History Of Online Sports Betting

Online sports betting has been a major contributor to betting in general. With accessibility and ease of use came a massive influx of people into the betting industry, changing the betting landscape forever. Online betting is seen as the biggest change in sports betting since betting on chariots was popular in the Roman era.


The first online sportsbook to ever exist is still a popular name today, Intertops. The company was founded by Derlet Train in 1982 as a sportsbook, not being legal in Germany at the time, the founder moved Intertops to London where Intertops would get its official start in 1983. At the time there was no intention for Intertops to ever be anything other than a regular physical sportsbooks. That all changed in 1989 when hiring an 18 year old named Simon Noble. Simon was an extraordinary young visionary who quickly rose to head the company’s internet expansion team in 1994 with the intention of becoming the first online sportsbook.

Interlops opened their online sportsbook in 1996 cementing themselves as the first online sportsbook ever.

The First Bet

Jukka Honkavaara, a Finnish bettor placed the very first online sports bet on 17 January 1996. Mr. Honkavaara placed a $50 bet that Tottenham Hotspur would beat Hereford united. While it was not a risky bet as the odds were massively in his favour, Mr Honkavaata made history in not only placing the very first online sports bet but winning it as well.

Internet Sports Betting Era

As access grew, so did those partaking in online sports betting. At times and in areas the legality of the matter was questionable, this did not stop punters from jumping at the opportunity to bet on sports online. At the time sports betting sites had great opportunities as many of the gambling market saw online casinos as potentially rigged against them, there was no way a sports betting site could have a direct effect on a sporting event.

This lead to a growth like no other betting market had seen. Within six years online sports betting had grown to rival traditional sportsbooks where internet was available. This lead to a massive push of traditional sportsbooks creating online store-fronts, only increasing the snowball effect of pushing punters to online alternatives. Today online sports betting is responsible for more bets than physical sportsbooks locations.

Mobile Era

As the years went on and more people made use of online sportsbooks from computers, technology evolved to a point where we had computers in our pockets. This was obviously the next logical step for online sports betting. The ease and convenience would allow punters to place a bet anywhere and anytime the need took them. Internet betting made its way to mobile in the year 2000, again by the innovators at Intertops.

Mobile sports betting was not as quick to take traction as internet sports betting in general. When mobile devices became powerful enough to facilitate a decent betting experience, they became the aim for online sportsbooks the world over.