The industry has endured many changes since that first online wager was placed. Advances in technology and some amazing innovations are why it continues to grow so rapidly. We’re excited to see what the future of online betting beholds.
This article doesn’t focus on the future of sports betting, though, it focuses on its past. We look at how sports betting has evolved over the years to become what it is today. We explain the most significant changes that have happened during the evolution of online sports betting, and discuss how they affect us.
When the sports betting industry first took off, it was not regulated too closely. Most sites had some kind of gambling or betting license that authorized them to operate and provide their services, but the requirements for those licenses were not very strict. There wasn’t much (if any) oversight of exactly what these sites were doing and how they were operating.
Sure, there were some trustworthy sites that launched in the late 90s. They were often operated by brand new companies that formed specifically to become a part of this industry. Their goal was to make a profit by providing an excellent service to their customers.
On the other side of the spectrum was the “scam” sites. These sites were launched with the specific aim of ripping people off. Somewhere in the middle are the sites that started with good intentions but then resorted to stealing and/or cheating their customers for one reason or another.
The point we’re trying to make here is that a lot of people lost a lot of money to rogue betting sites back then. It was very difficult for anyone to know which sites were trustworthy and which weren’t. Many people didn’t put much thought into which site to use, and just signed up at the first site they found.
The sheer volume of sites means that the online betting industry is a VERY competitive one. There are so many options for customers that they can afford to be very choosy about where they place their wagers. This means that sites have to work very hard to attract and retain customers, which ultimately forces them to provide a better service.
Several of the developments we mention later in this article are direct results of the competitive nature of the industry. The overall quality of sites has improved because they’re all trying to outdo each other. The variety of betting options has improved for the same reason, and we probably wouldn’t get such good odds and lines if there were less sites competing for our business. We might not have seen so much innovation either.
What about the sites themselves though? Do they benefit from the industry being so competitive? In all honesty, no they don’t. A well-known myth is that running a betting site is a license to print money. Yes, the biggest sites are very profitable. That’s BECAUSE they’re the biggest though. There are lots of smaller sites that struggle to make any kind of profit at all, and that’s largely due to the amount of competition they’re up against.
We hope that the industry remains so competitive. It wouldn’t be a disaster if there were not quite so many sites to choose from, and that will probably happen over the next few years. Some of the smaller sites will either close due to a lack of profit, or be taken over by one of the bigger operators.
It WOULD be a disaster if there were suddenly just a few sites to choose from though. With less competition, they wouldn’t have to give away so much in bonuses and rewards. They wouldn’t have to offer such good odds and lines. They probably wouldn’t even need to offer a particularly good service. And we don’t want that at all.
Modern betting sites ultimately serve the same purpose as the early sites did. They’re there to take our wagers and our money, and pay us out when we win. Not much has changed in this respect. The difference in the quality of the user experience is huge though. Genuinely huge. There’s simply no comparison between then and now.
The early betting sites served their purpose and that’s it. They didn’t look great, and they weren’t very user-friendly. They were often slow and unresponsive, and it was sometimes hard to find what we were looking for. The simple fact that we could place our wagers online was enough to keep us happy to be honest, but using these sites was NOT a wonderful experience.
It’s completely different with today’s sites. Not all sites are of the same quality of course, but even the worst ones are better than the early ones. The best ones are a LOT better. Not only are they more pleasing to the eye, but they’re also much easier to use. They’re fast, responsive and everything is well laid out.