The History and Development of Online Sports Betting in the United Kingdom

by Business Case Studies on Friday 29th December, 2017

First, there was the bookmaker.

As sports betting developed in the UK (a centuries-long process), bettors eventually realized there was a need for an intermediary; someone trustworthy and reliable who would accept bets, in any amount from just about anyone, on the outcome of sporting events: the bookmaker. It started with horseracing and evolved into a business whereby people could place wagers on a wide variety of sports competitions, broadening the services that land-based bookmakers offered.

Then there was the Internet.

As the World Wide Web began to infiltrate (and, yes, take over) our lives, bookmaking, and sports betting make the move to the Internet. In the late 1990s, as the Internet continued to grow in popularity, online casinos began to pop up like mushrooms after a rain, and, soon after, there was a rapid proliferation of online sports betting sites. One of the first UK bookmakers to transition to the Web was William Hill, and from there it became a veritable avalanche of online sports wagering opportunities.

Online Sports Betting: From Horses to… Everything

At first, online sports betting sites offered a modest selection of betting events; very quickly, however, that changed, and it became possible to place bets on different sports around the world. Other improvements followed, such as the advent of live betting (introduced in 2002), which offered the ability to place bets on the results of an event that was taking place in real time. In addition, most of the leading sports betting sites now offer guides and tips for betting; advice on betting strategies and statistics analysis; and a wealth of information about players and teams, all at the user’s fingertips.

The Internet completely changed the gambling industry in general, and the sports gambling business in particular. Anyone with a wi-fi connection and a smartphone (mobile sports betting is one of the latest development in the industry), can check out the sports markets and place a wager – anywhere, anytime. Not all the sports betting sites that started off riding the online gambling wave survived; some fell by the wayside, while others began to dominate.

The competition between online sports betting sites is fierce. Sites vie for every new user and customer, offering bonuses and promotions to attract avid sports bettors. In an article titled, “UK Bookmakers Global Expansion and Mission to Dominate the World of Sports Betting,” Business Matters magazine reports that major UK bookmakers are looking to further strengthen their impact on the online sports betting industry by expanding internationally and moving into new markets.

It’s Never Been Easier to Bet on Sports like today

Technology has made sports betting incredibly easy and convenient. With the help of aggregators, such as, you can find information that will help make you a smarter and savvier bettor. Aggregators offer information about many different sports and sites, so newcomers (and veterans) who are looking for the best bonuses or most favorable odds can go to an aggregator and find all the pertinent information in one place.

Another great help to sports gamblers are the many online guides available, which make it even easier for the newcomer to navigate the world of online sports betting.  Today, nothing is simpler than placing a bet on your favourite player or team, watching a live match, and enjoying UK online sports betting with all it has to offer.

Sports Betting Stats Will Amaze and Astound

It’s almost impossible to gauge how much people around the globe wager with online sports betting sites, but some of the estimates are eye-opening. The overall Internet gambling growth is between 10% and 20% annually, and sports betting is estimated to be 41% of the total online gambling market. In addition, a recent survey in the UK indicated that more than 10% of British people gamble online – in some form or another – every month. In other words, in the UK, online sports betting is an ever-changing, ever-growing work in progress.


Previous post:

Next post: