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What’s The Difference Between European & American Bookmakers?

Sports betting is popular around the world, and gambling in general has been one of the most favorite and widespread pastime activities among people for hundreds of years. In its modern iteration, it is mostly done online, both with regular casino games like poker and roulette and sports betting of all sorts. However, there are some key differences when it comes to betting on sports in different corners of the globe. Nowhere is that more evident than when Europe and America are put head to head and compared.

If you are passionate about sports and betting, it really matters where you are betting. Since cultures and the whole phenomenon of following sports and supporting teams and players are different on every continent, you have to know a lot before you decide to gamble outside of what you are used to. Gambling while away may prove harder than you thought and it largely has to do with the bookmakers as well. There are differences between European and American bookies and in this article we will determine why they exist.

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Differences in Sports and Betting Culture

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Europe and America are famously different when sports are concerned. In Europe, fans are much crazier about the actual sporting events, rivalries, and attending games. In America, it is more about the general entertainment and the overall experience that any given sporting event provides. The result is that Europeans are also much more passionate about betting.

Other than that, the sports themselves are different. Europeans mostly follow and bet on football (soccer), with an occasional bet on basketball, tennis, or volleyball. In the USA, soccer is the least popular sports and the nation’s four big sports dominate the fans’ attention, support, and betting. They include NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, and only then can we talk about MLS and maybe tennis. Motor sports like NASCAR and wrestling are quite popular as well, and NCAA games are famous too. This means that there are numerous things to bet on among the many different sports.

When we take this into consideration, the key conclusion is that football is king in all European countries, especially those that make up the top national leagues. England, Spain, Germany, Italy, and France dominate world football and their national leagues, cups, and the UEFA club competitions they play draw in most of the crowd and offer greatest bets. In America, it is the playoffs of their leagues and the finals that are the biggest opportunities to win money, a much rarer occasion than what the bettors prefer in Europe.

Lastly, it should be mentioned that on average, Europeans bet more often and spend more money per year on their tickets. In addition, they start with their betting careers at a much younger age and keep doing it for most of their lives especially if they are lifelong sports fans who have been actively following their team for decades.


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Considering there are different gambling and betting laws and regulations in different American states, it is harder to keep track of it all and implement the same odds on games. In some states gambling is banned completely. While many states, 19 of them, allow sports betting, there are some that are still battling for a license and a law that would legalize it. Others, like Utah, Idaho, and Wisconsin have their state’s constitution banning gambling. Out of the rest thirty or so, most are striving towards a fully legal sports betting community.

In America, especially in the top football EU countries and the Balkans, there are plenty of betting establishments where people can go play some bets, watch games, have ad rink or two, and even eat. Sports cafes are a huge deal in most of Europe and people usually have their favorite local one where they spend a few hours a week watching big games, hanging out with friends, and shouting at the TV. Online betting is also bigger in Europe because of the collective love and support for sports and winning money from knowing and predicting the outcomes and scores.

Differences Between Bookmakers

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If we are to consider all the differences mentioned up until now, we can conclude that the bookmakers have it harder but also more lucrative in Europe. Apart from Las Vegas and maybe Atlantic City, there is not much talk of the most successful and famous bookies predicting scores and winners on a daily basis. When there is a huge event like a big UFC fight, the Super Bowl, or the NBA finals, everyone wants to know who the casinos and sports betting organizations favor. That is the system. For the regular games there is far less craze.

On the other side of the ocean, European bookmakers have their hands full each and every day because there are usually at least a few league and cup games across all countries and all sports each day. And we do not just mean the primary teams and top leagues, but the second and third tiers of competitions that numerous fans still love, support, and play bets on. For those dealing with European sports bookmaking, it is important to more correctly give the teams the odds and advise the players who the favor is through the numbers.

In order to answer the titular question of what the biggest differences between the American and the European bookmakers is, we have to say that it is everything that has to do with the sports culture and the ever-present sports betting that follows. Things are simply too different in the everyday life of a sports fan in Los Angeles and New York that, from the sports fans in Athens or Madrid. Those responsible for the sports betting industry and the odds and chances they give the participants know it, and they tailor their offers and predictions according to a combination of numerous factors that are not strictly related to business. Because it is not just business and entertainment in Europe, and it is not a regular, ongoing thing that can dominate one’s free time in the USA.

About Sini V.