Bookmakers, or as they are otherwise known, bookies take bets from people on the outcome of sporting events and these days other popular events such as elections and TV shows. The bookies work out the chances of all the possible outcomes of the event and offer the customer odds representing those chances.
Bookmakers were traditionally found at race tracks, be it the horse or greyhound track before betting shops were legalised in the UK on 1st May1961. Since then the World of bookmaking and betting has evolved quickly into the huge multi-national gambling industry we know today. First the bookies made huge efforts to build high street betting shops and just about every high street has at least one bookmakers on them. You can walk into these betting shops and be greeted with a host of betting markets as they will have all the days sporting events covered with many TV screens to watch events, especially horse racing and greyhound racing.
The bets that bookmakers will take from customers has evolved as well since the days of just racecourse betting. For example, on the Football it wasn’t that many years ago that you couldn’t bet on the outcome of matches in single bets, you could only bet in accumulators. These days many bookmakers have a huge selection of different betting markets for each game with bets covering the amount of corners to the amount of red cards to the final score plus many more.
As betting became more popular and accepted various bookmakers grew bigger and bigger with the UK having 3 leading betting firms, Ladbrokes, William Hill and Coral bookies. These bookies have dominated the high street for years but recently the market has opened up with firms such as Totesport, Betfred and Paddy Power growing in strength. This partly has been due to the increasing ways people have been able to place bets and the relaxation in advertising laws.
As technology moved on so did the bookies, with first telephone betting and then bookies online sites. When punters realised the ease as to which bets could be made, quickly, safely and without having to leave the house, online betting really took off. Bookmakers quickly saw that their was a huge market in the online betting sector and more bookies quickly sprung up online. Just about every bookmaker has a website now accepting bets, especially the leading players in the industry. This has been excellent news for the betting customer as now you have choice, and this forces the bookies to be competitive with not only their odds but also their introductory free bet offers.