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Sports Betting Trends  
Sports betting has been around for as long as there have been bookmakers to take bets and well before that in private wagers. Betting on camel racing is mentioned in the Koran and historic records of wagers go back through Roman times and into ancient Greek history. Betting on sports and increased and widened its scope through the ages but the information age has allowed it to mushroom and envelope the world. There are now few people on planet earth who do not understand the concept of a wager or what it means in terms of sports and everything else.

Betting on sports in truly big business now, you can't turn on the Channel 4 or Channel 5 in the UK without seeing an advertisement for a bookmaker of some sort, whether traditional betting, exchange betting or spread betting. And this whilst there are countless scandals in the news about the corruption of a sporting event by insider trading, people within the sport using their knowledge to bet on particular matches or events within. Cricket spot fixing, Tennis matches, Snooker frame betting and Football match fixing are never far away from a news channel and it not about to stop despite all the governing body announcements.

This sort of insider information betting is however trivial compared to the grey market. There are facilitators that will match up big punters money with their own bookmaking operation or simply with other serious players and they only get interested when its a six-figure sum. Bets on cricket and premier league football are commonly in seven figures, numbers that the traditional companies are not just scared to take on, but simply don't have the ability to do so.

Bookmakers not being able to take large bets means they have to resort to taking volumes of small bets which leads to limited to liability and limited real bookmaking. Consequently there is no difference between bookmakers online as many use the same software and therefore are offering the same markets. The only real difference is what they are prepared to offer you in free bets and to be able to seek the best offers you'll need a service like The very least you can do is to get the bookie to sweeten your arrival.

So bookies are appealing to everyone when once it was horseracing and greyhound fans. Every personality contest on TV, political battle, “will it snow at Christmas”, what colour hat the Queen will be wearing at Ascot and and name of the next Royal baby is a battle ground for bookies versus punters. These were once novelty bets but now they are a serious way for bookies to lure new types of customers into their virtual satchels.

One serious new contender in the world of sports betting is eSports. Not existing as a professional sport only five years ago there are now in excess of 80 million competitors worldwide, growing at a phenomenal rate, and supporting professional teams around the world in a number of professional leagues. End of season championships have multi-million dollar prize funds and the viewing public pay to watch these team battles in their millions online. The most recent League of Legends championship finals in Berlin was won by a South Korean team, where eSports is now the national game, and was watched by 36 million people with a peak of 14 million at any one time. The previous year in Seoul 40,000 fans watched the finals in the World Cup football stadium.

Over in the USA another new phenom is Daily Fantasy Sports, or DFS. This is a fast growing of-shoot of fantasy sports. Fantasy Sports involves players building teams of sportsmen and in a particular league and they compete based on their performances and statistics. In DFS the competition is accelerated to conclude in one day, competing players paying entry money into a prize pool and the best performers take a share of pool with the operators taking a cut for running the competition. This is now a multi-billion dollar industry but there is now a serious problem in certain states. New York State attorney general and the FBI have poked their noses in and are attempting to declare DFS as illegal gambling. The battle is currently raging in the courts with an Appeals Court Judge granting a suspension to an injunction which would have halted all participation.

So sports betting could never be livelier than it is now. There's no predicting where we are headed now but I can't wait to see what it is.

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