What's the Difference Between a Sportsbook and a Bookmaker?

A clear answer to a common question

"Sportsbook" and "bookmaker" are two of the most commonly used terms in online gambling. The difficulty can be in knowing what the differences between the two are, and how to determine which is the right selection for you. This guide will discuss the distinctions between both a sportsbook and a bookmaker, in an attempt to help you decide how to go about choosing the best online betting venue.

When you lay out all the elements that make up a sportsbook or bookmaker, you soon discover that there are no more than a handful of major differences between the two. The reason why the two terms are used in different ways throughout the world boils down to the fact that "sportsbook" is a distinctly American term, while "bookmaker" is prominent throughout the United Kingdom, Europe, and Australia.

Sportsbooks, specifically, are used in the United States. The majority of popular online sportsbooks cover a range of the biggest sports that online gambling fans will enjoy. Examples of the most common events you will find at a sportsbook include major US sports, such as Football, Basketball, Ice Hockey, and College Sports, as well as universally popular sports like Soccer, Golf, and Tennis.

One notable exclusion from sportsbooks that most bookmakers include is racing. Whether it's Horses, Greyhounds, or Harness Racing, you will most likely find odds for these events in the racebook, which, while related to the other books, is in a different section to sports altogether. While some sportsbooks, such as BetUS will offer a Horse Racing section within their sports listing, they will also provide a much more detailed racebook.

Sportsbooks themselves have a lengthy history, dating back to the mid-1930s. A man by the name of Leo Hirschfield started a company that distributed odds to bookies across the United States. With a team of handicappers that studied events and wrote the odds, the company found great success before disbanding three decades later.

Hirschfield's company paved the wave for sportsbooks all across the USA, and eventually into the online market. Today, the United States boasts some of the finest online sportsbooks in the world.

Sportsbook.com is one such venue; it services an incredibly large field of online gambling fans, all the while keeping up to date with the latest technologies. In addition to their sportsbook, the site also boasts a racebook, casino, poker room, and even Twitter page for members to keep up to date.

Bookmaker.com is a different type of sportsbook. While it offers all the standards you would come to expect, such as a sportsbook, racebook, casino, and poker room, the site also creates its own betting lines, and therefore accepts high wagering and professional bettors.

No matter what you are looking for in a sportsbook, you will always find somewhere that caters to your needs. Whether you are a casual weekend bettor, or looking to up the ante with high stakes wagering, there are plenty of sportsbooks out there for you to discover.

Bookmakers follow a similar pattern to sportsbooks, but cater more to a European market. In this respect, you will still find odds for all the popular sports in the United States, but they will not be as prominent as sports like Football (Soccer), Rugby, Golf, and Tennis.

The majority of UK and European bookmakers will have bonuses and promotions dedicated to specific sports. Where sportsbooks push for extras and promos on NFL and College Sports games, most bookmakers will feature bonuses that run in conjunction with Football (Soccer). Bet365 and Bodog are two venues that create several unique promotions dedicated specifically to Football; both bookmakers are also major sponsors of Premier League teams, with Bet365 of Stoke City, and Bodog sponsoring Fulham.

Bookmakers will often have a similar way of setting up their sites, with a sportsbook, racebook, casino, and poker room. The great thing about modern bookmakers and sportsbooks is that they are now offering Live or In-Play betting. This new feature allows bettors to make wagers both before and during any given event. As the odds change, bettors can alter their betting style to suit the flow of the match or race.

When it all comes down to it, the definitions of a sportsbook and bookmaker are not too dissimilar. They both provide members with odds on a range of sports and races, and the best also offer extras, such as poker rooms and casinos. While UK and European bookmakers will usually boast a bingo section as well, there are very few differences that are apparent at first glance.

However, once you begin to discover what sites promote certain sports more than others, you will be able to see that bookmakers (a term predominantly used throughout the UK, Europe, and Australia) offer the most popular sports for their particular countries, while United States sportsbooks promote their own well-loved events.

Whether you are looking for a sportsbook or bookmaker, your number one goal should be to find the best online gambling venue for you specifically. To get yourself started, why not take a look at our guide for finding the right online bookmaker for you.

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