Online Bookmakers

Thanks to the global availability of the Internet, many bookmaking companies have created online versions of their businesses (although some bookmakers still continue to serve customers in a traditional manner by exclusively accepting them within the brick-and-mortar walls of their office premises). Others, following the example of BetDirect and Betterbet, license third-party companies to provide services to their clients under the brand of the already established company. The websites of the most popular bookmakers accept bets from clients who are already 18 years old and who are located in countries where the gaming business is not officially prohibited. Very often, such websites are combined with online casinos.

Among online bettors, betting exchanges (such as Betfair and BETDAQ) have recently gained widespread popularity. There, bets are automatically matched between different players in a "back and lay" format. As a result, online exchanges manage to take away a significant portion of profits from traditional bookmakers.

These exchange-based online markets operate with betting odds. In the event of success, the winning amount will be slightly less than 100%, as the exchange imposes a commission on winnings.

Betting exchanges are direct competitors to traditional bookmaking companies: not only because they offer better odds on event outcomes due to lower overhead costs, but also because they give their players the opportunity to search for arbitrage situations, or surebets. While it is also possible to find arbitrage situations in traditional bookmakers to "hedge bets," on a betting exchange users can offer bets at their own odds, in other words - act as a bookmaker. At the same time, bookmakers are able to monitor the situation on the exchange and adjust their odds accordingly.

Some bookmakers use betting exchanges as a means to track and avoid undesirable odds, thus exposing themselves to less risk. This has led to certain government agencies in Australia (which are monopolists in providing sports betting services) attempting to prevent the licensing of Betfair by launching negative advertising campaigns against Betfair. Despite such attempts, the state of Tasmania still issued a license to Betfair to conduct commercial activities. In their turn, legislative authorities in Western Australia passed a law that specifically outlawed the use of betting exchanges within the state. Later this law was deemed unconstitutional.

Advertising and Sports Sponsorship by Bookmakers

The most televised sports in the UK and Europe are now partially or even fully sponsored by online bookmakers and major betting organizations. Sometimes, the names of certain bookmaking companies and online casinos appear on players' jerseys, billboards, and stadium banners. The names of well-known bookmaking brands are also sometimes present in the titles of competitions. For example, SV Werder Bremen sued the government of their country for the right to display the name of the bookmaking company Bwin on their players' jerseys, as serious measures were taken in Germany and France against online gambling. After the ban on tobacco companies sponsoring sporting events and due to the significant commercial budgets held by companies within the gaming industry, sponsors producing automobiles, alcoholic beverages, non-alcoholic beverages, and fast food are gradually being replaced by companies representing the electronic gambling business in the Far East and Europe.