Nowadays, we are all just so used to betting being all around us, online and offline. We search for betting bonus codes, place bets wherever we are and enjoy the convenience that we have on every step. However, it wasn’t always like that. Just like there are many versions of how the game of football originated, there are also many versions of how betting on football started, as well.
The truth is that nobody really knows how it started, but England, the birthplace of modern football, is also considered to be the birthplace of betting on football. Something that can be considered to be betting by today’s standards started in 1923, with the existence of some sort of a football pool, where the punters would predict the results of 12 matches to come and whoever had the closest picks would win. It goes without saying that this activity was at the time illegal, and it was done either in criminal safe houses or on the streets.
Probably the most important day for betting on football in the United Kingdom was the adoption of the 1960 Gambling Act, which allowed the opening of betting shops and legalized football betting. Betting shops started popping up throughout the country, but even though the activity was now legal, it was still regarded as something sketchy. Bets could be placed only on games that you could watch live on TV, and the shops needed to be without any advertisements and had to have blacked out windows.
The legalization opened doors for major operators to make their way on the new market and this was when Coral, William Hill, and Ladbrokes emerged.
1986 brought new legislation which made it possible for betting shops to be a little more approachable as they could now have bright interiors and even TVs to show live games, but the betting options were still limited.
When Sky Sports gained rights to show Premier League matches in 1992 for the first time, more betting opportunities rose as each week more and more games were broadcasted. This was a game-changer for football betting as the game was brought to a greater audience and the in-play betting was introduced, as well. Now punters could bet on a game broadcasted on TV as it was happening and this was actually a precursor of live betting we know today.
Betting on football was revolutionized entirely with the appearance of the Internet at the end of the last century. Online bookmakers began springing up and started dominating the betting business with the whole new world of betting being opened for fans of football bets.
Placing bets on penalties, yellow or red cards, corners, which had seemed impossible a few years earlier, was now available to everyone who had an Internet connection. Punters could bet from the comforts of their homes, and now they even had access to a variety of betting markets from all over the world.
The betting tax was abolished in 2001, meaning that the tax was moved to the bookmakers’ gross profits and punters could place their bets tax-free. They could also bet on single matches and not the minimum of three as it had been obligatory before.