All the way from the ancient Greek and Romans, through medieval ages and the expansion of betting in England, one of the today’s leading industries have been constantly able to find the way of spreading throughout all sports disciplines and every predictable event that would interest a potential bettor. Sports betting industry will never fail in finding its customers for several simple reasons – people want to reinforce the feeling of correctly predicting the event with profit or simply need a quick fix for adrenaline addiction.
Among the most important events that led to the rise of online sports betting, passing of the Free Trade and Processing Zone Act (1994) of the tiny island country Antigua & Barbuda stands out as the Act allowed providing licenses for the existing and future betting operators. Two years later the first wager was placed after the opening of the first online sportsbook – intertops.com, causing the revolution in sports betting as the Americans only placed $60 million in 1996, mostly on popular in North America such as basketball, hockey, American football, and baseball. In 1998, William Hill becomes the first in the United Kingdom to launch online sports betting, followed by Ladbrokes and Betfair in 2000, with the Irish joining the race back in 2004 with Paddy Power. Today we have many online bookmakers company and one of the most popular is NetBet.
Even though online betting surely brings more pros than cons, a vast majority of punters still prefer placing a bet in their local bookmaker’s shop. One of the biggest advantages is that with internet access, you can bet regardless of the time of the day, year, whether it’s holiday or not – online sportsbooks are open 24/7/365. As the odds slightly differ between the bookmakers, in the most cases better odds will be offered by the online bookmakers; even though this is rule of the thumb and the difference is tiny, in the long term it could decide whether the punter will be in profit at the end of the week, month, or season.
Another aspect in which the online bookmakers stand out is with a huge variety of sports, leagues, and markets offered, especially in live betting. Live streaming of the matches from any corner of the world is another perk of opening an account with an online bookie - you can enjoy live games in tenths of popular sports whenever you like.
You opened the account with your desired online bookmaker, logged in determined to make money immediately but you stumbled upon confusing numbers, everywhere on your screen. Let’s take a moment to explain the most basic odds format every bookmaker offers:
1) Decimal odds – the decimal number displayed indicates how many times our stake will be multiplied in case the bet wins. For instance:
You want to calculate your profit if you place $100 at 1.95 odds. The math is very simple - multiply the stake with the odds: $100 * 1.95 = $195. In this case, $195 is total winnings, while the profit is $95 after deducting the stake.
2) American odds – the American odds can be found in two forms, with (-) or (+) before a certain number.
In the case of (-), the number after the minus indicates the stake required to win $100 ($ as an example). That means if the odds are -150, the stakes must be 150$ in order to win $100.
On the other hand, if there is (+) before a number, the number will indicate our profit if the stake was $100. For instance, if the $100 is placed at +170 odds, the total winnings are $270 ($170 profit).
3) Fractional odds – also known as UK odds. The odds are given in fraction form, for instance, 2/1. The second number is the stake or amount of money you bet, while the first number indicates the amount a bet will generate. In the 2/1 case (the even odds), if $100 is wagered, the total winnings will be $200, while the profit is $100.
The deposits are quite simple and secure – online bookmakers offer many deposit and withdrawal options such as Skrill (Moneybookers), PayPal, NETTELLER, Bank Transfer, Credit and Debit Card transfer (VISA, MasterCard…), Ukash, WebMoney, Paysafecard, EntroPay, Cheque, Click2Pay, and the list goes on for both deposit and withdrawal, depending on the desired online bookmaker and your residence. You don’t need to worry if make a deposit with trusted bookmaker, as transactions are secured and in very rare cases of inconveniences, customer support is available for help 24/7.
In the same way bookmakers differ in terms of odds, there is also a difference in bonuses they offer to attract new customers. Currently, almost every bookmaker online offers welcome bonuses or free bets.
1) Welcome (deposit) bonus is the most common, basically, the bookmaker offers 20%-100% (usually) of your first stake as a bonus. For example, if a bettor’s first deposit is $100 and 50% bonus is offered, immediately he will find $150 on his account. Unfortunately, there are several restrictions while betting with bonus money; usually, there is a minimum amount that needs to be deposited to acquire a bonus, but also required turn-around of a bonus before withdrawing, whilst betting on certain odds (for example higher than 2.00).
2) Free bets – after the initial deposit instead of the previously described bonus, several free bets will be given to the punter. Bookmakers also provide free bets to their clients, often after placing a bet on certain events or in the case of big matches (Champions League knock-out phase). Usually rules and requirements similar to deposit bonus are required in order to profit from these perks.
3) Loyalty program – or VIP bonuses are offered by bookmakers in order to continuously profit from certain accounts.
There are hundreds of online bookmakers at the moment, with the count increasing daily. It is crucial for a new customer to find a bookie with stable financial records, good ratings, solid odds and desired deposit/withdrawal methods. After registering a new customer will be asked to verify the identity, usually by submitting ID card, passport or driver’s license. Customer’s personal information remains secure, especially since account verification is usually required when withdrawing money. Of course setting up a verified account is a straightforward process that usually takes up to a day to be concluded.