The History of Football Betting
Football is not just something you do to make time pass; this applies both to those watching and those playing. It’s also a business. The drama that unfolds on the football field comes from huge cash flows sent into circulation, as does the fuss around it. Today, it is almost impossible to separate football from betting on the outcomes of each match. Already in the early days of football, people dug deep into their pockets to find some coins and bet on the team they thought would win. Today, we do the same with just a few clicks on the mobile phone. Betting on football is a natural part of the weekend entertainment and around the world. This has not always been the case. Betting has seen a series of legislative changes, which created today’s gaming industry and betting companies. Let’s look at the history of football betting, and how it all started, in the home of football.
The First Years
At the beginning of the nineteenth century, when the first official football matches took place, there was no betting like we know it today. Those who wanted it could, however, bet a few pennies on the results. Private betting was made possible for events like the finals of the FA Cup, and big matches between the arch-rivals and Scotland. Those interested in betting could, therefore, always find someone willing to cover the bet.
During the first 40 years of football, sport and betting existed side by side without any direct links. It was not until 1923 that betting coupons were sold before a match at Old Trafford in Manchester. These were primitive compared to the ones we see today, but they represented the start of something new. For the first time, one could bet on the results of not just one, but several matches at the same time.
In hindsight, we can safely claim that this was a hit. Finding the right winning combinations using skill and luck created the basis for the betting business. For many, the prospect of winning money on football was very enticing. Besides the chance to win big, it was the game itself that intrigued the large crowd. After World War II, betting was given even greater recognition, and soon it also became possible to play on odds.