Chapter 1 – Introduction

Part 1 – Introduction

Sports gambling is a game of skill. The challenge is to gather and analyse as much information as you can about a game, weigh the probabilities of each team winning, and subsequently compare your opinion to the odds makers. Make the right judgement and you win.

Most people are a bit wary before placing their first bet, which is perfectly normal. What should I bet on? Will the bookmaker actually pay me if I win? These are just some of the most common questions people tend to have before depositing their first real money into an online sports betting account.

Every year millions of people from all over the globe bet billions of Euros with online bookmakers. Betting is a universal phenomenon nowadays. The geographical scenario does not bring much variation in the terms and conditions or the rules or style of betting. And while you can bet on almost every imaginable sport the betting rules for a particular football game, for example, remain approximately the same around the world.

But what differs between continents and countries are the popularity of the type of sport and the number of bets placed on it.

Cricket is the favourite sport on the Asian subcontinent but in Europe football is by far the most popular sport to bet on. In the US basketball, ice-hockey and American football receive the highest amounts of bets.  Betting is also extremely popular in Australia. Here it’s mainly Australian Football and Rugby that people bet on. In Ireland, Irish football and Hurling are unique sports that don’t see many bets in other countries. Whereas in England rugby, cricket, golf and darts are popular sports, way behind football though.

And, apart from these sports mentioned already, you can also bet on horse or greyhound races, of course.

If sport is not your thing, then there are still plenty of other events to bet on. Who will win the next Germany’s Next Top Model? Who will be the next Bundeskanzler or the US president?  Or, as seen at the latest Royal Wedding in the UK – which designer will be bride wear? Or maybe you are a big fan of video games, which could mean e-sport is more your cup of tea. The options really are endless.

What sport, event or animal you choose to bet on is entirely your choice. However, if you choose the sport you are most passionate about you will enjoy it more. And that will give you a greater chance of winning.

Over the past few decades, online gambling has emerged as a popular mode of entertainment for a substantial number of people around the world. Not really a new phenomenon, gambling has intrigued people from different countries, races and ethnicities since ancient times. In fact, many of the modern games of chance trace back their origin from the ones that were played centuries ago. During the ’70s and ’80s gambling increased in popularity and more and more people tried their luck at various casinos. Especially of course in Las Vegas, also known as the ‘mecca for gamblers’.

However, it was the Internet revolution that had the largest impact in the popularity of gambling and gave it multiple dimensions. With the increasing popularity of the www during the ‘90s, and it’s ever growing reach, several online bookmakers and casinos established online platforms to cater to a large population of people wanting to have a great time and make more money staying at home. Online bookmakers and casinos offer comfort, privacy, multiple payment options and a host of new games for users.

It is commonly believed that online gambling started in 1994 when the small Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda passed the Free Trade & Processing Act, which granted licences to companies wishing to open online casinos. During the late 1990s the popularity of online gambling grew, and the number of online gambling websites grew from just 15 in 1996 to over 200  in 1997. In 1998 the revenue from online gambling exceeded $830 million, a far cry from the $56 billion in 2018.

Part 2 – Online sports betting

Although online gambling initially was focused around the traditional casino game, it didn’t take long before online sports betting was introduced. In 1996 Intertops became the first online bookmaker to offer its customers the possibility to wager on sports. Naturally sports betting became very popular and within a few years the British giants William Hill and Ladbrokes had also opened their own online sports betting sites. Today there are hundreds of online bookmakers with more joining regularly. Currently we are especially seeing an increase in bookmakers from Asia. Additionally, we are also seeing a rise in mergers with Betfair and Paddy Power, and Coral and Ladbrokes as recent examples.

Online poker boom

In the early 2000s online poker saw a massive increase in popularity and between 2003 and 2005 every man and his dog, seemed interested in trying their luck at the poker table. The world series of poker had three times as many participants in 2004 compared to the year before. Major tournaments were suddenly televised, and poker players became celebrities almost overnight and countless books, merchandise and poker accessories would be widely available to everyone.

The rise of Betfair

In 2000 Betfair opened their website and a revolutionary way of betting on sports was introduced to punters all over the world. Contrary to the regular bookmakers, Betfair didn’t actually take bets from its customers. Instead they launched a peer to peer platform which allowed its users to place bets amongst themselves. Betting Exchanges, as they are known as, are becoming more and more popular as it gives everyone the chance to play the bookmaker. Betting Exchanges also introduced a new betting concept in “lay betting”, where you bet on something to not happen e.g. a football team to not win. This type of betting is unlike normal sports bets, where you normally back something to happen e.g. a team to win the game.

German gambling tolerance

The gambling laws in Germany are as clear as mud and a current status quo of tolerance seem to be the governmental preferred position.

The main legal framework governing online gambling in Germany is the Interstate Treaty on Gambling 2012. The framework sets out the main objectives and core elements of German gambling regulation. This Treaty was adopted by 15 of the 16 German states in 2012, and by Schleswig-Holstein in 2013.

The main objectives of the Interstate Treaty are:

  • Consumer protection (including battling gambling addiction and the protection of minors)
  • Fraud prevention
  • Combatting the gambling black market

As the only German state, Schleswig-Holstein did not initially join the Interstate Treaty. Instead, Schleswig-Holstein introduced its own Gambling Act in January 2012 under which

23 online casino licences and 25 sports betting licences were issued. Due to a change in government, Schleswig-Holstein joined the Interstate Treaty in 2013 and the Gambling Act was cancelled in February 2013.

Although the license was issued in Schleswig-Holstein, it became legal for all German players to place bets with these companies that signed the above mentioned Gambling Act The Interstate Treaty was later amended, and Schleswig-Holstein opted to review its legislation and sign the treaty. However, that didn’t change the validity of the already issued online gambling licenses.  To further confuse matters the EU ruled in 2016 that Germany did not comply with EU law and that it could not penalise nor restrict foreign bookmakers. As a result, the current state of “toleration” means that German residents are free to bet with online bookmakers based in the EU.

This position of unofficial acceptance can appear a bit peculiar as sports bets (offline and online) have been subject to a 5% taxation since the introduction of the German Betting Tax.

UK and the love of gambling

Gambling has a long history in the UK, and it is a huge part pf the British economy. Punters in the UK have not experienced similar restrictive legislation or vague governmental positioning as seen in many other countries. The UK is home to some of the oldest and largest bookmakers in the world and gambling is a favourite pastime for many Brits.

The main legislation is the Gambling Act of 2005, which states that all operators who wish to offer gambling services to British customers must hold a licence from the UK Gambling Commission. Under the same act, it is entirely legal for any UK resident over the age of 18 to participate in online gambling.

US court ruling

Although online gambling used to be hugely popular in the US, it didn’t take long for the lawmakers to spoil the fun. Notably the Federal Wire Act and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) have been used to limit the space in which the online bookmakers can manoeuvre.

The Federal Wire Act prohibits electronic transmission of information for sports betting across telecommunications lines and the UIGEA basically made it illegal to deposit and withdraw funds to and from an online gambling site. Although online gambling has never been explicitly outlawed in the US, the two laws together have created so much confusion and grey zones around online gambling that many companies decided to no longer allow US customers to join their online sites.

In May 2018 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favour of New Jersey after the state had called for a change of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). PASPA was signed into law? in 1992 and went into effect in 1993. PASPA didn’t outlaw sports betting but rather it banned states, except for Nevada, Oregon, Delaware and Montana, from regulating and taxing sports betting.

At the time of writing it was still unknown what the impact of this ruling will be but it is expected that within a few years several states will have fully legalised online sports betting, which will allow millions of Americans to legally place sports bets with online bookmakers.

Part 3 – Why is online gambling so popular?

Online sports betting is exciting and fun

Millions of people around the world like to gamble. In the last decade we have witnessed a revolution in online gambling. Playing games or betting at any one of the many online betting sites is sure to give you a thrill and with so much excitement available without needing to step out of your home, there are many more people getting into casino gambling and sports betting than at any time in the past. Due to the large demand there are countless online gambling sites that would love nothing more than to get your business.

Besides the fun of playing online gambling games, there is also the chance to make a decent profit. Thus, many gamblers have found a way to live off their winnings. Of course, some casino games and purely based on luck but with for example poker and sports betting skills count much more than luck and those who are adept within these types of online gambling have a great chance to make a tidy profit. To sweeten the deal, many online gambling games even give players a welcome bonusses whenever they make an initial deposit.

What exactly is the appeal of betting online rather than in a physical location. Below are a few explanations.

The appeal of online gambling

Land-based casinos obviously have some features that you cannot get from an online casino. There is an important social component that is not there with online gambling. The glitz and flash of the casino atmosphere draws many people in and encourages them to get involved. People are drawn in by the excitement and the immediacy of the activity around them.

But setting aside the “entertainment” value of spending a night at the casino, from the wagering perspective, doing your gambling online has far fewer distractions, is more efficient, and lets you more easily focus on the task at hand. It’s all gambling all the time. Which means that you can spend hours — or minutes. You can place your wager and move on to something else.

Convenience is very important

Online gambling is much more convenient. There is no need to drive an hour or two to spend an entire (expensive) evening eating, drinking, and wagering. When you gamble online you do it from the comfort of your own home. You can do it online at any time — in the middle of the day, or in the middle of the night.

You can also do it at your own pace. If you are a newbie to the world of online wagering, most sites will have tutorials and demos that show you how things work. They will explain the rules and the terminology. And there is no pressure to play games or place wagers before you know what you are doing.

Play a greater variety of games

There is now a multitude of established casinos and bookmakers, and most of them have a wide variety of games to choose from. For instance, many bookmakers have a complete selection of casino games such as Blackjack, Baccarat, Keno, Poker, Roulette and Craps.

Besides the convenience and larger number of games available there are also other factors that could offer an answer to why online gambling is so popular

Luck

The irrational believe in luck is engraved in most of us. This unexplained gut feeling that a special day or a certain number is luckier than the others are sends a lot of people to gamble or even gamble on the same numbers over and over again.

Social factor

Have you ever wonder how can a group of people beat the pants off someone in a poker game and remain best buddies? You can see it in bingo halls, casino bars and friendly poker games: many people see gambling as an opportunity to make new friends or spend time with old friends in addition to the chance of earning additional money.

Entertainment

Many people visit casinos and play their favourite casino games simply because they love it and they are having a great time. In Las Vegas casinos for example, you will meet more recreational gamblers who see gambling as part of their vacation activities than professional gamblers who take gambling as a serious source of income.

Excitement

The act of gambling can give you quite an adrenaline rush. Regardless of the money aspect, the anticipation of the outcome of the game while still not knowing whether it would match your bet is what makes all forms of gambling so thrilling and exciting.

Relaxation

As opposed to the accelerated adrenaline rush described by many gamblers, many gamblers find the gambling experience relaxing. When you think about it, what can be more relaxing than ending a busy work week in the comfortable casino atmosphere, playing your favourite game?

Boredom

Whether exciting or relaxing, when the daily lives become an unbearable routine, gambling can serve as a way to escape reality.

Money

In addition to all the reasons mentioned above, gambling provides an opportunity to earn unbelievable amounts of money within short time and minimum investment. Even if you are aware to the exact mathematical odds of beating each and every gambling game, if you are an optimist by nature, this slightest chance would nevertheless drive you to a casino, a bookie, a lottery terminal or a bingo hall.

Part 4 – Getting started with sports betting

Gambling is the oldest trade in the world. Well ok, maybe not the oldest but at least one of the old oldest ones. Have you ever seen an old western movie without a card game going on in the saloon? No right?

Sports betting doesn’t go as far back as some of the traditional casino card and table games. However, as long as there have been sports, there have been people betting on sports. The great thing about sports betting is that it combines the excitement of sports and the chance of winning money. When you add “online” to form the three magic words – online sports betting –  you can now bet on sports with a chance to win money from the comfort of your own sofa while watching your favourite sport on the TV.

For most people it is the excitement of placing a bet and collecting the occasional win that attracts them to sports betting. Placing just a small wager on a team to win can make any football game interesting. A great evening of watching Champions League with your friends becomes even a bit better when you can proudly announce that you had bet on the winning team and can see the profit in your bookmaker account.

Besides the occasional gambler, there are people that actually place bets for a living or at least supplement their income with their winnings from sports betting. These people have truly mastered the skill of turning their passion for sports into a profitable hobby or profession.

Whether you are a complete beginner and just want to learn about sports betting or are an aspiring (semi) professional gambler with the aim to make serious money, this guide has something for all.

This is the complete guide to online sports betting. Every aspect will be explained in detail and, upon completion, you will be an expert.

If are very keen to place your first bet and just want a quick introduction to sports betting, then please jump straight to our “Quick Introduction to Sports Betting”.  Here you will find everything you need to get you started. You are always welcome to return to this guide if there are areas you want to know more about.

Before you get started with the sports betting guide there are few basic rules which must be followed:

  1. You must be over 18 years old
  2. You must live in country where online gambling is legal
  3. You must have access to the internet via a PC, laptop, tablet, phone etc.
  4. To be able to place bets with an online casino you will need to open and deposit money into your account. Review the method of payments an online bookmaker accepts and be sure that at least one of the payment methods is available to you
  5. You must be in possession of some kind of ID so you can verify your identity when needed. Bookmakers are required by law to ask for your ID. This is to avoid illegal activities like underage gambling and money laundering.

Please note that you must be able to comply with all the above before starting with online sports betting.

Part 5 – Top 7 Reasons to Gamble Online

The online gambling industry is the most profitable industry on the internet. Millions of people around the world are wagering on sports online, playing online poker, bingo and even the lottery online at any of the thousands of gambling sites available on the net. Even people who have never visited a land-based casino or a local bookie are finding themselves visiting online casinos and poker rooms on a regular basis.

So, what makes gambling on the internet so appealing? Yes, you can play any game of your choice without having to leave your favourite chair. Still, you will not be served free drinks; you will not be able to watch the game you have wagered on from big TV screens; you can neither see the facial expressions of your poker opponents nor to hear the sounds of the coins fall from the slot machine when you hit the big jackpot…

Here are the benefits of gambling online comparing to traditional gambling:

1 – Diversity

How else can you jump from an online poker room to the craps table and to placing a sports bet while staying seated on your most comfortable chair? Most online betting sites feature a large variety of sports betting markets, casino table games, slots and video poker machines. Moreover, in many major online gambling companies you can switch from online casino gambling to online sports wagering with the same username and account

2 – Bonuses

Where else can you receive free money to gamble with? Most online casinos offer free money bonuses in order to entice new customers and to keep up with the competition. The bonuses can start from €10 free just for downloading the casino software to over €100 for placing a certain amount of bets

3 – Convenience

Obliviously, what can be more convenient than betting your favourite sports in the comfort of your own home while listening to your favourite music and drinking your favourite beer? Not to mention being able to watch sports on TV at the same time

4 – Smoking and Dress Codes

Whether you are a smoker or a non-smoker, when you are gambling online you are free from obeying the rules. Same goes for dressing, eating and drinking; you can either smoke non-stop or remain in a non-smoking environment; wear your sloppiest clothes or stay naked; eat, drink, talk on the phone, watch TV, whatever

5 – Atmosphere

When you are gambling online, there are not any cocktail waitresses who will sedate you with free drinks and distract you from beating the dealer. In addition, you can set an atmosphere of your choice that can include clocks or even a source of day light

6 – Beginner Friendly

A land-based sports betting shop can be an intimidating place for the newbie gambler. The average online bookmaker, on the other hand, is much more beginner friendly than its brick and mortar equivalent. Taking your time to read up on the rules, choosing and placing your bet and the option of avoiding social embarrassment caused by misunderstanding of the rules and codes of behaviour is a more pleasant welcome for the novice sports punter

7 – Safety

Yes, gambling online is usually safer than playing in a land-based bookmaker or casino and carrying big amounts of cash money in your pocket. Most online bookmakers are reliable and respectable businesses that will not risk their reputation and lose their customers base by scamming their players

In addition to the list of benefits mentioned above, online gambling offers equal opportunity for people with disabilities or those who do not to venture out every time they want to place a bet.

Reading about the benefits of online gambling makes the huge popularity of online gambling, online poker playing and online sports wagering much easier to understand.

Part 6 – Top 6 gambling rules for beginners

Although the title says for beginners, every one who is betting online should follow these basic tips. If you are an experienced sports bettor you should already know these but scan through the article just to be sure.

Here are some of the top gambling rules you should follow while betting online. In gambling a long-term mindset is vital. You can win over the long haul if you gamble wisely and stick to your strategy.

Rule 1 – You alone chose how much to stake

Only gamble with an amount you feel comfortable with. Never let anyone pressure you into gambling with more than you are comfortable with. When you start gambling outside of your comfort zone that is when things begin to get dangerous.

Rule 2 – Never gamble with money you cannot afford to lose

Only gamble with money you can afford to lose. Never put your mortgage or car payments on the line when gambling. If you can’t afford to gamble with it then you should not be gambling, period.

Rule 3 – Keep records of everything

You must always know how much you have won or lost. This doesn’t mean that you have to write down every bet you place but every day, week or month you should look through all of your bookmaker accounts and get an overview of your profit/loss for the period. The alternative is that you will start underestimating your loses and overestimate your wins and potentially believe you have won more and lost less than the reality.

Rule 4 – Know the game before you play

Don’t place any bets unless you know the market you are betting on really well. It’s one thing to spend a few bucks while learning or just having fun, but it’s another to play it over and over without knowing the fine details of odds, strategy, etc.

This may be less of an issue if you only bet on the match market i.e. the home team to win, draw or away team to win. But do you fully understand over/under and Asian handicap betting? If not then do more research before betting on those markets.

Rule 5 –  Don’t over-complicate things

If you are just starting out with sports betting then keep things simple. There are a huge amount of sports you can bet on and thousands of markets. Stick to a football league that you know and only bet on teams that you know. You can then expand from there and specialise in certain markets or football leagues.

Rule 6 – Use available offers and bonuses

All bookmakers have sign up bonusses and offers for existing customers. Make sure you take advantage of these offers as they can increase you bankroll and help boost your profit. 

Part 7 – Online betting safety

Many people are concerned about safety and security when handling money online, and this is especially the case with online gambling. This is an understanding concern to have but the reality is that any successful online business must protect its reputation and guard its integrity, or it will be out of business very quickly. This is even more true for online gambling sites.

Before signing up to any bookmaker you should do a bit of research and as part of this you should check the legitimacy of any online business you are thinking of dealing with. Here at Wettenbonusse we offer a large range of reviews of online bookmakers and we recommend that you read these prior to signing up to any bookmaker. We pride ourselves on our objective reviews and further aim to keep our list of sign up offers as updated as possible. Ensure you keep up to date with this list, and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions before signing up with a specific bookmaker.

Once you decide who to go for, it is recommended to gradually build up your bankroll with that specific bookmaker by depositing smaller amounts of money. That will give you a chance to see how the system works, and to see how the online gambling site you have chosen treats its customers.

Be a smart customer

Despite the common worries about online safety, far too many people are extremely casual when it comes to making payments on online betting sites. It seems that they believe that if a website looks respectable then it must be ok.

Although the vast majority of online bookmakers are reputable companies, as with many other industries, there is also a small number of scam artists around.

So how does one ensure safety? Being smart is the first line of defence. Go with your gut feeling and if it feels wrong then choose another bookmaker. There are plenty around.

Also, here are 4 common-sense ground rules to follow

Firstly, check the deposit methods and amounts. Any reputable bookmaker will offer a wide variety of depositing methods. Stay away from places that force you to deposit large amounts of money. A good bookmaker is happy to take very small deposits—perhaps as little as €5.

Secondly, have a look at what type of customer service they offer. As a minimum they should offer a service via email, but I would recommend going for one with a live chat as this is usually the most effective method of getting in touch with the support team. If you cannot find any contact information, then find another bookmaker.

Thirdly, check if you are able to change the language on the website. Most bookmakers will have an English website but many bookmakers that cater for the German market will also have a German language version of their site. Also, many will have customer support in German. It is not necessarily a red flag if they do not use German. But then again, it doesn’t give any bonus points when considering the overall impression of the site.

Lastly, although Wettenbonusse offer a large number of reviews it is always a good idea to check other sources, too. Just google the name of the bookmaker and see what information comes up. 

If you follow these steps, you will greatly eliminate your chances of being ripped off by a rogue bookmaker. Don’t assume that being ripped off only happens to “other people”. It happens every day, and it can happen to you if you are not careful when selecting a new online bookie. However, don’t let fear keep you from playing. Online bookmakers provide an unmatched convenience and unlike bookmaker shops and land-based casinos, online bookmakers will give you money for simply signing up.