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The book is simply the shortened version of bookmaker, and refers to the person or business taking bets from customers. In the past the book would have been an individual person or a high street destination, but technological developments mean that the book is now any platform which can be accessed online. As such, the modern book can take bets on many more aspects of a sporting event than the traditional version. As well as the simple issue of which team wins a cricket or football match, which horse wins a race or which tennis player triumphs in a Grand Slam, a modern online book can offer odds on individual aspects and occurrences. An online book will take bets on the number of throw-ins in a football match or the number of no-balls in a game of cricket.
The book is the place where all sports betting takes place. The best advice is to look around for a book which offers the best odds on the widest range of sports, as well as taking advantage of the sign up bonuses which many offer. For some bonus hunters, signing on to multiple books in order to use the bonus to make a profit is a viable practice but the time and trouble this involves – making ‘opposite’ bets with other books – means it is a relatively minority pursuit.
The first recorded gambling law dates back as far as 1190, but the first bookmaker as it’s now understood – offering odds on horseraces for the general public to make bets – was Harry Ogden. He set up a pitch on Newmarket heath, close to the race course. Harry Ogden was the first to offer different odds on individual horses, allowing people to calculate which would be the best to bet on.