sports and racebook is a place where bettors can wager on both professional and college sports like football, basketball, baseball, hockey, boxing, golf, soccer, mixed martial arts, auto racing, horse racing, greyhound racing and even Jai-Alai.
Bet types vary with the sport and the type of game. Usually, more prominent events like the Super Bowl have more betting options. Rules may also vary from one sports and racebook to another, so be sure to carefully read the rules before placing a bet. Here's an overview of Nevada sports and racebook rules.
Betting on sports and other competitions is not new in the United States. As early as the 1700s, Americans bet on makeshift horse races, cockfights and bare-knuckle brawls.
During 19th century and into the early 20th Century, horse racing's gained widespread popularity. After the Civil War, horse tracks began to dot the eastern United States and bettors from all economic sectors flocked to the tracks in droves. Many enterprising bookmakers started 'auction pools' in the early days of horse racing which involved auctioning off bets for each horse in a race.
At the same time, professional baseball gained popularity and, consequently, so did betting on the sport. Baseball 'pool cards' became a standard in urban areas in the East.
In the 1950s, the first legal sports books in Nevada were stand-alone shops which were independent from any of the large casinos. They were called 'turf clubs' and betting options were posted on chalkboards.
In 1976, a sports book was opened at Stardust. This became the model for the modern Vegas sports book which has a plush environment with plenty of seating space and multiple television sets. New electronic boards replaced the manually-operated chalkboards.
Sports and racebooks can usually be found within or near a casino. Gambling age varies per state, but it's usually between 18-21 years old.
Today's sports and racebook are usually equipped with multiple betting windows, big screen televisions, computerized odds boards and comfortable accommodations where getting fans can enjoy the sports and race action.