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11 Mar 2024

How did bookmakers emerge? The origin and evolution of online betting

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Betting is more than just a modern phenomenon; it’s a practice deeply entrenched in human culture. From its early beginnings to its current digital transformation, betting has undergone considerable change.

This article aims to guide you through the compelling journey of betting, from rudimentary face-to-face interactions to online betting platforms. With the global online gambling market projected to keep growing, Skrill serves as a reliable companion for handling your online transactions simply and efficiently.

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The early origins of betting

The history of betting is as ancient as civilisation itself. In fact, the first instances of betting are rooted in organised sporting events. Bookmakers played an instrumental role in shaping what was once a casual exchange into a regulated practice.

Roman gladiators or chariot racers]

It’s intriguing to think that even in ancient times, the thrill of the bet was a vital component of spectator sports. The organised nature of these events created a perfect platform for bookmakers to do business.

Imagine the adrenaline rush in the stands of the Roman Colosseum, where bets added a whole new layer of suspense and excitement to gladiatorial combats and chariot races.

The evolution of modern-day betting

Betting has remained a staple of entertainment through the ages, but it was the internet that truly revolutionised the industry. The digital age made online betting a familiar term, giving people the freedom to place bets without the need to step out of their homes.

According to a Grand View Research report, the online gambling market is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 11.7% from 2022 to 2030. This illustrates how modern-day sports betting has captured public interest on a massive scale.

However, it’s worth remembering that not so long ago, both sports betting and money transactions were done physically. It was the digital revolution that changed everything, something we will look at in detail in the following sections.

someone placing a bet online while watching a sports event on TV

The advent of online betting platforms

So, you’ve heard about how betting has its roots deeply embedded in human history. But what really accelerated its growth?

The answer is simple: online betting platforms. In a world where we’re used to everything being a click away, online betting was a natural evolution in the world of gaming.

A broader range of betting options

Betting hasn’t just moved online; the number of ways you can bet has increased immensely.

Before, your options at a local bookmaker were limited, constrained by geography and the knowledge of the bookmaker. Online, you’re not restricted to only horse races or football; you have a mixture of choices such as:

  • Niche sports (e.g. darts, futsal or table tennis)
  • eSports
  • Political elections
  • Reality TV outcomes

You name it, there’s probably a way to bet on it online.

The role of technology in online sports betting

If you thought sports betting was exciting before, technology has taken it to another level. The onset of real-time or live betting lets you bet on games and events as they happen, offering an entirely dynamic experience.

Then there are ‘prop bets,’ which allow you to bet on specific events happening as part of a sporting event (often unrelated to the final result). For example, who will score the first goal or which side the coin will fall on in the draw.

someone placing a bet using their mobile phone

You can now even tailor your bets based on realtime stats, like those available in Skrill’s Sports Corner. These elements make sports betting more engaging than ever.

Also, let’s not forget mobile betting, where you can place your bet on your smartphone.

New technology has affected payment methods too. Nowadays, with a Skrill account, you can manage your funds discreetly and efficiently – a far cry from the days of handling cash at your local bookie.

The shift in payments

The journey from handing over crisp notes at a local bookmaker to one-click digital transactions encapsulates the transformative impact of technology on betting.

Initially, payments involved face-to-face cash transactions, which later gave way to cheques and cards. Today, the digital era has ushered in online payments that are fast and private.

With digital wallets like Skrill, the focus has shifted to not just making payments, but paying in a way that’s so effortless it doesn’t distract you from the game.

This transition to digital has reshaped the betting landscape, making it more convenient, efficient, and secure for everyone involved.

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Why Skrill is popular with sports bettors

When it comes to modern-day betting, effective money management is crucial. This is where a reliable payment platform steps in.

Skrill offers a seamless way to manage your online transactions, giving you the speed, convenience, and privacy you need.

  • Speed: Transfers are lightning fast, so you never miss out on a good bet.
  • Acceptance: Skrill is accepted across a multitude of betting sites, giving you the freedom to switch between bookmakers. 
  • Privacy: Pay without sharing your card details or personal information and bet with peace of mind.
  • Efficiency: With a Skrill wallet, you can easily separate your betting funds from your everyday personal finances.
sports bettor looking at Skrill app open to the splash screen

The world of betting has evolved dramatically, particularly with the shift to online platforms.

Payment apps like Skrill have become essential in this changing landscape, offering advantages that were once thought of as futuristic.

When next betting online, consider the convenience of using a digital wallet like Skrill to transfer funds to selected bookmakers. It’s not just about placing bets; it’s about managing your funds smartly in this ever-evolving gaming landscape.

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