Sports betting and casino games have lots in common: both go back centuries, both are popular all over the world with people who enjoy taking risks for a chance of reward, and both are now readily available online. As long as you live in a jurisdiction that allows Internet wagering and you have a computer, laptop or mobile device to log on with, you can place bets on your favourite sports, or play a huge variety of casino games, whenever you feel like it.
Do check the exact legal position in your country of residence first, though. Some nations allow land-based casinos and sports betting at betting shops, but no online gambling. Others may allow just sports betting online, or only casino gambling. Some countries allow you to use sports betting and casino sites as long as they are licensed in foreign jurisdictions, others restrict you to site licensed in that country.
First, however, let’s sort out the differences between sports betting and online gambling.
Casinos; Set Odds and Winners
If you’re playing video poker, for example, and you draw a royal flush, you’re paid a set reward according to the pay table, multiplied by the size of your bet. The odds on drawing a royal flush from a 52-card deck also remain unchanged, no matter how many hands you play.
That’s one of the most obvious differences between casino games and sports betting. No matter what the casino game, the odds of a certain combination coming up are known before the game starts, and the casino tailors the winning prizes accordingly to maintain the house edge, but those rewards stay the same.
In sports betting, odds are worked out by bookmakers using a combination of form, past history between two players or teams, weather conditions that might impact a contest, the amounts being wagered on each contestant, and a whole variety of other factors, including a lot of guesswork. So there is much more variety in the odds that are offered on sports bets, and the resulting prizes that can be won.
The other major difference between the two forms of gambling is the way they provide variety for players. Most casino games offer a limited number of bets; players can vary the size of their bets, but not necessarily what they bet on. Blackjack, craps and roulette may be the exceptions, but in games like poker and its derivatives, slots, video poker, baccarat, bingo, keno and almost every other game in the casino, the player is betting on beating the dealer or other players, for a set amount each game.
Casinos make up for this by offering a massive variety of games. There are hundreds of titles in video slots alone, and poker, blackjack, roulette, baccarat and video poker usually come in several variations at online casinos. Most sites will also offer craps, bingo and keno, plus a variety of card games.
Sports betting sites offer a more limited range, restricted by the types of sports site members like to bet on, and the international sporting calendar: punters can only bet when there is some action going on, somewhere.
Happily, there is usually plenty of international sport available to betting fans online, and sports betting offers a much wider variety of wager types to casinos, which come with different odds and returns. Most racing bets can be for a win or a place, for example, and in team sports you can bet not only on who wins, but by how many points they’ll do it. Trifectas, pools, spread bets: the variety is impressive.