Sports betting is universal and enjoyed all over the world, but while there are a few truths that apply in every corner of the world, including the fact that bonuses will always attract new players and events like the World Cup will always draw big numbers, there are a few major differences from region to region.
This is especially true in the world’s two biggest gambling regions: Asia and Europe.
There are a few different odds systems in use around the world and where a sportsbook is targeted will typically dictate which one is chosen. Across most of Europe and Asia, decimal odds are used. These odds allow for greater movement and for small changes, which makes them a perfect fit for betting exchanges and pretty much all betting markets.
In the UK, however, fractional odds are used. These odds were born on horse racing tracks as they provided a simple way to take odds and exchange money.
There are also some different odd systems in place in Hong Kong, where they use decimal odds that don’t include the returned stake (so 1.92 becomes 0.92) and Indonesia, where they use a system similar to American Odds.
The handicap system is very common on Asian betting sites and goes into great depth to provide players with a wealth of options. European sites are starting to adopt similar setups, but many of them still use the old system, which is much more basic.
With a European handicap system, players can win or lose and that’s it. If they place a bet on Liverpool -1.5 in a game between Liverpool and Manchester United, then they will win if Liverpool win by two goals or more, and lose if Liverpool lose, draw, or win by a single goal.
In an Asian system, however, there are multiple returns: they can win, win half, get their stake back, and lose. The system looks similar, but with the addition of quarter odds, such as +/- 1.25 and +/- 1.75.
Players used to Asian handicaps often feel shortchanged when they play on European sites and end up losing a bet that they thought was a push. That’s why many European sportsbooks go to great lengths to explain their handicaps. The bigger European sites offer both systems, with one listed simply as “Handicaps” and the other as “Asian Handicaps”. Asian sportsbooks, however, rarely venture anywhere near the European system.
Asian betting sites tend to be more complex and data-heavy than European ones, which try to focus on a more user-friendly interface. There are a few reasons for this, but it all comes back to the experience level of the player.
In most Asian countries, gambling is either illegal or highly restricted and they don’t have a tradition of casual gambling. In Europe, however, it’s a different story. The UK is a good example of this. During key football matches and traditional horse races like the Grand National most adults in the country will rush to place a bet, even if it’s the only bet they will place all year.
The sites need to cater for this type of casual gambler, so they use fractional odds, they fill the sites with live streams, offers and easy-to-use interfaces, and they keep everything streamlined. In many Asian countries, most gamblers get their experience from betting exchanges, which are much more complicated than standard betting sites. As a result, they are used to seeing rows and rows of stats and data in place of streams and offers.
Gambling may be universal, but there are key differences from region to region, and once you cross continents these differences become substantial. Many of the basics are the same—everyone appreciates good customer service, big offers, and plenty of markets—but there are minor differences that warrant attention.