Betting is fun for many people and abroad, and most of us couldn't imagine a time when we couldn't gamble freely. We take it for granted that we will be able to place bets on almost any event or market from all over the world. Click here to read and the huge competition in the high street and online bookmakers means that we also expect good prices and fast payouts from our bookmakers when we place a bet.
However, for most recorded stories, the bid was fraught with difficulties and uncertainty. Before the Victorian era, betting was simply between men by a gentleman's agreement, and it was generally a straight bet with no odds, and you couldn't do much if someone ran away with your bet and or winnings.
Things didn't get much easier in the 1800s. The first betting shops on the link were often illegal, and those that were legal were strictly regulated and allowed to engage only in licensed tracks and courses. It was in the 1960s that the biggest change in bookmaking occurred, as off-course gambling was legalized, leading to an increase in betting, and subsequently, when the Internet was invented, online gambling.
In this article, I talk about the early days of bookmaking, the first bookmakers, changes in the law and the way we bet, the growth of online bookmakers, and the future of online betting.
The first bookmaker's office
The stakes are old for the written history itself, people take bets on anything they can think of, even before money was even invented.
Most of the early bets were rough on the site, often with only two possible outcomes. One bet on the victory of one side, for example, on the victory in the English Civil War with "rounded heads", and the other - on the alternative result - on the victory of the cavaliers.
Odds were rarely used, and most bets were actually taken the day before. This is fine if you assume an event that corresponds to uniformity, but in life we know that things are rarely equal. This could be even worse if you were betting on a horse, since quite often the bet was chosen as "horse X to win", versus "horse X to not win", hardly an equal bet (in most cases).
Bookmakers, on the other hand, are people who actually have a chance to create a "book" covering a variety of scenarios or outcomes that, if balanced, will always provide a profit. Thanks to this new type of business, instead of two people pitting each other's minds over one possible outcome, a bookmaker will accept multiple bets on multiple results from different sources. If they have the right prices, then this should always ensure a profit.
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