Recent Sports Previews
Here is the second part of our three part guide to the Premier League this weekend looking at the games that involve teams with nothing to play for...
Here is the first of our three part guide to the final day of action in the Premier League. Looking at first at four of the games that do not have ...
The Premier League season is almost over with just one major issue to be decided, just which of the North London rivals (Arsenal and Tottenham) w...
Even before the finals of the play-offs the end of season games have already produced their share of thrills and spills. Here is our guide to the b...
Christmas Day 2003 and media mogul Simon Fuller launched on the world his newest TV show, World Idol. The idea was to take the winners from a numbe...
The European Golf Tour visits Bulgaria for the first time ever as a 24 man field line up for the Volvo World Matchplay Championship. Here is our gu...
You know when you go to a restaurant and before the mains you get some bread that stops your hunger for a little bit though is no substitute for th...
The over-blown group stages are over and now just eight teams remain in the Ice Hockey World Championship and it is now win or go home. Here is the...
After a dramatic 14 weeks of action this Thursday night sees the conclusion of the Premier League Darts season for 2013 and here is a guide to the ...
The Amsterdam Arena is the venue for the Europa League Final this Wednesday night as Benfica take on Chelsea and here is your guide to the best of ...
Wigan made history on Saturday when they became the 43rd side to lift the FA Cup. On Tuesday they could make history for a different reason, becomi...
The Tennis continues at a fast rate as one Masters 1000 tournament ends Sunday another begins Monday. Here is our guide to the best of the bets fr...
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Royal Ascot Gold Cup
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Recent Sportsbook Articles
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The word “Seoul” actually means “Capital City” in Korean, befitting its role as the capital of South Korea. The city may have been founded on the...
Located at the foot of Mount Vitosha in western Bulgaria, Sofia is not only the nation’s capital but also its largest city, boasting a metro popu...
Located near the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba, Sharm el-Sheikh was a quiet fishing village for hundreds ...
As the capital of Latvia, Riga is also the nation’s largest city with a metro population of just over one million residents. It is located on a f...
Although Port of Spain has been the capital of Trinidad and Tobago since 1757, it is still not the country’s largest city. With fewer than 550,00...
The Netherlands Antilles nation of Aruba is located in the South Caribbean, where it derives about three quarters of its gross national product f...
Located at the foothills of the Sierra Madre Oriental in northeastern Mexico, Monterrey is the capital city of the state of Nuevo León. It anchor...
Situated on the Svislach and Niamiha rivers, Minsk is the capital and largest city of Belarus. Its official population in 2012 was just over 1.9 ...
As the capital of South Korea’s Jeju Province, the city of Jeju-si is the largest city on Jeju Island, with just over 408,000 residents. It is lo...
Located on the northern coast of the island of Cyprus, the city of Girne (also called “Kyrenia”) has a history stretching back to primitive settl...
Sometimes referred to as the “City of Dreams,” in tribute to its famed psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, Vienna or “Wien” is the capital and largest c...
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Betting around the world
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Betting on team and individual sports has been popular since the mid-19th century. This was especially true here in the UK, where gambling clubs in the back rooms of taverns began the practice of keeping records of wagers in books. This led to the expression "betting a book", and before long, the person who wrote the entries became known as a "bookie", slang for "bookmaker", a term which entered the English language in 1885.
Meanwhile, in the United States, the results of sporting events and horse races on either coast were broadcast across the country over telegraph lines. This led to another idiom, "playing the wire", to describe the operations of American betting clubs. Although remote betting had become possible nationwide, a federal anti-gambling law called "The Wire Act" effectively banned the practice in 1961.
Today, the organizations that take legal wagers on sporting events are known as sportsbooks. They include the well-established betting shops of Britain - BetVictor, William Hill, Bet Fred, and others - which after numerous consolidations still number about 8,500. Another 150 licensed sportsbooks can be found in Nevada, the only US state where wagering on sports other than horse racing is legal. And now, thanks to the Internet, there are at least 367 sportsbooks conducting business in English online, making sports betting accessible everywhere.
The most popular sports for wagering in North America are American football, basketball, and baseball, in that order. The former two include both professional and college versions. In the rest of the world, betting on football (soccer) dominates, and it reaches a fever pitch during the quadrennial FIFA World Cup championship playoffs. Other team sports with a strong following among bettors are Aussie Rules Football, Cricket, Gaelic Football, Futsal, Handball, Ice Hockey, Rugby League, Rugby Union, and Volleyball.
Apart from team sports, boxing has long been a popular sport for wagering, now joined by Mixed Martial Arts and UFC events. Bets can be made on tennis and golf matches, motor sports, cycling, darts, hurling, and snooker. And some sportsbooks will take wagers on the outcome of political elections, beauty contests, and television reality shows. Betting volume at sportsbooks can vary greatly throughout the year. It typically follows seasons and major events, reaching a peak when playoffs, tournaments, or championships occur.
Two types of wagers are most commonly made on the winner of a given event. One of these is known as a "straight-up" or "money line" bet, in which fixed odds are quoted. For example, when a 2-to-1 favorite wins a heavyweight fight, a winning wager of £2 pays £3 - the original £2 bet returned, plus £1. If the 2-to-3 underdog wins, the winning £2 ticket pays £5 - the original £2 bet returned plus £3. The odds are often expressed as decimals, too.
The other type of common wager is called a "spread" bet and it is usually applied to team sports, predicting how many points the favorite is expected to win by. For example, if the underdog New York Giants are quoted at +3 playing against the Dallas Cowboys, the Giants get an extra 3 points added to their score; a 28-27 loss would become a "win" for the N.Y. bettor. Spread betting is especially prevalent in the sportsbooks of Nevada, while bookmakers in Europe and Asia generally prefer to offer straight-up odds.
Sportsbooks make money whether teams or individuals win or lose. They accomplish this by "balancing the action" - i.e., attracting enough bettors on the losing side of the bet to cover the payout on the winning side. Through experience, bookmakers have learned how odds and spreads can be adjusted up or down to accomplish this. The sportsbooks then earn their profits through a small commission called the "vigorish", which is captured from the losing wagers. As long as the betting on either side of an event is about even in dollar terms, the sportsbook cannot lose.