You can probably trace the history of sports betting back thousands of years. There’s always been sport and contests and therefore there have always been spectators or people involved who felt one competitor or one team would end up victorious over another.
It was and still is a way for somebody to immerse themselves into the competition, a way to feel involved in proceedings. Over the years, things have changed in the sports betting world but the idea has remained the same for a very, very long time.
There was no order back in ancient times when sports betting or betting of any sort began to take place. Spectators basically bet between themselves on outcomes happening and whoever was right got the money or possessions that had been put down as agreed. This is where sports betting was born really but there was no strict system or order back in those days.
A middle man was needed, someone who could take bets from everyone and be able to pay out the winners. When these people came along and started taking bets from people with differing opinions on the outcomes of events, the bookmaker was born. These were people who were extremely well trusted, yet a professional sort who could deal with differing opinions and a lot of money.
The onus was really on the bookmakers to make sure things ran smoothly for the punters who wished to place a bet. While taking numerous bets he also had to keep in mind his own financial position, knowing where the money was being placed etc. It was all about assessing potential risk and at times using it to his advantage.
A device invented by Ekberg, known as a totalizer, was the first step in the right direction for bookmakers. It allowed bookmakers to work out the winning odds for an outcome. The totalizer was first used in 1880 in New Zealand and 1913 also saw the electric tote used for the first time, in the same place.
The betting process changed a few times over the years. Punters wanted more options when it came to betting, more freedom and more ways to win money. The system that stuck was the one where all bets were accepted before the event happened, with them being recorded and the returns worked out.
Moving forward to the 20th century and there was certainly more structure and order to betting. People could go out and place bets on a whole host of sporting events, football, horse racing, even greyhound races became popular for punters. Whereas the ideas stayed the same, you could bet in person with a bookmaker or electronically, there was a change in the popularity and what was on offer.
Then came along the Internet and that really changed everything. It changed most businesses but the online betting world has gone from strength to strength since its inception in the 1990s and it will only continue to grow going forwards.