The Sportsbook Centre

Recent Sports News and Previews

Football
Pre-season friendly preview and odds: PSG vs Leicester City July 31, 2016 05:05am - Stubhub Center, Carson, California
Football
Pre-season friendly preview and odds: Liverpool vs AC Milan July 31, 2016 03:05am - Levi`s Stadium, Santa Clara, California...
Football
Pre-season friendly preview and odds: Inter Milan vs Bayern Munich July 30, 2016 23:05am - Bank of America Stadium, Charlot...
Football
Pre-season friendly preview and odds: Real Madrid vs Chelsea July 30, 2016 21:05am - Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, Michigan<...
Football
Pre-season friendly preview and odds: Celtic vs Barcelona July 30, 2016 19:05am - Aviva Stadium (Dublin)<...
Football
Pre-season friendly preview and odds: MLS All-Stars vs Arsenal July 29, 2016 01:30am - Avaya Stadium, San Jose...
Football
Pre-season friendly preview and odds: Tottenham Hotspur vs Atletico Madrid July 29, 2016 12:00am - Melbourne Cricket Ground...
Football
Pre-season friendly preview and odds: Manchester City vs Borussia Dortmund July 28, 2016 13:30am - Shenzhen Universiade Spo...
Football
Pre-season friendly preview and odds: Real Madrid vs Paris Saint-Germain July 28, 2016 00:30am - Mapfre Stadium
Football
Pre-season friendly preview and odds: Juventus vs Tottenham Hotspur July 26, 2016 11:00am - MCG Inter...
Football
Pre-season friendly preview and odds: Inter vs Paris Saint-Germain July 24, 2016 23:00am - Autzen Stadium ...
Football
Pre-season friendly preview and odds: Celtic vs Leicester City July 23, 2016 17:30am - Celtic Park In...

[See All Previews]

Recommended Free Bets

Bet365 - £200 Free
Ladbrokes - £30 Free
Bet Fred - £50 Free

Highlighted Events

FA Cup
Premier League
The Ashes

[See All Events]

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

Bulgaria | Croatia | Italy | Romania | Malaysia | Portugal | Romania | Serbia | Sweden

[See All Regions]

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.