The Sportsbook Centre

Recent Sports News and Previews

Darts
In the third part of our guide to the first round of the World Matchplay Darts we look ahead to the Sunday evening session. The opening game (19:00) sees Ju...
Darts
Monday night gets underway with a cracking match as Peter Wright takes on Stephen Bunting in a battle between two men who made the World Final in 2014. Wrigh...
Darts
The action continues from Winter Gardens in Blackpool with a double session on Sunday, here is a guide to all the best bets from the afternoon fixtures.<...
Darts
The 2014 World Matchplay Darts Championships gets underway Saturday night from Winter Gardens in Blackpool and fans look to be in for a cracking opening even...
Darts
The 21st World Matchplay Darts gets underway Saturday from Winter Gardens in Blackpool. The event is widely considered to be the second biggest on the PDC ca...
Gold
Justin Rose is the 12/1 favourite with BET365 for the 143rd renewal of the Open Championship which gets underway Thursday morning. The Royal Liverpool Golf C...
Football
BET365 make Germany the 9/2 favourites for the 2018 World Cup when they look to become only the third side in history to make it back-to-back victories (Ital...
Football
Brazil v Netherlands, Saturday 12th July, 21:00, ITV The third and fourth play-off is a game that nobody wants to play yet FIFA continue to i...
Football
The last time the World Cup was in South America (1978) Argentina and the Netherlands did battle in the final with the South Americans coming out on top 3-...
Football
It seems hard to imagine for two teams who have lifted the trophy eight times between them that this last four meeting will be only the second time that Braz...
Football
ARGENTINA v BELGIUM, Saturday 5th July, 17:00, ITVBET365 make the Argentina the 6/5 favourites for this last eight game with Belgium in a bat...
Football
FRANCE v GERMANY, Friday July 4th, 17:00, BBC 1Just eight teams remain in the World Cup and the quarter-finals get underway Friday as Europea...

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Highlighted Events

FA Cup
Premier League
The Ashes

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Recent Sportsbook Articles

Situated at Cleveragh in County Sligo, Ireland, about one kilometre from Sligo town centre just off the Pearse Road, the Sligo Racecourse stages both National Hunt and flat racing in a ...
Located in County Roscommon, just about one kilometre from Roscommon town centre on the Dublin-Castlebar Road, the Roscommon Racecourse hosts both National Hunt and flat racing during a...
Noted primarily for its National Hunt events, Punchestown Racecourse is a dual-purpose Premier racing venue in County Kildare, Ireland, located close to the town of Naas and about 20 mi...
Based within the 812-acre estate of High Gosforth Park, Newcastle Racecourse is about three miles north of Newcastle upon Tyne city centre in Northumberland, Northeast England. Its left...
Located at Proudstown near Navan in County Meath, Ireland, Navan Racecourse hosts both National Hunt and flat racing events under the auspices of Horse Racing Ireland. The left-handed o...
Located in the heart of the “Thoroughbred County” of Kildare, Naas Racecourse is just a mile from the town centre of Naas and 18 miles from Dublin City. It hosts both National Hunt and ...
Located on the Hill of Crockafotha in County Meath, Ireland, the Bellewstown Racecourse occupies a beautiful rural setting with views of the Irish Sea to the east and the Mountains of M...
Great Yarmouth Racecourse is situated just a mile north of one of many sandy beaches that have brought fame to the Norfolk town of Great Yarmouth, sometimes referred to as Newmarket On ...
Situated in County Wexford, Ireland, just outside Wexford town off the Dublin-Rosslare bypass, the Wexford Racecourse offers both National Hunt and flat racing at eleven fixtures schedu...
Located just a kilometre outside the seaside town of Tramore in County Waterford, Ireland, Tramore Racecourse conducts both jumps and flat races. It is noted for its tough, right-handed...
Located three kilometers northwest of Tipperary Town on the on the main Limerick-Waterford Road (N24) in County Tipperary, Ireland, the Tipperary Racecourse is conveniently adjacent to ...
Situated a kilometer and a half west of Thurles town centre in County Tipperary, Ireland, the Thurles Racecourse offers both National Hunt and flat racing. Its undulating, right-handed ...

 

Betting around the world

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About Sportsbooks

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.