Betting has a long and interesting history, which dates back to ancient times. As far back as competitions go, it’s been difficult for spectators to simply watch without wanting to get involved and betting created an opportunity for watchers of sports and other activities to feel as though they had a role in the action. Betting didn’t just give the option to win but it also provided complexity and the thrill of not knowing what the outcome would be. There’s evidence that betting has been a global activity for centuries, with archaeological evidence dating back to 2300BC in China showing the existence of lottery systems.
Over time, it became clear that in order for a bet to be fair, there needed to be an intermediate man who both parties could trust and rely on – this is how the bookmaker came to be. Horse racing, however, is where a more professional approach to betting came to be – the original purpose of horse race sports betting was to compare the results of horses and show the advantages to potential buyers. To garner more interest, strangers started to make bets among themselves as to which horse would place where in the race. In the 19thcentury, bookmakers started professionally operating in England and controlled the process of accepting bets and paying out the prizes, keeping a small profit in the process.
In the second half of the 20thcentury, horse racing and dog races weren’t the only types of events that could be bet on and sports competitions began to become more popular using companies like Timeform. These events became an incredibly profitable business for bookmakers, with football bringing in an enormous audience. As time went on, bookmakers began to accept bets on a range of events, from cultural events and contents to political outcomes.
The Internet changed the landscape of betting, removing the need to visit a bookmaker personally and enabling people to bet on any event that they feel like from their phones or computers. Online versions of bookmaker’s offices began to crop up in the ‘90s and have been incredibly popular ever since. A big change for bettors was the option of live betting where bets could be placed on events that were currently taking place. The creation of bookmaker’s exchanges also changed how spectators could get involved with betting, betting not just with the bookmaker but also with other players, giving everyone the option to act as a bookmaker on the exchange.
The World Wide Web has provided a wealth of opportunities when it comes to betting, not just for bookmakers but also players too. We can watch the progress of sports matches using online broadcasts, study the statistics from different online sources and learn the analytics that are beneficial to making the perfect strategic bet. The vast number of sites means that online betting is a competitive industry and there are so many options available that customers can be choosy about where they decide to place their bets and the type of bets they want to place.
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