It has only been three years since the United States Supreme Court ruled the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 as unconstitutional. Such recognition removed the federal ban on sports betting and created a new legal market that has propelled the gambling industry forward. In 2019, the sports betting industry in the United States produced USD 908.9 million.
Sports Betting Is A Pastime
While new in the sense of its legality, sports betting, or placing a wager on the outcome of a sporting event, is an American pastime. Millions of individuals bet on the Super Bowl or March Madness brackets. They do so through a bookmaker who operates at a land-based establishment like a casino. Or, they wager their money online, using services similar to William Hill live football betting, for matches in leagues such as the English Premier League. Betting online, where permitted, users can receive team and manager specials.
Either way, whether it’s the NFL, the NBA, or the English and Irish Premier League, history tells us that gambling is to sport events what tonic is to gin. Sports betting has always been there. It’s even recorded that Roman emperor Augustus, who came to power after Julius Caesar, used to bet on matches at the Colosseum. But why? What makes betting on sporting events so popular?
Why Do We Bet on Sporting Events?
Perhaps it’s because, like sport in general, there’s something for everyone. There are several different niches in sports betting, including football, basketball, soccer, and cricket. The rise in popularity of e-sports could also open up a new avenue for those who want to get into sports betting but have yet to find their niche.
Niches aside, sports betting has tremendous entertainment value. No doubt, watching live games, at home or in a bar, provides the audience with a rush and excitement, but those feelings are amplified when viewers have put money down. Sports betting can also open up conversations with friends and family or allow players to feel an added sense of competition. Research concludes that a majority of sports betters have played sports at a competitive level.
Punters can also feel closer to their chosen teams by placing bets on their outcomes or put the knowledge they’ve accumulated while watching competitors to the test. It’s for these reasons that individuals also compete in Fantasy Leagues. Week in and week out, they watch live matches and base their starting lineups on previous performances and emerging information. Sports betting keeps players in the loop of an industry they love, and unless pursued professionally, they might not have had a chance to be involved in real-time.
Everyone is different, which means there are several motivations for betting on sports. Maybe it’s because it opens conversations up between friends or because it makes games that you otherwise wouldn’t have cared about more interesting. People may also see it as similar to investing, in the sense that when bettors see edges in sports gambling lines, it’s the same as when financial investors recognize edges in the market. Whatever the reason is, enough people are getting involved that the sports betting industry is only forecasted to grow more in the coming years.