Man, by virtue of his instinct to survive, is naturally a gambler. Given the risks of living day-to-day life, it was considered an act of skill to stay alive until the sun sets, especially during the Stone Age. As the human race began to develop systems that would facilitate the physiological need of survival, the gambling instinct that was inherent in man did not dissipate. Rather, it became stronger with the passage of time.
The gambling instinct, simply put, is displayed early into the history of human civilization. The Romans were notorious for their fierce and unforgiving gladiator matches, which were mainly violent at least and visceral at best. By 80AD, the emperor Titus then conducted the first official ceremonies at the Colosseum, and thus the festivities had begun. Slaves were pitted against each other in mostly battles to the death, and sometimes against wild beasts as well. Spectators relished the thought of betting on their favorite gladiator, hoping that he would live to see the end of the glorious battle.
But as time progressed, the violence of the human sport had proved to be too much for some, and gambling has been reduced to animal fights. Of course, this has been around even before the human blood sport of gladiators, but they had become highly popularized in certain parts of Europe -particularly Spain, Portugal, the United Kingdom, France, and even some parts of Asia such as the Philippines and Indonesia. Among these fights were bullfighting, cockfighting, and fox hunting.
As European influence spread more and more all throughout the continents of the world, the thrill of betting soon became a worldwide phenomenon. Gradually, the hunger for the sight of blood was soon surpassed by the promise of amassment of wealth. The stakes were high, but made more appealing by the rise of establishments such as casinos. Betting was never more enjoyable.
But alas, the collected momentum of sports betting was halted abruptly by the coming of the two World Wars since activities such as race meeting and lotteries became severely restricted. Its return only came in the mid-1950s and soon flourished again.
Not to be outdone, sporting events still remained strong in gambling circles, as events such as horse races, basketball matches, and baseball games just seemed to beg for more incoming bets. The rise of communications technology also facilitated the development of sports betting, with phone betting becoming an attractive option to those who live far and away from the games. Companies such as Intertops in Antigua started this as far back as 1993.
When the Internet finally came out for public access and personal use, the betting world evolved into a more closely-knit community. Globalization served its purpose in connecting the world in ways previously thought inconceivable -after all, who would have thought that you can bet on a game halfway across the world with such ease? In 1996, a company in Gibraltar called Microgaming took advantage of this trend and began developing software for use in other gaming companies all over the world. Others soon followed suit, and thus online sports betting as we knew it was born.