It is estimated that the modern industry of games of chance brings in an annual profit of around £ 14 billion for bookmakers in the UK alone. This figure continues to grow by about € 1.2 billion every year. In the United States, for example, the figure for the revenue in online betting was $ 45,837.26 million in 2019. Globally, betting earnings are estimated at as much as € 740 billion, which is a sufficient indicator of how influential this industry is worldwide.
Simply put, betting occupies a high place on the list of ‘recreational’ activities practiced by citizens across the globe. In addition to games of chance, the most popular type of betting is sports betting. Sport, as an important factor in the lives of almost all people, through sports betting brings the opportunity for good earnings.
But let’s go back to the very beginning and find out what bookmakers are, how it all started, and how the betting industry has reached the level it has today.
What Are Bookmakers and How Do They Work
We are sure that you know but, if we are going in order, then let’s demystify the very notion and meaning of bookmakers. A bookmaker is a company that offers pre-determined odds for certain sporting events, and then accepts bets and pays out people who have bet on the basis of odds. Of course, in case they win.
The odds are determined based on the expected outcome of the event. If we take horse racing as an example, the horse that has good results and the highest chance of winning will have the lowest odds. If the horse does not have a great chance of winning the race, the odds will be much higher, and that is mostly what makes people bet – because the higher the odds, the higher the winnings.
Land-based bookmakers can be found on almost every corner but Internet bookmakers are becoming more popular and widespread. The information below will guide you through the history of betting, which began in the 18th century.
How It All Started
The first official bookmaker was established at the end of the 18th century, more precisely in 1795, in Great Britain. It was opened by Harry Ogden, located right next to the race track, and people had the opportunity to bet on horse races.
Even then, it was obvious how lucrative it was, and given the rapid spread of betting across the country, which began to cover various areas, the first Law on Games of Chance was introduced in 1845, limiting all types of betting to racetracks.
However, before Ogden, there is evidence of the existence of gambling in the distant past of human civilization. The earliest records of betting were found in ancient China, where a game of chance was played using tiles.
By the way, initially, the lower classes, according to their wealth, placed bets on dice games or card games, while the upper classes bet on horse races and later spread their bets to other sports but also to cultural or political events.
Opening of Bookmakers as a Separate Facility
The main development in the history of bookmakers that made a real step towards the way of betting that we know today was the opening of separate facilities, i.e. brick and mortar bookmakers in the 60s of the last century. Now that betting was no longer limited to racetracks, the industry itself has changed dramatically.
A much larger market has opened up, especially in those bookmakers that have introduced widely popular sports, such as football, rugby, basketball, or cricket. Many companies have started to open their bookmakers, and the trend of expanding this area has continued to this day when there are a large number of bookmakers in almost every city in the world.
Online Betting as a 21st Century Trend
The advent and development of the Internet have had a huge impact on the work of bookmakers today. The availability of online betting began to develop during the 21st century, and in the last decade, online betting has experienced a real revolution and written new pages in the history of wagering.
Although there are a large number of choices, bookmakers who developed apps for Android and iOS operating systems – whose list can be found by the link – raise betting to a whole new level.
Online betting has a huge impact on today’s betting market given that it has recently accounted for a significantly higher percentage of total business than traditional betting within the facilities of bookmakers themselves.
The advantage of this way of betting is that all those interested can now quickly and easily check and compare the latest odds for sporting events and place a bet in just a few seconds via desktop computer/laptop or smartphone, even when on the go.