The History of Online Sport Betting

If you are an avid sports bettor and over the age of 35 then you probably remember the days when to only way you could book a bet was to work with a local bookie or one of their runners. The Internet and modern technology has dramatically changed the face of the sports betting industry over the past 15 years or so and transformed it into a multi-billion dollar industry in just the United States and Canada alone.

Sport betting through a licensed sportsbook is legal in the state of Nevada which has helped transform Las Vegas into the sports gambling capital of the world. While the rest of the US is shaded with legal issues when it comes to betting on sporting events, that has not stopped offshore sportsbooks and individual sports bookmakers from making a very handsome living booking sports bets from US players.

How we got from the local bookie on the corner taking bets to large online sportsbooks and a highly sophisticated network of private bookmakers operating on the Internet in just a decade and half makes for a very interesting story that continues to take shape with technological advances each and every year.

A good starting point for how the online sportsbook industry has evolved over the past two decades would be in countries such as Antigua, Venezuela and Costa Rica. These offshore localities created a favorable business environment for the growth of sports betting through relaxed government regulations and the rise of the Internet did the rest. When you put both of these elements together it quickly established a gateway to millions of sports betting customers around the world.

Certain geographic locations such as the UK and Canada decided to take advantage of the tax ramifications of legalizing sports betting by licensing and regulating government approved bookmaking operations, but the largest market for sports betting in the US was still an untapped resource for all the offshore books that began operations in the late 90’s. This online sportsbook network continued to grow in both scope and size and today placing a bet on any sporting event around the globe can quickly be accomplished through a personal computer and more recently through a hand-held mobile device.

The online sports betting industry can be broken down into three types of operations when it comes to who is actually booking the bets. The first is the large online sportsbook. A good example of this would be, which is a full-service book owned and operated by RDG Corporation.

The next type of sportsbook that you would find online would be considered “white label” companies that purchase the necessary operating system and sports betting software packages from companies like RDG. A good example of these “skin” operations would be sportsbooks such as Bet33 and 1Vice.

The fastest growing segment of the sports betting industry when it comes to booking bets online would be the independent sports bookmakers. Since it is not financially feasible for a private bookmaker to own and operate their own sports betting technology, the industry has also given rise to a number of Pay Per Head providers that will handle and process all the day-to-day online transactions that go into a business of this nature. The Pay Per Head service makes their money by charging a set weekly per head fee for every independent bookmaker’s active betting customer. This is a very convenient arrangement for both the private bookie and the price per head sports betting software provider since one is fulfilling a major business need for the other. Some of the biggest Pay Per Head providers in the industry today would include Real Bookies and 247pph.