Sports betting is worth billions of pounds in the UK and is a regulated industry in many European countries. You won’t find bookmakers in most parts of America, as organised betting is illegal in all but four states (Delaware, Montana, Nevada and Oregon). Still, there is no explicit law against online gambling in the USA, so a big market for sports betting still exists.
Whether you visit them on the high street or online, there are numerous bookmakers (aka “bookies” or “turf accountants”) in the UK that that will accept sports bets. Accessing their websites from abroad is not always possible, since they are always more likely to face charges of illegality than their clients.
Some of the best-known British bookmakers with High Street shops as well as websites include Betfred, Boylesports, Coral, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power and William Hill. Of these, Ladbrokes and William Hill have the biggest physical presence with well over 2,000 shops each across the UK.
Online gamblers will sometimes find favourable odds on websites such as Bet365 and BetVictor. Some gamblers prefer the camaraderie and whole experience of the physical betting shop, so online betting and high street betting do successfully co-exist.
Types of Bets
Listed below are some of the more common ways of betting on sport.
- Win: a straightforward bet on who will win an event.
- Place: a bet on the selection finishing within a predetermined number of top places.
- Each-Way: hedges the bet by including a separate winner’s bet and a top placed bet in equal amounts (e.g. a £2 each-way bet = a £1 bet to win and £1 for a top placing).
- Multiple bets: a multiple bet predicts two (double) or three (triple) winners, while a bet predicting four or more winners is known as an “accumulator”. Money is only paid out if all selections win.
- Forecasts: a bet that predicts the two winners of a horse or dog race and their correct placings is known as a “forecast”. A “reversed forecast” predicts the same two winners in any order.