What is Online Sports Betting

This is part 1 of the Betwiser Sports Betting Beginners Guide. On this page, you’ll learn what online sports betting is all about and some history on how sports betting came about.

I have no doubt that you know what online sports betting is all about. But for the sake of giving a clear and concise definition, I’d like to offer you the following…

In the simplest way I know how to explain it, online sports betting is the wagering of money on an unknown sporting event outcome with the main intention of winning money from your initial stake via the Internet.

In most cases the outcome of the event is known within a short while, which results in either a payout for getting the outcome right, or losing your money for getting it wrong.

Sports betting a very long time ago

The above definition of the online side of sports betting is not a new concept at all. It’s actually old… Very very old! There’s evidence that this type of betting where taking place back 1,000 BC. Of course minus the Internet.

Back then the Chinese had a punt on animals and insects racing against each other (we’re talking about horses, dogs, grasshoppers and who knows what else).

It was common for most major cities in China to have specific areas where people could place bets. A modern day equivalent of the TAB

The next civilization that took on sports betting was the Greeks. They were in fact the first to place bets on humans, instead of animals. But there’s no doubting that they didn’t also bet on animals as well.

With the introduction of the Olympic games, people started to bet on mostly track and field events like discus, javelin and running. This goes back to 400 BC.

Probably the most popular civilisation that people associated with sports betting was the Romans back in 300 BC. This was the time of the gladiators, and the unfortunate thing of fighting to the death.

The type of bets people placed was on who they thought would survive the battle. Think of the movie Gladiator with Russel Crowe. No doubt the bookies back then would have cashed in on him.

The modern era of sports betting

For the last few centuries people have adopted the Greek style of betting by wagering their hard earned money behind sporting events that doesn’t involve fighting to the death!

These events range from Soccer to Football, to Swimming and Horse Racing – and really any other sporting event out there that guarantees an outcome.

These bets are placed with a modern day bookmaker who set the odds of the event. Also with the introduction of betting exchanges, people can nowadays set the odds. But we’ll not get into that right now.

With the introduction of the Internet in the 1990’s, this form of sports betting simply moved online. So instead of visiting your local bookmaker to place your bets, you’ll place your bets over the Internet using their dedicated website.

The evolution of sports betting

You’ve read the text, but not everyone is good with text. So here is an image of what the hell I was just speaking writing about. Hopefully this here should give you a clear timeline of the evolution of sports betting.

In Australia sports such as the AFL, the NRL and Soccer have all become popular sporting events to bet on. The biggest event is the Melbourne Cup, where tens of millions of dollars is wagered on the single race.

Most countries have their own favourite sports to bet on. Obviously I can’t list them all here because it’ll just to far too long – but I honestly don’t think that’s important anyway. What’s important is that you know what the popular sports are to bet on in YOUR country.

The gambling industry as a whole has grown enormously over the last few years. In 2009 total market estimates come to $335 billion.

This is only an estimate because unfortunately this takes into account gambling over the Internet from countries that have outlawed the activity – hence no true figures can be provided.

Also, this is the gambling industry as a whole. Betting on sports is part of this, but it’s not the only part. You also have online casinos and poker sites.

  • Part 2 – What is the Legality and Requirements of Online Sports Betting

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