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History Of Betting

Betting is a hugely popular practice, and a booming industry. Thousands of people from around the world place bets on a variety events, from the Academy Awards to horse racing. Betting is a practice that has been carried out for thousands of years, by cultures across almost every continent. It has come a long way since it began, and now, bets can even be placed from your phone.

Origin of Betting

It's been assumed that betting has taken place since civilization began, before historical records were around to document the practice. It is believed that sports betting was first widely practised in the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. In ancient Greece, the Olympics were an important and popular part of society. The Olympics involved a plethora of sports events, including wrestling, boxing, javelin and foot racing. During the Olympics, the crowd were said to have placed bets on the outcome of events. Much of the early history of betting can also be attributed to the Romans. The Romans would place bets on events, ranging from gladiator fights to wrestling.

Early Development

Civilizations around the globe continued to bet long after the Romans and the Greeks. While gambling was a well-loved activity for most, some people tried to prohibit it. In the middle ages, particularly in England, the betting industry encountered many problems with prohibition, something that still affects gambling to this day. In the 18th and 19th century, an activity called pedestrianism became increasingly popular throughout Europe. Pedestrianism was an activity, which involved a person having to walk, hop or run a particular distance. This activity was highly popular with punters, who would place a bet on how long they thought it would take the person to run, hop or walk a particular distance. The first official bookmakers store was opened in 1780, but it wouldn't be until the 19th century that bookmakers would multiply.

Evolution of Betting

By the 19th Century, betting began to focus primarily on team sport events, as well as individual sports. During this time, several of Europe's largest sports were founded. In 1863, the Football Association was founded and in 1871, the Rugby Union was founded. In 1877, test cricket emerged as a sport, followed by the Rugby League in 1895. Individual sports also flourished during this time period, and the first open golf championship was held in 1860. The evolution of so many team and individual sports changed the betting landscape exponentially. Many bookmaker's that are still popular today were also founded in this era, such as Ladbrokes, which opened in 1896.

Modern Betting: Expansion of Bookmaker's Chains on the High Street

During the 20th Century, betting became much more commercialized, and bookmaker's, such as Ladbrokes and William Hill began appearing all over the British high street. Betting became more regulated by government officials, and betting became a much more mainstream activity. Hundreds of people in the UK used bookmakers to place bets on a huge range of sports, such as football, boxing and horse racing. At one point in time, there were over 15,000 bookmakers in the UK, but as companies merged, there are now around 10,000 left.

Betting in the Internet Era

As technology has evolved, the betting industry has followed suit. In the 1990s, many bookmakers launched online platforms for their company. Now, online betting is a booming niche, which has expanded the betting industry even further. Now, all major bookmakers have an online betting platform. There are now some betting companies that operate solely online. Many people enjoy online betting, as it is a much more convenient option, and there are often more promotions and bonuses online, than there are offline.

Mobile Betting

The Internet is not the only technological advancement that has affected the betting industry. As mobile phones have become more popular and gained a more prevalent place in society, many betting companies decided to offer a mobile betting platform to their customers.

Betting has evolved exponentially since its humble beginnings. It's now more regulated and more accessible than ever. However, betting is still prohibited in some places, such as certain states in the USA. In countries, such as the UK, however, betting is a thriving industry, which many people profit from.