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Cockfighting is an ancient sport that has survived centuries despite the controversy surrounding its practice. This blood sport pits two roosters against each other, fighting until one is injured or killed.
Closely tied to the nature of cockfighting is betting, as spectators place wagers on their favored gamecock and, if lucky enough, get to take home an amount of cash.
To know why betting is an essential part of cockfighting, one must first understand the history of placing wagers in sports entertainment.
History of Sports Betting
Sports are a part of everyday life. Numerous individuals engage in sports, whether as an athlete, an enthusiast, or casual spectators. Betting on sporting events isn’t actually a new thing, rather, it has been around for centuries.
While no one, not even historians, can pinpoint exactly when sports betting began, it’s certain that placing wagers on the outcome of an event has been a practice for thousands of years.
The earliest records of betting on sports go back more than 2,000 years, in the time of the Ancient Greeks and Romans. Ancient Greece had an intense enthusiasm for sports, which led them to start the Olympics. The first records of betting came along with the introduction of the Olympics to the rest of the world.
Apart from the Greeks, Romans also enjoyed wagering on the gladiator games. In fact, the Romans were the first to legalize sports betting. From then on, gambling in sports continued to spread all across the world.
Why Do People Bet On Cockfights?
Cockfighting falls under the category of blood sports, which is a form of sport/entertainment that involves some bloodshed or combat. Aside from cockfighting, other sports such as boxing, wrestling, mixed martial arts, bullfighting, and the like are also filed under blood sports.
There is no definite answer to when or how betting became a part of cockfighting, but there are a few reasons why they are closely tied together.
Cockfighting is Entertaining
Watching sports is fun, but putting wagers on a match can increase its entertainment value further. Many individuals participate in cockfighting as a form of pastime, hobby, or diversion from life’s stressors. A lot of people find that they become more engaged and interested in cockfights once they have placed a bet.
Moreover, the unpredictability of cockfights makes them more interesting than slow-paced sports. The element of luck in addition to the thrill of matches are challenging yet highly engaging.
A Way to Make Money
Betting on cockfights can also be a way to make money, adding more to its entertainment value. There is no better feeling than making a prediction, placing a wager on it, and coming out a winner.
In the Philippines, most individuals who participate in cockfights are minimum wage earners. Their engagement in cockfighting, whether as a spectator, a cockfighter, a bet-taker, and such, allow them to earn additional income to help their families.
Although, it should be noted that winning bets doesn’t happen every single time, and there are moments when individuals take losses too. It is a risk, that is for sure, but one that many are willing to take just to earn extra.
A Way to Understand Cockfighting
Placing wagers on cockfights isn’t just entertaining, it is also a way to understand cockfighting better. Many beginners in cockfighting place their bets on a whim, and whether they lose or not, the initial experience gives them more exposure to how the game works and what gamefowls should look out for.
It allows them to learn more about the sport, understand all its inner workings, and pick up strategies that can benefit them in future matches.
There is no definite answer as to why betting is an integral part of cockfighting and other sports around the world. The practice of betting in sports entertainment goes back a thousand years and has persevered and developed in modern times.
Placing bets on cockfights increases the stakes and entertainment value of the match and allows individuals to earn extra income. Moreover, betting also allows individuals to become knowledgeable not only about cockfighting but also about statistics and analytics. It is safe to say that betting will always be a part of cockfighting and will not disappear anytime soon.