Want To Bet?


When you really think about it, adages about betting have been a part of our lives forever. Want to bet? I’ll bet you a dollar to a donut. It’s a good bet. Put your money where your mouth is. These comments, or similar ones, are echoed around the world. So what exactly is a bet? In basic terms, it’s risking something to someone else based on the result of an event that has not yet taken place. Nicely put, you believe you are sincerely correct.

When did sports betting begin? It’s hard to ascertain, but records show it was present thousands of years ago. In ancient times, athletes in full warrior armor would battle each other to win sums of money. But the real action took place in the crowds where the folks would bet on who would win. Later in time, chariot races proved to be the popular betting choice. Early Germans would bet on games of skittles while in Italy, bocce (or lawn bowling) proved popular wager choices. In the Middle Ages, there was an unsuccessful attempt to outlaw betting in some parts of Europe; and the Renaissance made more than art popular…yes, sports betting emerged once more. By the close of the nineteenth century, England was taken with the sport of pedestrianism.

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Best described as race-walking, British folk rushed to place bets on those with the fastest feet. The early twentieth century brought sports under more governing rules, as the sports world exploded. Boxing, ice hockey, cycling, baseball, basketball, among other sports, were proving popular venues for betting. Across the world, in both England and Australia, rugby and soccer (football) was emerging as well. More recently, mixed-martial arts have joined the ranks of sports betting. 1996 saw the emergence of the first online sportsbook. For those not aware, a sportsbook is a place where a person can bet on a variety of competitions. These early venues offered a lot of bonuses and promotions to draw in the crowds. But, as time went on, it was clear that these extra offerings were no longer necessary. In 2002, live online betting emerged. For the first time, folks were allowed to bet on a sporting event as it played. (Well, directly prior to it being played.) How popular is online betting today?

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It is estimated to be five times larger than betting placed in Las Vegas. Studies show an estimated seven out of ten U.S. adults have placed some sort of bet in the last twelve months. Online sports betting is proving to be especially popular among male college students. It’s a good bet you’ll be making some sort of wager some time soon.