Sports betting, in particular football betting, is a market that has evolved dramatically over the past few years. Improvements and developments within the technological landscape are transforming the sports betting world and more recent innovations like Bitcoin sportsbooks have become an interesting part of this shift. Today, it is easier than ever for fans of football to place their bets on their favourite teams or create an accumulator that could give them a six figure return, across as many sports as they want to bet on. While the legality of sports betting and betting on football is often disputed depending on the opposing legal jurisdictions of different geographical regions, it is easy to see how and why football betting became such a popular pastime for people from all over the world.
Origins Of Sports Betting
It is believed that sports betting can be dated back more than 2000 years to the ancient Greeks, but it was the Romans who made this even more of a popular pastime as they used to bet on the gladiator battles in the Colosseum. Even when this sport died, sports betting continued to spread its way through a number of kingdoms. One of the reasons as to why this became so popular was because new sporting events were introduced around the world.
Gambling became very popular in England in particular, and the majority of countries in Europe have been welcoming to most forms gambling over the years. In some respects, Europe is considered to be predominantly responsible for the longstanding popularity of sports and football betting.
The Football Pools in the UK actually started almost 95 years ago and it became hugely popular, with thousands of fans filling in weekly coupons. In fact, in 1961 a factory worker in the UK won the equivalent of almost £5 million on these! However, the growth of internet and mobile gambling has helped to make online football betting far more popular, with two of the most significant competitions in football betting history being the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000.
Online Sports Betting
With the improved accessibility of sports betting thanks to the internet, people can now place their football bets or bets on other sports from almost any location – whether that’s at home on their desktop, or on the go on their mobile or tablet. It is through this that sports managed to move away from its association with back alley bookmakers and made positive steps before being accepted into mainstream culture (while this hasn’t been the case for a number of years, there was still a significant stigma attached to gambling). Now, people can place bets from almost anywhere in the world – even while they are watching the live event – and in some cases, they can cash out at any time, so they can win money even if their predictions are beginning to falter (this is most common with football bets). Information which can help people with their predictions is also much more accessible on the internet, with collections of team stats and professional pundit predictions always available for people to get help when placing their bets.
While some countries are still struggling with legal restrictions that prevent them from being able to place sports bets on sites that operate within their country, new technology like the crypto currency Bitcoin and the blockchain, allow players to place bets completely anonymously. This is leading to a far more transparent betting environment whilst also helping to keep sportsbooks as fair as possible, benefiting the players even more so than regular online betting sportsbooks.
Popularity Of Football
One of the biggest influences behind the increase in popularity of sports betting is how popular sports like football are in the world. Football is the world’s most prevalent sport, and while it only evolved in Britain in the second half of the 19th century, it is now the most widespread sport played and watched around the world. These mass events and huge world-involving tournaments, such as the FIFA World Cup, are the catalysts behind football’s ever expanding fan base and the increased popularity of football betting, coupled with the excitement of new opportunities provided by technological advancements.
No More Long Shots
One of the major changes that have occurred in the past year concerning football bets is the introduction of ‘long shot bets’. When Leicester won the Premier League in the 2015-16 season, a lot of bookies lost considerable profits due to some huge odds of up to 5000/1! Now, a number of bookies have already stated that their win will be the end of massive odds, and while it is unlikely that another team will follow their league, outsider odds are nowhere near as close to the huge odds that some people took advantage of when Leicester won.
Sports betting has come a long way over the years, with the rise of technology being a major influencer on this. It’ll be interesting to see how new technologies like virtual reality will change the football betting experience even more in the coming years.