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A sportsbook is something slightly different depending on which side of the Atlantic you are. In the United States it is a place where you go to place bets on sports – although gambling is not legal in many states. In Europe a sportsbook refers more to the range of sports markets open to customers of either high street bookmakers or online betting sites.
As the name suggests, a sportsbook is where all the sports related bets can be made – as opposed to the casino section of an online betting site.
The sportsbook is the very heart of a sports betting enterprise. Here bettors will be able to search for their required sports market, or browse through the usually extensive choice of sports until they find something suitable.
When a bettor has chosen a sport that they want to bet on, the sportsbook will list all the available markets and potential wagers – along with the odds. With online betting a selection can be made in just a few clicks.
Signing up with a sportsbook online is big business and the betting sites will usually offer some kind of welcome bonus for new customers as an enticement. This will generally be in the form of a certain amount of free bets or a match on the first deposit into the customer account.
Horse racing has always been a popular sport to bet on but the rise of online sportsbooks has seen football become the UK’s favourite when it comes to making a selection. Closer inspection of any major sportsbook will show markets offered on even minority sports such as handball and volleyball – and strangely, the world of politics.