Man has always had a love of gambling, and betting shops (in a slightly different form, of course) have been around since Roman times. Only a few hundred years ago, however, the centre of betting on the planet was the United Kingdom, which is considered to be the birthplace of betting today.
How was it?
Fast forward to 1766, the capital of the United Kingdom, London. Richard Tattesol, former stableman of the Duke of Kensington, lived here. It was he who founded the world-famous thoroughbred auction called Tattersalls, which incidentally still exists today, retaining the title of the largest auction in England and Ireland. The auction was originally located in Hyde Park, London.
There were 2 rooms in the first premises of the auction, which were given to the upper class. This is the privileged Jockey Club, which was launched in 1752. The nobility would come here for socialising, betting and watching the races. It is believed that it was Tattersalls that became the prototype of modern bookmakers and helped spread betting around the world. By the way, Richard Tattersall’s personality made history – to this day, racetracks, where bets are taken, are named after him. It sounds like Tattersall’s Enclosure.
A little more detail
Curiously enough, the term “bookmaker” itself is derived from the word bookmaking. Translated bookmaking means “bookmaking”. And there is an explanation for this, because the people who took the bets wrote them down in a special book, which they carried with them at all times. By the way, even at the beginning of bookmaking development bets were accepted on handicaps and competitions of different classes of participants (but then they equalized chances of winning).
The odds were equalised by giving a small head start on time or distance. The lack of a unified system did not bring stability to bookmakers.
Somewhat later, the tradition of so-called “Honest Bookmaking” emerged, as entrepreneurs realised that the main tool for success in this business was reputation.
Leviathan Davies and Fred Swindell were the forerunners of the tradition. In 1850, Davies commissioned a printing company to print “oddsheets”, which he hung around town. This in turn enabled punters to place bets knowing in advance how much they would earn (known odds).
Up to that moment, bets were collected in one cash desk and the bigger the gap between bets on 1 and 2 outcomes, the lower the odds were respectively.
Bookmaking came to the States in 1866, when the first bookmaker’s office was launched in Philadelphia. In America, betting enjoyed incredible popularity, and then betting began to spread rapidly across the planet.
However, the United Kingdom still occupies the first place in the number of betting shops, and the largest companies are located here.
In fact, betting has long gone beyond sporting events to bet on any outcome, up to and including the end of the world or an alien landing on Earth.