From Beginnings to Success: The History of sports predictions and their path to the Present

History of bookmaker’s offices: how did it all begin?

Undoubtedly, betting on specific events is almost as long-lasting as the world’s first gambling. After all, people have always been interested in trying their luck during chariot races or gladiatorial fights. Since then, only a little has changed but instead multiplied. And now every decent bookmaker’s office offers various lines on various sports, primarily online. Learn more about the history of sports betting and such companies as Satbet and how betting moved online in our article.

The history of sport betting

It is believed that betting on sporting events has existed for quite a long time. For example, ancient Greece took bets on the results of the Olympic Games and, in ancient Rome, on the winner in the chariot races or in gladiatorial battles. But its further development and success of bookmaking are rightly owed to Britain.

No one can give an exact date, but it is believed that 1790 began to take bets by a certain William Ogden. He proposed a system that established the ratio between the number of chances and winnings for each horse. Also, as early as the 18th century, Richard Tattersall’s auction house began to accept bets on horse races. In 1850, the first bookmaker’s office was opened, whose founders developed forecasts and sent out leaflets in London with odds of winning.

The term “bookmaker” did not initially evoke positive associations. Only a little later, thanks to the work of two representatives of the profession, who opened the first office in London, began to publish lists of bookmakers’ offices.

Over time, sports betting began to spread worldwide, and betting offices began to open in the United States and Europe. It is noteworthy that at that time, bookmakers operated in the same way as now: they accepted bets, paid winnings, and the margin was the profit.

It is also worth noting that the betting business in Europe and the United States remained illegal for a very long time and lasted until the mid-20th century. Only then did most countries legislate and fix the rules and operating conditions for betting companies.

A new boom in the field occurred in the 1990s when betting began to be accepted over the Internet. However, there are reports that the first online betting was made as far back as 1972 in Canada.

Advantages of the Internet

This transition happened because betting was still forbidden in many places, whereas the Internet made it possible to place a bet whenever and wherever. It is how a new vertical emerged, which remained one of the gambling business leaders and began to displace such a concept as a land-based betting outlet from the market.

In 1995, a new era began for both land-based and online bookmakers. New companies were constantly appearing; new markets were being developed, facilitated by the development of technology and the possibility of working online.

Nowadays, it is only possible to find an online bookmaker offering sports betting lines on its platform. Nearby, one will always find a minimum set of online casino games: slots, live games, and table games. Such a decision helped bookmakers not only to increase the number of interested users, but also to multiply their income. And such a strategy paid off – 2001, the online betting market was estimated at $2 billion.

Chronology of sport Betting

It is rather difficult to construct a perfect sequence of events here, but it is possible to note a number of the most critical moments for the industry by which the history of sports betting can be seen:

  • 2000 B.C. – In Rome and Greece, betting is on the Olympic Games, carriage races, and gladiator fights.
  • Late 18th century – in England, betting on horse races by different contractors gradually began to be accepted.
  • 1850 – the first bookmaker’s office opens in England.
  • 1961 – the USA, France, Great Britain and Germany legalized the sports betting industry.
  • 1972 – The first betting on sports is done online.
  • 1973 – on the territory of Great Britain works, 14,750 PMS only from William Hill, whose staff in 1982 was already 22 thousand employees.
  • The nineties – industry boom thanks to the Internet development.
  • 10th of this century – betting from cell phones is a technological innovation.
  • 2020-2022 – in the U.S., many states either legalized or began working to legalize the industry.

The future of sports betting

Although the betting industry has historically come a long way, modern challenges sometimes threaten the sphere. It is worth remembering the coronavirus pandemic, which broke the market because almost all sporting events worldwide were cancelled. As a result, this led to some companies, like William Hill, severely downsizing land-based betting outlets and focusing on online.

Much of the industry’s survival at the time was helped by cyber sports, which continued to be heavily promoted during the pandemic, and the diversification above into online casinos. Online gambling was prevalent during lockdowns and lockouts, so it too can be called a “lifeline” for bookmakers.

Also, many experts believe that blockchain and the tokenization of betting are the future of the field due to both the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies and the problems of online betting. For example, when a player is not paid his winnings, the company explains this by malfunctions or suspicious player behaviour. Integrating blockchain into the betting industry will remove time delays and payment denials.

Thanks to the pandemic, cyber sports have significantly strengthened their position with bookmakers and will not leave them. Therefore, we should also expect the strengthening of the lines on e-sports, which may be included in the Olympic program.


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