Home » What kicked-off the huge interest in football betting?

What kicked-off the huge interest in football betting?

It seems like a long time since Neymar struck that third goal for Barcelona on the Champions League Final, doesn’t it? The new football season is getting closer and excitement levels are at their highest as we count down the days. While the majority of supporters are consumed by their thoughts on the field, such as Bastian Schweinsteiger’s ability to control the destiny of Manchester United or Aston Villa’s expectations of being able to cope without Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph amongst their rank and a growing number of others, their thoughts turn to figures, odds, and prices.

It’s not just football that’s returning this season and it’s also betting. And make no mistake about it, gambling is a big deal in the lucrative obsessive, all-week-long environment that football takes part in. A once social scourge, betting on football is now embraced by the sport as well as the media, government and the majority of society. What brought us to this place? What was the trigger for this dramatic shift in attitude and perception?

Let’s look back at the 20th Century. Betting really only focused on two sports – horse racing and greyhound racing. Bets on these races were kept at racing tracks or in betting shops dotted throughout the nation. The shops were not particularly welcoming venues; there was an air of sexiness (especially in the cities) which was reminiscent of the rougher bars of the region. Women were affluent, men were not allowed in, and you had to pay taxes on each bet you placed. Horrible, eh? Slowly, however, things started to improve Shop televisions were added in 1987, Sunday and evening opening kicked-off in the first half of the 1990’s and they even eliminated the betting tax in 2001.

However, football was considered to be a last resort in the context of betting. The pools (ask your dad) was what ruled the field in those simpler times. When the newspaper for betting on trades known as the Racing Post, was launched in 1986, they had just three pages on sport other than greyhounds and horses. On a busy weekend it could be up to 40.

What was the catalyst that triggered the massive fascination for betting on football? You’re probably already familiar with the story. Back in 1992 satellite television channel Sky Sports bought the rights to England’s top division for a mind-blowing (at that time) PS304m. The team was sacked Elton Welsby and John Bumstead and in came the insight of Andy Gray and pin-up looks of Ryan Giggs. As Sky said themselves, this was a completely new game.

The key to this revolution when it came to betting was the scale. When ITV was holding the rights to the top division, they broadcast live league games every weekend during the season. However, they did not broadcast on all of them. Sky plans to broadcast one on Sundays and another on Mondays. Live games were the real market for betting companies to encourage football betting therefore this boost was welcomed. The rest…football turned sexy and Manchester United got to No.1 in the charts.

The bookmakers were slow to react to this new wave of excitement over football. Although football-related coupons and other marketing materials began to be sold inside betting establishments, the betting industry was in control of what people could bet on football. In the beginning, if you were planning to place a bet only on one team, the team needed to be broadcast live on television in order for your wager to be considered valid. Bets placed on games that were not live had to be bracketed with two other bets. This was referred to as the minimum trebles rule. Things were changing though, at the time of the mid-90’s, in-running bets was launched, this allowed punters to bet on a live game on TV as it took place. While it’s been a thing of the past for decades on, this was a huge invention back then. And, as increasing numbers of games being broadcast live, interest was increasing.

The other key event in the boom of betting on football was the advent and rise of internet betting at the beginning into the 21st century. The two joys of being able to place bets at home , and also take advantage of more favorable odds through a myriad of new operators that only operate online made betting more appealing to the young generation. Top that up with the fact that betting taxes were removed in 2001, and it proved to be a game-changer.

For today’s William Hill closing times head on over to closingtimes.co.uk…

From being a hugely constrained in 90’s the new millennium introduced the new form of football betting in which everything is possible! Today, you can place bets for the next turn, a team to lose or a player who scores a goal at any time and you can even back East Stirling to beat Elgin with a single wager. The dark days had passed and betting had been liberated.

The traditionality of the old-fashioned betting shop guards were replaced by exciting new brands such as Paddy Power, Betfair and Bet365. These companies were able to tap into this new generation and made betting exciting and aspirational for casual football enthusiasts. Numerous innovations were introduced as these tech-savvy firms embraced the world of online. Live streaming, exchange betting and cash-out facilities transformed the world into an exciting and appealing one for football enthusiasts.

The mainstream media picked up that and betting were a frequent accompaniment to the game the game itself. In addition to reporting team news in live matches, Sky Sports would also give odds on the match. This was not possible 20 years ago. Huge steps had been made. While horse racing’s market share decrease the football betting market increased in popularity and was just as popular as the sport itself.

The concept of in-running (or in-play) betting has created the thrill of gambling where a huge twist during a game could have thrilling or catastrophic consequences. Perhaps the most famous soccer change of the century occurred during the 2005 Champions League final when Liverpool were 3-0 down at half-time was able to come back to draw 3-3 before eventually winning through penalties. It was a joy for the Anfield club , of course, but a terrifying nightmare for one Norwegian gambler who put PS10,167 on AC Milan at odds of 1/10 and William Hill when they went 3-1 up. Those odds indicate players will get PS1 for each PS100 staked. So our Oslo-based friend Oslo had to pay a meager sum of PS101.67 if AC Milan had gone on to take home the trophy.

However, on the other hand, that game also created an amazing story of winners for football punters. At William Hill, one lucky man placed PS50 on Liverpool to take home the trophy at odds of 100/1. The team were at a loss (and seemed to sink) at half-time.

Football betting has become smarter too. Many punters use stats and statistics to make their bets. While it is an acceptable form of entertainment, betting on football can be an intense battle between bookmakers and customers. Opta Stats have become a prominent presence on many of bookmaker websites as more more punters utilize data to profit. Brentford FC have adoped a method that relies on stats, analytics, and data to help them grow and it’s not a surprise to discover that owner Matthew Benham has his roots deep in the world of gambling.

In 2022, placing a football bet on has become a staple part of the weekend for millions of fans. You don’t need to be in an smoky store and it’s easy to follow. Football betting has emerged as the most important product for betting firms. The number of operators is growing as well as our viewing time is overloaded with increasing advertisements from these companies. The previous World Cup brought in around PS1 billion in revenue in the UK. Recession, what recession? There’s no doubt that the rise of the game is the reason for this growth along with the birth of internet technology. The days when gambling was an illegal activity have long gone.