While it may seem like a relatively new phenomenon, wagering on the outcome of sporting events is an age-old pastime. In fact, as long ago as the time of the Roman Empire people were placing wagers on the outcome of everything from Ben Hur-style chariot races to the gladiatorial games.
While this is all true, it’s really been in the latter stages of the 20th century onwards that wagering on sports has really taken off.
Like so many things, it was the arrival in all of our lives of the internet that acted as a catalyst.
As sportsbooks began to open up online it made it increasingly convenient to bet on all kinds of sporting events, with an increasingly wide range of different bets.
Then in May 2018, when the US Supreme Court made the groundbreaking decision to legalise sports wagering it opened the floodgates still further.
This undoubtedly introduced millions of Americans to legal sports wagering for the first time, with sportsbooks acclimatising them to wagering online.
Many of these are run by businesses that also have online casinos – and there are also plenty of the latter without this link. For both, sports fans are an obvious group to try to attract to play on them.
The appeal of casinos for sports fans
All casino gaming has the same general appeal and motivations for those who indulge in it. It’s the chance to gain financially by successfully predicting the future. This is achieved by weighing up the possible outcomes in any given situation and placing some money on it.
It’s exactly the same whether you’re predicting the final score in a sporting event or which number the ball will land on in roulette.
The thrill of getting it right is also exactly the same in both situations, and anyone who enjoys one will inevitably enjoy the other.
This fact alone suggests that sports fans who wage will also be somewhat predisposed to try their luck in a casino too. It’s just a question of providing them with exactly the right motivations to give it a go.
The games people play
Visit any leading site, such as Bally Casino, and you’ll see a truly spellbinding array of games to play.
Many of these are the traditional casino favourites of roulette, blackjack and baccarat. Within these there are also going to be very many variations, including the “live casino” option. In this, the action is streamed directly to a player’s device whether it’s a PC, a smartphone or a tablet.
The games are played in real time and run by actual dealers. This sense of immediacy provides a similar level of involvement and excitement that a live game of sport can do.
Plus, to target sports fans even more precisely, many online casino sites use the most popular of all their games, the slots.
Today these are available with all kinds of themes from lucky leprechauns in search of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow to movie and TV show and movie tie-ins.
Because specific games are designed to attract specific players, there are also countless sports-themed slots covering everything from football to horse racing and from fishing to Formula 1.
The digital technology behind these online slots also means that some of the games can reward players not just with money but also with clips of great sporting moments.
Football games are particularly popular and these also often include bonus rounds in which players have to take part in deciders like penalty shoot-outs or direct free kicks.
The online casino world is a very competitive one indeed. So sports fans looking for where to experience online gaming are always going to be spoilt for choice.
This means that most operators offer relatively generous welcome bonuses to attract them. These can take a number of forms but most usually include an offer of free stake money to get players started.
Often this is also accompanied by a set number of free spins on selected slots games. In both cases these need to be claimed within a certain period of signing up with the casino.
This is a very effective way to recruit sports fans and there are other techniques and incentives to retain them. For the very best customers these can even include tickets to major sporting events, often with the teams or players involved being sponsored by the casino in question.
So, as you can see, there are plenty of ways for sports fans to get into online casino gaming. And if the casino in question also has a sportsbook they can even use their winnings from one to fund play on the other.
It all adds up to a perfect match – and isn’t that what all sports fans always hope they’ll see?