Sports are popular for a whole host of reasons. Watching a game alongside your buddies or family members can be a top bonding experience, while supporting the same team you’ve backed since childhood is a great way to connect with your past and engage with what’s gone before. And for some, it’s also about making money through wagering on the outcome of a particular event.

In the US, it’s not always easy to bet on sports – and it’s particularly difficult when compared to other countries around the world. However, this doesn’t mean that you don’t have options. From sportsbooks at events to online gambling, there are plenty of choices available for those who fancy a bet on the latest baseball games, soccer matches, horse racing meets and more.

History of sports betting

Anyone who has ever turned on ESPN or taken a look at the sports section of a newspaper will know that there’s plenty of sporting action going on in the US – and from badminton to football and golf to baseball, there’s a lot from which to choose. However, unlike some other countries, the primary purpose of being a spectator of a sporting event is for the sheer pleasure of it. Gambling on sport, while it does exist, is not a particularly widespread phenomenon.

Given that betting on the outcome of sports games tends to occur at the site of the game itself rather than in a removed location, sports gambling in the US is perhaps most closely associated with events such as the Kentucky Derby. Sportsbooks, which allow on-site betting, have until recently been restricted to particular areas, including Nevada. However, heading down the street and finding a bet provider is pretty much impossible.

What’s it like elsewhere?

The gambling culture in the US is perhaps not quite as visible as it is elsewhere. Take the UK: over the Atlantic, it’s common to walk down any high street and discover what’s known as a “betting shop”. Major brands such as William Hill and Ladbrokes have a presence in many of Britain’s towns and cities, and their branches often contain TV screens showing the latest races and games as well as a counter at which you can place your bets. These have been legal since the early 1960s, and it’s not difficult to set up one.

In the US, it’s different. The main type of betting establishment in the US is the casino, which is, of course, not necessarily sports-oriented. The phenomenon of the sportsbook isn’t quite as prolific because it’s restricted to certain areas. There’s been some suggestion recently that this might be about to change, though, as the law has been changed to permit more betting shop-style stores to open.

Modern options

Despite the fact that other countries may have more sophisticated betting cultures than that of the US, there’s no reason to assume that you’ve got no options if you want to have a flutter on sports here in America. In fact, the opposite is true: the modern world has opened up plenty of avenues to betting, especially when it comes to the web and the companies behind many modern betting websites. The advantages of gambling online are numerous. Free money at NJ online casinos means that you can have a cost-effective start when it comes to backing horses or even branching out into poker.

The fact that gambling online doesn’t even require you to leave the house means that you’ll be able to relax and play at your own pace – and celebrate your wins in your own preferred way. If you’d like to take advantage of the many sports games on elsewhere, such as the World Cup in soccer or horse racing events in Britain, the web is your friend. Thanks in large part to the lack of barriers they face in scaling up, online bookmakers have diverse bet lists that can cover many sports and regions.

When placed in comparison to some other nations, the US isn’t quite as highly switched on when it comes to easy-access sports betting. However, this doesn’t mean that those who want to have a flutter on their chosen outcomes will have to go without. Signing up to an online bookmaker that can provide a good range of choice is one possibility, for example, while the coming years may offer a chance to take advantage of changing laws around public betting. Whatever your sports betting goals might be, there’ll be a way to meet them.