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The fascinating history of sports and esports betting

Every multibillion-dollar industry started as an idea. Whether it was Facebook, Microsoft or Amazon, it all began with one idea from one person or a group of individuals. 

Considering the huge market that has emerged to take over the pop culture landscape as sports betting has, it is important to note down the history of the gambling market and what drives it today.

Betting is a natural behavior ingrained into the human psyche, and many of us seek more excitement with our sports. Dating back to Ancient Rome, gambling on dice has been written about in the scriptures.

Back then, there wasn’t the gigantic global industry we see today. Now, gambling operators compete for customers online and use plenty of welcome offers, including proven methods such as promo codes.

Thousands of years ago, it was an illicit marketplace in the backstreets of ancient civilizations. Nowadays, it is a much larger market with tight, clear legislation.

Recent history of betting

As society progressed and more sports were created, the human need to gamble on sports remained. The markets themselves remained underground as common law and more complex intricacies of the law needed to be properly legislated. 

For example, in the mid-16th century in England, a public lottery was launched. Queen Elizabeth launched the lottery in a bid to repair the harbors. This lottery existed in some form for over 200 years before it was finally outlawed completely in 1826.

A blanket ban on gambling was common internationally, and gambling is still widely frowned upon in many cultures. 

The modern-day version of gambling began to take off in the 1930s, when Nevada legalized gambling alongside the construction of the Hoover Dam, bringing thousands of workers to the city and changing the landscape of gambling forever.

The emergence of Las Vegas

Even though Las Vegas is considered the mecca of casino gaming, there are also many sports to bet on in the Nevada desert. When casinos first began to spring up in the 1930s, it was primarily wealthy vacationers who could afford to travel to Las Vegas.

It was the only American state where gambling was permitted, and the amount of money these businesses could generate soon started to attract big business.

This growth accelerated rapidly, and throughout the mid to late 20th century, Las Vegas became synonymous with and globally famous for the range of gambling entertainment on offer. 

When gamblers think of Las Vegas, they think of the huge luxury casinos with an array of gambling games, such as roulette and blackjack. 

In addition to the top-quality casinos, Las Vegas hosts some top-level sporting events. For example, many huge world title boxing fights and UFC fights have taken place in casinos located up and down the Vegas strip.

What some may not realize is that there are huge sports betting markets that are available in the vast majority of these casinos. You can bet on dozens of sports, such as boxing, UFC, NFL, greyhound racing, chariot racing, horse racing and tennis. 

There are plenty of other sports you can bet on too, and these markets began to explode once these Vegas casinos started to facilitate mass accessibility to the markets.

Las Vegas now faces much stiffer competition as other specialized gambling regions have been developed in many parts of the world. Monaco has emerged as a European competitor, and Macau has overtaken them both to become Earth’s most profitable gambling location.

Gambling in other countries

Sports betting in other countries varies wildly. Many countries throughout Asia and the Middle East have completely outlawed gambling. It is a topic of serious debate throughout the world. However, in some European countries, the laws and legislation regarding gambling are looser.

In the United Kingdom, there are some of the loosest regulations worldwide. Sports betting started to take off following the introduction of legislation in 1960. This legislation allowed bookmakers to build physical shops that would provide sports betting.

The popularity of gambling exploded, and thousands of bookmakers were built within a few years. Gamblers could now place bets on various sports, from boxing to soccer to horse racing.

As we touched on at the end of the last section, other countries have strict gambling laws. Still, they have permitted certain areas to build casinos and resorts. Monaco is sometimes seen as a part of France. However, it is a sovereign nation and the second smallest nation in the world.

Macau in China operates as a specific area that is a part of the country but has unique laws that allow gambling. There is a commonly known rule in China that states: “one country, two systems”.

The emergence of online gambling

The development of Las Vegas highlighted the major potential of gambling, both as a huge source of revenue for providers and a large tax base for regional and central governments. However, online gambling added a brand-new dimension to gambling.

Even though the internet became a global phenomenon in the late 1990s, its true power wasn’t realized until around a decade or so later when companies used it to expand exponentially. The internet was huge global news, and the world has changed immeasurably as a result.

One of the sectors that have benefitted the most from the heightened connectivity is the gambling sector. It has also led to individual American states slowly warming to the idea that gambling may provide huge tax revenue that can be used to develop vital infrastructure.

How online sports betting changed the industry forever

While sports gambling has existed for a long time, over the last 25 years, the internet has facilitated huge levels of accessibility. Previously, you’d have to go to a casino to place a sports bet or a physical bookmaker. 

Now, the internet has allowed people to gamble on hundreds of new markets from the comfort of their own homes. 

In addition to providing these tools, it has also opened up new markets that did not previously exist. For example, in-play betting allows gamblers to bet on the outcome of a specific incident during the game. 

This market would have been a pipedream for gambling providers before the internet, and now it is a huge market. Online sports betting also allows the creation of parlay bets that combine bets for several games taking place simultaneously or within a close period.

You can also take advantage of tools such as cashing out. Some providers operate this service which allows you to cash out for a partial amount of your winnings if you don’t want to wait until all the games have finished. 

In addition, it is now far easier to contact organizations that can help you if you think you have a problem with gambling. You can find these companies on the internet with just a quick search. 

If you are gambling when angry or upset, you should take the time to speak to someone. If you also lose more money than you can afford or spend more time gambling than you would like, you need to take stock and stop gambling immediately. 

When the fun stops, you should stop. Seek help from a professional counsellor who can point you toward an organization or specialist who can help you with your problem gambling.

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