Published On : Fri, Apr 9th, 2021

The Close Relationship Between Sports and Gambling

Sports have been part of many cultures around the world. It’s something that not everyone can do but anyone can follow, and so it’s easy to understand why this industry alone is huge. As the sports market grows, more businesses and industries get attached to it like the gambling industry.

Gambling and sports have quite a symbiotic relationship. It’s tightly knit together that some may even have a hard time determining which is more reliant on the other. Sports betting is believed to have started in Ancient Greece when the Olympics started in Ancient Greece (776 BC). However, for a long time, it has been a taboo aspect of the sports industry.

Today, however, things are starting to change. The bond between sports and gambling is getting stronger and more people are starting to see it as a norm instead of something taboo. When people talk about sports like cricket, it is no longer surprising to have IPL or ODI betting and odds  brought up. Sports betting is just really becoming a common interest.

More on Sports Betting

Sports betting is still illegal in many countries and states in the US. However, the United States is a good example when it comes to how people are becoming more welcoming towards betting. For a long time, sports betting was deemed illegal in the US because of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act or PASPA of 1992 that has been protecting the sanctity of athletes and sports leagues in the country.

Thankfully for betting fans and gambling companies in the US, this changed in 2018. In May of that year, the Supreme Court of the US struck down PASPA and this made sports betting federally legal in the country.


Since then, states like Michigan, Colorado, Illinois, Delaware, New Jersey, and many more worked on regulating the local operations of both online and in-person sports betting within their territories. Today, the US has over 20 states with legal sports betting.

Aside from the US where sports betting has been significantly growing, the United Kingdom has always been a big market for this activity. The UK has the biggest gambling market worldwide because of its relaxed rules or laws regarding gambling. Many countries that are taking a step towards regulating gambling, in general, are usually looking at UK’s effort to regulate the activity.

When it comes to who would engage in sports betting, the main contributors are, of course, the sports fans. People have different reasons why they wager on a particular sport. It could be their way to show support to a league, team, or athlete. However, it could also be because they want to earn a few extra bucks from it. There are also a few who just do this for excitement purposes and peer pressure.

The Involvement of Gambling Companies in Sports Events

Aside from sports betting, gambling companies are also starting to get more involved in sports events. There are plenty of big companies out there that have signed deals and partnerships with sports teams. Such deals are beneficial to both parties as the teams would get the money or funds they need and the bookies will get the exposure they also need to attract new customers.

Whether it’s a popular sports team/league or not, a brand sponsorship will also help them promote their events. A bookie would carry odds on their matches and usually, the live streaming of these matches is included. Some people would look for new sports to wager on from time to time and the deal with a bookie will give them the exposure.

The Future of Sports and Gambling

While more countries are starting to embrace sports betting, places that already regulate this are still not done with improving the system. For example, the UK government knows that there are still risks in allowing this activity within the country. And so, they are continuously trying to find ways to minimize the risks.

The UKGC has already banned the use of credit cards in any gambling activities in the country. Rules are also stricter to ensure that no minors will be able to access any gambling activity online. There are also talks that even brand sponsorship between gambling companies and sports teams will have to be regulated.

With this, we may expect more countries to legalize sports betting within their territories. However, we should also expect that stricter regulations will be implemented to ensure the safety of gambling customers and consumers.