Sports betting is thought to be a very old practice: the first evidence of its existence is over 2 000 years old. The first nation to be believed to indulge in this pastime were the Greeks, famous for their love of sporting activities, who used to place bets on a variety of athletic events.
The Romans then went on to usurp this Grecian habit, taking it further by rendering it a more commercial activity. They even assigned it a legal status, and bet on events like the Gladiator games. Even when this event ceased to be practiced, the gambling aspect of it survived, and went on to thrive in the various kingdoms the Romans established.
The Medieval Wagering Practices
In medieval times, some leaders frowned upon the practice of betting, and attempts were made to make laws forbidding it. This, however, only resulted in sports betting going underground, where it persisted, and underwent major evolutionary steps as new athletic activities were introduced.
Sporting Betting in England and Surrounds
Eventually gambling took off in England, with people there particularly fond of betting on horse racing events. The English took this love of gambling with them when they populated the rest of the planet, particularly the United States of America, and it was incredibly common with the inhabitants of the New World. Legal issues once again plagued the practice, however, a problematic situation that continues for American sports bettors today.
The Current Status of Sports Betting
An augmentation in the amount of sports betting events that people are able to wager on has increased the practice and popularity of sports betting. Some of the sports that you are able to place bets on today were simply not extant in times gone by, and of course the world of online betting has increased overall access to this pastime. These days, you will generally be able to place wagers on thousands of different events happening worldwide at any point in time, including rugby bets, soccer wagers, and stakes on cricket, tennis, swimming and every other sport or race you can imagine.
In today’s world, sports betting is not just an enjoyable pastime. It is also a huge industry, with both bookmakers and their customers able to reap really incredible cash rewards from their sports betting activities.
The Future of Sports Betting
In the United States of America, Congress is in the initial stages of reviewing various federal gambling laws, and there are plans afoot to bring in wide-ranging legislation that will take not only sports betting into account, but address fantasy sports betting and other types of online gambling as well.
Some of the biggest tech companies in the world are expected to emerge as bookmakers, too, and these will then go on to contend with the more established sportsbook operators in both the USA and the rest of the world, state-funded lotteries, Native American gambling interests, and fantasy sports sites for their share of this lucrative market.
It is also predicted that sports betting exchanges that resemble stock markets will be formed in order to cater to more urbane bettors, with the introduction of these also offering sports leagues with an opportunity to profit more directly off of legalised betting on sports.
Whichever way you look at it, the future of sports betting looks incredibly bright, and thanks to online and mobile betting sites this age-old tradition keeps growing.