For about as long as there has been competition, there’s been wagering on competitive events. In Europe, sports betting enjoys a longstanding and active tradition. For Americans, the phenomenon is just sweeping the nation as more states legalize online betting. To the first-time punter it may seem intimidating, but in truth the basics are quite simple.
To place a bet, one needs an account with an online sportsbook, or bookmaker. Commonly referred to as ‘bookies’, these are commercial operations that offer betting opportunities.
They determine ‘odds’, or a numerical representation of the likelihood of an outcome. In simpler terms, odds are how much a bookmaker thinks something will or won’t happen. How high or low the odds are determines how much you stand to win if your bet is correct.
Perhaps the best way to get started is to redeem an attractive welcome bonus. The most common bookmaker bonus you will encounter is the deposit bonus. Having your first deposit matched 100% up to $100 is the usual fare.
With your bookmaker account open and your bankroll already boosted, you’ll be prepared to predict the outcomes of your favourite sporting events.
Creating an account with an online bookmaker starts with finding a reliable operator. There are unfortunately many scammers in the world of online sports betting, but the good news is there are many bookmakers proven to be trustworthy.
Through a quick search engine query you’ll find a bookmaker legal in your country, and simply check their website for a logo from a certified licensing authority. Licensing authorities are third-party regulators that ensure a bookmaker deals fairly with their customers. The best licenses are from the UK Gambling Commission and the Malta Gaming Authority. Never sign up to a bookmaker who doesn’t have a license.
Once you’ve created an account, you may be asked to verify your identity. This is a part of the bookmaker’s license to operate. If you’re asked for your name and address, a passport or bank statement, this is for the bookmaker to prove you are of age and reside in a country which allows sports betting.
If you’ve chosen a trustworthy bookmaker, your data will be safe with them. Typically it may take a few days before your account is thoroughly verified. Once it is, you’re free to deposit, wager, and payout when you’re finished playing.