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Why do people bet on sports?

19 January 2011

By Steven Hollway

Why do people like to bet so much on sports? Well, the first reason is because most people love to gamble. Experiments have been done where pigeons are given a choice between two buttons with each distributing food. One button will give food every ten presses, making for a factory style work-reward system. The other button will distribute food at random number of presses, with somewhere between three and twenty presses needed to distribute food. Even though the random button will take more presses than the factory style button experiments have shown that the majority of pigeons will go for the gamble once they have learned the functionality of both buttons.

The second reason why people love to bet so much on sports is because people love sports. In our modern culture we no longer belong to tribes who go to war and battle one another, so instead we enjoy competition through the safer medium of sport. From football through to boxing we all like to pick a team of favourites or a champion who means something to us based on the either the location they're from or some attribute we feel we share with them. In this way we can get together with fans of the same team or personality and club together, celebrating when they win or supporting one another should they lose.

Sports without betting are extremely exciting. Gambling on something as simple as the roll of a dice can be absolutely heart stopping if you've got £1000 staked on the outcome just as watching your football team play in the FA Cup final for the first time can be. Now imagine what it's like it you put the excitement of both sports and gambling together in one past-time, where you win twice if your team or your favourite sportsman is victorious in their contest. Thus one great thing about sports betting is that it can make an event you have absolutely no interest in from a sporting perspective into a nail-biting proposition. Not everyone's favourite player can make it through to the Wimbledon final, yet the Wimbledon final happens every year and is a great sporting event. One way for punters to get involved in this event is to have a little wager on who they think might win the match.

One event that's definitely improved by online wagering is the Grand National. Horse racing is a sport that possibly wouldn't exist if people didn't place money on the outcomes, as the excitement is not seeing your horse win on a race but winning money on your horse winning the race. The Grand National is the one event every year that people who normally wouldn't bet on a horse race will bet on. It's a bit like all the people who don't usually watch football who turn up down your local dressed in their team colours and waving flags when the World Cup is on. The fact of the matter is that Grand National Betting hits fever pitch on the day of this historic event, if you don't bet you feel left out of all the excitement.

With so many sports bookmakers opening up online, betting is no longer the seedy, smoke filled, affair it was a few years ago. Now you can safely make your sportsbook wager from the safety of your own home whilst watching your favourite sports event on satellite TV. There are now so many online bookmakers that offer all kinds of bets on sports events that you can take odds on the next player in a football match to get a yellow card or the next horse in this years Grand National 2011 to fall. Whatever your sports and whatever you think might happen, there's a sports bet out there waiting for you to place it and that's one of the biggest pulling points of sports betting.

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