The History of Sports Betting


Sports betting has been around just about as long as sports. It is an amazing way to enhance the thrill of the games because it adds the element of personal involvement. If a team or a player wins, sports fans will cheer them on, but with sports betting, they have something to win on their very own. The principle is simple and it has worked like a charm for years on end and will continue to do so.

From Gladiators to Horse Racing

People think that sports betting is a modern concept, but, in fact, it dates back to over 2,000 years ago. Along with the Greeks and their legendary Olympics came the first record of betting on athletic competitions. This became increasingly popular and it spread to the Romans, who embraced the concept to the point of legalizing it and making it a part of their culture.

In Ancient Rome, gladiator games were remarkably popular and gambling on the outcome of the fights was part of the tradition and the Romans loved it. In fact, the betting outlived the gladiator fights because the tradition lived on long after these fights were outlawed.

Then came the Middle Ages, when sports betting was considered to be conflicting with religious laws. This made it illegal and gave birth to a vast underground betting scene, where it actually grew stronger as a tradition of the people.

But sports betting did not stay hidden for long, as the high society in England developed a great fondness for it. They preferred to bet on horse racing, which made the industry flourish all over England and then spread to other countries and even other continents as well as a pastime activity for the bourgeoisie.

From Casinos to Legal Sports Betting

Sports betting was a tradition shared by people from all economic classes, which made it develop even further in the modern era. As more and more sports were introduced, more diverse people became drawn to this way of getting engaged with the sport that they prefer. It did not take long for it to boom into a billion-dollar business.  Be sure to check out Jogo do bicho in Brasil as well.

Back in the 1950s, sports betting was legalized in the US, but only in Las Vegas. People could go and place their bets freely in Vegas casinos, but this limited the options to designated venues all located in a single US state.

Predictably, this led to the development of an underground betting scene once more because so many people wanted to bet and only a very small part of them were actually willing to travel to Las Vegas to do so.

In 2018, New Jersey made a historic breakthrough when it managed to legalize sports betting within the state. This is extremely important because it grants millions of sports fans the opportunity to bet on their favorite sports in a legal and safe environment.

Online Sports Betting and What’s to Come

Now that sports betting is slowly inching towards legalization, there is a high chance that more American states will continue to regulate it. The main advantages of making this change are fighting the illegal sports scene and providing the people with a safe way to connect to their favorite sports events.

In the past sports betting was conducted in arenas, stadiums, and casinos, but the future brings betting online. Sports fans can now place their bets on highly-secure platforms from their computers, laptops, and smartphones. Online payment processes have been highly optimized to provide their users with the security they need for their transactions.

Sports betting will continue to evolve along with the sports scene because it has been clearly consolidated as an important part of the sports fans’ experience. As long as people will continue to play sports, they will also continue to bet on them.

As you can see, the world has a longstanding tradition of sports betting and for over 2,000 years now, it continues to get more and more popular. Dating back to the original Olympics, sports betting has been passed down from one generation to the other until it has boomed in the modern era. With pioneer moves like the one in New Jersey, this billion-dollar business will be consolidated because sports betting will be made available on safe platforms.

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