International sports betting has exploded in popularity since the launch of the betting exchanges in 2000.
It was always popular, but not at the levels it is today. In the past, due to the limited coverage of sports on
television and the delay in getting results, international sports betting was a bit of a challenge and
frustration to punters. Those days, however, are long gone.
Now, even if one is placing a lay bet against an obscure Scandinavian football club, the results are available
in real time. Thanks to pay-per-view and live feeds over the internet, there is even the chance that a
punter could watch the game from the couch at home. Technology has made a big world quite small indeed when it
comes to sports access for betting.
Expanded coverage has also stimulated interest in sports considered outside the former norms. Who would have ever
imagined that Americans would bet so heavily on the 2006 World Cup? Or that British punters would wager millions
of pounds on the Men's College Basketball Finals? The online bookmakers and betting exchanges,
broadening their scope, have placed sports and wager types outside of a traditional bookies purview a mere
mouse click away from an adventurous punter.
Of course, as international sports betting has expanded, so have the number of ways to lose the shirt off
one's back. Lay betting and spread betting have become massively popular. Betting exchanges
allow for arbitrage plays and reselling of matched bets. Professional sports investors have no excuse for being
bored, for there are more varieties and permutations of play than ever before in the sport.
Forums, blogs and tipster services only add to the thrill of international sports betting. Becoming an
expert in an obscure multi-national sport is a way of adding a bit of exoticism to one's life. One can also set
oneself apart from the crowd by following a select group of players known only to masters of the sport, who make
their lists known to special subscribers for a fee. Knowledge is power, after all.
With all the ways to indulge in international sports betting, the real shock is that it is not more
popular. The data needed to follow the sports can be collected, analyzed and condensed into text message
updates. It's available day and night. The possibilities are veritably endless.
In fact, the main damper seems to be the difficulties of making deposits with international bookmakers.
Yet even these restrictions seem to be easing. Partnerships between booking sites and the continuous blurring of
international boundaries are having their effects.
Governments still have their regulatory hands, trying to be sure that they don't miss out on a penny of taxable
revenue. However, the increased wagering opportunities mean increased profit opportunities. Complexity only adds
to the thrill, so there is no excuse to pass over international sports betting if one is looking for a bit
of extra fun with the games.
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