Sports betting expert Allen Moody, who has written a book on this issue, takes the history of predicting the winner of a sports match and placing money on that prediction all the way back to the ancient Roman times. Roman emperors used to place bets on who they thought would win their famous chariot races and circus events.
The Thrill of Walking Quickly
Back to the modern world: it was the sport of pedestrianism in the 19th century that first got bookies and bettors excited about stakes and winning money. These were walking races, which couldn’t possibly have been as exciting as watching a high-speed skiing race down the world’s steepest snow slopes. As a betting phenomenon, the questionable thrill of pedestrians head to head was eventually overshadowed by the phenomenon of baseball, where the betting odds are more complicated and the game is a lot more exciting. And indeed, it opened up all the possibilities of gambling promotions in ways that pedestrians couldn’t have dreamed of.
Scandals and Sports Go Hand in Glove
But as the notion of betting became popular so did it affect the moral fiber of the game and of society. Betting on this basis can be legal and it can be illegal. It can affect the way in which players play and there have been a number of scandals where top players have been coerced to perform their sports a little differently, for the sake of a lot of money staked. The concept of betting based on predictions has always had a bit of a dodgy relationship with the law, and the advent of online betting knocks this into further relief. If you are indulging in online betting from a country where it is deemed illegal, the porosity of the Internet won’t help you: you’re still a citizen of your own country and you are liable to be prosecuted if you don’t obey your country’s gambling laws and restrictions.