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History of Sports Betting

History of Sports Betting

Sports betting is a very big industry nowadays. It brings big profits to sports betting companies, and at the same time delivers an incredible thrill to sports bettors. The opportunity to bet on your favourite teams while they play is great.

The first bets are said to have been made in Greece thousands of years ago. Spectators got another pleasure besides watching the sports at that time - to make bets. It was possible to place a bet on the winner of a single competition, and nowadays there are a bunch of options for betting in online bookmakers.


When do sports bets appear?

Sports betting has existed for a long time, and the origin of the first bet is impossible to determine to date. The first bets are made between people from the same social world, between farmers or between nobles. The second, the prize games, take place during parish celebrations and showcase various regional practices, such as the struggle in Brittany.
However, it is believed that bets originated in ancient Greece. Among them, they gained much popularity in the Roman Empire. Roman rulers loved to fill their free time with bets on chariot races and more.

During the Industrial Revolution, betting on horses, organized by bookmakers, developed. These bets were popular in the United Kingdom in the 16th and 17th centuries, but remain reserved for the aristocracy and wealthier people. And in fact, only horse owners can bet on the results of these private races, to which very few people have access.


Evolution of sports betting over time

Since sports betting started thousands of years ago, they have undergone a great evolution. The possible sports of betting in ancient times were very different from today. In Italy, for example, they bet on "Bochia" - you hardly know what this game is. This is a type of bowling that takes place on grass.

In England, on the other hand, they started betting in the Middle Ages. Archery tournaments were among the first to place bets. Gradually, the bets for the ultimate winner of "Skulball" became popular - a game that resembled today's football and rugby.
The Renaissance era offered to bet on a non-traditional sport in which players had to endure severe pain - "Kicking the shin". Competitors of this sport kicked each other in the shins, and the end of the game is marked when one of the players surrenders. People have had the opportunity to bet on this strange sport.

At the end of the 19th century, events organized by the Football Association of England had already entered. He started betting on Rugby and Football. In the early twentieth century, the most popular were the bets on horse racing. Shortly before the beginning of the 21st century, the Internet has changed everything in betting. The creation of online betting sites has given even more opportunities for people to enjoy betting and in the following lines, we will follow the modern sports betting.



  1. Olympic Sports - With the advent of the early Olympics, betting has emerged by making many bets on the winners of competitions.
  2. Roman rulers - In the Roman Empire, bets were made for the entertainment of Roman rulers.
  3. The first championships and tournaments - Bets on modern sports started at the beginning of modern sports tournaments - in the 70s of the 19th-century bets were made on events by the English Football Association.
  4. The first lottery-style sports betting - At the beginning of the 20th century, the first lottery-style bets were organized. They were known mainly in England, and in 196 a factory worker in Castleford managed to earn 152,000 pounds. Today this amount is equal to 5 million pounds.
  5. Online sports betting - The first online betting sites appeared in the mid-1990s. It is with their development that sports betting is gaining incredible popularity.


Modern sports betting

Today, in addition to the betting companies that still exist in the UK, the strong point of bookmakers is their online presence. The first sites were created around 1995, such as Intertops, which is based on a law passed by the island nation of Antigua and Barbuda in 1994, which licenses companies that want to provide gambling services over the Internet (they subsequently received licenses). from Quebec and Malta). Sports betting has quickly become very popular and has become even more popular in the 21st century.

Betfair was launched in 2000 and revolutionized the industry: Betfair itself did not accept bets from customers but offered customers to place bets between them in the sports exchange. In 2002, the first live betting was launched, offering bettors the opportunity to bet on a sporting event while it is taking place. Today, the larger sites offer all kinds of sports, whether collective (football, basketball) or individual (tennis, boxing, snooker), and a possible competition includes more than two players or teams (athletics, cycling). The player can choose a betting option, which can be the end result (1X2 in football), goals scored, etc., after which he places the bet by choosing the amount he is willing to bet.


Modern betting rules


Account registration and verification

These are routine procedures that are essential to being able to place online bets. You cannot place bets without registering an account with the online bookmaker. By registering with the bookmaker, you provide your personal data, which must be confirmed. This happens in the account verification process, which is typical for every licensed bookmaker. During verification, players send personal documents via photos or copies so that the account can be verified.



Payments are easy at online bookmakers. Payment methods allow you to deposit and withdraw into your account. Without putting money in your account, there is no way to bet. No-deposit bonuses are almost non-existent in bookmakers in Bulgaria and Europe. However, once you deposit through a bank card or online wallet in your account, you will be able to bet.



Bookmakers offer different odds for all selections. They are made by a special team of traders in the companies that deal with tracking the odds and adding events to the sites. According to the odds, the players' winnings are also paid out. The higher the odds on your slip, the more you can win.


Useful functions of bookmakers - cash out, statistics, etc. 

Sports betting sites offer many additional features such as Cash Out. This feature allows players to close/cancel/bet when they choose. With Cash Out you can win before the events, you bet on are over. Bookmakers also offer rich statistics about the events and mostly live you can find out about the development of a meeting. For example, in football, you will find information on the number of shots on both gates, cards, corners, team attacks, etc.



Last but not least for the players, these are the bonuses in the online bookmakers. Years ago, when you put a slip in a bookmaker's house, you just went and bet your slip. Now, however, in the online space, every bookmaker offers great bonuses for a new player. Even after your registration during the first deposit, you can take a 100% or another bonus percentage according to the rules of the offer to your first deposit up to a certain amount. There are also many bookmaker bonuses available for registered players, from which you can win bigger winnings.


Types of bets - markets

In online bookmakers, you will find options for betting on sporting events such as "markets". Sports event markets are the possible results you can predict. For example, in a football match, you can predict the final result - if you bet on the victory of the host, it is a bet on the market Final outcome 1. You can also predict the number of goals in the markets Under / Over, as well as many others. In the following lines, we will introduce you to the most popular types of bets.


Final result 

This market is typical of every single event. Bookmakers offer the option to bet on the final result of all matches in their draw. In football, it is predicted which team will win the match in regular time. In tennis, you can bet on a player who will continue in the next round of the tournament. Basketball, volleyball, handball and other team sports also have bets on the end result.



This type of markets refers to Under / Over total goals in football, under/over points in basketball or volleyball, as well as Under / over games in tennis, etc. You can always bet on a lot of events at bookmakers.


First / Final result

This is a typical bet, especially for football matches. It predicts the result of the break after the regular 90 minutes. In this market, you can also bet on basketball and some other team sports.



One of the most popular markets in bookmakers. The handicap gives an advantage to one of the two teams as its goal is to equalize the chances of the teams or players. For example, in events with a clear favourite, the handicap will be set to get equal odds.


Markets for players

Online bookmakers offer many markets to players. For example, in big football, you can bet on goal scorers or a player to receive a card. In tennis, there are bets for players to win a game in a certain result, to have a breakthrough point in a game, to win the number of games, etc. In basketball, on the markets for players, you can bet on the player's points, fights, assists, umbrellas and more.


Popular sports for betting

The most popular sports in online bookmakers are also the most famous sports - football, basketball, tennis, volleyball. However, it should be noted that bookmakers offer a rich list of sports, including even futsal, cricket, beach volleyball, darts and more.



The most popular sport for betting, as it enjoys the largest number of fans around the world. Bookmakers pay great attention to football and strive to offer the best possible markets and odds, especially in major tournaments such as the World Cup, European Championship, Champions League, as well as the leading European championships.



The popularity of basketball is largely due to the American NBA Championship. It has the most markets in online bookmakers and has a number of different betting options. In tournaments such as the World Cup, Euroleague and others, bookmakers also offer more betting options. However, the big sports betting sites have many basketball markets at almost all world championships.



Tennis bets are very popular with online bookmakers. There are millions of fans of this sport, as well as bettors. Big tennis tournaments always have a lot of extra bets, but even smaller ITF competitions offer markets for the final outcome, set winner, handicap games and more.



Volleyball is inherent in all sports betting sites. The main markets in volleyball are for the winner of the match, as the draw option does not exist, exact result in sets, total points, handicap and winner in the first set. National volleyball tournaments have the most markets in bookmakers - World Cup, World League, European Championship, etc.



Hockey can be ranked in the top 5 of the most popular sports in bookmakers. On many betting sites you will find ice hockey in the list of popular sports. Ice hockey is characterized by the markets winning the match, the total number of goals and the handicap. The National Hockey League of the United States and Canada is the most famous championship in the world and enjoys the largest number of markets and bets in the bookies.


Boxing / MMA

Martial arts in online bookmakers are also quite popular. Players can bet on the final winner, the method of victory, and the total number of rounds in the match for almost all matches.
Horse Racing - Horse racing is hugely popular in the UK. All sports bookmakers offer horse betting, with traditional bets for the winner and participant to finish in the top 2 or top 3.



A team sport that is not as popular as football or basketball. But you will always find handball bets in the bookmakers for the leading championships of this sport. You can bet on the final outcome, number of goals, half-time bets and much more.
Table tennis

One of the top 10 most popular sports in bookmakers. There are table tennis tournaments all year round where you can bet online. In addition to the markets for the ultimate winner, bets on total points in the set, bets for a single game and handicap bets can be placed.


Extravagant sports for betting

There are also some extravagant sports that are offered by most sports bookmakers. The most popular are eSports, as well as Virtual Sports.

Virtual sports

It is a tradition for bookmakers to have a section with virtual sports. What exactly are they? You can bet on football, tennis, basketball or other sports, but in its virtual version. Virtual games are simulated by a computer and the result is determined at random. They are much shorter in duration than real sports and you can bet on hundreds of virtual sports events a day.

Electronic sports 

eSports have gained a lot of popularity in recent years. A number of major tournaments are organized in which competitors or teams compete against each other by playing a computer game. The most popular eSports bets are Dota 2, League of Legends and CS: GO.


History of bookmakers as part of sports betting

Online bookmakers have the greatest contribution to the development of sports betting. Were it not for the entry of so many sports bookmakers, gamblers would never have had the same variety of bets and odds that we encounter today. In our site machovete.com, you can find out about the best bookmakers in Bulgaria. We monitor, evaluate and describe the leading bookmakers on the Bulgarian market and you have the opportunity to choose the most suitable sites thanks to our expert reviews.



Bet365 is the largest sports betting company. It was founded in 200 in Great Britain. The company is headquartered in Stoke-on-Trent, with Bet365 having offices in Malta and Australia. In the online bookmaker bet365, you will find the most sports betting events - before the game and live. The markets for football matches are plentiful, and for other sports, there are many selections to choose from when placing a bet.



The sports betting and gambling company Efbet was founded in 2006 by the Naidenov brothers - Tsvetomir, Boyan and Stefan. Efbet is the most recognizable Bulgarian brand for sports betting, as it has a great influence on sports in our country. Efbet is famous for its high odds and is a favourite bookmaker by many players. On their sports betting site, you will find all the popular tournaments, and a wide range of markets awaits you for each event.



Winbet is a relatively new bookmaker - founded in 2015 in Sofia. The Bulgarian gambling company is quickly gaining popularity among players, thanks to the variety of sports bets, casino games and the attractive bonuses it offers. All popular sporting events and many of the lesser-known championships and tournaments in each sport are available at the bookmaker. For football, Win Bet offers the most markets, but the coverage is good for other sports as well.


Palms Bet

The bookmaker PalmsBet was founded in 2018 and very quickly became a hit among players. This is due to the wide variety of sports event markets and attractive odds. Almost every sporting event will be available to you at the Palms Bet bookmaker. Whether you bet on football, tennis or handball, you will find many betting options in this bookmaker.



The bookmaker 1xBet is owned by Bonnal Limited. 1xBet was founded in 2007 and has extensive experience in online betting. The rapid development of the Russian company brought them among the top bookmakers and today they are an established name in betting, as partners of many major European clubs and championships. The 1xBet bookmaker offers players an incredible variety of sporting events and markets. For some events, the betting opportunities are over 1000, which is impressive - it's mostly about big football matches.



22Bet is a Russian sports betting company, which was established in 2017. The exceptional variety of betting markets for almost all sporting events arouses players' interest in this bookmaker. There are also very good bonuses for customers, which is one of the factors 22Bet to be popular in Bulgaria.



MELbet is an online bookmaker owned by two companies - Exinvest Limited and Pelican Entertainment. MelBet was founded in 2012 but has made a splash in Bulgaria recently. The bookmaker has bets on all sports, e-sports, and also delights its customers with casino games. The list of sports available for betting includes every known sport you can think of, and the variety of markets is great.


Frequently Asked Questions about sports betting


Where do sports bets come from?

The early Olympic Games in ancient Greece were associated with the emergence of sports betting.


What are the most common sports?

Undisputed leaders in betting are football, basketball and tennis.


Can anyone bet on sports?

You must be 18 years of age to be able to bet on sporting events.


What do I need to bet online?

You must be registered with some of the online bookmakers we introduced you to in this article.



The progress of sports betting is noticeable and we can say that it is exceptional. Hardly anyone in the 20th century suggested that today the sports betting industry is one of the leading industries in the international economy.

The development of the digital age has taken sports betting to a whole new level. Customers can bet very easily with just one mouse movement on their computer or with one click on their phone. There are a wide variety of sports betting companies on the Internet that compete to offer better services. When choosing a sports betting site, trust only licensed companies that will not deceive you. In them, your bets will be settled and paid out, so you will not encounter problems in betting sports online.

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