Sports betting is one of the most popular hobbies nowadays. People love the fun and excitement around betting and pairing that up with sports is a match made in heaven. Especially now that we all have our phones and internet access wherever we go, online betting seems to be people’s preferred choice. But how did we get here? Sports betting, just like everything else, had to have originated somewhere. We’ll try to answer all of those questions today. 

Ancient Rome

Now, this definitely isn’t the sports betting we have today, but it was how it all began. Spectators in Ancient Rome were able to place bets on chariot races and gladiator fights. For some reason, Rome was the only place where people were allowed to place bets, probably as a way to control this activity. Moreover, people weren’t allowed to bet on just any sport – it was believed that betting would in a way diminish the purity of the sport and that people would become interested in sports just for the money.

Horse races

Fast forward to the 18th century and sports betting starts to become more and more popular.

Horse races are the most popular sport to bet on; however, a lot of it was done illegally. Governments were strongly against betting, as they were with many things. It took them a while to realize that embracing sports betting and having it done legally but with certain boundaries was way better for the people as well as for the countries. That is why in the 19th century many countries began legalizing sports betting but establishing laws around the activity as well. 

The internet 

In the past, people who wanted to place bets had to go to the bookies in person or find people responsible for bets at sporting events. When the internet came into play, all of that changed forever.

Like we mentioned before, online betting is now a preferred option for most people – it saves a lot of time, you can do it from anywhere and anytime, and you even have some other benefits that we already mentioned such as bonus codes. Not to mention that ability to not leave your house and do something is a huge plus for many people. Online betting is still developing and changing, but one thing is clear – it is here to stay. Does that mean that in-person betting will become obsolete? Well, probably yes. But not anytime soon. 

The law

Like we said before, it was a while before governments came on board with sports betting. But after realizing that, first, you cannot stop people from betting even when it is not legal, and second, that the whole country would benefit from it, many governments became more lenient towards it. Now, some countries have sports betting fully legalized. Others, such as the US, are still a bit divided on that question. Some states in the US allow betting, and some don’t; however, we can see many states slowly going pro betting, which is always great to see. 

By Sam