For many, sports betting is a pastime that has always been considered illegal, but the law no longer stands amongst the growing number of legal sportsbooks that have popped up around the world. Thanks to the efforts of the Online Gambling Council UK, the laws regarding sports betting have changed and it has now become a legitimate way to bet. Although the British government has not yet introduced any formal legislation to legalize sports betting, it is hoped that this year will see an improvement in the status quo.
What is interesting is that whilst many perceive sports betting to be a ‘waste of time’ or a ‘toy’, the industry has actually turned out to be highly profitable and can provide daily earnings that are higher than some sports stars do in an entire year. According to gaming estimations company Statista, the global sports betting market was valued at roughly $14 billion in 2017 and is projected to balloon to over $26 billion by next year.
How Do Handicap Sportsbooks Work?
Many traditional sportsbooks will tell you that handicap sportsbooks are a scam and that all you need to do is pick any game you want to bet on and place an even money bet, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. As the name would suggest, handicap sportsbooks are designed to give “handicap” or “favored” odds – i.e. odds that are more advantageous to the bettor – on select sporting events.
Which Sports Are Available At Handicap Sportsbooks?
Thanks to the efforts of the O.G.C, legally-binding betting rules have now been put in place and as a result, there are now dozens of sports that you can bet on at UK-licensed sportsbooks.
You will find that most major sports titles are available at some stage, but be sure to check the website before you make any bets as the list of available sports can vary from book to book. Some of the more popular sports with handicap sportsbooks include:
- American Football
Why Should You Bet On Handicapped Sports?
Perhaps the biggest draw of handicap sports is that you get to take advantage of “undisclosed personnel bonuses”, according to the UK bookmakers, which means you get to multiply your stake by literally hundreds, if not thousands, of percent.
This is because major sportsbooks will typically offer lucrative prizes for the top-selling “common players’, ensuring that there is always someone ready to match your wager. However, if you are a high roller who loves to make large bets, you will have to look elsewhere as most licensed British bookmakers will happily provide you with the information on where to find the best odds.
The Most Profitable Sport
At the moment, cricket is the most profitable sport in Britain with regards to sports betting. You will find that there are several online betting companies that currently offer odds on all the major matches and leagues in cricket.
What is interesting is that although cricket is a sport that is traditionally associated with high rollers, the most accomplished gamblers in Britain have traditionally bet on horseraces & greyhound races, with the former boasting a total income of £155 million and the latter generating £130 million in 2017.
Where Can I Bet If I Live In Ireland?
Residents of Ireland now have the same ability to place bets on sporting events as those in the United Kingdom, thanks to the efforts of the Irish Lottery (ILO) and the Government of Ireland. The ILO facilitates online gambling whilst the Irish government has overseen the development of a secure and safe internet betting environment, which players in Ireland and Britain can enjoy.
New Legislation Will Benefit The UK Economy
Whilst it has always been a criminal offense to engage in sporting activities and bet on them, the growing popularity of handicap sports has prompted the British government to take notice and see the benefits that this trend can provide.
Indeed, recent news stories have stated that there is an expectation that formal betting legislation will be introduced in the near future, which would open up a whole new market of opportunities for professional and amateur bettors alike.
Many sportsbooks that offer odds on handicapped sports are already registered with regulatory bodies such as the UK Gambling Commission and licensed by the UK government, so there is no need for you to do anything else but place your bet and await the results.
Where Can I Bet If I Live In Canada?
What is interesting is that it is now possible to place bets on sporting events from Canada. Thanks to the efforts of the Canadian Lottery Corporation (CLC) and the Government of Canada, anyone that resides in or visits the country can now enjoy all of the perks that come with betting on sports.
As of June 2018, the CLC facilitates online wagering via its regulated sports betting website, canbet.com, which provides odds on a range of sporting events. Whilst you cannot deposit or withdraw money via the site, you can access their live betting app, which is available for Android and iOS smartphones. For more information, be sure to visit their website or download their app to your smartphone.
New Developments For The Future Of Online Gambling In Britain
Last but not least, let’s not forget about the rapidly evolving world of online gambling in Britain. Although legal gambling in Britain has been available for some time now, it has always been considered ‘special’ and restricted to certain A.C.T (Annual Club Territorial) groups or clubs. However, with the growing popularity of handicap sports, this could all be set to change. Indeed, it appears that the last vestiges of the ‘clandestine’ betting scene may be disappearing, with new licensed sites springing up around the country, promising to offer fair and honest online gambling experiences to players in the UK.
One of the more prominent upcoming British sportsbooks is Big Game Sports, which is expected to launch later this year and will allow residents of the UK to place bets on all of the major sporting events that are currently available for wagering.