Lessons from the Field
Edited by John K. Wilson and Richard Pomfret
Chapter 11: Betting on sport: history, regulation, measurement
In this very preliminary inquiry, we consider five “systems” of betting on sport, from: (1) private peer-to-peer betting, to (2) commercial bookmaking on multiple outcomes, (3) parimutuel betting on combination of events, (4) real-time betting, and eventually (5) platform intermediated peer-to-peer betting. The evolution from one step to another was mainly driven by betting operators, who played with regulation to supply the customers with betting opportunities that fit their preferences and biases: ball sports displaced horse racing, and live betting cannibalized the other forms of betting since the mid-2000s. The advent of the Internet made regulations difficult to enforce and cut tax income, but solutions to these problems are eventually being found, with algorithms providing for fraud detection and exchange of information enabling the taxation of bettors’ income rather than placed bets. Implementation is still in the waiting, though.
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