When it comes to sports betting, there’s the thrill, excitement and rush of adrenalin which makes the whole experience worthwhile, enjoyable and highly entertaining. It is primarily because of this enjoyment and entertainment derived from sports betting, that an increased number of new betting sites are setting up shop, with the aims to quench the betting thirst of many punters out there. While we have an idea of the hype it brings, let’s look at where it all started.
Sports betting has been in existence for quite some now. The earliest form of sports betting in the contemporary world was characterised by non-human sports such as horse racing. Horse racing was a prevalent sport in the betting circles in the early and late nineties and though it is still present, its influence and popularity is dwindling.
As non-human sports started to lose popularity in the early 2000s, human sports started to gain popularity world over. This popularity was brought about by the emergence of the internet and we cannot talk about the rise of sports betting without taking into consideration the influence of technology. Sports betting as we have come to know today, has been largely shaped by the world wide web.
As people became more connected and as information began to be disseminated at a much quicker rate, it meant that the masses were able to learn valuable information from remote locations. making reference to sports betting, this resulted in data, such as game statistics, could be retrieved by someone anyone in the world.
Bookmakers like Bwin, Bovada and William Hill, among others, were the first houses to emerge and capitalise on the rising demand and popularity of sports betting. At first, they predominantly covered popular sports like football, American soccer, rugby, and basketball. However, as demand increased and as more punters registered on their platforms, bookies looked at offering bets for other sports including Formula1, golf, tennis, track cycling, baseball, and boxing, among many other markets.
With the advent of smartphones and sophisticated mobile devices, online bookmakers had to shift their attention to providing betting apps and mobile platforms for players who preferred to play on the move. This was necessitated by the desire to keep players satisfied in the most convenient way, as placing a bet on the go could happen not only remotely at a stationed point, but at any given location.
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To cater for the ever growing appetite for more betting options, bookmakers provided access to even more betting markets. This further shaped the overall sports betting market, as it catered for micro niche tastes and preferences. In the past, betting on a team to lose or win made many shun betting for the fear of losing their money, but when more betting markets were availed, players were able to choose those markets which they felt confident about. Such markets include betting on double chances (team to win or draw). Another interesting area of focus exists within the novelty betting market. Bookies ensured to tap into this market to allow punters to bet on non-sports related events such as TV shows, entertainment, politics and so much more.
Furthermore, the rise of sports betting can be evidenced by the sheer number of sports books currently operating in the world right now. There are over a thousand online bookmakers and more are emerging every month. In countries such as Zimbabwe, where the betting culture was largely shunned, is the existence of a few registered sports betting houses. This is testament to how well the market is flourishing on a global scale with new sports betting platforms mushrooming at an alarming rate and in regions where it was once thought impossible to cater to.
The rise of sports betting is widely expected to keep on growing as long as more advanced technological innovations and players demands emerge.