Best Online Sports Betting Sites
Sports betting has been around for a considerable number of years now, making its appearance on the world wide web not too long after the first online casinos took hold. The first website to offer sports betting was Intertops in 1996, and it wasn't long before several others began appearing alongside. It didn't take long for the industry to become as popular as it is today, and with that, several land-based establishments brought their services to the online world, complementing their existing brick and mortar operations.
Being able to place wagers on various different events online is easy and convenient, offering many advantages over heading out to your local betting shop. Live betting was also introduced to the world in 2002 for the first time, allowing gamblers to place bets on a sporting event while it was taking place, marking another major development that is still popular to this day. First of all, let's take a look at the best betting sites online:
Legal Situation in Europe and The United States of America
While sports betting remains a lucrative and popular industry, the laws relating to such differ quite significantly within Europe and in the United States. And although Europe is very much considered a single state in terms of economic significance, each individual country is still responsible for passing its own laws, especially when it comes to the online gambling sector. The European market is serviced by many leading gambling platforms, but what is allowed and what isn't can differ from country to country.
There are a few different online gambling jurisdictions located within Europe, some of which are members of the European Union (EU), making them subject to the rules and regulations of that body, whilst others are independent. Each of these are responsible for approving gambling sites for licenses which allow them to offer their services legally, and the four main online gambling jurisdictions are located in Alderney, Gibraltar, Isle of Man, and Malta.
Countries are becoming increasingly more liberal throughout Europe though when it comes to legalising online gambling, with some such as the United Kingdom already offering and freely promoting such. Others, like France and Germany, were pressured by the EU to fully legalise online sports betting, resulting in a change of laws a few years ago.
When it comes to the United States, the legalities of online gambling are quite unclear overall. Many betting sites were offering their services to US residents for a long time, until an argument over whether or not the Wire Act of 1971 applied to wagering and gaming online.
The 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act would make things slightly clearer, not specifically making online gambling illegal, but instead making it illegal for banks and financial institutions to process transactions between US residents and gambling sites. Since that time, a number of American states have introduced their own legislation, openly allowing online gambling, whilst others are still debating the topic.
Biggest Bookmakers in Europe
Over the years, a select few bookmakers have made their mark on the European sports betting market, providing reputable service and options.
Bet365 stands as being one of the biggest and best platforms for the European market, offering a large welcome bonus for free bets, several different betting markets and the ability to gamble on just about any sporting event.
Coral has a big reputation in the industry, bringing experience to the sector. UK gamblers will most likely instantly recognise the brand from their traditional betting shops, while their virtual options have been available for over 10 years.
Offering up odds that are generally considered better than many other online bookmakers, Betfair provides you with such opportunities. The company was established as a betting exchange, and is still recognised to this day as being one of the best in the business.
Betsson overhauled their platform in recent years, providing punters with the opportunity to get a fresh look at their offerings. And in doing so, Betsson introduced a new range of sporting events for people to wager on, making it a premier site for gamers.
Finally, Unibet hails out of Scandinavia, offering a fully licensed and regulated platform to the European market. The company often provides some of the best odds on the various events available as well.