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The Evolution of Betting, from Offline to Online


Photo by Julia Joppien / The Unsplash License

The first instances of betting are believed to have emerged millions of years ago, all the way to the Old Stone Age. Around the 9th or 10th century, gaming houses, playing cards, and animal betting started to appear in China. So if you thought most of our playing cards or games dated back to France, think again!

Table Games

However, it’s true that many of the modern games we play today, like poker and blackjack, are believed to have been derived from European games from the 17th century. Once popular mainly in saloons and gaming houses, fans of the games can now play a wide variety of different versions online, like Texas Hold’em, live poker, five card draw poker, seven card stud poker, single-play blackjack, multi-player blackjack, and live blackjack, among so many others.

The internet has really expanded the number of options available, so now there is something for everyone. You can also play in tournaments online even if you’re more of an amateur poker player. Plus, you can usually play at any time of day, so there’s no need to worry about sticking to the hours of a business.

Sports Betting

Fans have been betting on the outcomes of games for as long as there have been sporting events to wager on. Until the invention of the internet, bets were either made in person or over the phone. Bettors were limited by the number and types of wagers available. So if someone wanted to bet on a low-profile game or on an unlikely player, he would be out of luck if those bets weren’t offered.

Now, sports fans can place bets online. It’s still a relatively new phenomenon, and its legality still differs from country to country. But it’s becoming far more common, which means bettors have even fewer restrictions for how and when they want to place their bets.

Photo by Matthew T Rader / The Unsplash License

Further, with betting on sports online, there are seemingly no limitations for which sports you can bet on and the types of wagers you can make. For example, when betting on college football, sites like FOX Bet offer dozens of different start-of-game wagers in addition to in-game, proposition, and future wagers. You can bet on which side will win against a point spread, how many field goals will be successful, and which team will win the College Football Playoff, among many others. That’s the perk of betting online: You have a lot more wager options than offline.

Slot Machines

As for slot machines, the first slot machines didn’t appear until the late 19th century. They basically resembled an old cash register, and had few options. It wasn’t until the 1970s that the first video slot machines were produced. This was around the time that casinos started to become more popular, and they wanted new games like video slots to entertain customers.

Eventually, slots started to have specific themes to draw in customers, such as TV show, movie, or music themes. For example, some of the most popular themed slot machines over the years have been Wheel of Fortune, Cleopatra, and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.

By the 1990s, people started to get the internet in their homes. This really helped all types of betting to take off, because bettors and casino lovers were able to do things on their own terms. They didn’t have to leave their home or plan an expensive trip across the country — they could place bets or play their favorite games online.

Fast forward to present day, and betting is becoming increasingly popular thanks to all of the different ways that bettors can engage with betting. Sports leagues like the NHL, MLB, and NBA are now endorsing betting to increase fan engagement, which they previously were against. This combined with its recent legality and widespread availability means that this is only the beginning — and the future of betting looks bright!

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