Talk:Spread betting

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Opening comment[edit]

I assumed this page was referring to UK betting. Anyway, spread betting goes back a lot further in North America than the 1980s, so I added a bit about how you bet the spread there.

Spread betting and "the spread"[edit]

Spread betting (as it's understood in the UK) and betting against the spread (US parlance) are, despite being superficially similar, quite different.

In much the same way, Over/Under betting in North America is fixed odds; it does not matter if the total in question goes over by 11 points or by 0.5, as long as it goes over.

North American/Caribbean bookmakers have begun to adapt spread betting in a slightly different form which they call "action points". Whereas the UK style is to have two numbers (with the only allowed action on the low number is under and only over is allowed on the high number) with the risk per point equal to the reward per point (thus giving the bookmaker profit), the American style is to use one number, but the risk amount is greater (normally by 10%) than the reward amount.

As far as I know from betting in Europe, spread betting as a variable payout type of betting. For instance spread betting £10 that the number of goals in a match will be greater than 2.5 ---> if 4 goals are scored then you win £15 similarly if no goals are scored you loose £25.

This concept also applies to a large number of financial spread betting firms where you bet if a share or index will go up or down and the ammount you win/loose depends on how much it goes up or down


Maybe I'm missing something but it seems odd to me that this article links to Telemundo at the bottom of the page. Is there a reason for this?Andrew zot 14:08, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

Who sets the line?[edit]

Is the line set by the bookmaker? Are they set by private companies, government boards, etc? 07:42, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Each bookmaker sets their own lines and adjusts them in response to action. The initial lines for many sporting events (mainly in the US but some international events) are set by Las Vegas Sports Consultants, who provide odds making services to 90% of the books in Las Vegas.[1] Other books (including offshore) generally track their competitors pretty closely and maintain similar lines, because poorly chosen lines may be targeted more by "sharps" (savvy bettors) and can be arbitraged between books. Simishag (talk) 07:19, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Illegal spread betting[edit]

Is spread betting very common in illegal betting? Or is it more of an organised thing in casinos & such. 07:46, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Both. I don't have any stats for illegal bookies, but in 2005, Nevada's legal handle (total amount wagered) was $2.08 billion. The offshore handle far surpassed this, at $76.6 billion, although much of this gambling may be illegal under the US Federal Wire Act of 1961. [2] Simishag (talk) 07:51, 22 January 2009 (UTC)


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Copied conversation with Rray to here[edit]

I'm not quite sure why you think spread betting is "not notable". It quite clearly implicit, if not explicit, in the article itself that sb is considered notable enough to be part of Cantor Fitzgerald's portfolio, among others. Perhaps some figures about volumes & markets would help? As for unreferenced, I can see three reliable external references at the bottom of the page, as well as links to other articles. Also, when time permits, I am in the middle of Wikifying this article and am about halfway through. It's not a specialist topic of mine, so I'm learning as I go. But you should have seen it before I started! Unreadable jargon. If you can help, fine. --Rodhullandemu (talk - contribs) 17:02, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

I changed the tag to the nofootnotes tag. I hope you feel like that tag is more accurate. At any rate, thanks for bringing your concern to my attention. Tagging an article with a notability tag doesn't necessarily mean that I think the subject is not notable; it means I don't think that notability has been established in the article. At any rate, if you're in the process of fixing all that, then cool. Would you object to moving any further discussion of this article to the talk page for the article? Rray 17:08, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
No, that's fine. It would be good to have some expert help because although I've tidied up the wording I want to be sure I've not changed the meaning- at least not to something incorrect. For example, I've changed "bettor" to "gambler" because the latter will be more familiar to a UK reader, and as you will see, there has already been a confusion between "bettor" and "better". --Rodhullandemu (talk - contribs) 17:11, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for bringing the conversation over here. It could be useful for future editors of this article. That was thoughtful of you. :) Rray 22:37, 13 October 2007 (UTC)


This page redirects from point spread and then we see a very UK-specific page. This is not what I expected to read when curious about point spreads. Perhaps this page should be merged with something else in the 'pedia, or point spread should redirect somewhere else, or the page should be made more neutral and not reference a specific country's customs as much...especially since it was invented by an American. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tell22 (talkcontribs) 16:42, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

UK-Spread Betting Link on the subject[edit]

I can't understand why adding a request to add a link to a good external resource on the subject isn't being accepted. All kind of questions about financial spread betting are asked and answered here and would make an interesting read to anyone who wants to know more about financial spread betting!

A cursory view show a lot of useful explanatory material here. What Wikipedia has to guard against is such masquerading as promotion of a commercial venture, and that, I imagine, is the concern here. The website is a .com, which implies a commercial interest, and therefore a possibly biased point of view. That the information is useful does not necessarily remove this suspicion. Without looking at that site in more detail, it is difficult at present to reach an informed judgement. However, to be fair, I will mark this page to be looked at when I have more time. --Rodhullandemu (Talk) 00:46, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
Spamming links to your website, especially the attempt to add two different links, is not adding a "request". Drive by link drops normally get removed immediately. 2005 (talk) 00:55, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

UK-Spread Betting Link on the subject[edit]

Still haven't reviewed the source? There are now over 800 questions & answers on the subject!!
I too think there may be an overly officious editorial line on the external links in this article. My link to was removed, even though there is a very useful interactive spread betting simulator there which adds greatly to the article, but can not be included here. It gives far more indepth information on the subject than some of the newspaper links that have been allowed.
The argument about promotional links simply does not hold water as the first thing that you see when you click on some of the newspaper links is a half page self promotional advertisement. All websites need to raise funds to cover their costs through advertising....even if it is only by giving a 'promotional' link to its 'benefactors'.
--KennyM (talk) 07:13, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Possible Error in the 'Financial spread bet example'?[edit]

I might be getting it wrong, so perhaps this could be an error in my understanding. I refer to the example about Lloyds TSB at the end of the article:

This is what I expected: if the spread is 410p-411p and I am buying at 411p and the bet is closed when the price is 400p, then the loss which needs to be covered is (411p - 400p)*Bet, where in the example the Bet=£10, hence (411p - 400p)*£10 = 11 * £10 = £110. For some reason the calculations in the example go (415p - 400p)*£10 = £150. Where the value of 415p comes from?

This is a genuine question. Appologies, if the answer is somehow obvious and I am missing the point.

Plamka (talk) 07:39, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

I've tidied up the example. (Nige (talk) 17:58, 1 April 2008 (UTC)).

Thanks. However, I still cannot understand why the losses are counted from 415 and not from 411? Where does the magic number 415 come from? It cetainly does not come from problem's situation. The problem's situation begins by explaining that I am laying a bet when the price is 410-411. Then, I thought, any losses or gains must be counted from this price and not from any possible interim prices, which the shares might have gone through between the start and the end of the bet. Only the start and the end prices must matter. Right? The start price is 411, the end price is 400. Where does 415 come from and why it is used in the calculation of the losses, which I need to cover? Why not use the starting price of 411? After all, I layed my bet when the price was 411 and this is the price against which any gains or losses must be calculated after the bet ends.

Once again, this is a genuine question. Appologies, if the answer is somehow obvious and I am missing the point.

Plamka (talk) 22:54, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Yes, of course you're right that the final figure should be taken from 411p not 415p!, I'll try again! Thanks! Nige (talk) 08:40, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Further improve the "Financial bet example"?[edit]

I think that the "Financial bet example" could benefit from one more clarification (this especially should be helpful to readers unacquainted with this subject). Currently the example states:

   For example, suppose Lloyds TSB goes ex-dividend with dividend of 23.5p. 
   The bettor will receive that amount.

Thus the reader is left with the impression that if we have bet £10 then we would have received as dividends only "that amount" i.e. 23.5p, which I think is an incorrect interpretation. I think that we would have received 1000 * 23.5p = £230. Why? Because, as the article explains in the previous paragraph, betting of £10 is equivalent to buying 1000 shares. Note, that the nature of the deal is such, that we only deposited £10, but we are to gain or to lose exactly the same amount as if we had spent 411p * 1000 = £4110 on buying the shares. Thus we have the prospect of the same gains and losses as those of a shareholder with 1000 shares. For this reason, if a dividend of 23.5p per share is paid out, then we must receive the amount which would have been paid to a holder of 1000 shares, which is £230 and not just 23.5p. This seems to me to be logical, since in a liquid market the price of the shares will fall immediately after the payment of the dividend with an amount equal to the value of the dividend, i.e. if the offer price of the shares immediately before the payment of the dividend was 415p then their bid price immediately after the payment of 23.5p dividend must be 415p - 23.5p = 391.5p (if this jump in the price of the shares did not occur we would be able to realise arbitrage profits, which we assume are not possible in a liquid market).

Am I right? I am only an amateur and this is a genuine question. If I am right, then I suggest that the example is edited to clarify this with something along these lines:

   For example, suppose Lloyds TSB goes ex-dividend with dividend of 23.5p.
   The bettor will receive the amount of the dividend multiplied by the value
   of bet expressed in pennies. Thus, if we have bet £10, which is 10,000p,
   then we will receive 23.5p * 10,000 = £235. Of course in a liquid market
   the price of the shares would have immediately fallen with the amount equal
   to the dividend therefore we would need to cover this fall by putting extra
   deposit of the same value £235.

Thanks, Plamen Grozdanov (talk) 17:40, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

Article/section for each nation?[edit]

There seem to be some significant technical, terminology and language differences between nations. Should this article be divided into separate articles or sections for each nation? Do any nations simply "track" a major sports betting locale such as the US, UK or other nations? Simishag (talk) 07:57, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Link to Mike Ashley[edit]

The link to Mike Ashley goes to a disambiguation page. I'm not sure how to change it myself, although I'll try to get round to learning it soon if no-one corrects it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:00, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

Fixed this disambiguation. Perhaps more importantly, the 'source' for the Mike Ashley reference is an article full of "it was reported" and "it is alleged" and "according to sources". Is this sufficient basis for establishment of fact? I'm not disputing it happened, but was expecting to see, I don't know, a bit more in the way of attributable facts I guess. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:00, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

finacial spead betting vs buying the stocks?[edit]

Whats the difference between playing th financial spread and playing the real stock exchange? It sounds to me like the difference is only that the for spread betting, you don't need to have the whole value of the stock ready in your account, and rather than pay a trading commission, fees are payed based on how long a bet is open, and a stop loss order or stop gain order is guaranteed to execute at the exact price specified.

Is that the whole difference? (talk) 03:46, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

There is one other huge difference - in the UK spread betting is free of tax (both income tax and CGT). I notice (I've just come across this wikipedia article) that it is claimed in the main article that "Most traders are also not liable for Income Tax unless they rely solely on their profits from financial spread betting to support themselves." As far as I know, this is not correct - the relevant HMRC (uk tax authorities) guidance on this is pretty clear, see:

It is pretty unambiguous from the legal case of Graham vs Green (1925) quoted here that having spread-betting as your sole income does NOT make it liable for income tax (in the UK - obviously different in other jurisdictions). I didn't at this stage want to change the main page in relation to this point, as it's an important one, so am posting something here in case anyone can come up with a clear reason why the current posting isn't incorrect (e.g. more recent case law relating to this, or ANY example of a UK spread-bettor who has been forced to pay income tax - there are certainly individuals who are indeed using spread-betting as their sole income, but no examples I am aware of in that category where the UK tax authorities have successfully made them pay income tax. My view is that the main entry should be altered so that this statement is only true in certain jurisdictions (e.g. I believe it applies in Australia), but doesn't apply to spread-bettors resident in the UK. DoctorMartin (talk) 01:45, 13 May 2013 (UTC)

External links[edit]

My removal of the external link to has been reverted with the edit summary "Site seems to promote different companies, not just IG. Feel free to open a discussion?". There's not much to discuss here, as we shouldn't have any links that promote anything, whether they promote one company or more than one. has no explanation of who publishes it, so have no way to judge its neutrality, and the link to IG Index, which is presented the most prominently, has a referrer code, meaning that the owner of gets paid for anyone clicking through. Phil Bridger (talk) 22:26, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

I've searched for the Wikipedia rule on External links and it says:
Some acceptable links include those that contain further research that is accurate and on-topic, information that could not be added to the article for reasons such as copyright or amount of detail"
I think this applies to that website in this case. If you feel there are more appropriate links then please add them, but I still feel that this link was appropriate based on the guideline I quoted. It contains some adverts but it hardly qualifies as being spam.
Also, on a more general point, is there a Wikipedia rule that says that links can't have adverts? Practically every external link on Wikipedia has some advertisements. That site seems no different, and it contains a lot of extra spread betting information that is not covered by this wikipedia article. I don't have any connection to that site, just seems rather confusing and against the spirit of Wikipedia to delete it.
Your thoughts? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Hne123 (talkcontribs) 22:54, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
The description you give of your web site could apply equally well to, but you yourself categorise that as an "adfarm" and "spam". I see nothing about your web site that is any less adfarm-like or spammy than your competitor's site. You have spammed us succesfully for some time, but now you have been caught. I would advise you to withdraw gracefully rather than continue. And don't think that I missed the change that you made to your site at the weekend to get rid of the direct link to open an account at IG Index. Phil Bridger (talk) 16:59, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Soccer or football?[edit]

I'll go ahead and start the discussion here, since it seems to be potentially controversial. According to the Wikipedia itself, Within the English-speaking world, association football is usually called football (or colloquially footy) in the United Kingdom, and soccer in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States. Other countries may use either or both terms, and may also have local names for the sport. I don't think anyone in any other country is going to be confused about the meaning of the word "soccer" in this context, but someone might be confused about the word "football" used in this context. It's not a question of whether or not Wikipedia is a "global site;" it's a question of which phrasing is clearer. Also, just as an aside, I don't think the word "soccer" is somehow an improper English term. :)Rray (talk) 21:40, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

The other editor asked for the use of "proper English", which I think is a little specious. If we're only talking about the Anglophone world, a major portion of that world (USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, etc...) prefers "soccer" over "football". Most of those countries have their own games of "football" which are definitely not "soccer". Additionally, given the amount of wagering on the NFL in sports betting, "football" in that context is certainly ambiguous without referring to a specific league. Anyway I'm not aware of any source that says "soccer" is an inappropriate term for association football (which, if we're being pedantic, is the "real" name for the game). Simishag (talk) 06:25, 3 January 2012 (UTC)


I think this article does a fairly good job of explaining the subject, but I think the first sentence is a little confusing. It says "Spread betting is any of various types of wagering on the outcome of an event, where the pay-off is based on the accuracy of the wager, rather than a simple "win or lose" outcome, such as fixed-odds (or money-line) betting or parimutuel betting."

I think there's a danger someone who doesn't understand the subject would read that and think that somehow the amount you win is on a graded system (so if a team loses to another by one goal/point you win a certain amount, if they lose by two you win less/more, if they lose by three you win less/more and so on). Lewdswap (talk) 11:40, 6 May 2015 (UTC)