Sports play a major part in society, people don’t only want to see their favorite teams on TV but bet on their chances as well. Due to the fact that players can bet illegally, sports betting has often been criticized and even banned, leading many to question its legality.
However, it’s stunning revenue growth has made many countries change their stance on sports betting, which is now legal in most parts of the world and even more popular than casinos in some countries.
What is Sports Betting?
Sports betting is probably the leading type of gambling, land-based and online gambling included. It’s one of the most lucrative types of betting in the industry, with a fan base of millions of punters. Sports punters are most likely the largest group of gamblers in the industry, with millions in every country.
As a form of gambling, sports betting is predicting and staking bets on the outcome of sports matches. The frequency and types of bets vary depending on the bookie and the type of sport wagered on.
In simple terms, odds are the chances a team or player has on winning the game. In more fancy terms, they are the ratio of full payout to the stake in a decimal format. If you’ve ever placed a wager on your favorite team, you’ve probably noticed that the odds may come in three different types.
The most common type of odds are European odds, which come in a decimal format (e.g. 1.20). They represent the chances a team or player has of winning the game – the lower the odds, the bigger the favorite that team is. European odds are commonly used across Europe with the exception of the UK.
UK odds, also known as fractional odds, are pretty different and commonly used by British bookies. They come in a format of 2/1 and represent the ratio of the amount won to the stake. The solidus is pronounced “to” (for example, 2/1 is read Two to One).
Finally, the American format of odds are the most difficult to decipher and they’re naturally used in the USA only. They come in the form of +200 or –200 for example and represent the amount won on a wager of 200 when positive or the stake needed to win 200 if negative. US odds of 100 are considered an even money bet (1/1 in fractional or 2.00 in decimal format).
Online Sports Betting
In recent years, online bookmakers have overtaken the sports betting industry for many reasons. Leading online sports betting giants such as Bet365 offer a wide range of sports you can instantly bet on as soon as you’ve registered at the site and deposited money into your account.
Furthermore, online bookies offer a vast choice of sports markets, even some you won’t find in their land-based counterparts. Another fact that goes in their favor are the bonuses and specials. Besides the standard selection of sports, online bookies also offer odds for events not related to sports which are quite popular among punters.
Additionally, the generous welcome bonuses and specials such as Acca (Accumulator) boosters and daily and weekly rewards have made online bookies the place to be for punters. Of course, countries have made these businesses legal due to the incredible revenue growth which easily overshoots billions of dollars annually.
The future of sports betting lies online, of course. Thanks to live streaming, live betting, and new innovative bet types, we think that sports betting won’t give up the crown as king of gambling anytime soon.
Almost any sport you can think of. In general, football, basketball, tennis, hockey, and baseball are the most popular sports to wager on. However, this depends on the bookmaker itself and the country where it comes from. For example, horse racing is popular in the UK and the USA, while football is popular all over the globe.
Similarly, hockey and rugby are popular in the USA, but not in places where there are no rugby or hockey leagues and teams. On the other hand, football and basketball are global attractions, so punting on both is popular all over the world.
Of course it is. Sports betting is a pretty lucrative industry and governments have recognized this, regulating their activity on the market. You don’t have to enter shady establishments in back alleys anymore – you can just enter a registered bookie in your city and place a bet without much hassle. The majority of land-based bookies are legal, although things are more complicated in the online sphere.
There’s no single authority that regulates online betting. Regulation is done at a local level, with several different regulatory bodies. These organizations regulate the way the bookie conducts its business and also issue licenses which allow them to operate.
Among the most important and respected organizations in the industry are the UK Gambling Commission, Alderney Gaming Control Commission, Gibraltar Gambling Commission, and the Malta Gaming Authority. If your bookie of choice is licensed by any of these bodies, you can be sure it’s completely legal.
There’s no best bookie on the market, per se. It all comes down to what you’re looking for. If you like getting a variety of bonuses and special offers, you should find a bookie that offers this. If you like to have dozens of options at your fingertips, find a bookie with an extensive list of sports and markets.
It depends on how serious a punter you are. If you need specialized sites for, let’s say cricket, then using several sites makes sense. You can pick a one-for-all bookie for all sports and bet on cricket at a site which specializes in it. In the world of online betting, you have many choices, and we strongly recommend exploring them all.
As a rule, almost no bookie allows the registration of users younger than 18 or 21. This goes in line with the world’s gambling laws that are trying to prevent underage gambling. Take a look at the laws in your country and read the bookie’s T&Cs – the answer should be there.
Joining an online bookie is easy. All you need to do is find the one that suits you and sign up. There’s usually a banner with the words “Sign Up” or “Join Now” you can click on. They also usually display the welcome bonus you’ll get once you sign up.
Absolutely. Most online bookies nowadays offer a variety of free bonuses and rewards that are intended to keep existing players happy or attract new customers. It can be anything – a free bet for regular punters, a 2nd, 3rd or 4th deposit bonus, cashback bonuses, boosted odds, etc. Whatever the type of bonus, we suggest claiming it only if the terms and conditions are realistic.
Earlier we mentioned a welcome bonus you get for signing up. The welcome offer is available at all bookies and represents a small ‘gift’ they give you for choosing them. It may be a bonus that matches your first deposit, although online sports operators usually opt for a free bet. Of course, we suggest reading the bonus terms and conditions before claiming any kind of offer.
Depositing money is easy. You usually get a ton of options at online bookies, including debit and credit cards as well as a variety of e-wallets. For example, you can use Skrill, Neteller or PayPal, where you can set up an account pretty easily. Once you’re all set up, you can use that method to deposit money into your account and start betting.
When it comes to the processing times, the money should appear in your account instantly, but it can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. This kind of information will be available under the bookies T&Cs.
Withdrawals are not unlike deposits. The full terms for them can be found under the bookie’s T&Cs, including the options you get and the withdrawal limits and times.
The odds in sports betting differ from sport and sport and market to market. They will also differ from bookie to bookie. So, when picking a bookie, you should go for the one with the best odds. After all, why would you pick one where the odds are lower?
Just like the odds, minimum bets vary between bookies. However, they are quite low in general. The low minimum betting limits will allow you to place tiny bets if you’re not that sure of the match outcome. In this way, even if you lose, you don’t lose a lot. Should you manage to win, however, you might be looking at a big payout.
Just like the minimal odds, the largest bet you can place also depends on the bookie. Some have pretty high limits which is ideal for high-rollers, while other bookies will keep the limits lower, which is better for beginners.
If you’ve ever visited an online bookie, you’ve surely come across live betting. Live betting is betting on matches that are live (currently in play) at variable odds that depend on the result. It’s a great feature that many players love and it comes with loads of markets you can bet on. Unfortunately, not every bookie is financially stable enough to offer live betting, but the majority of online betting juggernauts have it.
Exchange betting is a type of sports betting in which you eliminate the middleman and bet on a peer-to-peer platform. Not many sites have it in their offer, and unless you’re an experienced punter, we suggest learning more about it before splashing the cash on it.
If you don’t stick to the bookie’s rules, your profile might be limited or banned. Any breach of the site’s terms and conditions as well as suspicions of illegal activity won’t be tolerated by online bookies, so you best follow the rules and play responsibly.
Many people have fallen victim to sports betting (and gambling in general) because gambling is an addictive habit. In order to fight this problem, many sites allow you to set daily, weekly or monthly bankroll limits after which you won’t be able to deposit any more money. Some have even gone a step further, blocking access to players who spend too much time at the site.
All of this was invented with one goal in mind – to prevent problem gambling which is dangerous.
Yes, you can. However, don’t start betting with the mentality that you’re going to win thousands immediately. There’s no sure way to predict an outcome of a match – it’s almost a game of chance. If you’re consistent, though, and you pay attention to the slightest details in sports, the chances of you winning every now and then will be higher.
What Types Does Sports Betting have?
If we start listing all the different types of sports betting, we’d need a whole new article specially dedicated to them (we have… read more about the types of sports betting).
However, average punters don’t really use all the types – they are usually reserved for those who make a living by sports betting. In general, punters prefer betting on the final outcome of the match (1×2 bet), with handicap bets, live bets, and sports-specific bets being popular as well.
The win bet, also known as 1×2 bet or moneyline wager is the most common type of sports bet that applies to each sport. It’s essentially predicting which player or team will win the match or if it ends in a tie. The odds for this type of bet are usually in favor of one team, but they could be quite close if the teams or players are almost equal in terms of quality. The 1×2 bet is quite easy to understand which is why it’s so hot.
Handicap bets, on the other hand, are a bit more complex to understand, but far more profitable at the same time. Handicapping in sports is essentially handing an advantage to one team or player through scoring compensation. It can be used on a wide range of sports, although it’s most common for football matches, where it goes by the name of Asian handicap.
This type of bet handicaps teams based on their current form where the stronger team must win by a pre-set margin of goals in order for the punter to win. It’s a form of spread betting which is popular in basketball and baseball. Asian handicap originated in Indonesia and is one of the most popular bets (if not the most popular) on the Asian continent.
If you’ve ever placed a wager in a betting parlor or online, you’ve probably come across the term Accumulator. Accumulators, also known as multiples or accas, are a special type of bet with several selections which can only be won if the player gets all the matches right. Of course, due to the higher number of selections on the betting slip and the fact that a player has to predict all of them right, accumulators usually have a great multiplier and are quite profitable. There are many lucky punters which have managed to win thousands and even millions on tiny accumulator bets, which is why they are so popular nowadays.
Live bets are all the rage right now. As the term explains, they allow punters to place bets while the match is ongoing and are constantly changing depending on its course. Live bets have become increasingly popular in recent years as they give punters a chance to break even or control their losses if their others bets have gone awry.
Although historians can’t agree on the exact origins of sports betting, they do agree that it’s one of the oldest forms of gambling. Historical documents show that betting on chariot races has been quite common in ancient Rome and the popularity of wagering on the outcome of sports matches has never dwindled throughout history. Not even legality was an issue, as even when it was banned, many punters formed their own illegal betting rings where there was money to be made.
Nowadays, things are much different. Shady back-alley bookies are wiped out for the most part, with the business being dominated by major brands which have offices and betting parlors all around the world. Sports betting is especially popular in the UK, Asia, and the USA, followed by the rest of continental Europe. Players can wager on a variety of sports, with soccer being the biggest draw of them all.