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The History of Sports Betting: From Ancient Rome to Modern Times

One of the earliest forms of gambling has been around sports activities. Betting on sports started as early as ancient Rome. This ancient civilisation saw bets placed on chariot races or the circus. Of course, the legality of sports betting was also prevalent. That is, even in ancient Rome there were questions as to whether people should place bets on sport. However, that did not deter people. As a result, it is a trend that continued from those days to modern times.

We discover the journey of sports betting to the form it is prevalent today. That is, many people resort to betting on sports online. That involves Skill on Net online casino bonuses, different payment modes and more.

Sports Betting in Ancient Times

Olympic Games began in the year 1896. However, the ancient Olympics in Greece used to happen even before that, around 800 or 700 BC. Archaeological evidence shows that wagering used to occur during these ancient events. Hence, these events were the earliest evidence of sports betting. After that, the idea of betting on sports spread to other countries as well. Many historians state that Romans did legalise this gambling activity at some point. There is evidence of the same such as for gladiator events. Such battles are outlawed today. However, these events attracted many spectators and gamblers in ancient times. 

Even in anent times, governments realised the need to legalise such betting activities. Such habits among people varied as per the political parties and their nature of governance. However, it was felt that it led to organised crime, especially when they were not governed. Also, it was a good way to improve tax revenues. Hence, nations could raise more taxes by collecting revenues from such activities. 

Slow Progress during the Dark Ages

This period in history was a time when intellectual, cultural and economic progress was slow. It was at the time when the Roman Empire fell. It was also called the Dark Ages since there were hardly any records of government or social activities. It was also a period when there were widespread wars. However, at such times gambling was frowned upon. It was also because religions such as Christianity gained strength. Gambling was an activity that Christianity forbade. However, gambling continued in certain circles. It was especially so among the rich people. Indeed, it was a common pastime among the wealthy people. King Richard, I even banned gambling among people in lower ranks than knights.

Sports Betting in the UK

In modern times the UK saw the earliest trends in sports betting. Legal and regulated bookmaker activities were in vogue in the UK from the 19th century. Even before that, it was around, though not made legal. Organised sports came into being around the 18th century. Some popular examples were horse races, foot races and wrestling. These sports became popular for betting as well. In England team sports became popular in the 1800s. Among these horse racing was more popular. As the UK economy advanced there was more money in horse race bets. The betting industry grew because of this. Also, several betting houses and companies were formed. Indeed, around the 1950s there were already 150 betting hoses in the UK. Soon the Betting and Gaming Act of 1960 came into effect. It also made off-course betting legal. 

Sports Betting in the US and Other Countries

Countries such as the US, New Zealand and Canada established laws for sports betting around the 19th century. At such times horse races were more common for betting. Soon however online casinos came into being. It was around the nineties. Along with casino games, sports betting came online as well. Hence, gamblers had more options besides traditional bookmaking services. Horse racing, as in the UK, had a large following in the US as well. However, the Black Sox scandal led to a crackdown on betting activities. One of the earliest US states to legalise sports betting was Nevada. This state legalised such activities around 1949. However, PASPA or Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act 1992, banned many states from legalising sports betting.

Online Sports Betting in Modern Times

Nowadays most people can bet on different types of sports and through online domains. Of course, there are varying laws on sports betting in different countries. However, many sports betting sites have an international presence. These sites allow customers from different countries to register and bet on different sports events. That gives a lot of choice to the gamblers. They can bet on any international or local sports event across countries. What’s more, sports betting sites have attractive bonuses and offers. These include welcome offers, free bet money, accumulator boosts and others. Also, gamblers have a choice of eSports, fantasy or virtual sports as well. All this has helped widen the area for sports betting in regulated, licensed markets.

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