Since the dawn of time, people have enjoyed gambling and the practice of gambling goes back thousands of years. Naturally, the activity has massively evolved over time and these days you can gamble on almost anything! Some people enjoy playing casino games such as blackjack or slots whereas others enjoy online sports betting. The history of online sports betting is a fascinating subject so we thought we would look at how this activity has evolved over time. The rise of online sports betting has a lot to do with online gambling in general and we will look at this too.
The Beginning of Online Sports Betting
The thought of life without the internet is almost impossible to imagine these days but there was a time when online sports betting wasn’t possible and if you wanted to gamble on sports, you had to take the trip down to your local betting shop (the bookies). The high street bookmaker rules the sports gambling industry at this moment in time and even though these shops are still a popular option, they are not nearly as popular as modern online sports betting sites.
You could argue that the moment that online sports betting began was the moment that the world wide web began to take its place in modern culture. Indeed, many of us cannot imagine life without the internet but the world wide web really began to take prominence in the early 90s and it hasn’t looked back since. The internet has had a significant effect on many industries and this includes the gambling industry so when exactly did online sports betting begin to appear on the web? There are a few key moments that stand out to us more than others.
The Emergence of Online Sports Betting
The first online casino was actually released in 1994 and this was facilitated by the Free Trade and Processing Act which was passed in Antigua and Barbuda. This basically allowed gambling companies to apply for licences to open up online casino platforms and you could argue that this was the beginning of online sports betting. Indeed, the first gambling software was developed by Microgaming and this company still provides online gambling solutions to this day. Things progressed steadily and it is just after this point that we bag to see the emergence of online sports betting sites aka the online bookie!
There were only 15 websites in 1996 but by the end of 1997 this had grown exponentially to 200 and this is when you began to see many different types of online sports betting sits. Of course, these were limited in what they offered the customer and you still very much had to take the trip to the local betting shop if you wanted to place a few more detailed bets. However, you could argue that the late 90s was when online sports betting began to take off and it would then go on to become a multi billion pound industry.
Online Sports Betting Gathers Pace
There are now thousands of online bookies available to choose from but every single one of these has its own history. Of course, many online sports betting sites have failed over the years and these will simply be a part of the history of online sports betting. The first main bookmaker to go online in the UK was William Hill and then all of the other major brands that all know and love quickly followed suit. Soon enough, the internet was a staple part of most of our lives in the mid two thousands and soon these online sports betting sites became more advanced than ever before.
Online Sports Betting Innovations
From 2005 onwards, online sports betting was rapidly overtaking the traditional sports betting market and growth was extremely rampant during this period in time. Soon enough, mobile began to take off and the mobile internet smartphone became a household object for most people. This meant that online sports betting sites now had to be able to appeal to the mobile market as well so a lot of sites began to offer mobile betting and you then began to see mobile apps for sports betting around 2008-2009.
Now punters could bet from their mobile phones easier than ever before and the mobile betting app is easier to access than ever before too. Things have sort of stabilised and remained the same since then but online bookmakers are always looking for the next big thing. eSports are now becoming more and more popular and more online sports betting sites are now beginning to offer the ability to bet on eSports. This could be the next big thing in the world of online sports betting world so what exactly are eSports and how can you bet on them?
Online Sports Betting with eSports
You can now gamble on various video games across the globe. That’s right, online gaming is bigger than ever and it has grown to such an extent that there is now a market for betting on various games and teams across the world. Some games such as League of Legends and Dota 2 are now so popular that they are played competitively by well-known teams and online sports betting sites are now offering online gaming enthusiasts the chance to bet on the outcome of these competitive games.
To us, this is the next stage in online sports betting and there are even plenty of other games that are now beginning to emerge as viable ways to gamble online. This is certainly the latest innovation in the online sports betting market so it really is a case of now guessing what the next big thing will be. Virtual reality seems to be gaining momentum so the online sports betting could potentially go down this route in the future. Overall, you can see from our history guide just how far online sports betting has come and we cannot see it slowing down anytime soon.