When horse racing and esports collide, a new form of entertainment is born. Since the 1950s, betting on the side has been available in horse racing, and many have found it to be a favourite way to gamble. In the decades that followed, many online betting websites introduced their products to the market, creating a wave of interest that still hasn’t reached its peak.
However, in the last few years, a wave of reform has swept through both sports and gambling, putting an end to illegal activities, and side betting didn’t escape this scrutiny. In 2019, New York State banned wagers on sporting events and other forms of gambling, and the U.S. Congress is currently considering similar legislation.
The Growth Of Online Gambling
The expansion of online gambling was arguably inevitable. As the industry grew, new forms of gambling emerged, and side betting was one of them. One of the earliest examples of online gambling is a 1951 book called Sports Betting Made Easy by David Berar. The book explained how to wager on sports events, using computer technology as a guide. While the concept of computer technology guiding sports betting may seem far-fetched today, back then it was cutting edge.
In the decades that followed, online gambling grew in popularity, gradually replacing the traditional methods of wagering. However, the industry lacked sophistication, and in 2019 it was still considered illegal in most parts of the world. That is until recently, when sophisticated online gambling platforms like DraftKings and Fun88 began providing innovative betting methods, attracting a younger audience and revitalising the industry.
The Rise Of Esports
Esports grew out of the popularisation of video games. In the early days, gameplay was a challenge itself, and people found entertainment in watching others engage in these challenges. In the late 1990s, online gaming emerged, meaning people could play against each other remotely, solving the problem of distance in gaming.
While traditional sports have been a mainstay of gamblers, the advent of esports has meant that competitive gaming has become a mainstream spectator sport. This has led to an explosion of interest in betting on esports, particularly regarding the outcomes of tournaments. But unlike traditional sports, games in esports are often decided by factors completely out of the player’s control, making it highly unsuitable for a wager.
Sporting Events And Gambling Are Often Conflicting
Because they’re considered both sports and gambling, it’s not surprising that people have found ways to combine the two. If you attend a horse race, you might find it hard to avoid gambling on the side. After all, the more you know about the outcome of a horse race, the more you can make a wager on it.
But this is where the problem lies. The two are often intertwined, with gambling serving as a significant source of funding for many sports teams. The National Football League (NFL) has been tied to gambling and corruption scandals for years, and in 2019 a report from the United States Anti-Fraud Office revealed that there had been over 1,600 incidents of betting fraud or abuse since 2018. Several other professional sports leagues have also been implicated in fraudulent activity, prompting a major re-evaluation of how gambling impacts the sports industry.
It’s A Family Affair
Betting on the side has always been considered an acceptable way to gamble, and many people enjoy the company of others while gambling. For this reason, many casinos and sportsbooks have family-friendly hours and offer free snacks and drinks for children. Additionally, many games of chance feature characters that people can relate to, making the activity more accessible to a younger audience.
The expansion of legalized sports betting in the U.S., and around the world, has meant that more people are able to participate in the activity, no matter where they are. Side betting has become a popular way for fans to engage with their favourite sports teams, and for participants to make a quick buck, playing against other bettors. But with the increasing popularity of esports and virtual sports, this is likely to change.
The Challenges Faced By Online Gamblers
Due to its nature, online gambling is highly susceptible to corruption and fraud, as well as being highly unregulated. This has put many sportsbooks and casinos in a difficult position, with many having to close down due to illegal activity. Additionally, many countries have laws that prohibit online sports betting or even require users to be over a certain age limit, meaning they have to operate in an overseas jurisdiction to remain legally compliant.
The integrity of the sports betting industry has been called into question due to the significant role that bookmakers play in providing odds, and due to the amount of money that is often wagering. In 2019, the New York Gaming Commission outlined the major problems it was facing, revealing that over 40% of its investigations involved allegations of match fixing and fraud. Although the majority of these cases were unsubstantiated, the sheer volume undermined the integrity of the entire industry.
Is It On Now?
Now that you know the basics of why street outlaws stopped side betting, you can find out if today’s the right day to place a wager on the horse race of your choice. You can use the search bar at Betsafe.com to find all the horse races that are on today, or you can use our calculator to work out the lastest odds for any horse race, immediately.
Keep in mind that the legality of wagering varies from state to state, so check the laws in your jurisdiction before placing that wager. You can also find information at the Kahnawake Racecourse website regarding the latest news, upcoming events, and track history. Finally, if you find that gambling is something that interests you, you can also visit our guide to the top legal online gambling sites, where you can find all the sportsbooks that meet your standards.