Unlike many other types of Internet gambling, online sportsbooks are not only legal for Australians to play at, but can also be operated by Australian companies. This means several Australian bookmakers run online sports betting sites which are fully regulated by state and federal governments. If you’re curious about sports betting in Australia, here are answers to some frequently asked questions about sportsbooks and sports betting in general.
There are three common ways to express odds, with the way in which the odds are displayed depending on the location of the bookmaker. In Australia, we most commonly deal with Decimal Odds, which are also popular in most of Europe. Decimal odds express how much money you would win in total – including your original bet – as a multiple of your bet. For instance, decimal betting odds of 2.00 describe an even money bet: if you bet $1 and win, you’ll receive $1 in winnings, for $2 in total. For most examples, we will use decimal odds, as these are most frequently seen in Australia.
In the UK, you’ll often see Fractional Odds instead. These odds show the ratio of money won as compared to your original stake. For instance, odds of 2/1 mean that on a winning $1 bet will pay $2 in winnings.
US Odds (so named because they are popular in the United States) will tell you how much you will win based on a bet of $100 if you bet on the underdog, or how much you have to bet in order to win $100 on the favourite. For instance, odds of -300 mean you must bet $300 to win $100 on that bet, while odds of +200 mean a $100 bet will pay $200 in winnings.
The vigorish, more commonly referred to as the vig or the “juice,” is the amount charged by the bookmaker for taking a bet. More accurately, it’s an adjustment made to the odds in order to give the bookmaker a slight edge on both sides of a bet.
Imagine an even money bet where the fair odds would be 2.00 no matter which side you wagered on. At a typical bookmaker, each side of the bet would more likely pay 1.90 odds. In the long run, this should give the bookmaker enough of an edge to make a profit, but still leaves room for skilled bettors to have an advantage.
Most Internet sports betting sites offer bonuses to their players, particularly when players first sign up for an account. These bonuses are typically awarded as a percentage of a player’s deposit size, and can be cleared for withdrawal by meeting the wagering requirements set forth in the terms and conditions of each bonus. There are also other promotional offers and free bets, often tied to major sporting events or the starts of new seasons in competitions around the world.
While it may feel like you can make any bet you want at a single sportsbook, there are a few compelling reasons to open accounts at multiple sports betting sites. The most important reason is the ability to compare the lines offered by different sites, choosing to make your bets where the odds are most favourable to you. Other benefits of opening multiple accounts include a wider selection of betting options and having more opportunities to take advantage of promotional opportunities.
Sports betting is both legal and regulated throughout Australia. In fact, online sports betting was one of the few types of Internet gambling that was not restricted under the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001. Licensed bookmakers in Australia have been allowed to set up regulated websites, including Sportingbet, Sportsbet and Centrebet. There are also numerous foreign bookmakers who offer their services in Australia, though these sites are not regulated by the Australian government.
A money line is the most basic form of betting on a sporting event. The money line expresses the odds that a given competitor or team will win the upcoming competition, or the odds of a particular event taking place.
Point spread bets are most commonly used in team sports with relatively high scoring such as basketball, rugby, and American or Australian football, though they can also be used in sports such as football (soccer), ice hockey or baseball. In these bets, the odds on both the favourite and the underdog in a given game are approximately the same, with all winning bets paying out close to even money.
However, the underdog receives a handicap in order to make the bet fair to both sides. This handicap is expressed as a number of points. In order for the favourite to win the bet, they must win by more than the point spread. A bet on the underdog wins if they win the game, or if they lose by less than the point spread.
A totals bet – or an over/under bet – is a bet on how many points (or goals, or runs) will be scored during a game or match by all players or teams combined. The “total” will be posted by the bookmaker, and the bettor will have to choose whether the actual total will be above (over) or below (under) that number. As with point spread bets, these lines are usually set in order to provide approximately even money bets on both sides of the total.
There are a number of firms that specialise in setting lines for sporting events around the world, which is why you’ll often find the same lines at many different bookmakers. Other bookmakers make a point of setting independent lines, using in-house specialists to come up with their lines without consulting outside sources.
Several factors are taken into consideration when it comes to setting a line. Most bookmakers like to set lines that will cause the betting public to wager approximately equal amounts of money on both sides of the line, in order to ensure a profit regardless of the result. However, this must be balanced against setting a line that is close to the “correct” line, in order to make it difficult for sharp bettors to beat the bookie. The result is that lines are sometimes shaded towards the public perception of what the line should be, but never so far as to make it easy for professional gamblers to take advantage of.