The Evolution of Football Betting
In recent times, football has overtaken horse racing to become the most popular sport as far as gambling is concerned. But how has a sport with such humble beginnings with regards to betting come to be number one on the list?
As football began to grow through the 19th century, there were opportunities for betting on the games but many of the outlets were unlicensed and difficult to track down. Over time however, high street bookmakers became commonplace across the UK and it became much easier to place a bet ahead of a game.
Into the Grounds
At the football ground itself, there were bookmakers present at the games but the real boom in football betting came in the 1980’s.
With grounds setting aside areas for hospitality suites, major bookmakers saw an opportunity to hire these units while at the same time increasing their presence in all parts of the stadium itself. Suddenly, it seemed that soccer bookmakers were everywhere and they became far more accessible to the football fans in the stadium itself.
However, the major factor in football taking over from horse racing in terms of popularity has been the arrival and massive growth of the internet. At the time, many would be gamblers were still a little uneasy at the prospect of having to use a betting shop and despite these outlets best efforts, there was still a reluctance to use them.
All of a sudden, the internet meant that you could place a bet without even having to leave your home and as the network grew, an extensive selection of bookmakers became available. Over the years, new outlets have arrived and that has only added to the popularity of football as a betting sport.
The type of bets available had grown as well and whereas in the past, you could only speculate on a limited number of outcomes, suddenly you could bet on virtually any aspect of a football match. From the result itself, to the correct score and first goal scorer, you could now bet on the number of corners in a match and the number of red and yellow cards.
Bookmakers became more creative and began to develop a wide range of incentives to get you betting. Firstly, there was the free bet offer that enticed you to become a customer in the first place and then they introduced quirky bets where, for example, they would refund your money if a certain player scored.
The biggest development in recent years concerns betting in play where you can actually stake your money after a game has kicked off. Betting in play is great fun and it really tests your skill as an analyst to decide just how a game is developing. With this innovation, you can bet on the result, the time of the next goal, the next goal scorer and a whole host of other wagers at the same time.
The history of betting has evolved dramatically but in the last fifteen years it has exploded and from this point, it can only continue to grow. The question is, what new innovations will be introduced over the course of the next decade.