Sports betting dates back to ancient Greece when they introduced the Olympic Games over two thousand years ago. The ancient Greeks used to gamble at games, and the practice later spread to the Roman Empire during their gladiatorial games. The legalization of sports betting dates back to the 19th century, with Australia being the first country to legalize horse racing betting in 1810. More recently, with the advent of technology, sports betting has gained worldwide popularity and is projected to reach a market value of 140,000 million dollars. by 2028. The industry has seen this exponential growth as most of the casinos that offer sports betting provide users with attractive offers. For example, Australia no deposit bonus codes allow users to get bonuses from bookmakers upon registration.
In this article, we will look at the top countries that have embraced and entrenched sports betting in their cultures, making it legal. Due to the ethical and moral issues associated with sports betting, countries observe several parameters when legalizing it.
- Legal age of the participants, that is, 18 or 21 years, depending on the country.
- Sports betting companies must operate under globally recognized licences.
- Sports betting companies must comply with the tax laws of the countries in which they are domiciled.
- Promotion of responsible gaming by betting companies.
So, would you like to know which countries have legalized sports betting? Stay with me.
The United States of America
Since the state of Nevada is home to ‘the entertainment capital of the world’, Las Vegas, USA, tops our list of countries where sports betting is legal. Casual sports betting in the US gained popularity in 1876 due to the increase in the caliber of professional baseball. In 1931, Nevada became the first state to legalize sports betting in physical casinos in Las Vegas. Since then, the sports betting industry has grown into the industry it is today, where users no longer need to visit physical casinos, but can do so with online bookmakers. As of 2018, the US gambling market was valued at $79 billion.
In that same year, May 2018, the US sports betting industry received a huge boost that allowed it to spread across the country. The state of New Jersey won a case against the federal government’s ban on sports betting. The supreme court ruled that all states could legalize sports betting as they saw fit. With this victory, almost every state in the US legalized sports betting, except for Utah. However, it is important to note that gambling laws differ from state to state. For example, Delaware allows in-person sportsbooks but restricts online betting , while New Jersey accepts both in-person and online sportsbooks.
The United Kingdom
Informal sports betting in the UK dates back to the 17th century when horse racing betting was the preserve of the aristocracy. Later, Charles II put an end to the monopolization of gambling by popularizing it among the population, and it gained notoriety mainly in Ireland. The first act of legalization occurred in 1931 when the Irish Free State, present-day Ireland, passed laws guiding bookmakers. Consequently other laws have been passed and new laws were passed in 2005 which saw the establishment of the UK Gambling Commission which regulates all forms of sports betting.
The UK sports betting industry is valued at £204 million. One of the main driving factors for this industry is that the UK has the most popular football league globally, with an estimated 32% of the UK population taking part in sports betting on a weekly basis. The UK also boasts of being home to over 9,000 betting shops, with the most popular being owned by William Hill, Betfred and Ladbrokes Coral.
In addition, the United Kingdom has the largest number of online sports betting sites, among which the following stand out:
Australia holds the record for being the first country to legalize gambling. This happened at a horse race organized in Hyde Park in 1810. Other forms of sports betting became legal in 1980. Currently, Australia is among the top countries with the largest number of people involved in sports betting. Over 75% of adults in Australia have been involved in sports betting at some point in their lives. It is also among the leading countries in well-developed sports betting markets, and its companies have started to establish themselves in other countries around the world.
According to a report by The Australian Gambling Statistics (AGS), the sports betting industry in the country made just over $20 billion in profit as of 2020. With the legal age for gambling set at 18, it is estimates that more than 6 million Australians participate in sports betting on a regular basis. Since 1980, Australia has seen a rise in online sports betting platforms because the only restriction they face is the number of advertisements on their websites.
The dominant online sportsbooks in Australia include:
- winning bet
The first sports betting legislation in Canada was passed in 1867 and 25 years later it was amended to allow horse racing betting only. This law was maintained until 1969 when other forms of gambling were introduced, mainly lotteries. In 1985, the government realized the potential of the sports betting industries and changed the law to allow sports betting in a lottery format. Online sports betting sites first emerged in Canada in 1990, eventually giving rise to Sports Interaction, Canada’s largest online sports betting company. Canada is currently a major country in online sports betting and has few physical bookmakers.
The legal age for gambling for Canadians is 18 years old. Annually, the sports betting industry in the country earns about 18 million Canadian dollars, and it is estimated that 60% of the adult population participates in gambling.
Despite the negative notions associated with sports betting, such as compulsive gambling, it is clear that people will always bet while playing sports. The huge revenues related to sports betting types cement that its legalization is the way to go in the future. What’s more, even in countries where sports betting is illegal, punters can bet at online bookmakers in countries where betting is legal. With the current trends in the industry, it is safe to assume that more countries will legalize and entrench sports betting in their cultures.