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How do betting websites work?

In order to get better at any hobby or activity, it’s wise to learn a little bit more about the industry and some background knowledge. Coffee nerds, for example, often learn about the roasting process and espresso machines worked, so you could get more enjoyment out of it and fix them yourself. Online betting sites to gamblers are what espresso machines are to coffee nerds.

Below are some explanations of all of the basics when it comes to betting websites.

What is a betting website?

You likely already know this much, but a betting website – often called a “bookmaker” – is a site that access bets from the public. The site may have a particular focus, like casino games or football betting, but most sports betting sites try to cover as many markets as they find to be sustainable and profitable.

How do betting sites work?

Betting sites essentially have their own ways to determine the odds for events happening – or they use a third-party software to do it for them. These often use models and statistics to help determine the probable outcome of each event happening. Then, this probability can be converted into an odds format.

The way bookies make money is, of course, by offering odds that are slightly different to the probable outcome they perceive. So, they take an invisible cut out of the expected value. Basically, the odds you receive represent a probable outcome that is slightly higher than the real one. But, given there are many different sites with different odds, you as the customer can find your own advantages and discrepancies here too.

Are betting sites global?

Most websites are global in that anyone can access them. But, betting online is illegal in many jurisdictions, and seeing as the betting company doesn’t want the hassle of breaking laws, they will not allow users from those countries to sign up. If they do, they’re breaking their licensing, and as a customer, you do not want to bet with a website that isn’t strictly licensed. After all, they’re holding your personal money that you will hope to withdraw eventually.

Competition: Features and Bonuses

So far, we have made it seem like all betting sites are the same. You can make a good argument that this is almost true. As economics 101 will tell you, in such a market where it’s difficult to differentiate and stand out, all that is left is competition over prices – a race to the bottom. This is why most odds are similar and very, very competitive/fair.

But, they can stand out in some ways. Given there’s not much room left to compete on odds, all they have left are features and bonuses. This is why some sites are paying for the rights to show live streams of events, whilst others invest in a stunning user interface to make the customer experience smooth.

And, perhaps most famously, bookies will compete fiercely on bonuses too. Each customer that signs up is expected to spend a certain amount of money in the future. So, bookies are willing to take a short-term loss in order to attract these new customers, and as a result, essentially hand out free cash, free bets, and all kinds of bonuses.