The Global Expansion of Sports Betting
As any American sports fan will tell you, when it comes to top flight action on both field and court, the United States really is in a league of its own.
One of the few countries in the world where sports like professional basketball, softball and football are revered even more so than the usual international staples like soccer, US leagues such as the NBA and NFL presents unique opportunities for sports fans with a penchant for placing a wager or two on the next big game.
Not that Americans are the only ones now cashing in on the country’s big sporting fixtures.
When the National Football League began making huge strides towards global expansion, with several ‘International Series’ games attracting huge crowds at Wembley Arena in London, England, the surge of British gamblers showing an interest in betting on US sports caused the UK’s bookmakers to sit up and take note.
Brits betting on basketball
Soon, it wasn’t just NFL games that UK punters could bet on, but a whole plethora of US and international sports. Among the most popular? The NBA.
Though this might be somewhat surprising given that basketball is -in terms of participation at least- still somewhat of a minority sport across the pond, the NBA’s relationship with UK sports broadcasters has catapulted the league’s biggest teams into the homes of thousands of Brits, putting names like the Chicago Bulls and the New York Knicks on a par with teams from the country’s more traditional sports like Rugby Union.
While this is certainly good news for the basketball association itself, there’s just as much cause for celebration among UK gamblers, who can often enjoy better odds on the sport than they could by wagering on homegrown leagues.
Online odds for NBA fixtures
Need an example? While we can’t bring the latest offers from bricks-and-mortar bookies to The Spread, for NBA odds check out William Hill Online, a leading UK sports betting website that has just recently expanded its basketball coverage to include not just the US league, but domestic competitions from across Europe, Asia and Australia.
At time of writing, the site offers several in-game betting odds for the Japanese National Basketball League, while continuing to offer several solid odds for the NBA, many of which would -depending on the stake- provide bigger payouts to gamers than bets wagered on homegrown leagues such as the Premier League soccer competition.
How US Sports Fans Can Benefit
What does this mean for sports fans back in the United States? On the surface, perhaps not much, but look a little deeper, and there’s a strong argument for exploring how we ourselves could perhaps improve our return on investment by betting on international sports, particularly if our own gambling websites to start paying closer to attention to fixtures, events and league tables based outside North America.
After all, if what our British friends see as almost a minority sport can provide bigger payouts than their own popular domestic leagues, is there any reason why US sports betting websites couldn’t flip the tables?
Could it not be that by offering niche markets to US customers such as Premier League soccer, the Six Nations rugby competition, and even popular horse racing events such as the Cheltenham Festival (taking place literally as we sat down to write this article), betting companies could increase the number of opportunities to place a wager, especially during times when the likes of the NBA have their off-season?
By doing so, and by offering odds to rival anything we’ll find in our own domestic leagues, not only do the sports betting sites themselves profit, but US sports fans too, finally enjoy the same opportunities for big payouts on International fixtures that our friends overseas are already enjoying by betting on the NBA.