Betting, wagering, gambling, the practice reaches back to the very beginnings of history itself. With the arrival of events with uncertain outcomes, keen onlookers began making these events that much more fun by placing money on potential outcomes. Furthermore the events needn’t be laden with hundreds of potential outcomes. Even a coin toss would be enough to peak the interests of keen gamblers.
As with many practices with histories stretching back for millenia, the practice has seen some staggering developments, and has grown both in popularity, but more notably, has grown into one of the most lucrative sectors in the world. What’s more is that it does not discriminate, gambling markets can be found in a large percentage of the world’s countries.
It would be impossible to report which event was the first to be wagered on. Early reports of gambling followed gladiators and animal fights in ancient Rome, and dice related games in ancient Egypt. Little did these keen gamblers realise that these formats would give rise to sports betting and popular forms of modern day casino.
Much of the earlier forms of gambling were closely linked to events as they happened on site. With bookmakers being stowed away in back-room offices, calculating odds of potential outcomes unfolding. You’d buy a ticket, or bet slip, that would hold the odds, the amount you wagered, and the amount you would win. A successful bet would mean you going back to the betting ticket office, and having the teller pay the amount you were promised.
Then came betting shops. Physical, off-site locations, (initially located in close proximity to sporting hubs like racetracks) that you could visit in the build up to a particular fixture, race or event, to place a bet. In a way, these shops worked like many retail outlets do today. The only difference however, is that instead of buying goods, you would be buying odds. In the case of a successful bet, you would return for your winnings, and in the case of an unsuccessful bet, you would most likely still return with some new odds in mind.
This form of off-site betting was popularised in the UK, which today has become one of the leading betting destinations in the world. Some of the older bookmakers, who have historically offered these types of betting shops, are now some of the leading brands in the world, who have extended their reaches into other markets.
The most significant development to the world of betting and gambling has come with the introduction of the internet, which has been closely followed by the technological revolution. Nowadays, online gambling has taken over the scene pretty much everywhere, with rising popularity in online betting in South Africa and India, to more established first world nations like the US and Australia, and is very much here to stay. So much so that the world of betting and gambling on the web has a new name; iGaming.
These days, brick and mortar bookmakers are slowly losing their longstanding lionshare over betting clients. More and more people are required to engage in technology on a daily basis, and as this progresses, people become more comfortable with the online space. These days, betting websites are immensely popular, if not more popular than their betting shop counterparts ever were.
What’s more, is that gambling in the online space allows plenty more opportunities. For one, betting shops are limited in that they can only offer so much. Space restrictions mean that they could possibly offer some casino games, but online, space is by no means an issue, and users can engage in any number of games and opportunities offered by online bookmakers.
What’s more, is that betting in the online space has given rise to the opportunity to offer users bonuses. Welcome bonuses are a perk that many online bookmakers utilize, and use in order to attract users to all they offer on their platforms. This is something that betting shops have yet to implement, as is it a harder thing for on the ground betting and gambling outlets to manage.
Aside from bonuses, and the sheer number of options that the online space has provided users, certain advances in technology have allowed some groundbreaking betting features to arise. Features such as live betting, edit bets, live streaming, and changing odds are further options that have come to define the very practice of betting, and are things that further can only be offered in the online space.
What feels very real is that as time marches on, the online space simply continues to grow and adapt, and provide more, while the brick and mortar establishments remain stuck in their concrete corners. iGaming, or online betting/gambling has truly taken over, and has come to define the practice as we know it today, and with advancements in technology being rolled out every other day, the sky truly is the limit when it comes to what’s going to be offered next.