Gambling in all of its ways, shapes, and forms seems to be of equal popularity and importance all over the world. Since sports are nowadays synonymous with betting on the biggest matches and games during a season, and there cannot be a big stage national tournament like a World or a European Cup without millions of bets taking place, it is understandable and quite normal. The betting and sports industries have managed to fuse into one mega-industry in which all the sides rely on each other. This is why you can nowadays see numerous betting houses and companies advertised on the jerseys and ad spaces along the pitches and courts.
In such a world where an average sports fan is also a betting enthusiast, the way of following and celebrating sport is different than it was some decades ago. Now, gambling has always been dominant throughout the history of the human race, but not nearly as much as it is today. Still, different continents and countries value different things and that is enough for them to have a vastly different approach to making tickets and wagering on the outcomes of games they watch. With this in mind, we are going to talk about the main differences between the sports betting industries in the United States of America and the United Kingdom.
The differences are important and they have to deal with a lot of factors. We will explore the most crucial ones in the following sections. In case you wish to find out more information about sports gambling or try your luck with some ongoing matches, read here.
The main, or at least, the original difference between the two countries in terms of sports betting, is the history of the sports and betting the two countries have had. The first betting establishments in the UK started appearing with the wider adoption of sports towards the end of the 18th century. Largely unregulated however, it was a far cry from what it represents today. This is when the first serious football clubs started to appear in Europe, including England. During that time in the USA, there were still a lot of things to be wanted in terms of sports so betting was not available either. However, gambling was flourishing in other ways like casino type games in salons and taverns. Horseracing was widely seen as the most intriguing form of betting until the 20th century arrived. In any case, the fact that gambling appeared much earlier in the UK than in the USA meant that the understanding of it as well as it being common in the general consciousness of people is completely different.
2. The Sports
It is now more than clear what the biggest difference in terms of sports betting is between these two countries. Although they have their shared history and similarities in culture, language, tradition, and world views, sports are what really sets them apart and that transfers to the general way of betting. In the UK, football is the king of all sports and it is not even close. Then come cricket, rugby, and tennis. In America however, they have their four major sports leagues in NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL, which means that American football, basketball, baseball, and hockey are the most famous sports. This translates directly to the way and volume of betting, how much people think about it, and what it represents. Considering the importance of football and how influential the top Premier League teams are, there is often no time to follow nor bet on other sports despite cricket and rugby being national treasures. In America though, all of their major sports teams enjoy affection from local state fans and other sports like tennis, NASCAR, and NCAA sports also offer exciting betting opportunities, while association football (soccer) in the form of MLS is still not that popular to watch and follow, let alone bet on. The differences in sports are worthy for a whole separate article basically.
3. Being a Fan and a Bettor
In the United States, a lot of things are made to be a show and a spectacle as a lot of people have a hard time believing in something or giving it their attention unless it is fun and/or gives back. This directly conflicts with the way the UK people view what being a sports fan should look like. The rivalries are lifelong, the love for the club is never-ending, and cheering the team on for 90 minutes straight is a normal occasion. American fans are often shocked when their national teams play European teams in any sport when the fans in attendance do their choreographies, yell, and scream, and are often rude and impolite to the opposing players and fans. It is a whole different culture. You will hardly ever see people in the UK just sit and watch a game like you would in the NFL or the NBA. Fans are on their feet, singing the club anthem, and living in the moment. Because of this, being a sports bettor is also different since the fans use their sports knowledge and passion in different ways. It is also less of a business for them and more of a hobby and a pastime activity. When an average American bets, they do not care about the sporting event that much. When an Englishmen, a Scotsman, a Welshman, or a Northern Irishman does it, they approach it in a largely different way.
4. The Future
Both of the industries have been changing and maturing over the decades and they are now regulated and appropriated in the best ways possible. Although still more popular in the UK and England because the sports themselves are looked on differently, they both have very bright futures. The sports betting market in America is young, perhaps inexperienced, and heavily influenced by other entertainment like gaming and casino gambling. This perhaps makes it hard to live on its own since it has to be its own thing. In the UK, it is in a healthy place it seems as people know it, understand it, and are more than aware of what it is, what it should and should not be, and how one can be a part of it.