A brief history of football betting

As this BBC report shows, football gambling is a huge and ever-growing business in the UK. Although the Premier League attracts the most money, every league throughout the country, from the Championship down to the Conference, has fans wagering on it. There just seems to be something about football that makes us Brits want to have a flutter! 

Football and gambling – a history


Football has always enjoyed a close relationship with the gambling industry, from the modern day to times gone past. Back when gambling was legalised in the 1960s, the football pools were a very popular way to have a go at winning some money. Who can forget Viv Nicholson, the factory worker from Castleford, scooping a jackpot worth close to £5 million in today’s money in 1961? Or the way famous players from the past, such as Rodney Marsh, would nip out at half-time to put a bet on? Many fans saw things like this happening and a link between the two industries was formed.


Since then, the popularity of bookmaker’s shops and then the more recent development of online bookmakers has seen the industry grow even bigger and more successful. Not surprisingly, this relationship has helped both industries grow and has been mutually beneficial. Football seems to have taken a certain amount of glamour and interest from gambling, while the betting industry has used football to help draw in more customers. 

What does the future hold?


The future looks very bright for football and football betting, both separately and together. The close relationship they enjoy will only be made stronger by teams such as Watford and West Ham being sponsored by betting companies. Alongside this, the appeal and size of the Premier League brand will enable betting companies to develop new football betting markets and reach more potential customers than ever.

It is perhaps the digital side of football betting that holds the best future growth appeal though. There is a wide variety of slot games that people can have a go on now. As well as the possibility of picking up a casino bonus UK, these casino sites and games give people a fun way to experience both football and football betting.

Will it continue to grow?


The sports match betting industry is estimated to be worth around £430 billion currently, of which football makes up about 70%. With these figures in mind and its history, it would seem that football betting will be around for many more years to come. In a similar way, the Premier League continues to grow year on year, and the close bond between both can only help that happen further.

English people have always liked to have a little wager on their favourite team or the football pools, and this is not about to change anytime soon it seems. Indeed, the current popularity of the English football leagues and the advance of online betting technology and games only suggests that it will grow more than ever.