In recent years, the allure of sports betting has been rising in popularity among gamblers all around the world. The global sports betting market was about 90% the size of the global casino market in 2020. Trends suggest that gambling on sports will overtake casino betting in the next few years as the most popular form of gambling.
This article will look at some of the very good reasons why sports betting is so popular and cover a very brief history of sports betting ascent into the mainstream.
Low Barrier to Entry
The concept of sports betting is very simple: pick one of two teams to win and wager a certain amount of money on that team. Once that’s done, the bettor just has to sit back and watch whether they win or lose. It’s easy for anyone to do, even a beginner.
Since sports bet winnings are calculated based on the percentage chance of winning in the first place, the beginner will not be at a large disadvantage. Of course, there are lots of more in-depth sports betting strategies and side bets (like game scores) that up the complexity a bit, but those are optional.
You Get Out What You Put In
In sports betting, the amount of effort you put into research and preparation will more than likely contribute to your success. Yes, beginners can indeed win based on luck and well-researched players can easily lose. But if a gambler does the work, they can up their odds a bit and in effect “beat the house.” This is not the case in casino gambling, where the house always wins even against players who spend a lot of time trying to improve their own odds.
Hours of Entertainment
When you place a sports bet, the journey is often equally or even more exciting than the destination. The experience of watching the sports event you have money riding on is even more powerful than watching a regular match as it keeps you on an edge-of-your-seat. This roller coaster of nerves and raw emotions can often last several hours, depending on the length of the event.
It’s A Bonding Experience
Sports betting is something you can enjoy with your friends, whether or not they want to join you in wagering on the game. Because whether or not you have money riding on a sporting event, it’s fun to sit around with some friends, pop open some snacks and watch the big game. The extra emotion you might feel from wagering is just an added bonus.
Winning is More Satisfying
After watching a full sporting event that you had money riding on, that moment when the announcer declares the winner is too satisfying to put into words, even if the amount won is relatively small. Knowing that you picked the right outcome based on your own knowledge of the game (even if that knowledge was mainly based on a hunch) is extremely satisfying.
Endless Research Possibility
Many sports betting enthusiasts love the deep well of research that the world of sports offers. As mentioned, sports bettors can increase their odds by doing careful, methodical, statistics-based research. Exercising this level of control over your gambling destiny can make the wins feel more earned. And although the odds increase may be slight, an increase from 99% to 101% return on investment is the difference between a losing sports gambler and a successful one.
It Crosses Borders
Every culture on Earth loves sports betting. When sports gambling enthusiasts travel to foreign cities, it’s more than likely that they will be able to find a horse racing stadium or football pitch with a booking office. And when you’re betting on a sporting event alongside locals, it becomes easy to make friends through the shared experience.
This same concept of course translates to online sports betting, where people from around the world will be betting on their favorite local teams. Why not place some bets on New Zealandic rugby teams or Dominican baseball teams and make some new friends in the forums for those events offered on the sites?
History of Sports Betting
The origins of sports betting stem from the ancient Greeks. At the time, sports betting was restricted to a very narrow range of events like the Olympic Games. The Romans at one point took a liking to the Greek pastime, and they adopted it into their own society.
In the Roman Empire, sports betting spread like a wildfire, incorporating a much wider range of events, including gladiator fights. Soon, the fun activity of placing wagers on matches was present all over Europe, but most countries outlawed it because they felt it conflicted with religious law.
The English nobility were the ones who really brought sports betting out of the back alley bookie offices and into the mainstream. Horse racing was favored by the British higher-ups, and before long they had made it the only sport that could legally be bet upon. It remains popular with U.K. royals even today, with Queen Elizabeth owning her own racehorses and having won $9.4 million from the bets she has placed on them.
In the 1950s, sports betting was legalized outright in Las Vegas. This event cemented the pastime in the mainstream. Lots of A-list celebrities who love to gamble came to the forefront of pop culture, and since then it has become legal in more and more jurisdictions all over the world.
The advent of the internet has obviously made online sports betting a popular choice because of its added convenience. Nowadays, the global sports betting market takes in hundreds of billions of dollars per year. The reasons so many people gravitate towards sports betting are outlined above, but remember that the sites are hard to regulate. So make sure you create an account and bet with highly reputable operators. Check out forums and see what online casinos are being held in high regard by players.