Sports play a huge role in the culture of every society around the world. There is just something thrilling about watching two sides play a competitive game. Since sports play such a big part in our everyday lives, it is easy to see why sports betting has become so popular. Making a little wager just adds to the intensity of an already exciting contest. Here is a look at how sports betting has evolved over the years.
The Ancient Greeks were the first civilization to get fully invested in sports. They loved sporting competitions so much that they decided to create a huge spectacle centered around their best athletes. These large events were the origins of the Olympic Games that are still around today. While no one can pinpoint an exact start for sports betting, it is widely believed that the Greeks made wagers on their athletic competitions more than 2,000 years ago.
Spread Through Europe
It did not take long for the love of sports to spread from Greece to nearby Rome. The Romans particularly loved to bet on their gladiator competitions. Sports betting did not get embraced by another society until England made it legal to wager on horse races in 1845. It did not take long for the rest of Europe to follow suit. Gambling on other sporting events did not become legal until the early 20th century.
Legalization in the United States
While the European governments were quick to embrace sports betting, the recreational activity did not become legal in the United States until 1949. If you wanted to place a legal sports bet at this time, you had to visit a casino in Las Vegas. Since this was a major hassle, illegal bookies started operating throughout the country. In an effort to collect tax revenue from the popular activity, nearly half the states in the country have now legalized sports betting at their casinos.
Rise of Online Betting
The creation of the internet has made sports betting more popular than ever before. Online betting lets you place a wager in a matter of seconds using a laptop or smartphone. While online sports betting is fully legal in Europe, it is gradually gaining acceptance in the United States.