Things change - that's true of everything in life - and in the online gambling area it's particularly true as various governments attempt to restrict and regulate sports betting usually with a view to increasing their local tax take with domestic licensing.
Back in 1999 when I started the GoonersGuide.com website as a weekly one page blog, it was pretty easy to find a good place to bet online, and there were very few restrictions in place.
Finding good quality betting locations was easy, and we have just a handful of the top bookmaker sites like Bookmaker.com, Bet365, Ladbrokes, Pinnacle and Interwetten. There are five quality sites that gave you a line on any sporting event you wanted. Simple.
But then in April 2011, the United States passed the UIGEA (claiming that Internet gambling was covered and prohibited by a law from the 1950's covering wire fraud) and almost overnight the market started to fragment.
Many sites dropped American players immediately, while other sites like Bodog took a geo-targeted licensing approach and spun off multiple bookmakers, with Bovada to service US places, Bodog would only accept Canadian players and Bodog88 targetted Asia.
Unfortunately, for European punters, the appetite for tax grabs spread to Europe as well and today nearly EVERY major country in Europe has some sort of restriction, regulation, or outright banning of internet operations that are not locally licensed.
And that's proved to be a real pain in the wallet for punters, as local markets with protected bookmakers who have high taxes to pay have typically dropped their odds across the board as they've been able to target a captive audience.
Of course there are ways and means to get around these restrictions, and most internet savvy people are already using VPNs or other methods to avoid geo-blocking rules when looking to stream online movies and sport anyway.
But the one issue outstanding has always been the MONEY. Online gambling requires funds, and with many governments ordering banks to prevent punters from using credit cards it became difficult for many Europeans to fund betting accounts (and withdraw profits).
However, a solution is emerging that was designed specifically to avoid any restrictions of trade - it is of course the online blockchain tokens, and Bitcoin in particular that has arrived. With a Bitcoin account you can deposit and withdraw from any organisation (including betting sites) with no bank inference of restriction.
For those new to Bitcoin, it can be daunting to learn the processes involved in opening a bitcoin wallet, and moving bitcoins about but - like all things online - there are plenty of places where you can research this and slowly learn. For me it took about a week to get the basics sorted out ... and six months later it's as simple as using any other online wallet.
If YOU are living in a country with restrictions, like the United States, Canada, Spain, Italy, France, Greece, Turkey, Poland, Czech Republic, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands, or Australia then it would certainly pay for you to do some research on bitcoin, and how it works.
Once you are comfortable with holding bitcoin, and using bitcoin, then check out our Using BitCoin To Gamble page to find a good, solid and reputable place to make a deposit.
The gambling landscape is changing, and punters need to change with it - unless you want to gamble with second rate organisations with low lines / odds and poor returns?