Sports betting is one of the most poplar forms of gambling- maybe because it involves sports teams, trash talk, and often the individual performance of the players themselves- adding a human element to an industry that was once all about luck and numbers.
While sports betting itself has been around for thousands of years (even Roman emperors enjoyed a good bet), online sports betting is less prevalent and is still illegal in many countries. In 1991, the most important people in American sports petitioned the Senate to prevent something they considered to be a growing evil.
Pau Tagliabue, NFL Commissioner, said that they didn’t want their games to be used as bait in order to sell gambling, and that it had to be made clear to the public, fans, and athletes that gambling isn’t a part of sport.
This argument helped push through the passing of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act which ensured that sports betting was confined to Montana, Delaware, Oregon and Nevada. The American ban on online sports gambling is now under siege like it never has been before.
In Britain, it’s another story. A popular sports betting site is sport.netbet.uk, and throughout the country you’ll find sports stadiums containing gambling kiosks, thousands of betting parlours, and the ability to bet online since it’s legal to bet from home via phones and computers. Gambling has long been integral to sports in Britain, and there is far more leniency towards this in the UK compared to America.
Around the world you’ll find similar stories, with many countries continuing to keep sports betting illegal. In India only horse racing betting is legal, although illegal betting syndicates continue to thrive throughout the country. The illegal sports betting market in India is worth approximately $150 billion each year, with much of the gambling directed towards cricket.
Punters use their phones to place bets here, but while the Public Gambling Act of 1867 prohibits gambling of any kind in the country, unlike the US which has mostly banned internet sports gambling, there is no similar law in India. Offshore online betting companies have long been using this loophole to allow Indians to bet on sports.
In the United States, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has never made his belief in legal online gambling a secret. Like many other business people around the world, he understands that legal online sports betting is a huge revenue builder for states and countries. Many people believe that the future for online sports gambling in the US could be a happy one, especially as states which have legalised it continue to enjoy the profits.
In New Zealand online sports betting is legal, although the gambling act only applies to activities originating within the country. The TAV operates the only sports betting website within New Zealand though, meaning that the country is lacking competition.
In Australia sports betting is limited to in-person or telephone betting, although many operators have found workarounds which allow wages to be placed by mobile apps.