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Sports: Knock it Out of the Park

Sports betting is an exciting form of entertainment. Millions of people enjoy watching games in person, online, and on television. While being a fan is interesting enough when your team is playing, putting some money on the big game is a great way to increase the action.

Sports betting is popular throughout many parts of the world, including the United Kingdom and the United States.

In the United States, over 100 million people gamble on sports every year. Nevada is the only state in which sports betting is legal within casinos.

Unlike some casino games, such as slot machines and bingo, betting on sports is not a game of chance. There may be some luck involved, but you can tilt the odds in your favor by researching the game. This includes analyzing players, statistics, location, and other pertinent data.

For some, sports betting is a way to make a game more exciting. For others, it is a social activity that brings them together with friends. Regardless of the reason, the end goal remains the same: to win money and to have a great time.

It doesn’t matter where you live or how you are wagering; there is more than one type of bet for most games. These include but are not limited to:

  • Money line bets
  • Spread betting
  • Proposition bets
  • Parlays
  • Progressive parlays
  • Teasers
  • Head to head
  • Second half betting
  • In-play betting
  • Sports tipping

As you learn more about sports betting, you will find that these bets all come with their own set of uncertainties and rewards. Some players keep it simple with a money line or spread bets. Others consider the benefits of progressive parlays and in-play betting. It's all down to how much you want to be involved, and the level of skill you have.

Who is Involved?

Every year, hundreds of millions of people partake in sports betting and fantasy sports. This holds true from one side of the world to the next.

Determining the involvement of exact groups, broken down by country, is a difficult task. One of the reasons for this is that gambling laws that differ from country to country and one state to the next.

It is important to understand that the sports betting industry is worth well into the billions. On a global basis, however, it can be a challenge to pinpoint who is involved and to what extent.

History of Sports Betting

We know that sports betting dates back many years, but there is no absolute evidence as to when it began.

What we do know is this: sports betting has been around, in some form, for thousands of years. People have long wagered on the outcome of events. Roman emperors would bet on chariot races and gladiatorial games.

A form of race walking was one of the earliest sports that generated betting activity. This was popular during the early 19th century in England, soon moving into other parts of the world. Wagering on this race walking was so popular that, in an attempt to stop participants from fixing races, the Amateur Athletic Association was founded in 1880. This was the foundation of many of the agencies in place today.

During the 19th century, horse racing was the most popular sport to bet on. This led to the creation of hundreds of racetracks throughout the United States, and other parts of the world. While horse racing continued to attract a big following into the 20th century, baseball soon began to take over as the most popular.

One of the most significant events in sports betting history took place in 1931. This is when gambling was legalized in Las Vegas, Nevada. At this point, the sports betting industry took off. This led to Las Vegas soon becoming the sports betting and gambling capital of the world.

While sports betting laws continue to evolve, nothing can change that this industry is deep-rooted in history.

Why Bet on Sports?

Everybody has their own reason for getting involved with sports bookmaking. It doesn’t matter if it is an NFL game, a soccer match, or horse racing; they know why they are getting involved.

Here are some of the reasons why sports betting continues to grow in popularity, both online and off:

  • Excitement: Let’s face it, it's pretty exciting putting money on a game, watching your team come out on top, and collecting your cash. Although things don’t always work out in your favor, when they do, you are sure to have a big smile on your face. This excitement, this adrenaline rush keeps people coming back, time and time again. Chance to win big: If you bet any amount of money on a game, you know you could be in a position to win something in return. It goes without saying, the more you wager, the more you can win. It is not uncommon for a single player to win thousands of dollars on one wager. The opportunity to take home a large amount of cash is often enough to keep players involved over the long term.
  • Fun with friends: This is true both with traditional sports betting and fantasy sports. Maybe you put a big wager on your favorite team in the Super Bowl. It may be a risk, but it gives you more excitement when you sit down to take in the action with your friends. Fantasy sports offer a similar experience. You have the chance to compete head to head with friends, family, coworkers, and others. As long as you keep everything “in good fun,” you are sure to enjoy the time you spend with loved ones.
  • Another reason to watch the game: Do you need another reason to watch sports? Probably not. Like many, you may watch a variety of games even if you don’t have any money on the line. However, if you make a wager, you are sure to have a heightened interest in the competition. This gives you yet another reason to soak in the action.
  • Convenience: Just the same as many casino games, you can now get involved with sports betting and fantasy sports via the internet. This means one thing you can do it all in the comfort of your own home. You need to find a service you trust, deposit money, and get started. This convenience gives you the opportunity for sports betting to be hassle free.

This only scratches the surface of the many reasons hundreds of millions of people bet on sports every year.

If betting is on your mind, there is still one big decision to make; which sport do you want to get involved with?

You can bet on many different sports, all of which bring their own unique type of excitement into your life.

Some of the most popular sports include:

You don’t have to stick with one type of sports betting. For example, during October, it is conceivable that you could wager on many of these at the same time.

Here is what matters most, you should wager on the sports and games that give you the best chance of winning. For most people, this means the game they are most familiar with.

Benefits of Betting Online

Today online sports betting is a great option. This is exactly the same as placing a wager at a Las Vegas casino. The difference is, you are placing your bet via the internet.

Here are three of the biggest benefits associated with betting online:

  • Convenience: If you don’t live in proximity to a casino, for example, you may find it difficult to place wagers on a regular basis. With an online service, this is not the case. It is so convenient that it only takes a couple of minutes to place a bet.
  • Variety of options: Why get stuck with one option when you don’t have to? With online betting, you can decide between many different services. One service may offer better odds than another and by keeping your options open, you can find the one that meets your needs every time.
  • Plenty of deposit and withdrawal options: This alone is reason enough to consider online betting. Do you want to deposit money with a credit card? You can do so. The same holds true if you have the desire to receive your earnings via a wire transfer.

These are the types of benefits that have so many people excited about online sports betting. Knowing these benefits is one thing. Taking advantage of them is another thing entirely. If you have the opportunity to bet on sports via the internet, it's certainly something to consider.

The Growth of Fantasy Sports

Fantasy sports are not the same as traditional sports betting. Even so, the industry continues to grow with each passing day. The Fantasy Sports Trade Association notes that 56.8 million people play fantasy sports in the United States and Canada alone.

Participation in fantasy sports continues to skyrocket for many reasons:

  • Skill involved: With traditional sports betting, there is not much skill involved. You do your research and then make a decision based on your findings. With fantasy sports this is not the case. It is your job to draft a team that gives you the best shot at winning. This is not always easy. Keep practicing; your skills will increase as will your chances.
  • Get involved with friends, family, and coworkers: While some people play against strangers, others form leagues with friends and family. The option to do this is an added benefit of fantasy sports.

The fantasy football market alone is worth $70 billion (and growing). This should give you a clear idea that there are millions of people interested in fantasy sports, many for the reasons detailed above.

Horse Racing, Harness Racing, and Greyhound Racing

Horse racing is an extremely popular sport, but there is an economic importance associated with it as well. Did you know that horse racing worldwide generated approximately $115 billion in economic activity in 2008?

When you add greyhound racing into the mix, you have an industry that is every bit as big and widespread as sports betting and fantasy sports.

Adding to the excitement is the fact that you can get involved online, at casinos, or at local racetracks.

If you want to get involved with horse racing or greyhound betting, there are many types of wagers to familiarize yourself with:

  • Boxed bet
  • Breakage
  • Bridge jumper
  • Daily double
  • Exacta
  • Quinella
  • Show
  • Straight
  • Superfecta
  • Trifecta
  • Win bet

Every year, hundreds of thousands of horse races take place throughout the world. In terms of betting activity, some are bigger than others. The three most popular races of the year include the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes.

How to Get Started with Sports Betting

Some people have been betting on sports for many years. There are also those who never got started, despite the fact that it has always spiked their interest.

If you want to get started, here are five simple steps for doing so:

  • Choose a service: This can be anything from an online casino to a land-based casino. You need to know where you can place your wagers.
  • Compare online to offline betting: There are benefits associated with both options. When you learn more about both, you can make an informed decision as to which one is best.
  • Focus on the right game for you: There are many types of games to bet on, so make sure you know what is available. Most people find that they have the most success with one specific game.
  • Research, research, and research some more: Whatever game you are betting on, be it soccer or daily fantasy football, the right amount of research will increase your chances of winning.
  • Start slowly: It is easy to get fired up and dive right in, hoping to hit it big early on. Begin at a pace you feel comfortable with, and remember that it takes time to catch on. If you move at a steady pace, there is less chance of making any mistakes.

Every year, tens of billions of dollars are wagered on a variety of sports. When you add fantasy sports to the mix, people throughout the world have access to exciting experiences that provide the opportunity to win big money.