Sports Betting 101

sports betting

The sports betting industry generates billions of dollars in wagers and taxes in states where it is legal. It has expanded from a few local bookmakers in the 1960s to an international phenomenon with multiple online operators and brick-and-mortar casinos. The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 banned sports gambling, but a Supreme Court ruling in 2018 allows individual states to regulate the activity.

Sports bets are based on a variety of factors. Some are simple wagers based on yes/no logic, such as over and under bets on the total points in a game. The bookmaker predicts the total number of points and a bettor can bet on either the over (total will exceed the predicted amount) or the under (total will fall short of the predicted amount). Odds are estimated on the morning of a race and constantly recalculated by computer during the prerace betting period. They are posted on a display called the tote board and on television screens throughout the betting area. Bettors can wager that a horse will win (come in first), place, or show. Win bets have higher payoffs than place or show bets.

A solid betting strategy should be based on solid research and knowledge of the sport you wish to bet on. This can be done by reading sports expert predictions and previews; shopping around with different sportsbooks to get the best odds. It is also a good idea to stick with one sport and bet only what you can afford to lose. This way, you won’t be tempted to place high-risk bets on games that you can’t afford to lose.