History of bookmakers


Gambling has been around for centuries. There is even some information that it has been around for 5000 years, but some say that it goes far beyond. Honestly, no one really knows or can find out when was the first time gambling appeared, but that doesn’t stop us to dive into the known facts. Dice had been used in 3,000 BC. Chinese had gambling houses 2,500 years ago. Ancient Rome and Greece are known for many games, so gambling is rooted throughout history.

The history of gambling


Let’s jump over to the United Kingdom, where modern gambling began. King Charles II loved horse racing and the 17th century is considered to the beginning of sports betting. The first jockey club was founded in 1750. Even though some things have changed over the years, still these events count as the beginning of gambling as we know it today. The first bookmaker is considered to be Harry Ogden who saw the opportunity at Newmarket Heath in 1790 where he participated in the betting and was offered to back the favorite horse or the rest that were participating.

The important thing is to say that the odds for all the horses would be the same if more than one was offered to. He decides to give various odds on every horse that participated in the race. This was recognized as a very good option, so it quickly spread to all bookmakers. He’s also credited for establishing the concept of overround because he structured the odds in such a way that guaranteed him the gain. This was the initial step that started the whole concept of bookmakers that is widely known today.


During the next century, horse racing started booming and it was greatly appreciated by the aristocracy. At this time more bookmakers started appearing using the system of Harry Ogden so more people participated in gambling activities. The government raised significant questions about collecting tax revenues from these activities. This is why the Gaming Act appeared in 1845. It’s interesting to mention that certain legislation that was introduced back than remained valid until it was changed 13 years ago. It included various areas and numerous issues that were closely related to the industry of gambling in the United Kingdom. However, their main goal was to discourage gamble because it was perceived as an illness of society.

This act enabled the aristocracy to gamble without issues, but made gambling much harder for the masses. People were allowed to gamble only in some places and those were the places visited only by the wealthy individuals and the upper class. The state was removed from arbitration in total. However, even though there were efforts to stop gambling, it still gained enormous popularity. The betting houses started appearing everywhere and the race meetings became more frequent. This is the time when people from the working class started betting more frequently.

Betting was generally illegal, but bookmakers used to find ways to operate outside the boundaries by utilizing runners for taking money from punters, but they would set up a so-called shop somewhere outside of the center of attention. Despite the Street Betting Act that appeared in 1905 that banned street betting, that was not effective at all, so the betting continued.


After the First World War, there were efforts to regulate gambling with the goal of having better control and taking taxes. This is one major bookmaker who appeared called Ladbrokes. Later on, William Hill appeared, then Tote. Between 1926 and 1967 most of the most important bookmakers appeared.

The recent history

The sixties were very important for many reasons, for gambling among other things as well. This is when the Betting and Gaming Act appeared which legalized betting which was the reason why numerous bookmakers appeared. Legal betting shops were introduced and even though they were not as clean and modern as the betting shops the day, they were the reason why gambling flourished. Betting shops meant that people could bet legally on horse racing and this is why so many people engaged in gambling over the next 30 years.

With the invention of the Internet, everything started to expand, so the first online gambling website appeared in 1994. Bookmaking and sports betting online had to wait until two years later when the first online bookmaker appeared. It was called the Intertops. This was only the beginning, because after that, things exploded pretty fast. Now, this is an industry worth millions, so more and more online gambling sites appear constantly.

Today, even gambling on smartphones is possible. The first bets that were done over the phone happened in 2003, but the smartphones were introduced in 2007 which made browsing and gambling online easy and accessible. Nowadays, many bookmakers use mobile phones to gamble because it is easy, flexible and functional. There even betting apps that make them gambling as convenient as possible.

It is not easy to predict how will bookmaking evolve, but one thing is for sure – the technologies are making everything easier and faster. Various programs make bookmaking much convenient, so more and more people engage in these kinds of activities. If you wish to find out more about the best bookmakers at the moment, visit Nostrabet.com Here you will find everything you need to know about sports betting.


The fact that the profits are breaking records shows just how popular gambling became. It is largely available to masses, and considering that it is available on the Internet makes everything much easier. It has never been faster to place a bet and engage in any kind of gambling, including playing various games in online casinos or in sports bets. It will be interesting to see how will bookmaking evolve with the new programs and technologies appearing all the time. We will certainly keep a close eye.