The Relationship Between Football and Betting: A Brief History

The Relationship Between Football and Betting: A Brief History

When it comes to the relationship between sports in general and gambling, it’s common knowledge that despite the negative stigma of the latter, it’s difficult for one to survive without the other. It’s something that existed long before the crowds over at Arsenal began betting that their sports club would triumph over their opponents. From gambling on which team would win all the way to bets about when a specific team would score, there’s no denying the fact that sports betting shares football’s illustrious history.

While some might argue that sports betting sullies the honour of the game and devalues it, gambling has not once slowed in pace. There was a time when it was completely illegal to make bets on football matches, but it wasn’t long before efforts were made to circumvent it. In the case of Arsenal, it was the founding of Littlewoods Football Pools back in 1923. Before the pools, a crowd would merely gather and make bets about which team would win. However, it didn’t stop the law from cracking down.

Games of skill

While regular betting had no defence against the law, the pools utilised another tactic to get past the police. It involved making claims that sports betting was more a game of skill than a game of chance. Being able to make bets about which team would score in which half of the game involved intimate knowledge of the team’s members, as well as being knowledgeable enough to make an intelligent guess when two teams duked it out. At the time, only the horse track had a legal pool, and with the notion that sports betting took skill, Littlewoods Football Pools circumvented the law and became more popular than ever.

A question of culture

It would be a valid question to ask whether or not the pools would have been as popular as it is if it hadn’t been able to convince the law that it was more about skill than chance. It’s likely that it would have been even more popular, as gambling, in general, has a habit of becoming stronger the more resistance it faces. In some ways, betting is a part of world culture, and Arsenal is certainly no exception. Whether you’re the type that enjoys other forms of gambling such as live blackjack at or sports betting, you’ll find no shortage of opportunities to do so.

To conclude, it’s likely that gambling will never be universally accepted, despite the fact that it’s been a part of human culture for a very long time. However, it would be remiss to simply discount sports betting without acknowledging how much it has accomplished. Whether in football or almost every other sport, sports betting, in general, has brought its own share of universal appeal, and much of its popularity can be attributed to all of those people who take pleasure from taking chances and winning big. It might not be for everyone, but it has certainly made its impact and will likely continue to do so in the future.


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