Sports betting is a popular pastime all over the world. You don’t have to look that far back in history to see that making bets on sporting events has been a part of human society since time immemorial.
While how bookmakers, or “bookies” operate may have changed over the years, the essence of the activity is still the same. If there are two opposing teams, in any sport, who is contesting for the title of “winner,” there is no doubt that there will be several wagers made on the outcome. It must be said that there is some controversy around the practices involved and issues of legality in individual states and countries. Still, no one can deny the popularity of sports betting worldwide.
It’s helpful to take a brief look at some of the most popular sports around the world to get a better idea of the world of sports betting, where the level of interest in the game makes betting on the outcome more likely. In addition to that, in this article, we will take an in-depth look into the history of this pastime, how it developed, what the industry is like currently, and how you can get involved if you’re interested.
The world of sports betting
Several sports are being played every day around the world, and there’s no doubt that for smaller teams, free betting may occur when it comes to betting on the outcome of the fixture.
However, for this article, we will focus on the most-watched sports in the world today. In the US, this includes the four major sporting leagues: American football, baseball, basketball, and ice hockey. Many online sports betting sites focus on these and some others, such as Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), golf, and tennis fixtures, which have also gained popularity around the world.
In Europe, soccer, or football as it is referred to there, is also a trendy sport, and the English Premier League, in particular, has fans all around the world. However, betting in this part of the world is highly regulated, with strict laws as to who can and cannot bet. In Europe, Australasia, and Africa, cricket is also a popular sport. Still, betting has also come under scrutiny with many high profile scandals involving captains and illegal betting in the past.
How it came about
If we look back to Greek and Roman times, events like the Olympics and placing bets on the outcome of a gladiator match in the Colosseum seem likely to be the earliest forms of sports betting.
Therefore, it seems safe to say that from there, it has continued to grow and evolve. However, during medieval times, it is said that because religious leaders tried to ban gambling, it became more and more of an underground and illegal pastime. That is something that has continued to this day, with much debate around legalizing sports betting.
To sum it up, if there was a sport to be played or any competition, there has always been someone at hand who could facilitate taking a chance on the outcome, and making some money out of it.
How it developed
After medieval times, gambling would no doubt have begun to spread to different parts of the world as humans moved across the seas, most notably when horses were brought to different parts of the world through colonization.
Horse racing, in particular, has been known as a top-rated opportunity for gambling. Dog racing and any sport have provided an opportunity to place a wager and make some money. However, violent games like cockfighting have been banned in many countries.
Casinos have been a big part of promoting gambling in all its forms for many years, and until recently, the only way you could place a bet was to speak to a bookie’s face to face and make payment upfront.
Where it’s at
Sports betting today is a multi-million dollar industry, that allows anyone, anywhere in the world to place a bet, on a variety of different games. While we have focused on live sporting fixtures, there is hardly a limit on the kinds of sports that you can bet on today, including Daily Fantasy Leagues (DFL) and Esports.
The digital nature of betting has also made determining the outcome of a game more complicated due to the use of online data. With so much data available, and with the use of machine learning, more elements can, therefore, be added to the mix to help predict the outcome. That also makes the practice more competitive.
This competitiveness means that there are several online sites that you can use to place bets on a sporting fixture. However, some of these are more secure than others, and cybersecurity is something to consider when betting online.
How to get involved
If you’re interested in getting involved in sports betting, there are some ways to get started. The easiest way would be to register on legitimate sports betting page like Borgata, one that allows you to bet on games that you enjoy.
What’s more, you can now even download an app and place bets in real-time, so you can adjust the amount of money that you spend as the game is played or the fixture is taking place. However, you decide to begin. There is a wealth of information online that can help you to learn more about the industry. After that, it will just take consistent learning and trial and error to navigate your way around this exciting and international pursuit.