Talk:Sports betting

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Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment[edit]

Sciences humaines.svg This article was the subject of a Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment, between 21 January 2019 and 10 May 2019. Further details are available on the course page. Student editor(s): Mattwass12.

Above undated message substituted from assignment by PrimeBOT (talk) 10:03, 17 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment[edit]

Sciences humaines.svg This article was the subject of a Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment, between 25 August 2020 and 4 December 2020. Further details are available on the course page. Student editor(s): Ztamagni.

Above undated message substituted from assignment by PrimeBOT (talk) 10:03, 17 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sports Betting Tools[edit]

I think a link to a diverse collection of sports betting tools would be extremely useful in the external links section. To wit: Any objections?

Or not. 2005 (talk) 21:55, 9 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I fully understand that the commercial nature of the above referenced site might be of concern to the community, but the fact remains that to my knowledge the represents the single best free repository of quantitative tools for sports bettors. I'd humbly request that dissenters either propose an alternate site or elucidate a rationale as to why such a link would be inappropriate for this article.
There are many, many such similar sites. We link to the Dmoz category that has 80 tools sites listed. That is all such a broad category as this needs. 2005 (talk) 00:03, 11 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The DMOZ category to which the article links, links almost solely to single purpose pay software. The link I have proposed above (and see my declared interest on my talk page) links to free software with fully visible source code. I refer to item #3 of What_should_be_linked stating, "Sites that contain neutral and accurate material that cannot be integrated into the Wikipedia article due to ... amount of detail ... or other reasons." I think the above describes the above link ... a broad range of technical ad mathematically accurate software, presented in an organized fashion with no ulterior motive, and fully and completely relevant to the article at hand. SBR.Marketing (talk) 06:19, 11 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is a very broad category. Dozens of sites offer encyclopedic infrmation on sports betting, so that is why the category is there instead. What you want to link would certainly not be even in the top 50 possible links for this particular article. It's about sports betting, not tools or betting software, and also offers nearly zero encyclopedic material. there is hardly any text even on the page. Besides that, software itself is not a good link. But the main point is all the broad gambling articles could have dozens or even hundreds of decent links, so a directory link (in this case linking to 640+ sites) is what is used. 2005 (talk) 06:20, 11 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Betting Scandals possible merge[edit]

I noticed that much of the content in the betting scandals section is already covered in match fixing. Do we really need both sections? I recommend culling most of the betting scandals section and merging any relevant entries to the match fixing article. We could just keep a few brief lines about betting scandals in this page (i.e. include the few examples that aren't relevant to match-fixing) and also refer the reader to the match-fixing article. Any opinions are welcome. This is pretty messy as it is... --Wayniac (talk) 06:14, 20 March 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have actually noticed this myself. Unless anyone objects, I would be willing to have a go at this. Might take a bit of time, but Im willing to do it, because quite frankly, I think it needs to be done. Mandermagic (talk) 23:10, 1 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Since nobody has objected, I am going to remove the betting scandals from this page and begin to merge it with match fixing where it belongs. Mandermagic (talk) 04:15, 9 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Horse race betting[edit]

Is there an article on horse race betting? Or is it covered by sports betting? Andjam 12:53, 9 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I made a rather poor edit to bring this text into alignment with the text on vigorish It's more a matter of semantics than the vigorish article implies. The bookie would like the bettor to think he is paying $110 to put $100 at risk and have the loser believe when is paid nothing that he lost $100 after a fee off-the-top of $10. However, when you doing the math for a sharp who expects to win p percent of his bets (for some p > 50%) the math is more straightfoward if the money at risk is taken to be $110 and the vig regarded as an amount deducted from the winner on payout. From the bookie's perspective, he doesn't make any money at all except when there are losers, so it seems to him that his vig is coming from his losers. If the bets are placed at fair odds, a mathematician would measure relative to expectation (which construes vig as paid by the winner). If the bookie is shading the odds, it might be more natural to view the vig as deducted up front to place money at risk (which construes vig as paid by the loser).

Here's another example to express that sentiment. There are two bookies, one with a 10/9 line and the other with a 10/8 line. You don't know which is which so you pick one with a coin toss, you bet your $100, and you lose. Do you now care whether you picked the cheap bookie or the expensive bookie? It makes no difference to the loser what rate of vig was charged. The winner, however, will soon discover the difference.

Here's the opposite way to set that up. The bettor is handed one complementary blue token that represents one vig at a rate of vig unknown to him. If he places a bet of $100 plus the blue token and wins, he is paid $200 and gets his blue token back. However, if he loses, he has to go buy another vig token to place his next bet and then he discovers the rate of vig demanded (which accords to the loser pays perspective).

An interesting observation here is that this conceptual vig token is not fungible. You can't buy a vig token (against a $100 bet) one day at the everyday-low-price rate of $10 and a vig token the next day at the discount Tuesday rate of $5 and then go to any bookie and use either vig token to place your bet. It's also pertinent who is floating the equity of these tokens. If the bookie allows you to place your $100 bet and credit the vig, then the loser must later show up to settle accounts on the vig lost.

I finally get it. The natural perspective is determined by the custom adopted toward price elasticity. On Monday a bookie opens shop with the rate $120 to put $100 at risk. Five people take heads. On Tuesday the same bookie decides to discount his rate to $110 to put $100 at risk. Five people take tails. At this point the bookie favours tails, since he must pay $220 to the winners on heads, but only $210 to the winners on tails (who bought at a lower vig). The bookies profit is the vig paid by the losers on whichever day they purchased.

Contrariwise, if the bookie opens on Monday with the proposition to put pay $100 to put $90 at risk and Tuesday with the prop. to pay $100 to put $80 at risk then the bookie naturally views his vig as proportion to the number of winners at the rate in effect when each winning bet was placed.

If the bookie is really screwed up and opens Mon. at 12/10, Tues. at 11/10, Wed. at 10/9 and Thurs. at 10/8 it's no longer natural to view either the winners or losers as paying the vig. He's got to do the math directly in this instance. At this point he has an exposure on heads (what he has to pay out in this case), and exposure on tails, and a revenue take (total amount paid in). Ideally he would like his exposure on both sides to be less than his take (risk free position). MaxEnt 00:20, 17 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    • Vigorish is actually taken from the winners of the bet. Quite simple: Bob and Joe bet on a match. Bob bets on team A ($100) and Joe bets on team B ($100). Susan holds the money. It turns out that team B wins, and Joe gets the $200. Suppose, however, that Susan was actually a bookie and the bets were laid at 11-10, (or $110 to win $100), in that case, Joe only gets $191 of the $200 he would have won. Bob's money is gone regardless of Vigorish. Losers do not pay vigorish, it is taken from the winning bets.

use of the word desultory unclear[edit]

I hate to be picky but the seeming misuse of the word desultory just jumped out at me. This was a word I recently added to my vocabulary for standardized testing, but when I saw it in the following sentence "Historically, sports betting has been associated with a number of unsavory characters, which has a lot to do with its desultory legal treatment throughout the world." I lost any point of reference I once had to the meaning of the word desultory. This in itself was quite vexing. But my point is, desultory means aimless, how does this make sense in this sentence? Since unsavory characters are associated with sports betting, why does this imply that the legal treatment is desultory? The bottom line is it's just confusing. I would do something about it myself if it weren't so late at night. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 07:07, 7 June 2006 (UTC).Reply[reply]

I think the concept of rigirism doesn't make sense at all![edit]

In a simple soccer (British football) match qualifying to the next round in the knock-out stage betting, e.g. France vs. Italy, the price for France to win is 1.6, and the price for Italy to win is 2.4 if one bet for Italy, then he is risking 100 GB pounds to get in total 240 pounds back. The explanation of the rigirism in the text just simply doesn't explain this!! koren 17:50, 15 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I don't bet so don't trust myself to do the relevant editing, but the below might be useful to other editors:

Here in the UK sports betting is either "fixed-odds" (what's called "straight-up" in the text, a term I've never seen used in Britain) or spread betting:

1) Fixed-odds bets are quoted simply as "2/1", "11/2" or whatever: "decimal" odds (such as "1.50") are extremely uncommon here, except to some extent on online betting exchanges (which are entirely legal in Britain). I've never, ever seen decimal odds listed on a High Street bookie's blackboard.

2) The article says "sports such as soccer, baseball and hockey (the scoring nature of which renders point spreads impractical)". It's perfectly possible, and actually very common, to run spread bets on such sports. For example, with a football (soccer) match a spread might be run on the minute in which the first goal was scored, on the number of yellow cards shown, etc.

3) High Street bookies deal in fixed-odds bets only; spread bets, because of their origin in the stock market, are differently regulated (by the Financial Services Authority). 16:28, 27 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Odds Comparison[edit]


Odds Comparison redirects to this page, but nothing seems to be mentioned in the page.

Do you think something should be mentioned about it? -- 08:59, 15 June 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I feel it should warrent some mention that it exists, and also the explination of an arbitrage —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:07, 6 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

UK Jargon[edit]

I marked a section as jargon because it used several terms without defining them:

  • each-way
  • in running
  • pay out on a quarter
  • each way terms
  • Dead heats

As one unfamiliar with the jargon of sports betting, my hope is to learn by reading this article, so I feel clarification is needed on these points. Thanks! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:26, 26 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ok, well I can explain these terms & I was just going to go & do that but then I thought I should probably ask about it over here first because I could also quite easily do a whole list of UK betting jargon/terminology along with explanations for each one - if anyone thinks it would be useful?

(sort of an A-Z reference though I can't guarantee there's an entry for every letter, I won't know til I start writing them out :-))

I must also say though that, whilst I do know a bit about this & I am happy to help, I've not done any editing on this sort of scale here before so I really don't know much about that! Therefore, if you do think a list of this sort would be useful, can someone please help me out by suggesting where it ought to go? (meaning should it be on this (main) page - or should I create it as a separate linked page - or would something/somewhere else work better?)

Thanks, g.x  :) theinsomnianiac (talk) 06:39, 13 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Something I don't understand[edit]

If it's illegal, how come so many people in Canada and the USA are doing it online? Does the law say "online = OK"? (talk) 18:55, 13 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

in the U.S. online sports betting is specifically illegal under the Federal Wire Act SmartGuy (talk) 19:25, 13 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So, how come so many people do it and get away with it? (talk) 19:43, 13 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


because for the most part, attempts at banning online betting are largely unenforceable. SmartGuy (talk) 20:40, 13 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
US authorities and banks have a difficult time blocking transactions. The owners and operators of the online bookmakers are not US citizens and live in non-indictable countries, therefore do not respect US law. Sports betting companies have many shell banking businesses that look like legitimate companies to launder the money. Online sports betting was clarified to be illegal under the UIGEA "Clarification". To answer your question, people in the US really don't know it's illegal, or do not care. Without IP blocking being issued on the gaming sites, which have even changed their cctld extensions from dot com to dot (insert gambling friendly cctld), sports betting on the internet will continue. Rogerrabbit (talk) 07:10, 8 December 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]


"For example, the above-described Brewers/Cubs baseball "

This reference to an "above-described" game does not follow any such description. Either an example of a Brewers-Cubs game needs to be inserted or the "above-mentioned" reference needs to be removed. (talk) 19:27, 14 September 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

 Done --M4gnum0n (talk) 06:44, 15 September 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Please help make this page useful[edit]

I realize a lot of fine points are covered here, but I'm afraid this article is quite useless for describing anything but the more abstruse forms of sports betting. And it's very murkily written, reeking of jargon and unexplained terminology. It's reminiscent of the awful signage in Massachusetts, where the locals will tell you that if you don't know where you're going, you have no business being there. Can we get a few clear, concise paragraphs on the basic premises, please? NaySay (talk) 20:53, 29 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Citation always needed[edit]

"Most sports bettors are overall losers as the bookmakers odds are fairly efficient. However, there are professional sports bettors[citation needed] that make a good income betting sports, many of which utilize sports information services."

Random reader just stopping by to express amusement that the contention in the first sentence here is something that can be taken on faith but the second (or at least the suggestion that professional sports bettors do, in fact, exist) cannot.

You're quite right. Both statements could use reliable citations, but the second especially needs one, otherwise it smacks of Original research.--Newbreeder (talk) 17:57, 6 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sports Betting[edit]

I believe that firstly you need a more comprehensive definition of sports betting to start with. That definition is the most basic of definitions available. Secondly there are a great number of things that can be added to this article because there are so many things that fall under the realm of sports betting that have not been spoken about for example pros and cons of betting. This may seem simplistic but it would make the search more concise. Pictures will also help to enhance what has been said. Overall though i think alot of the major things have been covered. MrCampion10 (talk) 21:32, 8 February 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Under the section of "Sports Betting", there is a description of non sporting events that are available for wagering such as reality tv and politics. I would like to create a hyperlink for political elections to reference an article from that explains the current election odds. [1]Francisco Healy (talk) 04:18, 28 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Under the section "Sports Betting", the section ends with highlighting betting scandals and references Tim Donaghy. I would like to add to the section referencing an article from USA Today that touches on legality helping eliminate the criminal association of unregulated betting. [2] Francisco Healy (talk) 04:35, 28 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]


All I wanted to know was: where is it legal? It only says "some states." The answer should be right in the beginning before this long discussion about New Jersey! The answer seems to be that a 1992 federal law banned betting on sports across the country, but four states were grandfathered in because of previously established activities: Nevada, Oregon, Delaware, and Montana. I don't know how New Jersey is skirting the federal law. I don't have references, but this should be easy to figure out. Aplummer99 (talk) 18:04, 11 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It's legal in many other places. The United States isn't the only country with laws. Phil Bridger (talk) 19:49, 11 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Not only that, this section contains no relevant information on legality-in other words, it doesn't discuss any laws, how those laws originated, where and when they took effect. How is this information useful at all? It looks as if some random guy wrote about public opinion, NCAA opinion, and some random new jersey polls. It's like a poorly written blog post. I don't have much information on the subject, but this page is held at a very low standard. (talk) 05:53, 8 December 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Agreed, but should we stick to new articles per country? There are so many countries and so many laws intrinsic to each country that it could not be covered on one page. Rogerrabbit (talk) 07:14, 8 December 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

UK practice[edit]

The introduction says: 'Sports bettors place their wagers either legally, through a bookmaker/sportsbook, or illegally through privately run enterprises referred to as "bookies".'

This may or may not be US usage but it's certainly not how the term is used in the UK. A "bookie" is simply an informal term for a legal bookmaker. Someone visiting a high street betting shop might well say "I'm going to the bookie's". Also I note that the most popular form of sports betting in this country is on horse racing, which appears in the introduction only as an afterthought. Should the introduction be rewritten so that it also reflects UK terminology and practice? GDBarry (talk) 09:50, 22 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Types Of Bets[edit]

Under the current section "Types of Bets" I would like to add Team Totals--Francisco Healy (talk) 04:48, 28 February 2020 (UTC) alongside the totals section as well as Player Propositions to the proposition section. Also alongside the In Game Betting title I would like to include the synonym Live Betting [3] [4] [5] Francisco Healy (talk) 04:48, 28 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is not a reliable source, and the USA Today article is just an opinion piece. GermanJoe (talk) 08:00, 1 March 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]



Under the section "Bookmaking" we learn that "The bookmaker accepts both wagers, and maintains a spread (the vigorish) which will ensure a profit regardless of the outcome of the wager." I would like to include an example of a typical -110 vigorish to further explain the goal of bookmakers to induce equal action on both sides. [1] Francisco Healy (talk) 05:03, 28 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Please don't use betting websites, opinion pieces and other PR publications as "sources". See WP:RS for more information. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia and should be based on uninvolved credible expert sources, not on talking points and biased hype from involved parties. Articles usually also don't include examples to illustrate certain points. GermanJoe (talk) 07:56, 1 March 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comment on article[edit]

Overall, this page is very well done. I think it was important to add famous betting scandals to show the darker side of betting. I think it could be interesting if statistics were added to show how many people bet/ what people typically bet on. As well as elaborate on the fact that you can bet on anything nowadays, even presidential elections, and if peoples voting choices could be swayed by a bet they place. Moving comment from User:Owenlynch8 from article to talk page; original edit was here. Aoi (青い) (talk) 21:58, 9 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Legality of sports betting in the US[edit]

North Dakota hasn't legalized sports betting yet according to its legislature. 2600:1011:B106:5315:4DDA:A72E:CB43:1066 (talk) 19:22, 29 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wiki Education assignment: Research Writing[edit]

Sciences humaines.svg This article was the subject of a Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment, between 18 January 2022 and 1 May 2022. Further details are available on the course page. Student editor(s): Jcarroll02.

Strange citation format on Bookmaking paragraph 2[edit]

At the end of the second paragraph in bookmaking, it appears to reference a citation using a format like this (Boyd, 2018) instead of what Wikipedia normally does. I would try to do something more about this but I’m on my phone and don’t want to deal with it. Also makes we wonder if someone copy pasted it in… (talk) 13:19, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]