It’s hard to imagine a time when online sports betting didn’t exist. These days, people are making bets all around the world on their favorite sports teams — many of them from their laptops, mobile devices and tablets. Having a personal stake in a game makes the process of watching your favorite sport even more exciting.
But where did online sports betting begin and what’s made it grow in popularity? Here’s the story of how it all started.
Going way back when
Sports betting has an incredibly long history. Some of the first records of sports betting dates more than 2,000 years ago in Ancient Greece. It was the introduction of the Olympics where the earliest records of betting on sports was made, later moving on to Roman gladiator games.
Thousands of years later, and sports-related gambling became popular in England and the USA — particularly when it came to horse race betting. From there, it continued to grow around the world, and while it has faced some legal battles it has remained one of the most popular forms of gambling.
The internet boom
The advent of the internet in the 1990’s changed the way people work, live and play. It’s also had a tremendous impact on the growth of sports betting. The oldest online sportsbook, Intertops, reportedly accepted its first online wager as early as 1996. They were also the first sportsbook to offer mobile betting — which would eventually change the face of the gambling industry overall.
Allowing people to bet anywhere, at any time, has had an incredible effect on sports betting’s popularity. No longer do you need to visit a bookmaker or attend a sporting event to place bets; you can now do it from the comfort of your own couch, or while on the move.
The proliferation of smartphone ownership has fueled the growth of sports betting. There are now more than 2.71 billion smartphone users in the world today, meaning that 35.13% of people own smartphones worldwide. Consumer demand has led to the rise in betting sites like 888 sport. With so many great brands, the market has become incredibly saturated, meaning sports betting websites are all competing to offer the best user experiences and also allowed them to expand their audiences.
Tech-savvy younger generations are becoming more and more interested in gambling, especially when it comes to their favorite sports. And with the world becoming even more connected, the sports people are accessing through the internet - and becoming passionate about - is more diverse than ever.
Into the future
It’s likely that sports betting will continue to grow in popularity over the next several decades. Games like football (otherwise known as soccer), American football, horse racing and hockey are all popular sports for people around the world to bet on. Sports betting websites will continue to get better quality and more exciting as its audience grows.
The evolution of technology will also have a massive impact on this genre of gambling — new apps and websites are constantly being developed to reflect the latest smartphones on offer. And while we can’t entirely predict what the world of sports betting will look like in a decade’s time, one thing for sure — this form of gambling is here to stay.Back to the Top News Newsfeed